INVEST IN YOUR CHILDREN

This month I want to address myself to men younger than I (hope those my age and older won’t need this). I want to write about the future because the future is built today, not tomorrow. Unless we discuss the future today, and work for it now, the future will one day become today, and we will have nothing but regrets. And I don’t want a younger brother to regret when he can learn from me.

A friend who recently sat down with a couple of chief executive officers of some of Kenya’s top companies posted on Facebook his impression of them all.

He wrote: “They all have a vision of where they want to take their companies and they hold this vision dear. I came away thinking that it is not every random person who becomes a CEO. These guys are focused.”

Every person who goes out of this world with something to show for their years have one thing in common with others like them; they plan – they focus on what they want to achieve and purpose to achieve it.

They are single minded in their determination and push on despite the debris on their way.
I want to assume that being younger than me, you have a younger family than mine, you just got married or you are still single.

Secondly, I want to assume that if you get into family life, you want the best for your children.

They say your first legacy will be the kind of children you leave. And this is major. A lot of very well to do and successful parents are dying in pain because their children did not turn out as they would have wanted them to.

Some people invest so much in seeking fame , personal development and material wealth wealth and power but forget their families and especially children.

So, here’s my piece of advice: Start investing for your children’s education as early as you can. Some people start long before the children are born.

They buy land which they hope will appreciate in value and which they can dispose and use the money for their children’s education.

Some buy the land and put up rental houses from which they will get the fees for their children’s schooling. I recently planted 1,500 tree seedlings with the hope of harvesting them in about 15 years. My daughters will be getting into college then.

Even selling a tree for 2,000 will give me a well-needed boost in their education. Besides that, I have invested in an insurance scheme. I started paying it immediately each of them was born and if things work as planned, their secondary school and part of their college fees will be catered for.

Personally, I think education is the single best investment you can make on and for your children.

Everything else they can find with education. You do not want to make all the money in the world and deny them the chance to work hard for their own. Just have enough to give you a comfortable retirement and little more for your children.

But once education is sorted, I believe the next step is the investment you make in form of your children’s character.

Discipline, hardwork, respect, duty, responsibility, patriotism and concern, among other virtues, are values that must accompany the best education. Without character, your child will be a misfit no matter what school you enroll them in.

And to form character you must be present in your child’s life. You cannot sub-contract that to the teachers or neighbours or religion. You must find time to be with your children – physically.

I recently read another post saying that many pastors make the mistake of going to preach and develop other people’s children while theirs are left behind at home unattended. The moral of the post was that you should first minister at home before you venture to reach out to the world.

So, brother, two things: invest in your children’s education and invest in the formation of their character. I haven’t reached a point where I can claim to have achieved these things myself but I know with the focus of a CEO, I will get there. We all should!