Prior to the birth of my first child, I had started to pen down or mind-map what I had in mind for her, as well as what was lacking for me when I was a child on reflection of my own life. What you see above is still an ever-improving one as time goes by.
Contrary to what others think, it is never too young to start planning for your child. It need not be complex and could start off simple. Setting effective goals is different from forcing goals on your child.
Forcing goals or ideals on your child would include expecting her to be a top student or scholar in school, to grow up and be a doctor, lawyer etc when she grow up, be your support for retirement.
Setting effective goals looks at clear objectives where everyone would have gone through anyway. How and what you wish to achieve is your own personal freedom. You and me alike would like to continue having good health or recover from sickness quickly, enjoy a good learning experience through education and have a peace-of-mind when retiring. Therefore, effective goals setting for my child include the area of health, education, retirement as well as some other goals that I would like to gift her with.
How often have we had wished that our own parents had done something similar for us when we were young? The previous generation had a big gap in life planning.
Having an education depended on whether your family could afford it. My Dad had to drop out of polytechnic to work, while my Mum had to plateau her education at the end of secondary school. Parents bought insurance for themselves and their children solely based on the advice of their insurance agent. There was hardly any comparison between a range of competitor products because of complexity in understanding. Retirement planning just means savings in their bank accounts or investing in plain vanilla bank fixed deposits. There was no social media, no online forums for discussion and hardly any simple books on life planning.
But what they could do, they did their utmost. They put me through private tuition when it looked like I was not going to make it in secondary school. They saw me through University under the CPF Education scheme. And for these and more, I am thankful.
If there was a time to make a change, it is now. Let us not make the next generation a sandwich generation and to start off their own lives better informed.
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