As parents, my husband and I have big dreams for our kids, not specific though. We are resolved to support our children in whatever they want to pursue in life, whatever makes them happy, for as long as it is not illegal and not hurting them or other people. Part of our dreams is for them to have more choices and opportunities in life than we ever had. We’re focused on providing them with best options in life, including where they would want to finish their college, live as young adults and eventually raise their own family. Notwithstanding, of course, their capability to create their own opportunities. But, for this dream to become a reality, we know that we must carefully craft a sound game plan. Here’s ours:
Plant a money tree and make it grow and bear money abundantly! Hehe. Just kidding! Realistically, we would need a lot of money if we want to send our children to good schools, more if in good schools abroad. Of course, it’s another story if they turn out to be geniuses (lesser costs for scholars). We believe that if they study abroad, not only that they would gain vast knowledge and experience but they would also be given more chances to choose where they would want to live and/or explore. They can hold dual citizenships or be a citizen of the world if they wish to be. They need not be like us. As a matter of fact, I won’t even encourage them to be like us. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about who or what we are right now, in fact, we’re living an amazing life! It’s just that, as parents, we want our kids to be bigger and better than us. That’s the most natural thing in the world, right? So, save and invest, we must, therefore!
Train them to be independent. This is really tough because it is simply not exactly congruent to the norms of Filipino tradition and culture unlike abroad where eighteen-year-olds are expected to leave their parents’ home to work, pay/loan for college, if they want, and live on their own. Whereas, here, we are accustomed to staying with or near our parents even after getting married. (Guilty, as charged!) How to train them to be independent? I have but a vague idea of what we must do as of today. Well, thanks to having three children, my two older kids have no choice but to attend to themselves and do things on their own sometimes, make it most of the times. I, too, have limited if not zero opportunity to spoil or baby them that much because obviously, the youngest one needs me the most. As they grow older, maybe I should treat and raise them with this purpose – for them to be independent. In life, you are not always presented with opportunities, sometimes you need to create one for yourself.
Two persons who I see as the hurdles in raising independent kids are no other than my husband and me. Hehe. It’s so hard to deviate from how we were raised. We should ready ourselves for change if we want a change in our children’s future. It is totally a challenge for us. We love our kids too much that we like to shelter them no matter what. Anyhow, my kids are only five years old, three years old and seven months old, so I think it’s still safe to baby them because they are still babies. Hehe. But, seriously, eye on the goal on this one. And, I pray for the wisdom to balance things out. You know, loving and caring for them while preparing them to live their own lives in a world which is sometimes, well, rotten.
I want them to dream big for themselves. Dreams that are big enough for them to chase relentlessly because only then they would know their own God-given life mission. I believe that it’s their sole responsibility and it is only within their own power to determine what their purposes in life are. It is between them and God. I cannot interfere with such an intimate relationship. All I can do is support them, guide them, pray for and with them and expose them to as many as possible opportunities to help them know and nurture themselves and their gifts better, so that they’d be able to make their own way in life.
Ah, parenting!!! It just takes everything to a new level, such great heights. In parenting, I agree that it must always, ALWAYS BE INTENTIONAL. My intentions, I offer to God. Do I want them to study and live in New Zealand or anywhere abroad? It’s entirely up to them, not our decision but we certainly want them, not just us, to be ready just in case. But, if it is something they do not like, it is okay too. I want to still see them often even if I’m an old nana already. After all, they will forever be my babies. For now, the goal is to expose them so that they’d know themselves before their exciting journey begins and for us to be prepared to help them in every way (especially financially) achieve whatever they want to achieve or go wherever they want to go. How about you? What are your dreams for your children?