Children’s Day Special: 20 Fun Questions + A Serious Investment
We all remember those ‘80s and ‘90s Bollywood movies, right? The ones where struggling mothers played by Rakhee or Nirupa Roy fight to give the best to their mostly-born-in-poverty children?
However, if you are reading this, then we can safely say that you are none of these age-old golden actresses and can, in fact, with a bit of planning (and budgeting) give the best to your children. Same goes for fathers ofcourse! Today, most urban parents are in a position to send their kids to school, considering 28% of today’s Indian population is middle class. The means to an empowered lifestyle are available to most of us. Infact even the semi-urban and rural households have now started to realize the importance of education for their children
Indian parents don’t normally celebrate Children’s Day, viewing it as a day on which special programs are held by teachers in schools. And that’s it.
But, how about we view Children’s Day a little differently this year?
How about we sit back and analyze how well we have truly prepared for our child’s future? What have we done? What can we do better? Are there options we haven’t considered?
The parent-child status quo
No matter how fast kids grow up or become technologically proficient, their innocence and their tenderness will never be separated from them. This is how parents have felt for ages and will continue to feel ad infinitum.
This coupled with the fact that they are ‘ours’ is what leads most parents to meticulously and painstakingly plan their kids’ future.
But, how about before constructing and controlling the kids’ kundali, we take a little time to ground in the present and learn where they are currently in life? Yes, they might still be in school but a lot goes on in their little hearts and minds that we miss because we do not communicate, but rather make surface assumptions.
Investing in the now: fun questions to ask your kids
Sit down with your child this Children’s Day and ask them the following questions. You can do this exercise at home or take a little trip somewhere. Wherever you go, though, make sure to be 100% present for them and not be distracted due to phone calls and emails.
- If you opened a store, what would you sell?
- What makes you feel loved?
- What do you like to do for those you love?
- What do you like to daydream about?
- If you had 10,000 rupees, what would you spend it on?
- What does it feel like when I hug you? What does it feel like when I don’t?
- Would you like to have more free time or money?
- Where would you like to travel?
- You’re talking to a wild animal. Who is it and what do you ask them?
- What is a happy memory for you?
- What’s a sad memory?
- Do you think there are ghosts?
- What makes you feel energized?
- What does your perfect day look and feel like?
- What are your friends up to these days? What makes them awesome?
- What makes someone smart?
- If I allow you to make the rules at home, which ones would you make and which ones would you scrap?
- Who is your favorite storybook and movie character?
- Do you think your teachers are good?
- What is one thing that you need an adult for right now but would like to do on your own?
Do not be impatient if your child is initially hesitant to answer these questions or doesn’t seem interested. Be gentle and patient since this is an exercise to know your child better; not another to-do item to tick off. Take the help of interactive tools like Aviva's Kid-o-Scope which helps further asses their aptitudes and interests with personalized trackers, expert advises and also get to see what other parents like yourself are talking about. It’s a community you don’t want to miss being part of!
Investing in the future
As you think about your kids’ answers at night consider this: as a parent, the one area you can vigorously support your child in, is education. With a sharp mind and dedicated efforts, your child can be on the way to a) being skilled b) attracting opportunities to showcase (and earn from) their skills.
However, as with any hero’s story, there are a few roadblocks on the way. First, there are the school and college costs which are sky-rocketing by the way. Books, and by extension, knowledge is expensive, too. And finally, there is the uncertainty of life: no one knows when your life might take a turn that you did not see coming. And then comes the the part which all parents would be scared to think- what happened to our children when we are gone?.
Does your planning include all of these factors?
Do your savings and expenditure account for these educational costs?
Securing the future of your young scholar
Aviva Young Scholar Secure is a savings oriented child education plan. It provides an annual cash flow that is designed to cover the rising educational expenses as the child grows up. Also included are:
- A lump sum amount called the College Admission Fund (CAF) that can be used during the time of college admission when the child turns 18.
- Another lump aum amount called the Higher Education Reserve (HER) which can help to cover the post-graduation expenses once the child turns 21.
The attractive angle of this plan is that all the benefits of the plan will be available in the unfortunate case of the death of the insured parent/ guardian, provided all the due premiums to date have been paid.
More details about this child education plan can be found here.
A lot of parents go out of their way and bank balance to get an expensive toy or gadget for their kid. These have little long-term value and will not provide your child with security against an uncertain future. So, why would you want to spend money on that?
Instead, gift your child something that will truly help them one day. Give them the gift of foresight, of long-term planning, of being there for them even if you physically aren’t. They will thank you. Each moment of every day they will thank you and say ‘I had the best parents. They did not buy me the trendiest or most expensive things, but they did empower me to buy them myself.’
Is there any greater gift you could envision for your child?
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