#Providenciales, April 9, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – One of the takeaways from the expertly organized and executed 2019 TCI Economic Empowerment Conference is that a few speakers and attendees lamented the fact that they may have done their children a disservice by giving them everything that they themselves did not have as a child. While they may have had a point in terms of over indulgence of material possessions for kids, this action is understandable. It is only natural for parents to want their kids to have more than they had as children. The Turks and Caicos as a budding nation is relatively young. We are only one or two generations removed from people in our families that could have been considered to be in extreme poverty.
While some might say that we all were poor pre-introduction of Ministerial governance, some still had comparative advantages over others. One of my concerns is, that despite our better financial position than our forefathers that teach our kids core values that will position them to surpass whatever we are able to achieve in our lifetime.
Setting a good example for our kids will do far more than any material gift given. Case in point, I knew that one day I could hold a Senior Manager position within the Civil Service because both my parents did so before me. So when I assumed the role of Director of the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies it was not a shock to me. Also, my brother Courtney becoming the Head of the Government Information Services (GIS), was again not shock. Children generally emulate what they see in their environment, good or bad, so it is incumbent upon us as parents not only to give our kids more but also to teach them to aspire for higher heights and fulfill a greater purpose. Not just in the Turks and Caicos context but on a global scale, as DSS has shown us is possible.
While I do not claim to be an expert in Jewish culture and practices, let’s look at bar mitzvahs, which is the religious initiation ceremony of a Jewish boy who has reached the age of 13 and is regarded as ready to observe religious precepts and eligible to take part in public worship. I am pretty sure they are taught more than just religious practices and rituals but also include financial literacy and real world applications amongst other things. While I can appreciate that training is not completed at age 13, it is an intentional program for which they are trained by age 13. What types of programs should we be introducing to our kids before age 13 within the school curriculum or outside of it? What other rituals or programs should we be tapping into beyond the gifting of material things to our children? I am sure Prince William and Prince Harry did not receive the same type of upbringing as the majority of the people in the UK. We can, should work to learn how best to invest our financial resources into our kids for their betterment, and the betterment of these our beloved Turks and Caicos Islands.
Stay Blessed TCI