Monday, May 18, 2015

Catholic Parenting is Not an Insurance Policy

I couldn't agree more with this lady: (and old post, but it's making the rounds...)

I don't think breastfeeding, natural child spacing, attachment parenting, family prayer, homeschooling, daily Mass and frequent reception of the Sacraments or any other practices touted by Orthodox Catholic groups are an insurance policy for raising well-adjusted Catholic citizens. Just because we do these things does not mean our kids will be practicing Catholics who never commit mortal sin, nor does it mean our kids will be normal, functioning adults able to thrive in the outside world.

I know families who never looked like the poster people for Catholicism--families who didn't have the children in matching smocked outfits in the front pew at Mass every Sunday or who couldn't afford premiere Catholic education--but who, by the grace of God, have had several vocations to come from their lot.
And you know why this is?
Because God's grace is greater than our efforts and while we may try our very best to do the right thing by our children, our children have a free will with which they can choose the good or the bad. And sometimes, no matter how perfectly we've parented, prayed and performed, our kids are gonna choose the bad--even if we've homeschooled or gone to daily Mass or used attachment parenting.
None of these things are an insurance policy.
Sure, these practices are good and noble and some of them (like frequent reception of the Sacraments) are even dire, but just because we do them does not mean our children are going to turn out perfectly. Nor does it mean we are failures if we can't pull it off. God calls all families to love and follow and serve Him but the way in which He calls us to do it looks different for every one.
We all need to try our best (and assume everyone is doing the same) but we must also recognize the rest is up to God.
So let's have mercy on our fellow Catholic moms, shall we?

I think on average doing the right thing will lead to the desired outcome. But there really is no guarantee. Never forget, though, that while they may be away from Church, your parenting had a huge influence on them. So never despair.