Little lessons: The gift of roots and wings

roots and wings poem

You know how they say that it’s good to work ourselves out of a job? Because that means we have trained our juniors so well that they can stand on their own two feet and no longer need our supervision.

I think the same principle applies to parenting. And that’s what this poem written by Denis Waitley reminded me of.

I don’t mean that we ever stop being a mum or a dad. (How is that ever possible?) But it does mean that our children grow strong and independent enough to stand their own ground. (And feel safe enough to shout for help when necessary.)

We are to give our children roots – a strong identity, values and foundation, a home and family to belong to. And also wings – independence, freedom to make mistakes, wisdom to make good choices, and eventually the ability to leave home to form their own families.

So may we not hesitate to use everyday opportunities to strengthen our children’s growing wings, as well as to deepen their roots in love.

And when the time comes to send them off to pursue their destiny, may we not hold them back because of our own fears.

After all if they have strong roots and wings, I’m sure that no matter where life leads them, they will still find their way back home.

How to dig deep roots:

  • Live out and speak your values. Whether it’s honesty, diligence or perseverance, our kids need to hear and see it to believe.
  • Create family traditions such as celebrating birthdays and festivals like Christmas and Chinese new year
  • Cultivate a strong sense of belonging and community through simple ways such as keeping a memory album, or looking through old photos from time to time
  • Build close community ties with like-minded family and friends
  • Create playful, enjoyable moments together such as Mum-daughter dates or daddy-son dates (or vice versa)

How to strengthen their wings:

  • Let them take on appropriate challenges such as allowing your toddler to help in the kitchen, and your preschooler to manoeuvre social situations herself (knowing you are near should she need help)
  • Let them take on responsibilities such as packing their own bag or lunchbox daily, remembering to take out their homework, etc.
  • Encourage them when they make mistakes by acknowledging the effort they made. Tell them stories of the mistakes you’ve made before and how you learnt from them.
  • Give them the tools to achieve a specific goal, such as baking a cake, but let them try it out themselves

This is week 11 of the Little Lessons series, which runs on the blog every Thursday. Do grab our badge and link up your little lessons / learning activities here!


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You with the tidy tucked in ears
You with the softest sweetest purrs

You with the funny furrowed brows
You with the cutest drunken smiles

You with the hearty appetite
You whom we love to kiss goodnight

You with papa’s pointy nose
You with the tiniest twinkle toes

You with the crazy karate chops
You with the forever flying socks

You whose eyes are like dreamy stars
You whom I seem to have known from afar

You, our newest littlest one
You, our precious God-given son

You whom I will love and care for day and night
You whom we will not let out of sight

You who make our lives topsy-turvy
Yet bringing such great joy and delight.


A preggy mum’s poem

Beautiful, radiant, full of life
Heavy, burdened, feisty mood swings

Feeling round and happy
Feeling fat and clumsy

Cravings for chocolate, sashimi, and durian ice-cream
Water retention, constipation, frequent pee breaks

Flatulence, embarrassing gases. Tired, tired feet.
Sleep is always an attractive proposition

Moments watching the clock tick by
Feeling the drum-beat in my tummy

Pregnancy is a funny thing.

You want it, you try for it
Sometimes it comes when you least expect it
And somewhere in the middle, you get tired of it.

Until you see baby face-to-face,
hold him chest-to-chest,
and then you’ll see
that a new life’s journey

has just begun….

Some days, other days

Some days, I can’t wait for you guys to grow up.
Other days, I wish that time would just be still.

Some days, I wonder what made me even think about childbirth and procreation.
Other days, I wonder what grace has given us this beautiful privilege to have you both in our lives.

Some days, I slip into an abyss, overwhelmed, angry and defeated.
Other days, I’m contented, mostly because you guys are too.

Some days, I wonder about life on the other side – as a carefree woman, worker, wife.
Other days, I cry upon thinking paranoid thoughts of what life would be like without you.

Some days, you blow my stresses away by your funny words and uninhibited displays of love and wonder.
Other days, you add weight to my already heavy heart.

Some days, you drive me up the wall.
Other days, you make me double up in laughter.

I never knew the intensity of human emotion
Until you wandered into my life.
Regardless of these ups and downs (that I’m now used to)
I realise that all of these are but a whisper
When compared to the joy of eternity
That I will get to savour with you.
Children, my children,
You give me a taste of the glory of heaven.
And help me look forward to the days to come.

Love you both with a love that’s bigger than my own,


Date with Dad – What a difference a dad makes

what a difference a dad makes
to all the world’s little girls
brought the sun and the flowers
where there might have been rain

what a difference a dad makes
when she sits on his shoulders
from here, the world’s a brighter place
for he’s her pillar of faith

adapted from “What a difference a day made” lyrics


Focus on the Family is running their annual Date with Dad event, ideal for fathers with daughters aged 10–18 years. Through something as simple as a date, daddies, you are sending your precious daughter a message that she is absolutely valuable in your eyes, worthy of you spending time with her, and modelling for her how she should expect to be treated by suitors in future.

So go on, make a date with your special girl. You won’t regret it.

Date: March 2, 2013 (Saturday)
Time: Brunch at 9.30am – 12.30pm OR High Tea at 1.45pm – 4.45pm
Venue: Mandarin Orchard Singapore
Fee: $120 per father-daughter pair (incl. “Worth the Wait” ring worth $25)

For enquiries, please contact Xingqi at or 6491 0725.

PS. Other special deals await if you would like to bring your lil’ darlings out on a date!


A note to the hubby:

Dear hubs, you’ve been such a loving and strong and big-hearted father. Vera is so blessed to have you to be her guiding light and source of confidence at this tender age. With your love, discipline, and teaching, I’m sure she will grow to fully grasp the extent of the Father’s love for her. She will know that this love would travel to the ends of the earth to pursue her. And years later, when boys start to become interesting, she will also know and understand her value as a young lady. Her value will not lie in her outward appearance. (No no, it will be much more than what the human eye can see.) Nor will it lie in her personality or wit, as bright as they may be. She will grow to understand that her value lies in her identity as a child of God and as a young lady after His heart.

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