Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when individuals have both roots and wings. We develop roots when we know about our heritage, and we develop wings when we have room to grow, develop, and reach for our dreams. Wise parents give their children roots when they give their children the security of a home, and they give them wings when they allow their children to practice living what they learn at home.
Kristena Eden posted an interesting article titled “7 Ways to Help Your Kids Become Strong and Independent in the Gospel.” For ideas on how to implement the suggestions, check out her article. Eden gives the following suggestions for helping children develop roots: (1) Encourage personal and family scripture study with exciting practices, (2) Prayer – make family prayer more meaningful with traditions, (3) Attend Sunday meetings – teach correct church behavior by practicing at home, and (4) Take advantage of all the teachings moments throughout the day as well as during family home evening.
Eden says that we help children develop wings by teaching them skills in the following areas: (1) Housekeeping – teach necessary skills by insisting that children work around the home, (2) Social and emotional intelligence – teach children the skills needed to be self-aware as well as aware of others, and (3) Problem solving – teach children to solve their own problems by asking how they would solve a problem before giving any suggestions.
Eden closes her article with these sentences, “To see our kids succeed in life and head in a good strong direction that is beneficial for their life, is by itself a great reward. As we practice strong teaching habits, we will give our kids roots and wings and the opportunity to achieve their greatest potential.”
I believe that the greatest wish of most parents is to see their children reach their “greatest potential.” We are all children of a Father and a Mother in heaven; therefore, we have the potential to become like them. We can assist the rising generation in this endeavor by following Eden’s excellent suggestions. By giving our children both roots and wings, we can strengthen our homes, communities, and nations.