eCare: Investing In Our Children

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eCare: Investing In Our Children

Dear Friends in Christ,

The eyes of many are focused on their portfolios as they ride the rollercoaster that has been the stock market these past two weeks. At no time like the present is it important to make wise, considered and fully informed investment decisions. Decisions that are made today can have a big impact on what life will be like in the future.

As school begins and our kids begin a new academic year many parents will be making important decisions about the investment they will make in their child’s participation in fall sports and other extra-curricular activities. At no time like the present is it important to make wise, considered and fully informed investment decisions. Decisions that are made today will have a big impact on what life will be like in the future.

So, here are some questions worth asking before you sign your child up, buy all the equipment and rearrange family life in order to make his/her participation possible:

  1. What impact will this decision have on the family schedule: meals, bedtimes, rest, relaxation, time together?
  2. How many days per week, for how many hours per week for how many weeks will your child be singularly focused on this one thing?
  3. How many other children in the family will be co-opted into participating in this one child’s activity?
  4. How many hours, days, and weeks of parental involvement will this require?
  5. Do you honestly have the time and energy to devote to this one child’s desire/interest?
  6. Will this be just one of many activities that will have the same impact on the family throughout this year?
  7. Does your child really want to do this?
  8. Does your child have a stake in making it happen other than simply participating?
  9. What contribution(s) will your child make in order to make this happen and provide compensation for the expenditure of family resources?
  10. What will be the financial impact on the family?
  11. What expectations are there for involvement by the extended family?
  12. Does the activity’s schedule allow for family time? Meal time? Rest and relaxation time? Study time?
  13. What other worthy activities will have to be forgone in favor of participation in this sport; forgone by the individual and by the other members of the family?
  14. Is there any flexibility in participation or does the rest of life have to flex in order to accommodate the activity?
  15. Does participation violate time for worship and fellowship with the body of Christ on the part of the child and his/her family?
  16. Are the coaches and other supervisors men and women who think and plan with these issues in mind?
  17. Are you comfortable with sub-contracting your child’s training to these men and women?
  18. What will be the impact on the child’s academics?
  19. What will be the impact on the child’s health?
  20. What will be the impact on the child’s emotional well-being?
  21. In addition to indulging your child’s desire to participate what are the other dividends paid on these above-mentioned investments?
  22. Is the return on investment worth it?
  23. Is this a decision you have made for your child as a parent or is this a decision you have given over to your child to make.

Speaking of investments that pay dividends long into the future, here’s an observation, for what it’s worth. When I make a visit at Asbury Heights, Friendship Village or Providence Point I see, as would be expected, men and women in their 70s, 80s and 90s – men and women who are living on the dividends of investments they made when they were much younger. As I walk through the halls and around the grounds of these places I never observe the men throwing a football around or women kicking a soccer ball to one another. Very few, if any, are spending their days on the golf course or tennis courts.

What I do observe, however, is men and women playing the piano, dancing together, singing and listening to all sorts of music which they seem to greatly enjoy…dividends on investments made when they were young, investments that will pay dividends for a lifetime and for eternity.

Faithfully in Christ,

Rick