Although the idea of my children moving out and heading off to careers or University is a long way off, it is never too early to be thinking ahead and planning for those times. If the past few years are anything to go by; it will fly by! Instead of making that time a stressful one, planning ahead can make the transition go much more simply. So here are a number of things that you might want to think about now, so that when your kids are older, their future will be taken care of.
Write a Will
If you’re a parent, a homeowner, or have other assets, then you need to have a will. End of. Although we hope to live to a ripe old age, the truth is that we never know what is going to happen. And when you have things that need to be taken care of (children, a home, a business, or an estate, for example), then you need to have a plan lined up for what will happen to it all. It doesn’t always follow that it will go to your spouse or children, depending on particular circumstances. But if you write out a plan of what you want to happen if certain things do happen, then it can make things much smoother for everyone.
It is good to get some legal advice on this, though, as well as someone like TBW Solicitors to witness the signing of your will. Then it is all legal and binding and they know you weren’t singing anything under duress, for example. Having a will will mean that things will happen as you want them to and your children can be taken care of.
Plan with Your Children
It is never too early to make plans with your children. What are their dreams and aspirations? What are they looking forward to? Of course, you need to think about what is age-appropriate for your children. But from an early teen age, discussing career and the things that they would like to do in their life is a good idea. It gives them to chance to hear from you, share your experiences, and give any advice that you might have. When it is an open discussion, they are likely to keep coming back to you to talk about these kind of things.
Give Children Opportunities to Contribute
When our children are able to help and contribute at home and in their community it will give them a confidence boost, as well as know their worth in society. When they see what impact they can make in the world around them, it will help them to grow in self-confidence. Knowing what they do in the home has an impact on everyone else in the home is stellar advice too; do your children do anything like this at the moment? Of course, you should stick to things that are going to work for your children and their ages. But anything from a chore chart to being happy and helping around the home shows them what impact they can have on people.
Work on Communication
When our children are younger, they are likely to just talk and talk and talk! But as they get older, they are more likely to withdraw and not want to talk to us as parents as much. But it is important to keep communication open with our children. Even if it means that they simply just know that we are there when they want to talk can help. The unconditional love for our children is real. Very real in fact. But do they know that? Mistakes are likely to be made as our children grow, but it is important that they know they can speak to you and we will still love them.
The key to helping to plan for your child’s future is to know them and to let them know of their worth. A strong upbringing with many positive experiences is likely to make happy, confident children, that are comfortable in their own skin. Giving them plenty of opportunities to try new things and develop new skills is important as our children grow too. Then, regardless of other circumstances, they are likely to succeed and achieve in their life as they get older. Is there anything that you would add to the list? Be interested to hear what you think. If you’re a parent with older children, what have you found has worked for you now that they are a little older?
I recently came across the following resource, talking about happiness. It is beautifully written and very thought provoking so I urge you to take a read!