Life is not only short but also unpredictable.
Life’s unpredictability compels parents to train their children how to live life fully. And the best legacy that parents can give to their children is knowledge. From the time children learn how to identify shapes and colors, to the time they go through heartbreaks in their teens, to the time they struggle with their own families in adulthood, children have their parents to lean on.
Parents are in truth coaches who try to adapt their style of training their team players. While their young minds are still malleable, parents will try to enforce strict discipline in survival training for their children that includes the proper way of eating, sleeping, studying, playing, praying and even saving, borrowing, insuring and investing. This is the period where the foundation of a child’s unique personality is developed.
It is never too early to teach children about money, a most powerful tool like Thor’s mighty hammer, Captain America’s shield and Ironman’s suit that they will be using throughout their life. In fact, the main lesson here is to teach children that money is nothing but a tool, not a goal itself. And not to steal the thunder from parents, but the straightforward lessons when it comes to money are to live simply, borrow responsibly, insure adequately and invest wisely.
Parents need not reinvent the wheel for there are financial securities out there that can help with teaching children how to best use money as a tool for better future. Parents can directly access money market instruments, bonds and stocks. Better yet, with the help of value for money experts, parents can indirectly tap into these instruments through professionally managed funds.
Children’s unique personality will be under attack in their teen years when conformity appears to be cooler than being unique (i.e. not unless a child becomes the leader and trendsetter for his or her group). At this point, parents will need to ease up on the throttle of discipline and become as cool as their children’s friends by allowing their children to enjoy the responsible use of freedom. It is when parents become unbending that children begin to rebel and interpret parents’ instruction of “don’t, stop” as “don’t stop”.
As children set out to create their own families, parents once again need to rebalance their role to one of cheering squad. Like in basketball, parents become the sixth team player, actively rooting for their children’s team from a distance in life’s bleachers; egging them on to strive for success even in the face of failure and celebrating with them with each winning moment. Parents can likewise face frustration here when their children make mistakes that could have easily been avoided. But parents need to understand that they too went through the same errors, that they only know better because they now possess the wisdom that only years of experience can forge. Sometimes, experience is the better teacher.
Life is short and unpredictable. That is why seeing children graduate from college and head out into the world on their own is already a blessing.
If you are a parent, cherish every moment with your children; for who knows what tomorrow will bring.
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(Originally written by Efren Ll. Cruz, RFP at http://www.savingstips.com.ph)
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