Top 3 concerns of parents

If anyone claims that being a parent is easy, that person is either not a parent or is in denial.

Don’t get me wrong, being a parent is one of the most fulfilling things that can ever happen to us.

The joys of parenthood can’t be explained by words, one must experience it to be able to understand how parents like me can feel blessed. Still, parenthood is no walk in the park. Sometime ago, my friends and I were discussing our fears as parents and it was one energetic discussion, if I may say. There were many parenting issues we discussed, from letting our kids date, allowances, teachers, books and even canteen food. When we parents start talking about our kids, we can get to be very passionate.

We can also get clueless when it comes to raising our kids, unfortunately.

So what are the top concerns of parents? My friends and I had a long discussion and we had many concerns but we all agreed on our top three—academic excellence, formation of values and education funding.

One aspect directly deals with personal finance (education funding), the other deals with proper parenting (formation of values) and the other one can be deemed as a combination of both personal finance and parenting (academic excellence).

When discussing about academic excellence, we wondered how well our kids fare at school. Among some of the questions: Is the school teaching them enough? Are they being taught too much? Is what they are learning going to prepare them in the real world? Is today’s education good? Is home schooling a viable option?

Parents with schoolchildren are so concerned about the education of their kids because they feel that how they perform in school will determine their success in life. Is it really? Well, the answer to that is definitely a relative one.

An equally big concern my friends and I talked about were about values. We often wonder if our kids will have good values so they can live a morally upright life. Parents often fear issues relating to values such as teen pregnancy, rebellion, drugs, alcohol, smoking and so on. I often hear many parents complain about how wild the new generation is and how they have become “out of control.” Well, the older generation thought that our generation was wild back then, so I suppose this is a natural thing. Still, the issues on values of our kids are giving many parents sleepless nights.

Lastly, another big concern is paying for the schooling of our kids. It seems that now, more than ever, the educational budget of most families are ballooning with the ever-increasing cost of tuition and other education-related expenses. It is not only the tuition and other fees that are a concern for many parents. A big issue with parents is also the cost of tutors. Some kids have tutoring costs that are even greater than tuition costs! If the educational costs will eat up bulk of the family’s budget, quality of life will definitely be affected.

There are no magic solutions for these concerns, no tried-and-tested formula. However, we can learn from the experiences of others who went through similar concerns. In the end, we must take comfort that if we do our best to raise our children and with the Lord in the center of our family lives, we can be assured that we will be raising kids who will bring us immeasurable joy and vice-versa.

“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children” (Proverbs 17:6, NIV).

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Thammie Sy on raising financially responsible kids

I’ve interviewed quite a number of people and many of them are insightful. However, I’d like to say that one of my most memorable interviews was the one I had with Ms. Thammie Sy, a home school mom and blogger.

We had a nice and very candid discussion on parenting and teaching our kids about money.

Sharing with you our conversation:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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My thoughts for the next generation, part 1

During Sunday service at our church in Victory Green Hills, there was something that caught my attention and left me in awe. At the back of my seat was a very cute 1 year + old baby name Gabby Lo.  She was really a charmer, always smiling and cheeks that you want to pinch – such a beautiful baby. During praise and worship, I saw this beautiful child raising both of her arms in a worshipping gesture and I am certain that she is so into worship.

There’s something that reminded me about Gabby’s antics; that a child really learns by examples and by mimicry. Any parent will agree that we can’t just teach our children by telling them, we need to show them. In the arena of personal finance, many of our habits are derived from the way we were raised, both good and bad. Yes, external environment also dictates our behavior but the way we were raised leaves a lasting imprint in us, especially our money habits. Young children mimic their parents and their elders all the time. I often see my young boys trying to mimic my antics which is why I must always be careful with my behavior when I am with them.

I have 4 children of varying ages and I have seen how their behaviors change over the years. I have also seen how they behave when it comes to money. I have learned that as parents, we must always remind them about proper money management and they must always see that we are responsible in handling our finances all the time. We always remind our children that we need to prioritize our money and allocate accordingly – this helps us make our children realize that they are not being deprived of the things they yearn for because we try to make them understand priorities. As parents, it is easy to go overboard and I am just as guilty as many other parents… I find pleasure in buying things my children like and if I don’t keep that in check, I will teach them the wrong values.

… to be continued.

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