How Do You Keep Your Children From Becoming Scrupulous?

Painting by Carl von Bergen, 1853

by Fr. T. E. Tobin C.SS.R.

One issue was devoted almost entirely to answers to the important question: “How do you keep your children from becoming scrupulous?”

The answers contained much wisdom:

❀❀❀ I think working to overcome your own scruples is the best way to keep them from your children. Children learn by imitation. When I am concerned about making them over-conscientious, I refer them to the confessional for the proper answer to their questions.

❀❀❀ I hope to provide the kind of control that they can depend on and to give them an example that will not embarrass them. If they can grow up trusting in our leadership, I think they might, as adults, avoid over-dependence and excessive self-inspection. They will be free, then, with God’s help to rely on His grace in their lives.

While providing this control, I try to remember not to be critical. Children’s misdemeanors must be firmly corrected, but with love and kindness. We should speak more about their good qualities than their faults.

❀❀❀ Let them be children. Restrain your impulse to measure their few years by your many. Discipline should be suited to the fault, and should manifest that you are concerned with the children’s welfare as human beings and persons.

I have no right to expect perfection either from myself or from my children. I resolve to do my job as parent as well as I am able with the help of God. I have confidence that He will not allow their souls to be injured just because I do not know any better.

❀❀❀ We try to maintain in our home a calm, worry-free atmosphere so that our children do not become too tense and introspective. We suggest that when they examine their consciences, they make a sincere effort and then trust in God’s mercy.

❀❀❀ As a teacher, the most important thing I try to do in my catechism classes is to stress the love of God (this helps me too) and the personality of Jesus as kind, thoughtful, loving and interested in others.

Even His justice is seen as a further act of love in His all-out endeavor to tell us what we must do in order to save our souls. Sin is a real offense against God and love is the motive for avoiding it.

I stress the idea that God is not standing over us with a whip, just waiting for us to fall. I try also to emphasize the importance of learning from our Lord’s action. When He fell on the way to Calvary, He got up again. So we, too, spiritually must get up and shake off  the dust, and then go on in our own lives.

🌻🌻Under God, the primary, most important person in our lives, to enlighten and inspire us are our parents. Parents, in turn, are to recognize that the children they brought into this world are not meant for this world. The children’s destiny is eternal. It is the parents, more than anyone in the world, who are to prepare their children in time, indeed for eternity. ~Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

“It is worth while now for me, – now while the brief occasion lasts – to overcome one temptation, to do one small kindness, to improve my mind by one half hour of study, to wait in patience when there is nothing else to be done, to bear a headache, or sleeplessness, or some small pain….”

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For over half a century, Catholic families have treasured the practical piety and homespun wisdom of Mary Reed Newland’s classic of domestic spirituality, The Year and Our Children. With this new edition, no longer will you have to search for worn, dusty copies to enjoy Newland’s faithful insights, gentle lessons, and delightful stories. They’re all here, and ready to be shared with your family or homeschooling group. Here, too, you ll find all the prayers, crafts, family activities, litanies, and recipes that will help make your children ever-mindful of the beautiful rhythm of the Church calendar.This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

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