A church can’t give you a step-by-step guide on how to raise your children the right way. However, as Catholics, we have a different compass for giving our children the support and care they need to grow into emotionally and spiritually-healthy adults. Here are some tips for raising children under a Catholic mindset.
What is Catholic Parenting?
Is parenting as Catholics different than how those of other faiths may raise their children? To put it simply, yes. To understand how Catholic families raise children, refer to Archbishop Chaput’s Theology of the Body. This text reminds us that, as with most things in life, actions speak louder than words—it’s our interactions with our children that teach them how to think about their relationships, life, faith, priorities, and morality. As Catholics, we do not approach these subjects with a step-by-step guide, but with a Catholic vision. Let’s take a look at what that means.
A Catholic Family Embraces Embodied Self-Giving
Through our senses, we’re able to express love from one person to another. This can be through reminding our children we love them, acts of service, spending quality time with them, or showing affection. Better yet, all of the above! These actions allow children to feel God’s love in ways that are tangible. Parenting with a Catholic vision embraces these principles by choosing methods that are the most bodily-based expressions of love.
A Catholic Family is Intimate
The Theology of the Body says that families are to be “Schools of Love.” Love can be measured by intimacy—and a little bit of love is not enough to build a strong, intimate familial bond with your children. This means that Catholics will sometimes need to organize their priorities so that the family is spending enough quality time together. While it may be tempting to keep your children in as many activities as possible, make sure they’re not so plentiful that they’re lowering the amount of quality time you can spend with them.
When parenting with a Catholic mindset, the question is not “What works for me?” but “What mindset does God want me to have about our family?” This question will help lead you down the path of raising children who are emotionally-healthy, morally-strong, and who believe in following in God’s way.
As a faith-filled community, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We are cultivating responsible, respectful, trustworthy individuals who are confident in their knowledge and compassionate in His service. If you’re interested in enrolling your child in an Orlando Catholic school and would like to see more about how St. Charles embraces a Catholic mindset in education, you can learn more on our about us page.