Train your child in the Way...and they just might resent you for it
Well, I tried.
I read every book there was on raising kids Catholic. We prayed every morning together as a family, and gave homeschooling a darn good shot. We developed a close relationship with religious, and made our parish the center of our social life.
My kids have a middling-to-poor relationship with the Faith. Yesterday, I was so happy in Church before Mass started, because four of my kids were there with us. It just felt so good to be in that pew with my family, getting ready to worship. I made the mistake of asking Curly-haired Daughter to stop picking at her nails, and Tallest Son shot back, "Well, she's BORED...." and there went my happy moment.
Bored. That's how Tallest Son is every week at Mass, and he let's us know it. He drags his feet getting ready, he's belligerent and nasty about going, he makes us pay for making him go. (By the way, that's his rent: our rule is that you can live at home rent-free if you're working/in school, but you have to go to church every week and on Holy Days, and contribute to chores around the house.)
Frankly, I left Mass yesterday feeling like I'd failed at the most important parenting role: that of faith-leader, instiller of love of Christ and His Church. In my head, I know I can't force anyone to love Christ, and that is up to the individual, but my mother's heart wonders where I failed. Why don't you love Jesus like I do? Why don't you love the Mass as I do?
Of course, the answer (as it always is) is prayer. I pray that I am gentle with them in "forcing" them to go the Mass. I pray that they will accept the gift of faith lovingly offered to them by God. I pray that they will come to notice that almost everyone whom they value in their life is Catholic...and there must be some good reason for that.
I pray. I pray. I pray.
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