I’m facing what, to me, is a heartbreaking dilemma. I have a five-year-old daughter whom I love so much, but I separated from her father over two years ago.

We were never married, but we lived together before the break-up. He has now gotten married and done so well in his job that he lives in a big company house.

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His wife also has a good job and is from rich parents.

I live in a one-bedroom flat and income is really tight. My child’s father is willing to take her, if I so wish.

Lately, I’ve been thinking that since I don’t have that much to offer her in the way of financial comfort, I should allow her to live with her father’s family.

I have her with me, but I feel her needs ought to come first.

Deborah, by e-mail.

Dear Deborah,

You’re missing an important point here. Big houses, good jobs and nice lifestyles are not what matter when it comes to bringing up children.

Sure, all kids love to have cool clothes and toys, but they are not what make them happy or what make them grow into fulfilled adults.

What kids really need is love. If you can give children emotional security, acceptance and support in life, however tough your situation, they will turn out fine.

So long as you can give your daughter these things, keep her with you. If her father can also give her those things, then let her spend regular time with him too.

Only remember, it’s love, not money, that’s the most important thing of all.

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