As a father we have an essential role to play in supporting the development and growth of our children, until they reach a point of becoming a functioning adult responsible for making their own decisions.
There are 3 ways we can invest in their development:
- Your health
How you act as a parent sets an understanding for your child of ‘what is normal’.
If you choose to be sedentary watching TV, drinking to excess, smoking, eating snacks and convenience foods then this will leave an impression to young minds as perfectly normal adult behaviour.
Besides, it’s a lot easier to play with children when you are active – imagine the embarrassment you would feel if your kid wanted to play with you in the garden and you had to duck out after 5 minutes through exhaustion!
Even when they turn that magic age of 18 there are still likely to be costs – as my work colleagues take great pleasure in telling me, with two daughters that two weddings to pay for!
You can reduce the pain of this by thinking ahead, but also think, how can I help give your child a leg up financially as they come of age?
A simple way of doing this is setting up a monthly saver account – even if you are not financially well off, you can setup some of these accounts for as low as £10 a month.
Just by doing this until they are 18, they would have £2160 + interest!
You can potentially bulk up this up by saving all your childs birthday and Christmas money (at least until while they are at an age of not objecting), this could potentially be another couple of thousand*
If you’re worried about them blowing this, then that’s why it’s important to teach your child good financial literacy – after all school doesn’t support the development of this essential life long skill.
- Don’t spoil them
- Show them the value of money
- Teach them how much things cost
- Show them the benefits of saving / delayed gratification with money
(*Dependent on size / wealth / generosity of relatives!)
There is no point working around the clock, motivated to ensure your children want for nothing, when you aren’t around to see the enjoyment!
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to provide the best, when you can’t give your best, missing out on giving children the benefit of your time in the greatest role a person can ever have!
As the saying goes – kids want your presence not presents!
Give them time, attention, show your values, cheer them on and teach them what you know.
The cost of spending time with your kids is free – yet this time is only finite and once gone, no matter how much money you have, you can’t buy it back!
No better investment..
Your kids are the greatest thing you will ever achieve. Love them, look after them and help them flourish.