These tips have been written for use in parish bulletins, so that you as parents might find little nuggets that will help you as you engage in your important role as parent. The hope is that as you read the tips you will find information to assist you in small and tangible ways and in a way that will positively influence the love you share with your family.
Tip - Family is the most powerful influencer in any person’s life. What we learn from our family has lifetime implications, influencing how we act, see ourselves and feel about others. As parents it is important that we don’t treat our children as mini-adults, but instead view them as a child of a certain age. There are normal patterns to children’s brain development and when we understand those stages, we can more fully understand how to love, teach, discipline and support our children throughout their lives. Family and faith provide a solid foundation for each child when parents take the time to learn about their child’s developmental age and ability.
Tip - June is a good time to help your children reflect on the successes and challenges of the past school year. God provides every person with gifts to use in the world and it is good to remind your children that we are called to use our God-given gifts. Ask them to reflect on the gifts they see in themselves and then share the gifts you see in them. Help them realize that they are indeed special and have good things to offer to others in their lives.
Tip - September arrives with a flurry of activities, such as planning for school start up and looking to see what activities in which children might participate. This year holds even greater challenges with the unknown status of many of these events due to COVID. There is a great way to control the busy days and calm the fears of the unknown: take time for daily family prayer. It need only be a few minutes, but during this time, come together as a family to thank God for the good things in each of your lives, to mention out loud anything that each family member may need support with and ask for his protection for your family, extended family and all people in the world . Not only will this draw your family closer together, it will be a reminder to your children that God is with them and desires to converse with them!
Tip - October brings cooler air and the final harvests of the season. It is a time when we see the beauty of nature and the creative mind of God in providing this world for each of us. Children spend a lot of time wishing for things they don’t have, instead of focussing on what they do have, including love from family members, their faith community and friends and neighbours who care for them. During this month of thanksgiving, help your children focus on giving thanks for all they have by writing a daily gratitude journal. Each day they can write about the goodness’s of their day and at the end of the month they will have documentation about how much they have to be grateful for - both to God and everyone else who contributes to their lives.
Tip - Our children are healthier and happier when their emotional, physical, intellectual and social needs are looked after. Add to this list one more essential need that requires care - a child’s spiritual well-being. A relationship with God is as essential to their welfare as water. The month of November is the month we pray for and remember those who have already died. This is a wonderful month to pray for the deceased and help your children understand that God is always with us and when we seek his help to live as we are called, we too can share in eternity. So, pray together, attend Mass as a family, share readings from the Bible, talk about the awe of God’s creation and remind your children that God is always present. His love will guide them and be a source of comfort as they grow.
Tip - As parents we love our children unconditionally, but the tasks involved are still challenging. There are many moments when our children can annoy us, test us and even defy us! Our response can be the difference between positive learning and damage to our relationship. What is a parent’s best strategy? Learn to pause between the time a problem occurs and the time you respond. Take a moment to count to ten, take a deep breath, close your eyes, say a quick prayer, or take your own time out. When you are calm and collected, address the issue in the way you feel will work best to solve the issue, not one based on high emotions.
The tips have been put together by the Family Ministry Office; contact us at 905-528-7988.