Is It Ever Too Late to Pass On the Family Values To the Next Generation?

Business Leader Post, November 15, 2012

Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D.

No! You may not succeed in every case—sometimes the timing is not right, or the issues with which they are struggling are too powerful and they are not emotionally available, or the ties have been broken. But most of the time, it is not too late.

Being a member of a family, especially a visible one, usually creates a sense of identity for all members of that family. Visibility frequently comes with a level of success. That success is more often than not tied to a set of values. Those values are communicated every day in how one lives one’s life. Over time, one’s actions send a message that usually becomes embedded deep in the “psyche” of the next generation. Values, then, are a part of the collective unconscious of the family.

How do you help the next generation discover those core values within themselves? First you have to find out what they care about and what they want. Then you can offer the support to help them get there. You need to figure out a way to be the wind at their back versus pulling them forward. To do so, it is essential that communication be authentic and offer transparency.