Families now spend an average of $222,360 to raise a child from birth to age 17—a 53% increase over the past fifteen years. (1)

That’s one person working full-time nearly six years to cover the expenses of raising one child!

During the global financial crisis and ensuing recession, median family net worth fell by over 38% from 2007-2010.

For many, that’s nearly two decades of savings wiped out in just a few years!

USA family net worth fell nearly half

These troublesome trends are requiring most of us to rethink our jobs, opportunities, income—and of course, our expenses.

But in spite of the rising costs to raise a child, the decline in families’ average net worth and the intense social pressures facing your kids these days, remember this: You still have the same 6,205 days to raise your child from birth to age 17.  How you choose to spend that time as a family makes all the difference in your child’s life.

Whether you’re already enjoying activities together as a family—or whether you need to make time in your active schedule—time together develops trust, respect and unity over the years, which contributes enormously to your child’s well being. As a result, any financial limitations your family faces become less inhibiting to your child’s future success.

The question is, will you be controlled by a busy schedule resulting from increased financial stress—giving up time with your family during these crucial years you have with them—or will you make it a priority  to spend time together with your children to help them grow in considering others, making good decisions, thinking ahead and becoming self-sufficient? No one has a greater opportunity to be a positive influence on your children than you. Are you making the most of the time you have?

To help your family, Chess House commissioned extensive research into the challenges facing them today. Along the way, we discovered strategic steps some families are taking to overcome them. Download the free report now, “The Five Biggest Challenges Threatening Children Today: And Strategic Ways Parents Can Reverse These Trends.”

How important is this issue to your family?  What personal experience can you share? We invite you to comment below.

(1: Source: “Family Time Eroding as Internet Use Soars,” ABC News, Jun 15, 2009; “Now, Dad Feels as Stressed as Mom,” Georgetown University cited by NY Times, 6/18/10)