With so much talk of snowflakes and seeing those who don’t get their way resort to rioting and looting, let’s make sure we are raising children who can say “no” to themselves. If your home is filled with love, your discipline will have the desired effect.

From Christ in the Home by Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J.

A mother of a family, herself a noble and spiritual educator wrote:

“We never succeed in making of our children all that we should like to make of them; and sometimes we do not accomplish anything of what we thought we could accomplish.

The role of educator in theory offers many charms but in its fulfillment how many thorns! Not to become discouraged is in itself quite an achievement.”

The most important virtue to engender in the souls of children is confidence.

Children always have faults; they develop with age; when one fault is destroyed, another appears.

What ought to be developed first is confidence; a confidence which will make them docile solely because of the conviction that there can be nothing better for them than the arrangements of the persons who are training them; but when they seem to torment them or cross them, they truly have their good at heart.

The most agreeable training is not always the most salutary. Far from it! Adversity and contradiction are useful for all ages but particularly for the young, to correct their violent tendencies and strengthen their undeveloped wills.

For those who consider everything from God’s viewpoint, adversity gives the final touch; it adorns as with gold one in whom virtue is deeply rooted.

But how can one call upon this harsh instructor to teach one’s very own children?

Mothers are too tender to be perfect educators or rather their tenderness has about it too much sensitivity which, we might say, aggravates the eternal conflict between the spiritual man and the carnal man.

Maternal love is often too much hampered by maternal instinct which protests and prevents the forceful action that ought to be taken.

This distinction between real maternal love in the full sense of the word and maternal instinct should be maintained; the author of the preceding lines is alert to the difference and concerned about not confusing them; one of her daughters had a particularly difficult temperament; the mother encouraged herself to exercise the necessary firmness with her just as with her other children:

I shall set myself the duty of not being weak, too easy, of not giving in to all their desires.

I shall try to give them the reason for my decisions, but I shall believe that I do them a service by putting some obstacles to their desires.

Kindness will dictate my conduct; I hope that kindness will render it bearable for them.

“Who shall blame a child whose soul turns eagerly to the noise and distraction of worldliness, if his parents have failed to show him that love and peace and beauty are found only in God?” – Mary Reed Newland


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