How do we prepare our kids for the future?
Updated: Jan 30
What will the world look like in 2030? It’s bordering on science fiction, so what will our kids need in their arsenal to thrive? As mothers, instead of protecting kids from the unknown, perhaps we should prepare them for it.
Grandma’s herbal remedies. Mom’s special dal recipe. Dad’s words of advice. So much of our knowledge is inherited. For as long as we can remember, older generations have been passing on wisdom to children, in an effort to equip them for the future. Yet, these days, things seem to be changing not from generation to generation, but day to day. Even experts can only guess about the world we’ll be living in 10-20 years from now; it often leaves parents wondering about how they can prepare their kids for the future.
Going by the trends, it isn’t a scary as it sounds. As a company that powers personal finance for women, we’re always meeting mothers whose top priority is securing their child’s future. And while we can’t predict the future, we can prepare for whatever it holds. Here are a few simple tips on equipping kids physically, mentally and financially for tomorrow.
Health and nutrition
From 3D printed food to diets customised to one’s DNA profile, the future of food seems interesting, but the basics of nutrition still hold good – eat moderate portions, stay active, and consume more vegetables and fibre-rich meals. Our average life expectancy is higher than it’s ever been, and medical advances are only going to push that number higher. So, the biggest danger is no longer an infectious disease but a lifestyle-based illness like diabetes. The good news is, it’s avoidable.
Let kids play in a park as often as possible. Not only does Nature have a positive effect on mental and physical health, but getting dirt under one’s fingernails also boosts immunity, while being exposed to pollution reduces it.
Education and work “65% of children entering primary school today will have jobs that do not yet exist and for which their education will fail to prepare them,” says this World Economic Forum report. While that sounds like doomsday, most futurists agree that learning will evolve to become a lifelong process. In the future, people might pursue multiple careers instead of just one, so encourage all of your child’s interests.
The role of Artificial Intelligence will increase, and some functions might be better performed by it. How can human beings stay relevant? Experts believe that jobs which require a human touch, creativity and empathy will grow in number. So, allow kids to retain their artistic side; their playful doodles might just blossom into tomorrow’s masterpieces.
Art uses the right hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for emotion and intuition.
Money and finance Remember how as kids, our first lesson about money came from going to the kirana store on our own? How do we give our kids the same lesson in the era of cards, cash-backs and bitcoin? And how should we save for their future, especially considering staggering student loans and escalating costs of living?
We have the answer to the first question right here; for the latter, start saving early in a separate fund, especially if you’re investing for your child’s education. SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans) and mutual funds are good options; the earlier you start, the less you’ll have to pay on a monthly basis and the more valuable your nest egg will become. There are multiple innovative investment solutions available, and we’ll be happy to customise a financial plan for you based on your goals and resources.
Social and personal skills Music classes. Tuitions. Extracurricular activities. Parents generally tend to focus on improving their child’s skills, but we’ll also need to strengthen their personalities. Start by nurturing your child’s people skills; they’ll be crucial not just for interpersonal relationships, but career prospects as well.
As things change rapidly around them, resilience will be key. As parents, our first instinct is to protect our children. However, they should know how to handle setbacks and be dynamic enough to take advantage of change rather than be upset by it.
Child psychologists believe that EQ, which is boosted by social interaction, will be just as crucial as IQ in the days to come.
The conversation around gender and racial differences are becoming more open and inclusive. Sensitise your child and teach her or him to empathise. If we believe our children should live in a more peaceful and nurturing society, the change must begin at home.
Soon, who a person is will be as important as what he or she knows and owns. If we can steer our children in the right direction, the future won’t be something to fear, but look forward to.
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