6th May 2008

Your Children, Their Future. Part Two.

posted in education, parenting |

This is a continuation of an earlier post.

Trent (from The Simple Dollar) wrote an article about personal finance and education of children that really got me going. Please check out my last entry to catch up!

Benefits of an Earlier Emphasis on Educational Spending:
There are a lot of assumptions here, and I hate seeing people set their kids up for success – in their mind. They send their kids to the “right” schools, they travel, they pursue their child’s interests… but then their child isn’t so bright. He’s not a straight A student. His interests are more outside the norm, or maybe he talks about how nice it would be to work at a factory – doing good, honest work, getting dirty – instead of pursuing your well laid out plan to send him to Harvard Law (or maybe to study literature, who knows?).
This is a double-edged sword. All the factors can help – or they can do nothing except make you put unrealistic pressure on your child. He may feel your sense of urgency and need for him to succeed, and no child deserves that kind of pressure.
A co-worker mentioned to me about kids – remember when, growing up, you were told to sit still and be quiet, because that’s what good kids do? That’s an outright lie. That’s what good adults do. Good kids play, they have fun, they learn to explore and test their limits – be it singing, figuring out stuff for themselves, digging through books (or digging in the earth). The point is – good kids do these things and make sure their parents know about it.

Think Different:
After all this, I love the wrap up. Trent and his wife contribute to a 529 plan AND a special savings fund. They’re thinking about the little one’s future. Writing is a flowing process, and it seems he and his wife have a great grip on what to look forward to – they may need to tap into this money to send their kids to Europe for a summer camp. Maybe buy a piano. Maybe make their desire to go to a private school come to fruition. The point is – the money will be there, should we need it.

Coming up… wrap up!

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