Money is not one of those gifts I am thinking about. To give money or to leave a bequest for your child after you are gone is easy on condition that you can afford to do so.
There are gifts that are more valuable. These are the intangibles. They are love, support, protection and rapport. Since we decided to have a child, it became our responsibilities to bring her up to lead a meaningful life. It is paying forward from generation to generation. I remember what my parents did for me. I then do the same for my daughter. The ways of bringing up a child may not be the same because of differing conditions and environment between generations. However, parental love and care remain the same.
When we age, we gain experiences. That is our values. We learn the pitfalls of lives and ways to cope. We have life experiences and work life experiences. Instead of keeping them, why not share these experiences with our child?
Having rapport with your child is crucial to keep the line of communication open. As parents, we do not want to talk down to your child. It can be counter-productive. You would know when to share and whether it is appropriate. That is where rapport with your child comes in.
As parents, we have these conversations going with my daughter. We talked about work related issues and bounced off ideas to tackle them. For example, we share how we approach an email reply to a difficult email. Over time, work life experiences get transferred and there is less and less need as years go by.
Bringing up an upright individual is very important for me as a parent. To teach moral values, we have to walk the talk. Children follow the parent’s behaviour. If we say one thing and do the opposite, then the child can be very confused.
Since we live in a materialistic world, we cannot not talk about money. I am not talking about obsession with money or how we can amass plenty of wealth. I am alluding to how to manage money. We work to earn an income. We do not want to squander away our hard-earned income. Because we went through pitfalls about money management, we should guide our child in this regard. Money management includes also sound investments to grow our wealth legally.
Finally, bringing up our daughter, we need to provide a safe home environment. Her health is our concern. Eating healthily and living happily are important and we can do our parts as parents.
Ultimately, my daughter has to live her own life in a different environment that includes different political situations and technological advancements. We find opportunities to inculcate values and ways of coping with life. There is no age limit when we stop sharing our experiences. In fact sharing experiences is a two-way traffic. We learn from our daughter with changes in technologies and we inculcate life skills to her.
One last note, over-parenting is not something I would do. Give our child some breathing space. She needs it. She is owner of her life. You would need to find the balance.