Think of the tallest tree you’ve ever seen… Perhaps an old growth redwood with rough-hewn bark. Or, if you’ve been on our Amazon adventure, the majestic Samauma, the giant tree of the rainforest. Either way, a tree that is a testament to strength, power, and stability.
A tree where you can shelter in steadfast security, and one with cooling shade during the hottest parts of the day. But one that also draws your eyes heavenward inspiring thoughts of new journeys and future flights.
Security and freedom all at once. Such is the paradox of parenting and raising good global citizens.
The Parenting Paradox
On the one hand, we want to shelter and protect our children. We want to be their safe haven, like the tree.
We want to nurture shared family values and strong family culture. But we also know we need to grant them the independence to develop a strong sense of self.
Even more paradoxical, independence is born from dependence. This is a fundamental principle of attachment parenting, yet one that can be hard to remember in the midst of daily struggles.
The parenting paradox is real yet based in contradictions that can make finding the right balance difficult. So, what gives when it comes to parenting global kids?
Roots and Wings: Why Kids Need Both
We’re fully invested in raising good global citizens. Kids who’ve seen the world, are tolerant of other cultures, and have inborn confidence forged through unforgettable experiences and profound family bonds.
Kids with big, strong, beautiful wings.
But here’s the caveat. Remember the sheltering tree we talked about earlier? That colossal, towering refuge? With the right soil conditions, its roots can delve as deeply into the stabilizing earth as its limbs stretch upwards burgeoning into the sky.
What’s more, without these deep roots, it’s safe to say the tree would enjoy little stability. The deeper the roots, the higher the tree can climb.
Stable Roots and Strong Wings
In other words, what creates stability in trees and kids alike often goes unseen. These invisible roots represent the life lessons we, and those around us, instill in our children so that they grow healthier and stronger each and every day.
They include secure attachment, good nutrition, and modeling healthy behaviors. They are passed on by our family members, close friends and our community. These tiny choices and daily lessons collect like rainwater in a stream. Before we know it, the stream is filled to capacity, flowing fast like a river. (And, hopefully, nourishing the roots so that they dig deeper and expand further).
Yes, wings help kids soar. But roots provide the solid foundation upon which they’ll build internal resilience, confidence, and an unshakable sense of confidence.
How do we help kids cultivate deep roots while fostering strong wings? By ensuring our kids recognize their inherent goodness and potential. By teaching them that they can and will cope and thrive come what may.
Raising Good Global Citizens
What’s got me thinking about all of this?
I want to foster a deep-seated sense of security and strength in my children. I want them to be natural problem solvers who don’t throw in the towel at the first sight of a challenge. I want them to fly fearlessly, ready to explore this gorgeous planet.
But I also want them to understand where they come from. I want them to appreciate deep, unbreakable family bonds that’ll keep them grounded and sure of who they are no matter what.
The Right Balance
Fellow blogger Karilyn from No Back Home recently cut her round-the-world trip with her son short when her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. She traded the adventure in exchange for enjoying special time together and cultivating irreplaceable memories. Memories that nourish deep roots.
Roots and wings.
Both prove fundamentally important to raising good global citizens. Our children are independent miracles. Miracles that we have the honor and privilege to guide on their path towards adulthood.
Like the tree, we shelter and protect them, providing them with a retreat. A space to be dependent, nurtured, and loved. Yet, it is this very dependence that provides them with the strength and confidence to move into adulthood.
When we acknowledge and honor our children’s feelings and provide them with a safe space to express themselves, we give them the ultimate pair of wings. Wings forged from true freedom gained through self-acceptance.
At Our Whole Village, we craft tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we curate for families just like yours.