"It is vital when raising children to ensure that they have a strong foundation, often referred to as roots. These are strong pillars that anchor children, take them into adulthood and are always present as points of reference. "
While completing a very difficult assignment this past weekend, I was reminded of one of my favourite quotes by Hodding Carter, “There are two great things that you can give your children: one is roots, the other is wings.” Though simply stated, these words are powerful and sobering.
I consider myself a pretty organized person, so I knew it would be a cakewalk when it was time to take my daughter to college. The supplies were purchased and packed, the medical forms completed, the pre-courses done, the roommates contacted, the finances covered and courses to be taken in the first semester selected; the only things left to do were to drive to the school unpack and setup the room. So why did a stream of anxiety suddenly hit me at the end of the last task?
Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was leaving this precious jewel on a campus with hundreds of other people who are complete strangers. It was here that I began to question our preparations; did we truly put into place everything that was necessary for her to make this quantum leap, from small town to big city?
A few years before my father died, he desperately wanted to begin a new family business, with a view of leaving his children another legacy to embrace. His offsprings collectively spoke assuring him that he had given us the greatest legacy of all; a strong foundation, moreover, a godly foundation. This was the best reminder he could have received and we are certain, it made his eternal transition more peaceful.
It is vital when raising children to ensure that they have a strong foundation, often referred to as roots. These are strong pillars that anchor children, take them into adulthood and are always present as points of reference. Good examples of pillars include, a godly belief system, a prayer life, a good sense of self, inclusive of self love and self respect; people skills, decision making skills, conflict resolution methods, good communication skills, a love for reading, cultural exposure, study skills, a daily physical routine, table etiquette and the ability to express gratitude and forgiveness. Healthy roots are also balanced: they should address all aspects of development; body, mind and spirit. They must contribute to an over all holistic being.
When these roots are strongly planted from early, watered, fertilized and manicured, they produce stems and leaves of good character. They can weather any storm and are not afraid to grow. This does not negate the forces of the elements, but rather it speaks to the strength of the roots. This helps to relax any panic, or second guessing moments.
When the tree is all grown up, it can stand in the forest amongst the tallest and biggest. Now, the wings have developed; the tree can blossom, sway, move, bear fruit, while all along remaining steady and sturdy.
As we approach the beginning of a new school year and you make your checklists with your children, please ensure that the greatest foundation is laid and nurtured, along with all the other demands of obtaining a solid education.
Reality check! The ground has been set and tilled. We gave our daughter ‘Roots and Wings,’ now she is able to soar. Go Graduate School!
Point to Ponder: You need roots as a springboard for wings.
• Doctor Pam is an advice column that is featured every week. Your letters and comments are encouraged. You may send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all major areas of mental health.