Monday, 15 July 2013
WHAT WISE PARENTS DO FOR THEIR KIDS
How can parents provide for their children, financially speaking?
Parents often go to great lengths to provide for their children—even to the extent of selling their home and jeopardising their retirement nest egg—in order that the latter might be able to acquire quality tertiary education.
Most parents want to give good gifts to their children. A degree from a prestigious foreign university is often perceived as the best legacy parents can leave for their children. However, whether this premise is true or not is debatable.
“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13).
The Bible also tells us that good parents go a step further. They leave an inheritance not only for their children but their children’s children. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22a).
The Chinese have this saying that family wealth will not last beyond the third generation. Probably, an entitlement mentality, a complacent attitude and lack of financial management skills among the young will cause hard-earned wealth to be frittered away.
A fool and his money are soon parted. We see this truth coming to pass in the Parable of the Prodigal Son where the younger son spent his inheritance on wild living—including wasting his substance on prostitutes (Luke 15:11-32).
As such, wise parents would do well to instil in their children values and discipline—including hard work, honesty, humility, thrift, generosity, teamwork, self-sufficiency, delayed gratification and entrepreneurial spirit. Hopefully, the latter will then know how to be good stewards of the wealth their parents have worked so hard to attain.
Teaching and training children in the things of God (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Proverbs 22:6) must be emphasised—apart from providing for their physical needs or helping them to excel academically. Raising intellectual, materialistic kids who are spiritually bankrupt is a pitfall to be avoided in today’s fast-paced, go-getter world.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
NO FREE LUNCH
Parents need to instil a sense of autonomy and personal responsibility in their kids. Being firm to our kids is necessary if we want to be kind to them in the long run. For money which rolls in easily will not stay with them; easy it comes, easy it leaves.
YOU CAN COUNT ON ME
Sure we would like to hear that from our children. But is it wise to depend on our kids to provide for us when we retire?
PARENTS AS TEACHERS
WHAT EDUCATION DOES NOT TEACH US