The most precious and meaningful part of our lives is our kids. If you have them, you know what I mean. Most of us will do anything for them, but so often they don't realize it. We, parents, will deprive ourselves of certain things without hesitation on order for them to have the best we can afford- clothes, toys, books,etc.
But will it matter a few years from now what brand of shoes my child wore, or what kind of furniture she had in her bedroom? I don't think so. What will matter to her is how many minutes a day I spent talking to her, her only. Asking how her day was not just to say something, but meaning that I really care about what happened to her today, will matter to her . Both the question,"What did you learn at school today?" and the answer," Oh, not much really" are senseless. Find some words only for her/him to let them know how much they are loved and how important they are for you. Don't let your relationship slide down by assuming that now they are old enough to take care of themselves and need only food and clothes. They never stop needing your love and attention no matter how old they are.
I will never believe that when teenagers start using drugs and get involved with the wrong company,it has nothing to do with their parents, and that it's not their fault. Something was overlooked at some point by the parents who were too busy making money and assuming that everything was great since the child was doing well at school and had all he needed.
Was he getting assurance every day from his parents that he was loved and cared about? Were parents making sure he didn't feel lonely and alienated in his own family because there was too much going on around (morgage, job problems, tension in relationship between parens)?
When I was a child, I could not wait till week-ends, when I could go visit my grandparents and stay overnight with them. My parents were trying so hard to figure out what attracted me to that house so much. Sometimes they were just confused, sometimes aggrivated, because I could never answer their question: why do you always want to be with them on Sundays, not us? I simply didn't know myself at that time. Now I know that there were a lot of reasons. I could talk to my grandparents about whatever was in my mind, and was heard. Not hearing discussions about how to handle limited family budget was another attracting element. Finally, knowing that my grandparents would never remind me that I was overweight made me want to be with them in their small apartment more than anything else.
I know that my parents loved me very much; they just weren't wise enough at that point to know exactly what children wanted: some time spent with them, kids, only.