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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 March 6, 2021

In temptations against chastity, the spiritual masters advis...

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March 6

 

In temptations against chastity, the spiritual masters advise us not  
so much to contend with the bad thought,  
as to turn the mind to some spiritual, or, at least, indifferent object.  
It is useful to combat other bad thoughts face to face,  

but not thoughts of impurity. 

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Colette Broyet

Heartsick, she hesitated only to become blind for three days...

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St. Colette Broyet

Colette Broyet lived during the great Church schism when there were two men claiming to be Pope: one in Rome and one in Avignon.

Her father worked as a carpenter for the Benedictine Abbey of Corbie in French Picardy. Both parents were older and prayed earnestly to St. Nicholas of Myra to conceive. On the birth of a daughter, they named her Nicolette. Left an orphan at seventeen, Colette distributed what little she had to the poor, and with the help of her guardian, the Abbot of Corbie, moved into a small hermitage and joined the Third Order of Saint Francis.

In her cell, Colette lived a life of austerity and prayer becoming known for her holiness. In a vision, St. Francis asked her to reform his order. Heartsick at the prospect, the twenty-five year old girl hesitated, only to become blind for three days, and then deaf for another three. Taking this as a sign that she must take up her mission, in 1406 she left her seclusion and under the direction of her confessor, Fr. Henry de Baume, set about to try to explain her mandate only to realize that, if she was to succeed, she must be invested with the proper authority.

She visited Peter de Luna, who under the name of Benedict XIII was then considered the true Pope by the French, though illegitimate according to Church history.  Luna was so impressed with Colette that he professed her in the rule of St. Clare and invested her with the necessary authority for her mission.

With these credentials Colette visited convents in France, Savoy and Flanders inviting these to return to the original rule of St. Clare. Still, at first she met with violent opposition. Bearing all with joy she persevered and, after a while, began to make a difference as convents accepted her revised rule. In all, she founded seventeen new convents, and several houses of Franciscan friars also accepted her reform.

An energetic reformer, mystic and miracle worker, Collette died in Flanders at age of sixty-seven after foretelling her own death. She was canonized in 1807.

Photo by: DirkVE

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Handing him a Rosary she asked him to go to Mass for a week....

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Payback

At Anna’s mother’s funeral a man came up to her and after offering his deepest sympathy, took the grieving daughter aside, “I must tell you a story about your good mother and something she did for me…”

He proceeded to recount how, many years before he was involved in an extra-marital affair. One day, when dining with the woman in a restaurant, Anna’s parents had come in and pretended they had not seen them.

But next day he picked up the phone to hear Anna’s mother inviting him over for a piece of pie.

“You know how good your mother’s pie was…But there was also a tone of urgent authority in her voice, so I went.”

After enjoying his piece of pie, Anna’s mother revealed that she had, indeed, seen him and his girl-friend the night before.

“Though I vehemently denied it, your mother would not relent...She proceeded to remind me of the time when I was out of work and she had cooked for my family day in and day out.”

“Now, I want payback,” she demanded.

“I reached for my wallet, but she said,”

“Not that way.”

Handing him a Rosary she asked him to go to Mass for a week. She instructed him to say the Hail Mary and Our Father assigned to each bead while thinking of something good about his wife, his children and their family life.

“If at the end of this week you still think this woman is better for you, just mail me back the Rosary, and I will never say a word about this again.”

At this point, the man telling the story reached into his pocket. Pulling out a worn Rosary, he said,

“This is the Rosary your mother gave me all those years ago. My wife and I have said it together every day since.”

 Based on a story from 101 Inspirational Stories of the Rosary by Sister Patricia Proctor, OSC

Handing him a Rosary she asked him to go to Mass for a week. She instructed him to say the Hail Mary

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