Advise from a first-time LoloBy Randell Tiongson on August 29th, 2021
There is something ethereal whenever I carry a newborn baby which transports me to what it felt like carrying my newborn children from years back. A few months ago, I got to hold my first grandchild, Simon, and the joy I felt was beyond overwhelming.
As a first time grandfather, there were many beautiful things playing in my mind and I was imagining how I will build my relationship with my grandson—from buying him toys, taking him on trips, playing with him and having conversations with him.
As I carried my first grandchild, I immediately understood why grandparents treat their grandchildren quite differently from their children. Unlike those to my children, the responsibilities of caring, providing and raising Simon do not fall on me and my wife’s shoulder anymore and yet I know that we will not be mere spectators in his life and the lives of our future grandchildren.
My wife and I have been giving the parents of Simon advise on how to take care of a baby yet we know that this time around we are now limited to just giving guidance and it is really up to Simon’s parents to discern what is best for him.
Three decades of being parents give us some credibility on giving guidance about raising children but we also know the boundaries between giving guidance and meddling—something we know we cannot cross.
Preparing for the future
What do we intend to advise our daughter and son-in-law? Beyond the practical tips on child rearing, we would like them to understand that raising their child should make them live for the present and prepare for their future at the same time.
We were young clueless parents once and we understand that being new parents is truly a daunting endeavor. While we would not want Simon’s parents to commit the same mistakes we did, we would want them commit fewer mistakes than we did.
We would love to give them practical guidance in important areas such as finance. As my daughter and her mother have conversations on baby rearing, I am starting conversations with my son-in-law about their financial future. I have been encouraging and guiding Simon’s father on the need to build savings, getting adequate life insurance and investing for them and their child.
Life is uncertain and we can never tell what the future brings but we can face the future prepared by practicing sound financial planning. What do I discuss with Simon’s father with regard to finance?
I encourage him to work hard and handle their cash flow well and resist the temptation to buy so many things their baby will not really need (that’s the role of the grandparents) so he can build their finances well.
Support from grandparents
I would like him to build a sound investment portfolio that takes advantage of long-term growth but avoid taking unwarranted risks. I would encourage him to review investment products that will help them realize their financial objectives in an efficient and prudent manner.
Also, I would like Simon’s parents to know that while the responsibility of providing for his future is solely theirs, Simon has grandparents who would like to be a blessing to him financially and beyond.
Raising children is never easy, never was and never will be and we want Simon’s parents to understand that it was only God’s grace that sustained us all these times.