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Financial Literacy for Kids Part VI: Have a Role Model

The more I write about this topic, I realize this is getting to be about what parents can do for their children, and not really financial education for kids. What do you think? Anyway, I believe in the importance of a child’s having a role model while growing up, and that is our role as parents…

This post is the sixth of a series. Those who missed past posts may click here – Part IPart IIPart III, Part IV, and Part V. I am by no means an expert on this topic, these are merely my thoughts which I hope would also benefit parents like me. The more I write about this topic, I realize this is getting to be about what parents can do for their children, and not really financial education for kids. What do you think?

Father With Son on Back by Ambro from freedigitalphotos

I would like to greet my Papa, Carlos G. Saldua, Jr., my brother, Carlo Saldua, and my husband, Jay Castillo, and all the fathers in the world, Happy Fathers’ Day! Truly, the world is a better place because of all the good fathers out there! Conversely, it’s also worse because of the not-so-good fathers out there (sorry, just being honest).

I believe that fathers have a great influence on their children, and they play a huge part on what a child may grow up to be. And there are scientific articles to back up this position (of course this is obvious even without “scientific studies”).

Parents as Role Models

“Everybody’s searching for a hero, people need someone to look up to. ”  ~Whitney Houston, The Greatest Love of All

When babies are born, they have a clean slate. Each baby does not know what it wants to be when he/she grows up. It is up to the child’s parents or guardians to guide him/her. If the parents themselves are confused, it is likely that the children will likewise be confused (logically).

When I was a child, I remember I wanted to be a doctor. I don’t really know why, maybe because doctors are held in high regard, and there’s no doctor in the family. But when it came time to decide which course to take in college, I took my father’s advice and took up BS Business Administration and Accountancy (BAA) so I could be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) like him. It would be my stepping stone to a career in law.

Deep inside, I actually wanted to be like my father. My father is a good, hardworking, intelligent, and good-looking man (ahem! sipsip!).  He is, and always will be, my idol. My father is amazing, I am not even half as intelligent, kind, and hardworking as he (really).

A daughter will most likely look for a husband who is like her father, so my husband is also a  good, hardworking, intelligent, and good-looking man (ahem! sipsip na naman!) – only much taller (hahaha). Like my father, I worked faithfully in one company for many years, climbing the corporate ladder. It is only after more than a decade that I chose a different path.

My point is, children will always look up to somebody, someone they like to become. Usually, they want to be like their parents. So, if you are a parent and you don’t like what you are doing with your life right now, and naturally you do not want your children to follow in your footsteps, do something about your own life. You will be the guiding light for your children.

If it is hard for you, an adult, to carve your own path, how much harder would it be for a child? It’s like needing to pass through a tract of land full of tall grass but there is no path whatsoever – the parents charge through, cutting the tall grass with their bolos, and the children follow the same path. Naturally, the children technically CAN make their own path but the process will be harder.

Ideal Lifestyle, Ideal Life, Ideal Day

Clarity is such an elusive muse. I realized that in my life, I have made decisions that impacted me greatly, but these decisions were not given much thought – I had no clarity, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do and be. I just wanted to be constantly moving. My parents chose my elementary school for me, I transferred to Manila Science High School because they said it’s a good school and I said ok. I chose BAA because my father suggested it. I entered SGV because when I went there for an interview, they told me to sign a contract in the afternoon and I said ok. I did have goals, to be a CPA-Lawyer, have a family, a good job, and a house by age 30 and all were fulfilled but the “why” was not clear. If I was not clear with what I wanted to do, how can I expect my child to have clarity himself?

It was only fairly recently (around two years ago) when I was able to formulate an idea of an ideal lifestyle, and ideal life, and an ideal day which works for me (at least for now).

I want to go to heaven. I want to strive to be like Jesus, to have a good family, to spend most of my time with my husband and children. I want to do work that will help and impact many people and their families, and change the Philippines and the world for the better. I want to improve and challenge myself constantly, to grow at all times. I want to be healthy and live a simple lifestyle. I want to totally rock the Information Age and earn more than enough for my family and for others. Quite a mouthful,  eh?

When I was a child, parents were all working in the office the whole day so that doesn’t jive with my idea of an ideal life. [Other than this point, I would still totally consider my Papa as my role model]. So, since my new idea is not the same as that of my parents’, who do I look up to now?

Bo Sanchez

Bo Sanchez probably doesn’t know me from Adam (or Eve), but I like him. We attend the Feast every Sunday and it’s like getting a free personal improvement seminar every week. He lives a fantastic life, a life I also want for myself and my family. He is able to serve the Lord, impact people and families in a very positive way, and earn a lot for his family and the needy. He is healthy, eats fruits for breakfast, and vegetables for lunch and dinner, and exercises and prays regularly.

Of course, the ultimate role model is Jesus Christ. Next maybe Superman (you can tell we just watched Man of Steel). But they are perfect so I feel that an imperfect human being who is struggling and doing his best to be like Jesus would be a good role model. He seems to be succeeding, so I feel very encouraged and think, “If he can do it, I can do it too!” And encouragement, I believe, is the push that everyone needs to continue moving forward.

If you need encouragement, or if you feel that you need some improvement in your life, I highly recommend you attend the Feast. Admission is free, and the venue is airconditioned (if you’re particular with comfort). Bo Sanchez himself speaks at the 8am, 9:30am, and 10:45am sessions at the PICC. There are other Feasts in different areas which may be near you, just check out the schedules at the right side of the front page of Everyone is welcome (and I mean everyone, we are all sinners after all).

What about you, who’s your role model? Care to share?


Cherry Vi M. Saldua-Castillo

Real Estate Broker, Lawyer, and CPA
PRC Real Estate Broker License No. 3187
PRC CPA License No. 0102054
Roll of Attorneys No. 55239

2013 Internal Education Head, REBAP-LMP

Text by Jay Castillo and Cherry Castillo. Copyright © 2008 – 2013 All rights reserved.

Full disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Picture from Ambro at freedigitalphotos

Photo of author
About Atty. Cherry Vi Saldua Castillo
Atty. Cherry Vi Saldua Castillo is a Lawyer (Roll of Attorneys No. 55239), CPA (PRC CPA License No. 0102054), Real Estate Broker (PRC REB License No. 3187), and Real Estate Appraiser (PRC REA License No. 6918). She was also the 2013 Internal Education Head of REBAP-LMP and 2015 REBAP National Legal Counsel. She's the 2021-2022 chapter president of REBAP-LMP.
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