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What are the roots?


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I want to start focusing - with my kids and myself - on the roots rather than the branches.  (Does that make sense?)

So, without any parameters, what do you think the roots are?

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Hmm. Not sure if you mean academics, life skills, both....

If I were posed that question, I think I'd come up with more or less this:

...reading -- how to read, but also how to read *for information* so that they can find what they need in life
....math -- all the basics of how to do things, memorize the stupid facts so that they aren't stuck adding in their head/multiplying in their head when faced with tougher problems, and understanding of how to figure out practical problems
...writing -- how to write in cursive/read cursive, how to craft a good sentence/paragraph/paper, how to cite sources (at least one version of how to do so) & where to find how to do the other methods, how to write a professional sounding email, how to write a resume/cover letter, how to proofread & use proofreading stuff in whatever word processing program they are using
....information -- make sure they know all of the stuff to fill out all of the forms on their own -- medical history, phone/address/social, etc, etc, etc. 
....life skills -- how to cook. How to work the appliances. How to follow a recipe. How to properly load the washing machine, dishwasher (things like - heavy stuff to the back of the top rack, not the front; leave this much room in the washer so the clothes have room to agitate/spin, etc). enough quick/easy meals that they wouldn't starve if left to cook for themselves for a few days (and wouldn't just be eating cereal and corn dogs)
....interpersonal skills -- how to hold a conversation, how to be polite, what polite interactions look like, how to enter/exit a room w/o being awkward, how to treat other people, etc. 

I think individual topics all fall into branches....science, history, all of that can be studied later on. The difference between a persuasive paper, a research paper, a compare/contrast....branches.  Algebra, calculus, geometry....branches. 

I don't know if this is what you're asking or not.......also not sure where art appreciation would fall.....some may call that a root. I don't know. 

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When I think of roots, I think of the most basic elements.

What comes to mind is to love God and to love others.

 

And I guess what that would mean is "What do I need to do to love God and love others?"

Reading and understanding Scripture.

Practice kindness.

Being able to communicate my faith to others.

Being able to participate in logical arguments.

Being able to give.  (This may require $$, and therefore would require a job*.)

Being able to manage money in order to be able to take care of myself and others.  (To not be a financial burden on society.)

Have an understanding of history and government.

To have basic language skills in order to facilitate good communication with others.

To take care of my health.  To understand the basics of nutrition and how the human body functions.

 

 

*If a job is desired/required: 

Developing the skills I am naturally gifted with.

Developing new skills.

Getting a proper education/certification/degree.

 

 

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Contentment, doing the right thing according to one's values, living in peace, knowing what you want in your life and spending your energy on that rather than chasing after other people's expectations out of you.

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Time spent together, doing community service and life-skills activities like cooking, building, etc.  IMO, there is no better way to build character and useful skills than modeling and learn-by-doing with adult mentors who can guide through rough spots (in knowledge and skill AND inter-relational).

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I always think of roots and wings associated in what I want to pass on to my kids. There is no one without the other for me.

Roots are things that ground me. Faith, family, culture. 

Wings are skills, values and lessons I want to pass on to my kids.

Since this is about roots, I will elaborate more.

Faith is a central component of my life. But it does not look anything like what I was raised with and it has my personal walk of faith. We do not go to church for instance. But my faith is strong and I nurture it. I want to pass on that but I also know that they will live out their version of it.

Family is very important to both DH and I and since we had none here, we made a deliberate decision to have our parents live with us for months at an end so our kids could know them. We even bought a house that facilitated that. Our daughter does not remember much, but DS does. It was not easy for our parents and us. It involved lots of travel,  displacement from their home and routines for our parents and for us, having 4 adults especially parents living with us for months at an end is an adjustment. But the benefits are seen with our kids, both of them. Both DH and I could not given them that at this level and it is directly because of the involvement of grandparents. Even DD has a bond with them though she does not remember them living with us because of DS's bond with them. It continued on through the quarantine. We are also very close with BIL's family in the UK. We travel, vacation and spend holidays together as much as we can. So the bond between cousins is very strong. All these involve planning and sacrifice in terms of money, time and plans but the benefits are seen with the kids. 

Culture to me is important because my kids should know where they come from. So I collect family stories and talk about them, both DH and my side. Again, grandparents contributed a lot to it. Language, food, books, movies and music are the biggest parts of how we implement it.

