From Vern Gowdie – Gowdie Family Wealth (Australia) –
In Homer’s Odyssey, the loyal adviser to Odysseus was Mentor. When Odysseus went to fight the war in Troy, he entrusted the care and education of his son, Telemachus, to Mentor.
That’s how the word ‘mentor’ was adopted into the English language — from Homer’s Odyssey.
A mentor is defined as a wise and trusted counsellor.
Mentoring is often confused with teaching or being a good friend.
It is much more than that…it’s to be an awakener. Showing those entrusted into your care how to think for themselves. To involve them in the process of acquiring knowledge.
Mentoring is much more than being a teacher, coach or friend.
A parent could teach their child about a particular area of interest, but if the child is not engaged, then telling them all you know is pointless.
Friendship is important. However, respect is even more important. When our children were in high school, we never permitted underage drinking at any parties they wanted to have at home. Consequently, we were not the popular parents…a party at the Gowdies’ was closely associated with the word ‘boring’. The upside of this (for my wife and I, at least) was that we didn’t have many parties.
Other parents wanted to be their children’s best friends, so rules were bent or broken to accommodate this need.
We were prepared to temporarily suspend our ‘friendship’ for the long-term benefit of ‘respect’. It worked. Our friendship with our now-adult children is built on the very solid foundations of love and respect.
Last week, we discussed the importance of our children pursuing a path towards independence, personal self-development, self-esteem and deep happiness.
Genuinely well-balanced children are the key to the success of generational wealth. The less ‘baggage’ they bring to the family table, the easier it is to move forward with the task at hand…perpetuating family wealth.