Heathdale flower 06th June 2019

Perspectives from the Family Tree

Give your child perspective by telling memorable stories under your family tree.

Heathdale flower

I am a bit of an amateur genealogist and I really enjoy watching those TV shows in which a famous person goes on a journey to discover their family tree. Over about an hour, you watch them find out about their long-forgotten ancestors and get a glimpse into the stories that made them who they are today. One of the reasons I find the shows so interesting is the sense of perspective that comes with hearing someone’s life story as a whole. In day to day life, we are often seeing our victories and our struggles from such an intimate distance that we don’t have the ability to see how these individual moments are playing out into a larger story.

But perspective is really critical in giving us hope and providing balance when we face challenges. Teenagers can find keeping a sense of perspective difficult when things are not going the way they want. Friendship issues, school pressure or just the tribulations of growing up can be all consuming at times. That is when encouraging them to step back and see a larger perspective can be really valuable. As adults, we have a much larger frame of reference and have the opportunity to help our children more accurately calibrate their responses to challenges to better reflect a long-term perspective.

This week our Year 7 & 8 students have been sitting their mid-year exams. I hope they have approached that opportunity with diligence. But we also need to encourage them to remember that it represents just one measure, at one point in time, of their learning journey. Learning is a life-long process, not a one-off event.

Families can help develop perspective by sharing stories: 

- Talk about a time you remember facing a big deal in your teenage years. How did it turn out and what did you learn from it?
- Remember together the good times you’ve had as a family – go back over those memories and highlights often. Keep building on the story of your own family journey.
- Reminiscence about the funny things your children have done as younger children. Comment on how much they’ve grown. Help them to see how far they’ve come and how proud you are of the things they’ve already conquered
- Spend good time with extended family – provide that sense of being tied in to a larger story that extends beyond your immediate family.
- Read together God’s Word – take in an eternal perspective.