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Header - Family Tip 12 - 10 Nevers of a Good Parent

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and ... he will NEVER depart from it."
(Prov 22:6) 


1.  Never make a promise you don’t intend to keep. It brings discredit on you and teaches your child to lie.

2.  Never shout. To rear a child you must control him. As humans we are only controlled by qualities we do not have ourselves. If there is one quality a child does not possess, it is calm, which is the direct opposite of the extreme mobility of his nature, his impulsive impressionability. Calmness controls him, not shouting.

3.  Never deceive. “Give me your whistle; you will see what fine music I can make.” The child, with no defense, gives you his whistle and you put it in your pocket: “Now with the whistle there, you can’t annoy us anymore.”

4.  Never punish trust. By saying, for example, if you want the child to take some disagreeable medicine: “Oh this is good! Drink it, you will see.” The child sips it and pushes away the deceiving cup. You have failed him in your words. A few scenes of this kind and the child will lose all confidence in those who speak to him. If we wish to be believed, we must not abuse belief.

5.  Never do yourself what the child, with a little time and ingenuity, can do himself; otherwise, he will never learn to take the initiative. On the contrary, confront him as soon as possible and as often as possible with tasks that are beyond him and which are capable of challenging him a bit so that he learns to gauge his strength, to remain humble because of non-success, and eager for struggle because he wants to conquer the obstacle.

10 Nevers of a good parent collage6.  Never tolerate backtalk to a command, or grumbling, or any argument about it. Never take back a prohibition especially if the child tries to work its recall by tears and coy maneuvering.

7.  Never present a task to the child as completely beyond his capabilities as in “Could you do that? You’ll be too afraid to do that?”—so that he gets the idea of a possible sidetracking of the issue or a sliding out of it altogether. No, tell him squarely what to do as if it were just an ordinary, simple matter. “Do this. Go there, please.” In this way the child will not question his ability to do what is asked.

8.  Never seem to attach importance to little scratches, bumps, and bruises he gets (naturally, proper attention should be paid to real needs). The child often cries when he hurts himself just to get attention, and being pitied makes him think he is a more interesting individual when injured. If you do not appear excited, he will understand that it is useless to make a tragedy of the affair. Care for the hurts that need care, and far from magnifying the case, explain that it isn’t anything much: “You will have many others! Be brave and try to have more nerve about it!” The child grows calm.

9.  Never inflict a humiliating punishment in the presence of others, except in the rare case that might be needed to punish a deeply rooted pride. Aside from such a case, you would be degrading a child beyond reason: “Look how ugly he is!” “How clumsy you are!” Or what is worse—“Look at your brother, see how good he is!” Such comparisons are odious and only excite jealousy.

10.  Never flatter: “Isn’t he a darling!” The child knows this only too well. Encourage him, but don’t praise him. To praise him [in this instance—Ed.] is to admire him for an advantage he has without merit on his part; to encourage him is to congratulate him on meritorious effort. Never tolerate the adulations of people who visit you either. 

 


Adapted from Raoul Plus, S.J.’s Christ in the Home (Colorado Springs, CO: Gardner brothers, 1951), 138 – 140. It is a treasure chest of advice for Catholics on the practical and spiritual concerns of raising a family.

 

Click here for a printable list of these 10 "Nevers" of a Good Parent!

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for September 22, 2019

Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little. Remember...

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September 22

 

Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little.
Remember that he of whom you are speaking
is your brother, and as he is in the way of salvation,
God can make him a saint,
in spite of his present weakness.

St. Thomas of Villanova


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Thomas of Villanova

When the emperor discovered his secretary had written the na...

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St. Thomas of Villanova

Thomas was born in Castile, Spain in 1488. His family was not wealthy, but his father’s work as a miller allowed the family to be charitable and generous towards the poor. He was sent to school at the University of Alcala at the age of sixteen, where he threw himself enthusiastically into his studies and, ten years later, became professor of philosophy.

In 1516 he joined the Augustinian Friars at Salamanca and was ordained a priest two years later. He eventually became prior in several houses of the Augustinian Order, notably Salamanca, Burgos, and Valladolid. When Don Jorge, the Archbishop of Valencia, resigned, the emperor did not offer Thomas the see because he knew the high position would be a grievous trial for the humble friar-priest. Instead, the emperor nominated a religious of the Order of St. Jerome. However, when the emperor discovered his secretary had written the name of Brother Thomas of Villanova on the letter of nomination, he took it as a sign from God and appointed Thomas bishop. The year was 1545.

Thomas immediately began to restore the spiritual and material life of the archdiocese. He was deeply committed to the poor, established care for orphans and convinced the emperor to provide funds to organize priests for service among the converted Moors who had lapsed back into their old religion for lack of a shepherd.

Renowned for his personal charity, sanctity and austerities, Thomas was eventually consecrated archbishop. While he did not attend the sessions of the Council of Trent, he was an ardent supporter of the Reformation against the Lutheran heresy.

Thomas of Villanova died in 1555 of angina at the age of sixty-seven. He was canonized by Pope Alexander VII on November 1, 1658.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs F...

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The Power of a Picture

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. “This is a picture of Her.” The woman gasped. “I know that picture! It inspired a conversion.” She then asked excitedly, “Do you have a minute to hear the story?” 

Order your free 8x10 picture of Our Lady of Fatima

As Mr. Ferraz listened, he learned that the woman, Maria Vegra, had a 22-year old son who had recently passed away after three weeks in the hospital due to a fatal injury received in a car accident. While in the hospital, a priest would visit him every day to administer Holy Communion. The priest consistently offered the sacrament to the neighboring patient of Maria’s son, another young man who was also in critical condition. The young man would say, “No. I don’t believe in God.” But the priest continued to offer salvation. “Let me hear your confession and give you Holy Communion and Last Rights,” the priest said, “it will save your soul and get you to heaven.” Time after time, the young man stubbornly refused.

During the weeks of hospitalization and fruitless medical treatments, Maria had taken her son a picture of Our Lady of Fatima a friend had given her from an America Needs Fatima mailing.

She knew Our Lady’s watchful gaze would give her son peace in his last days. The day after she placed Our Lady’s picture at the foot of her son’s bed, she heard the voice of his stubborn neighbor: “please,” he said, “bring the picture closer to me. I want to look at the Lady.” 

Surprised but willing, Maria placed the picture in the middle of the two suffering men. 

After three days of letting the nearby picture of Our Lady touch his heart as he gazed into Her eyes, the suffering patient relented. “Please,” he called out, “bring me the priest. I want to receive the sacraments.”

A few days later, the young man died a Catholic. With a simple picture of Our Lady of Fatima, God touched a heart and saved a soul. 

 By Catherine Ferdinand

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“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. 

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