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There’s an old proverb about raising children, and it goes like this: “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other wings.”
There’s a lot of truth to that proverb. If you’ve given your child roots and wings, you’ve given him everything.
Roots and Wings: A Place To Stand, A Way To Fly
Giving your child roots means giving him a place to stand; helping him discover who he is, who he’s meant to be, and what his place is in the world. That’s a lot, but that’s not enough. Wings refer to your child’s ability to go out into the world and make his mark. The strength and flexibility to leave his comfort zone and be himself elsewhere is another important gift we need to give our children.
How can you give a child his roots and wings?
Making It Part of Everyday
You give your child roots when you share quality time with him and when you allow him to see the way your beliefs and values effect your daily life. Spend time together reading stories, creating pictures, or talking about what is happening in the world or in your lives. And keep up family traditions; even in a small way.
You give your child wings when you give him the confidence and ability to go beyond well-trodden paths and explore the unknown. Encourage your child and praise his progress when he does a job well; but help him also to be willing to take risks and make honest attempts even when there is no neatly drawn, foregone conclusion. Give your child the freedom to grow, learn, and explore.
Roots and wings. It’s all you can give your child; but if he’s got that, he’s got everything.