To one thing everybody can agree: without children, mankind will die out. Therefore nature has given us a basic instinct of self preservation, which automatically leads to the desire of having children.
In many western societies there are currently not enough children born to keep the population at least at today's level. While our societies are still far away from vanishing, it will nevertheless lead to a serious over-aging of the population in the future. This threatens the social systems in which young, working people pay the pension of the retired generation. It is quite typical for our time that politics tries to solve this problem in giving financial incentives to young people to have (more) children. As if having children was a financial decision!
The industry needs labour force and encourages young women to make career and stay in business life even when they have small children. On the other hand the average expectation to the material wealth has been constantly increasing. So it comes in quite handy that both parents work full-time and earn some additional money. After all, exclusive designer clothes, two cars, holidays abroad, dyed hairs even for small children and so on - all of it has it's price. Advertisement is obviously being successful...
While it is of course a personal decision of every couple whether they want to have children and, if yes, how many of them, there is still the above mentioned problem of over-aging the population. The general tendency in most countries is to offer more and more places like crèches, playgroups, day schools, etc. where children are looked after the whole day or even the whole week. The idea behind this is to disburden parents from looking after the children at least during working hours.
If we reduce the role of children to reproduce the society, to keep the number of people at a desired level, this works well. Children need to learn our language, understand our behaviour, culture and rules, etc. Who could transfer this knowledge better than professionals, people educated to teach exactly this? - If you look at it from this point of view, it would be most economical to give your children away for education after they reach the age of one to two years. This would give the parents the possibility to work full-time again quite soon after birth of their children.
There is of course another point of view. Above we have just been talking about what parents give to their children. But what do children of age 0 to 15 years give to their parents? Just costs, sorrows and anger?
Apart from the indisputable increase in life quality, children inevitably force us to think about the basics of life. Typical questions like "where do angels go to school?", "why is blue colour blue and not red?", "what is death?", "where do dead people go to?" are actually more important for the adults than for the children. Very often, children remind us of things and facts we have forgotten about. We either have become so used to these things that we simply don't realise them any more or we fade them out in our daily business life.
And now all the sudden we are forced by the children to explain these things. And mind you, if you try to escape somehow, these questions will be asked again and again until your children get a satisfying answer. So on one hand children help us to focus on what really counts in life. Or have you ever heard a child asking about your career?
If you give away your children for education and play, you miss at least a part of this. This might not be that bad for the child - but it is a missed opportunity for the parents.
But there is even more to it: When our soul prepares for a new incarnation, it does not randomly choose the place nor the family to incarnate. The soul wants to achieve certain goals and - depending on the type of goals - the environment like mother, father, sisters, grandparents, neighbours, etc. play an important role. Such goals may include e.g. reconciliation on a personal scale or between groups of people, let go of certain behaviours, fears, bindings, etc. Many children are still well connected with the cosmos, with the spiritual world and can therefore act like an interpreter, like a coordinator between the non-incarnated world and the adults. As such they can easily point to your weaknesses on your way to perpetual harmony. - Have you ever wondered why your girl or son knows exactly what to do or what to say to make you loose your self possession?
The role children can play in personal development is often tremendously underestimated. If we reduce our relation to children to the role "parents educate children", if we place them in crèches, playgroups, residential schools and the like, we actually spoil ourselves a huge chance for our own development! While the education of children can be delegated to others, your personal development can't be delegated. And your personal development was probably the most important reason for your own incarnation.
The tendency to "give away" and to delegate the daily education even of small children very soon after the end of, or even during the lactate phase therefore often has serious disadvantages for the parents. Both mothers and fathers should strive to spend as much time as possible together with their offsprings. One should always keep in mind that the soul must have had a good reason to incarnate exactly in this family.
It is a common misapprehension that children only start to give back to their parents once they are mature. One of the most valuable contribution does actually take place during their early childhood!
It would be best to appraise small children like a special coach for our personal development towards perpetual happiness, harmony and inner peace.