In a recent survey we asked South African parents “What is the greatest wish for your children?” The 3 most common answers were for their children: to be successful, to be happy and to be well educated.

As a parent of two, I share the same wishes, but life is tough and only getting tougher. The jobs market is getting more and more competitive, with many jobs now being automated by computers. Early childhood development is more important today than ever before.

Parents play a monumental role in their children’s development. There are no shortcuts to success. Giving your child the best chance in life means sacrificing time, energy and money. If you want your child to have an edge, you need to understand the best practices for aiding your child’s growth and development.

In one of the largest scientific studies on childhood development, authors of the book “From Neurons to Neighborhoods” found that parents can significantly impact a child’s early mental development by:

  1. Creating a safe environment for your children to learn and play: Children develop best when they are able to establish dependable relationships with parents and caregivers. Try to shield your child from personal, marital and family problems where possible. Be there for them whenever they seek comfort.
  2. Understanding your child’s motivation: Children have an inherent motivation to master tasks and problems. It’s very important that when they experience challenges and failures, they don’t stop believing in their abilities. This is best achieved through positive encouragement.
  3. Helping your child to develop their language skills: language development greatly assists children in daily problem solving and building connections with others. Language capabilities are one of the biggest determinants of early success from preschool all the way through to adulthood. Reading to your children can create a positive and warm association with the activity. Later, when children are learning to read, they will recall quality time spent with mom or dad reading and enjoy learning to read more than a child that did not have the privilege of a parent reading to them.
  4. Encouraging independence: children need to learn how to regulate their environment and reduce their reliance on a parent or caregiver. Consistency is important in establishing independence. Regulating emotions is an important part of learning self-control. Discussing emotions with children is the best way for them to start understanding them e.g. Why is Ben sad? Is it because he lost his toy car? How can you cheer him up?
  5. Facilitating friendship with other children: early friendships effect how a children evaluate their self-worth, competence and view the world and patterns of early friendships can determine behavior in later life. Parents can play a role in early relationship success by facilitating play with toddlers who share similar values and interests. Creating structure around play is also important. As a parent you should try to reduce the number of distractions that can interrupt play.

CompariSure is here to help

Your child’s success depends on you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a plan in place in case something happens to you, allowing your family a chance to regroup and deal with your loss without having to worry about the bills, outstanding debt, or the cost of education.

Have you thought about who will take care of your children if you die or become disabled? Have you discussed this with them? Do you have enough life cover in place to help fund education and the other costs of raising your child?

Life cover provides the peace of mind that if something were to happen to you or your partner, the family can focus on healing without needing to deal with financial distress. It provides the freedom to take time off work and get the support required to get by.

Most South African families are under-insured and under-prepared. Those that are covered are generally paying far too much. I started CompariSure to help families understand how much cover they need and find the provider who meets these needs at the right price. Cover can cost as little as R100 per month for R1,000,000 of cover, depending on your risk profile.

We’ll help you get your financial portfolio organized so that you can rest well knowing your children’s future is safe and secure.

Click ‘Compare Now’ to see which provider is best for you!