What I hope to pass on to my kids with roots is something that will ground them, give them a starting point to live the life they want. My life as an adult took me to an entirely different country and the strong grounding I had in these three, helped me craft a life of my choosing and that is what I hope for my kids.

Edited by Dreamergal
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Mental health and connection to others

I have had a core group of good friends for 20-30 years. We have all married, been good parents, served our communities, etc. Our kids have entered into early adulthood at all kinds of different levels. Those kids with mental health issues struggle at every level differently than those that don’t have those issues. 

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When I’m not living the way I aspire I try to figure out the cause (root). 
 

-motivation 

-lack of skill, knowledge or vision

-Body or chemistry getting in the way

Each implies their own solution. 
I think it’s ok to expect some fruit before all the branches are in place to do it naturally. Grafting.

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with this as the only context for the metaphor...

2 hours ago, SKL said:

I am thinking about character, prioritizing needs, living well, that sort of thing.

... I'd think of roots as headed into the ground, as the stabilizing force against the wind and battering storms; and the source of life-sustaining water and minerals.

 

(As metaphor it only goes so far, though: plants really do need sun, also, to survive and flourish; and that comes in through the leaves...)

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This is such a good question and it made me think a lot.

I have always wanted to give my kids opportunities that I never had growing up like classes, new experiences, travel, museums, concerts  basically experiences and more the better. Before the pandemic DH and I stuffed our life to the brim with that because many things were a first for us too.

We've always modeled things like cooking, healthy living with exercise, finances, saving, faith, family, culture, our world view.

But the pandemic made me examine what I truly want them to take if they learn nothing else. These are more hopes and wishes than a checklist.

1. Gratitude for the things we take as owed to us like food, water from a tap, clean water, hot water, warm food, shelter, education.

2. Giving back. Like the Bible says in Luke "to whom much is given, much will be required". So we must for all the blessings we have received.

3. Not feeling entitled because so many do not have what we take for granted and nothing we did makes us deserve things more than others.

4. Contentment in the life that we have vs the way we wish it was.

5. Sacrifice especially for the greater good.

6. Flexibility 

7. Adaptability

8. The ability to learn new things.

9. The value of relationships.

These are some of the things off the top of my head. 

The life I have lived as an adult is far greater than any of the dreams I had as a child and I was raised by ordinary people who could never dream big for me or even understand my dreams. But I remember being prayed for every single day of my life by my grandparents till the end of their days and my parents even now. So I do the same for them.

 

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roots, prefixes, suffixes, etc of words are both interesting, AND beneficial because when you know those, you can  decipher unfamiliar words much faster.

and simple rules: ph - originate with greek.  al - (at least with spanish words) originate with arabic.

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2 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Mental health and connection to others

I have had a core group of good friends for 20-30 years. We have all married, been good parents, served our communities, etc. Our kids have entered into early adulthood at all kinds of different levels. Those kids with mental health issues struggle at every level differently than those that don’t have those issues. 

Would you elaborate on this? Are you saying that you feel good mental health is something one can simply provide for their children? 

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As I thought more about this today beyond me "Ooh, I'm first! let me answer!" response this morning.....

...faith, as many have mentioned. Love God, love others. Hopefully they are seeing that in me. 

4 hours ago, SKL said:

I am thinking about character, prioritizing needs, living well, that sort of thing.

On this note, also what someone else said upthread -- the courage, confidence, strength, and maturity to pursue who *they* want to be, not who *we* want them to be.   I include maturity in that because it does take maturity to realize that some things are good hobbies, but not good livings, and maturity to know the difference. Or that if they want to spend most of their time on their hobby-ish living, they may need to live simply, or have a "day job" until the hobby-job takes off. Or something. 

Character.....one thing I remembered that my dad taught me, that we've tried to teach our boys -- leave your corner of the world better than when you found it. Be that your campspot while camping, the beach when you visit, your neighborhood by living there/your habits while living there, etc. 

Prioritizing Needs -- this can come in the form of money management, certainly, but also things like sleep over goofing off (so, for one of ours, we have a "phone downstairs at bedtime" rule). Eating healthy, with limited sugary/unhealthy treats (this comes in how we stock the pantry). Etc. 

Living Well -- that comes in enjoying hobbies, in a healthy manner. 

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For me, it's a mixture of an analytical approach combined with true empathy to where others are coming from. I want to see clearly, reason soundly, and relate to people kindly. 

These all take practice, they are all hard, and I'm by no means perfect at living out these values. It's just what comes to mind if I think about the basis of what I want to communicate. 

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