Resolve to recognize fragility. The church calls parents “co-creators with God” of their children. From this vantage point we can see, more clearly than others can, the parts of our children that can stand in the way of their ability to become the people God means for them to be. One of my children struggles with stubbornness; another with impulsivity; one is working on becoming more honest; and one wishes to be more decisive. I know I am called to hold my children accountable and help them move past their struggles and do their best, yet I am also aware that children are fragile. If I push too hard for improvement, I risk causing a collapse of the progress we’ve made.
Brigid, mother of four, wants her children to learn to give themselves fully to their gifts and talents. She tries to help them learn that being who God intends requires a full commitment. “In terms of goals for kids,” she says, “I always quote St. Paul, who says, ‘Let your yes be a yes!’ ”
Take time as a family to reflect and resolve. Becoming the people God means for us to be requires a thoughtful approach. Some families build time for resolutions into their New Year celebration.
Amy and Kevin, parents of three, have taken a getaway New Year weekend with their children for the past 10 years. Now that two of their children are teens, the tradition serves the dual purpose of family reflection and keeping the older two away from the pressures of New Year’s Eve parties hosted by other teens.
“Each year we have each written down three individual goals and three family goals,” Amy says. “It is a wonderful exercise as we can see what is important to our children and encourage them to set goals for themselves. We also then each give the worst thing and the best thing that happened in the past year. What has been wonderful is that everyone has a best time and maybe several of those to share, but it is difficult for them to remember a worst time. That makes us count our blessings. It is one of my favorite times of the year.”
By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2014 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for four years running. Here’s a sample issue.
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