Family Relationships that Forge the Future

I am the father of seven unique, dynamic, individual children, each with strengths and each with flaws.  They were born very close together all in the span of ten years.  In addition, they grew close on property out of town and away from neighbors.  Out of necessity they became friends and mentors to one another.  Observing them over the span of 30+ years I’ve come to a few conclusions about families, parenting and such.

I believe that our first priority in life is to secure relationships within the family unit.  I still remember the feeling of safety and security I experienced as a child, and which I tried to provide for my children.  It’s an amazing feeling to be watched over by a loving parent.  But what about the fatherless, the motherless, the huddled masses of unknown faces of children who must grow and develop without attentive parents?  My mind locks up, my breathe quickens, and my eyes moisten as I consider these scenarios.  Who will care for these little ones of promise?  As I comtemplate such global challenges, I return to the basics of a healthy home life as a starting point for personal awareness.

How powerful are our actions within the confines of our homes?  Children watching and listening are quick to identify inconsistencies between spoken word and actual performance.  As parents, our prime objective is to ensure that children learn from our mistakes while sharing our successes.  To accomplish this we must be keenly aware of self.  Without a knowledge of personal character flaws, they will be passed on to the next generation.  Great minds throughout time have advanced the notion that the behavior of the parents will be visible into the third and fourth generations that follow them.  This fourth generation halo effect doesn’t just refer to positive behavior, but to negative behavior as well.  Constructive nurturing of youth is the greatest influence in tempering individual behavior.  In time, this has a direct affect on the way they will raise and nurture their own children, and so it goes for generations.  My behavior in the home and community, regardless of the magnitude, affects children yet unborn, many of whom I will never meet.

Originally posted on September 16, 2011 on