My friend and colleague Hartley Goldstone works in the field of trusts and estates, helping relationships between trustees and beneficiaries to be functional and even fruitful. (More about what he does below.) As part of his practice, he has a blog; today's entry was especially touching and worthy of reading twice. He blogged about a family tradition you may want to include when your family gets together for this holiday and for those in the future.
From "Our Family Blessings":
We started blessings, as we called it, with our kids when they were very young. At Christmas time, we asked each of the kids to write a blessing to each other and to their mom and their dad. They all went into a big pot. Then we sat around the fire and sorted them out and each of us read the blessings we had received from the others.
There was no requirement or expectation of what the kids were supposed to say. They could say anything they wanted. Even things like,
I was really mad at you because you took my ball or something, you know, but now I'm not mad anymore. It would be that type of thing. As they grew older they got more perspective the blessings became more intimate. Very touching.
I think that has made a massive difference in the ability of our kids to talk to each other and for us to talk to them. They got used to telling each other how they really felt about something. Our kids are all close with each other in a relatively unusual way, I think, because they talk to each other, they know what is happening in each other's lives in a very personal, intimate kind of way.
Now that our kids are adults . . .
Click to read the rest.
Hartley's practice is unique in the way he helps his clients. He and his associates
- Facilitate continuing conversations among multiple generations and their advisors to build understanding of their wealth and future life plans
- Help trustees and beneficiaries deepen their relationships starting with the topics that matter most to both of them
- Provide individually tailored coaching sessions for sustainable results