Most likely, your child has big dreams – that’s part of growing up. Maybe your daughter or son wants to run a company, play a sport in college, or become a politician or astronaut. No matter what the dream or how it might keep changing down the road, you’d like to see your child realize his or her ambitious dreams.
What are some ways for you to assist, particularly for launching the process? It’s often important to create a road map for success that your child can follow. Consider these tips for how to help your son or daughter set and achieve goals:
Set a specific goal.
Although this might seem like an obvious first step, it often isn’t apparent. Rather than aiming for something abstract such as making a lot of money or helping people in need, establish with your child a concrete goal to work toward. This can help your child to have a better understanding of what it will take to reach the goal.
For example, if your child dreams of becoming an astronaut, you could visit a planetarium together, hang a poster of the sky in your child’s room, search for specific planets and stars and constellations on a clear night, and discuss abilities that are required such as mathematics and physics, as well as the kind of schooling needed.
Budget for the future.
Your child probably will not be able to achieve his or her dreams free of cost. If the dreams involve opening a small business, your child will need start-up money. If the dreams involve graduating from college, that requires money, too, and it’s no secret that the costs for attending college keep rising. It’s best to begin planning for such expenses as soon as possible, while your child is still young.
One way to do so, and that has the advantage of permitting various future scenarios, is the Gerber Life College Plan¹. This individual endowment policy matures in 10 to 20 years, builds cash value over time, and has adult life insurance protection. This means that if the insured person, usually the parent, dies before the policy matures, then the child, as beneficiary, would receive the benefit amount. The payout money can be used for college expenses, starting a small business, or anything else. You’re able to choose a fixed monthly premium rate to fit your budget, decide when to receive the payout money within 10 to 20 years, select a benefit amount from $10,000 to $150,000, and receive a guaranteed payout when the policy reaches maturity.
Approach your child’s goal in segments.
If your child has a big goal, it will be virtually impossible to achieve all at once. Therefore, help your child to set milestones along the way, to make the goal more manageable.
Constantly aim toward the goal.
Make sure that working toward achieving the goal, even every day if possible, becomes a habit for your child. By doing so, your child will be setting the stage for realizing the goal faster and for developing the strong skills required.
After your child has started a business, been accepted into college, or achieved whatever goal he or she had set, take time to commemorate the achievement and the hard work that went into attaining it. Other dreams will be on the horizon, and maybe already are.
¹ Policy Form ICC09-PIE, Policy Form Series PIE-09