Raising the Next Generation

Posted in Family
at 2021.01.23
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It is the most important job we will do in our life.  Isn’t it about time that we put as much energy into raising our children as we do keeping up with the Jones’s?

Is there any work harder, more satisfying, aggravating, bewildering and important than raising kids? I think not. It’s a huge, long-term, scary project, and worth thinking about a good deal. I read somewhere that we only prepare for what we think is important, so let’s prepare for this most important endeavor. Even if you’re already in the middle of the project, there are still many things you can do to help your kids grow up well, and here are some of them.

        Love your children. Unconditionally, selflessly, forever. Tell them often and make sure they believe it with all their hearts. Wise old Solomon said “love covers a multitude of sins”, and love will make up for a lot of parenting mistakes!

        Put family first. You only get to influence your babies for fifteen to twenty years. Slide other all-consuming projects to the back burner until your children are successfully launched. You can’t afford to neglect them while you get your fancy career off the ground. If you do, you’ll regret it forever.

        Don’t get divorced. Work as hard as you must to grow a good marriage. Some exceptions apply, of course, but please be determined to make it work. Look at the stats on two parent families and successful children.

        Put the Jones last. Don’t keep looking at what clothes, toys, schools, activities, etc. ad nauseum your neighbors are providing for (or inflicting on) their children. Your ego and competitive spirit mustn’t affect the decisions you make about what will be best for your offspring.

        Church is good. Life is more than food and clothing. Help your kids see the bigger picture, the deeper meaning, celebrate the miracle of existing at all, develop gratitude for the abundant beauty and blessings all around them.

        Careful about their education, both intellectual and moral. It’s your responsibility, not Uncle Sam’s. Go to whatever lengths necessary to make sure your children can read and write and think well.     Be bravely counter-cultural wherever necessary. Discourage obsession with dating and romance. Protect your vulnerable children from the most damaging aspects of our popular culture, but pick your battles carefully. Hair grows back. Brain cells don’t.

        Limit TV and internet use. No kid needs a TV in his room. And it’s rarely advisable to allow an internet capable computer in a child’s room. Keep the entertainment machinery in family areas, and supervise its use way more than your kids want you to.

        Provide lots of good books. Read to them, starting before they’re born, and for as many years as they will let you.  Make them do some work (to earn money, and as an expected part of family life)Psychology Articles, and give them lots of free time to play.

        Take it one day at a time. Love and teach them well today. Then try again tomorrow.

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Raising small business finance isn’t an easy process, particularly in light of the recent credit crunch and the liquidity problems experienced across global financial markets.  Of course that’s filtered down to small business loans, which are now less easy to come by, particularly at start-up stage.  Yet, ironically, getting any business off the ground requires money and a bit of faith from those with the resources to spare.  Raising small business finance from a bank is yet still most likely the path of least resistance to raising funds.  Your alternatives are to find a private investor or investors, who will almost certainly be looking for an equity stake in return for their input, and will be far more discerning that the bank in choosing to whom they give their financial backing.  This second route is immensely difficult, unless you have a rich family member willing to step in and foot the bill on favourable terms.If you do intend to raise your small business finance from your bank, you should initially prepare a business plan documenting the fundamentals of your idea, how your business will be run, and how much money you think it will make in the form of cash flow projections, profit and loss statements and other accounting documentation.  Take care to explain every aspect of your business in your plan, and make sure to include conservative estimates on your figures.  After all, chances are you’ll start as a small business, and the banks will realise this if you project over ambitious or unrealistic figures.  Likewise in covering the details of your business, don’t presume knowledge – the bank manager might not necessarily understand why there’s a need for your particular piece of technology or why it’s any different to what’s currently on the market.Aside from the bank as a source of finance, it’s also advisable where possible that you make use of any savings or personal funds you may have available.  This is not only good to give your business the funding it needs, but also as a sign to potential lenders and investors that you are fully committed to making your idea into a success, given the extent of your personal liability.  What’s more, you might also find you already have much of your essential start-up capital available in overdrafts, savings accounts and credit cards.  While a risky tactic, it can pay off big time if you’re looking to attract serious financial help for your business.Finding a private investor is difficult for any small business, and if you’re serious about raising money in this way you’re going to have to do some leg work and prepare to surrender a slice of your business profits.  It’s also important to make sure both you and your potential investor know on what terms the partnership between you may come to an end, so the investor can realise his investment and you can continue running your business.  Thus it takes planning and hard work, not to mention a great, relevant pitch, if you’re looking to secure funding for your small business in this way.

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