Sometime ago, I wrote about the 5 stages of a child’s life and how it relates to their financial and life education.
I listed the stages as :
a) My Mommy knows everything stage,
b) My Mommy knows most things stage,
c) My Mommy does not have a clue stage,
d) Maybe I should ask my Mommy stage and
e) I wish my Mommy was here, she’ll know what to do stage.
My elder two girls are now in the 4th stage. Thankfully the 3rd stage of their life went by without any major disruptions in our family.
The younger three were in the 1st stage, until recently, very recently.
And this is how I found out.
Since 2005, it has been a yearly practice for me to sit with our three younger kids and together draw up their goals for the next year. These goals are some things the children and I agree as important. We review them about 3 times a year and the children will promise to try harder to meet the goals and life goes on.
This year, the youngest two girls, Nana and Ain drew up their goals, after our usual discussion.
Not so Abang, our only boy who turns 14 this January 5th. When he and I first started talking about the goals for 2008, (sometime around November 07), he asked for additional time. He then kept on postponing.
Today, he came out and told me that he has his own goals.
It looks like my little boy, our Tuan Muda (“Young Master”) has now moved on to the 2nd stage of his life! I am part sad and part happy. My son has just come of age!
Am I worried about my son’s seeming lack of interest in goals? Not at all.
Last year, as part of his English improvement exercise, he read Anthony Robbins’ “Notes to a Friend”. Every Saturday and Sunday, he would write about 4 – 5 pages down and them read them to me. He has finished the book now. Now he is going through Sean Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens”.
I am sure some of the points in the books are seeping into him steadily.
And besides, he has told me that he does have his goals.
My son likes, as so many other boys his age, to play video games. This activity is taking up an inordinate amount of his time, and has been the subject of a number of scenes of displeasure with his mother. Other than this little thing, our Tuan Muda is a great young man and I have every faith in him.
In fact, whilst working in India, a business acquaintance who was also an amateur fortune teller, told me that one day, my wife and I would be looked up to and become famous as being “Our Tuan Muda’s parents”. (When I told this story to my wife and my much younger son then, he beamed with pride).
Well, at least my son has agreed to write down his goals and also agreed to show them to me, but much later. So for now, he has managed to get me off his back.
Thankfully, I am aware of this subtle but so important change in Abang’s life. Now that Abang is entering the second stage, I have to treat him a little more as an equal. The treatment when he was in the “My Mommy knows everything stage”, may no longer be suitable.
And for now, I have to get used to my son now being a young man!