It’s taken me a while to post about Parenthood: The Unconference. I mean, when the royals of Abu Dhabi kick off an event held at the massive Etihad Arena, one can’t help but pause and drink it in. During the three-day conference, we discussed the challenges of raising third culture kids in a global world and mindfulness in raising grounded children. So here are some thoughts a month after that time the royal family invited me to speak in Abu Dhabi!

Define your Social Legacy as a family.

This was the core idea of my talk. In fact, defining our family’s social legacy has been a huge enabler for our family. It has deepened our conversations about how we want to live life, prioritize our time, and engage with those around us. But before we can define our social legacy as a family, we need to define who we are as individuals. (Yes, you may see a theme if you’ve read my other posts! And on a quick side note, I do see quite a few parallels between how we operate at work and at home).

As Socrates has been credited for saying, it’s helpful to “Know Thyself.” (Another side note – actually, he didn’t come up with the phrase; the motto is inscribed on the Temple of Delphi). Regardless of source, the point is an important one. By deeply understanding ourselves and what drives us, we can examine how we fit together as a family, like pieces of a puzzle. For instance, my sharp edge here may complement his soft surface there. Or his disciplined approach to time management may keep her on track when she’s prone to distraction.

Our family is delighted by our differences!

The Chang’s have done a number of these Enneagram, MBTI, Love Language assessments. They’re not only fun, but they reveal valuable insights and open meaningful dialogue between the three of us. Not sure I love the “entrepreneur” image that relates to my latest MBTI, but I do agree with much of the assessment 😅

If you’re like many of the audience members who hadn’t explored this kind of dialogue with their families, check out some of the resources I shared. They are listed on the left hand side of the slide. These reflective exercises are fun and most worthy of investment! Because as Neo Jane Masisi, the First Lady of Botswana asked on stage, “Parents, whether biological or otherwise: if what we do while in this world is not for our children, or their children, what, then, is our main driving force in this world?”

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Photo credit: Gulf News Quote reference: