It is late into the night- everyone is asleep in the house, only the dry sound of pen against paper interrupts the silence as I try to beat the clock, finishing my corrections before the deadline. I am an educator, I shape lives, mould careers – this is not only my job but my passion. And then I hear a stirring- it’s my little daughter turning her side on the bed, and I remember the lines of a famous song,
‘Oh, my sleeping child the world’s so wild
But you’ve built your own paradise
That’s one reason why
I’ll cover you, sleeping child’.
Life changes when you become a parent because the centre of your universe is that little bundle of googoos and gaagaas who depends on you for everything- literally everything. That education will be her most effective weapon to face this daunting world and its ruthless challenges is the absolute truth. What is also bitter reality is that an effective education comes at a price- a price that is set by the environment we live in. So, will I be able to hold good my promise when I say,
‘I’ll cover you, sleeping child’.
Life is unpredictable- that is the only prediction we can go by. So how am I preparing to arm my daughter to look at the future with confidence and courage?
At the moment, I am looking for better financial options – I have started saving bit by bit for her, but I know, that will not be enough to cover the rising cost of living in the future.
I am currently on a quest- I am looking for a good financial plan that will have multiple benefits. Being a salaried employee, I find it a monthly challenge to put aside more and more money for my child’s future, but annual payments turn into burdens as well. So a systematic investment option is my preference, which will not only aid me with tax benefits but also guarantee good returns when I am done with it. If this saving option gives me a dividend at the end of every five years, it will also help me use that capital for my child’s expanding interests- music lessons, art workshops, science or even sports camps can be funded easily. Moreover, safety of my investment is important- I should rest easy that my money is safe and growing at the rate I expect it too. And in the event of my death, the investment should be available to my daughter whenever she needs it.
But while the search continues, I am also preparing for another kind of foundation.I am keeping a keen eye on my daughter’s aptitudes- it is too early in the day I know to predict the future interests of a five year old, but then I am observing her interests, passions and her mode of thinking. Is she a natural logical thinker, or is she more instinctive? Does she enjoy sports, or does she prefer her books? Does she fancy working with her hands to learn something, or is verbal instruction enough for her? These different pointers will aid me to understand her better and guide me to providing her with those experiences which will spur her onward in a direction of her interest.
This I believe is the second milestone in a child’s educational journey- as a parent I must have a clear concept of my child’s capacity and aptitude. This will help me few years down the line, to look for the right subject options as she enters her 16th year.
There is another kind of preparation that I devote myself to – and that is to build my child’s personality through a sound base of values and ethics. Often, as adults we get so caught up in providing for the child’s academic and professional needs, we compromise on the most influential aspect of a child’s personality- her sense of values and morals. In fact, the proper use of the talent and money available to a child can only be ensured when the child grows up with strong nurturing beliefs that any dream can be achieved and that there is no shortcut to success. It is a family effort- we are trying to instil our daughter with the right attitude and principles to lead a good life.
So I sing to my child that,
‘If all the people around the world,
They had a mind like yours;
We’d have no fighting and no wars,
There would be lasting peace on Earth.
If all the kings and all the leaders
Could see you here this way,
They would hold the Earth in their arms,
They would learn to watch you play.’
Every child comes with a promise that the world will be a better place because it exists and we owe it to our children to give them every opportunity to make their dreams come true.
This is the story of my preparation, a dream full of humility and hesitation but filled with visions that my child’s tomorrow will be better than her today.
pic courtesy- bloomfieldepac.com