Thursday, November 2, 2006

Parents and Children (Part I)

“Parents and Children” September 24, 1941 God gives some people the natural gift of command, a gift of knowing how to impose their wills upon others. It is a precious gift. It is often difficult to say whether it is to be found entirely in the spirit or largely in the personality, in the presence, in words, looks or expressions. But it is nevertheless an awesome gift. If you possess it, do not abuse it in dealing with your children; you would risk closing and barring their hearts with fear and making them slaves instead of loving children. Temper this power by an expansion of love which is responsive to their love, and by a patient, gentle, thoughtful and encouraging goodness. Listen to the plea of the great Apostle St. Paul: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, that they may not be discouraged” (Col. 3:21). You parents should remember that strictness is meritorious only when the heart is gentle. To combine gentleness with authority is to triumph in that struggle in which you are engaged as parents. For everyone in authority, the fundamental condition of ruling well over others is to rule well over yourselves, your own passions and moods. Any authority at all is strong and respected only when those subject to it feel that its exercise is being directed by reason, by faith, and by a sense of duty… Why not learn to master your bad moods and your whims, to control yourselves, since you are trying to control your children? If at any moment you do not feel that you are altogether in control of yourselves, postpone until later, at a better time the rebuke or punishment which you feel to be necessary. Your punishment will have a far different effect, a more authoritative and instructive influence, if your spirit is firm but undisturbed, rather than excited by poorly-controlled emotions. Do not forget that children, even the youngest of them, are all eyes in observing and noting things, and they will instantly recognize a change in your mood…From the very earliest days, from the cradle, from the first glimmer of reason, see to it that they experience the touch of a loving and gentle but wise, prudent, vigilant and energetic hand. (Dear Newlyweds, p. 183-185)


Post a Comment

Get my CVSTOS FIDEI blog posts feed

Blog Archive

A highly modified template. Powered by Blogger.

Google Analytics