Give your children wings. Have you heard that phrase before?
At first glance it sounds right and good. After all, we want our children to grow up and successfully launch, to pursue their dreams and live full and satisfying lives.
But I think that phrase is missing something. I’ve seen it written another way. It goes like this:
It is the wise mother who gives her children roots and wings. – Chinese Proverb
What’s the difference? Roots. We want our children to be connected into the story of the family from which they’ve come. We want them to be connected to the big story of the Creator God.
They are not just soloists but part of a symphony that has been playing for generations. They join that symphony at a selected time and exit at still another. And the music they make, while it seems to have wings of its own, only thrives when it is in harmony with those around.
These two themes are balanced in building a healthy family legacy. The goal is thriving individuals who are still connected to the larger family, pursuing a shared vision. (Take a practical step to develop a shared vision for your family by downloading my guide to Family Vision & Mission Statements!)
Together, the family encourages and equips each member to grow into her or his unique gifts and interests, while simultaneously nurturing commitment to the good of the whole family.
Sharing family stories and traditions are a key practice in establishing a strong family identity.
Another practice that brings families together is giving together. A family can support agreed-upon causes that individual members bring to the table. The process provides rich material for discussion.
What thoughts or questions do you have on giving the next generations both roots and wings?
Photo by Pedro Araújo on Unsplash
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Published October 9, 2020
Topics: Family Legacy