by Prof. John Mathew Koodarthil, Thiruvalla
Parenting is the fulfillment of a divine mission. Good parenting is both a challenge and an art. But it is a matter of grave concern as to how many men and women can discharge their parental duties faithfully. Living in a complex society with its own socio-economic permutations, child rearing is an onerous task that is to be executed most prayerfully and efficiently. Grooming a child is like a ship building. Laying the keel for the ship is a momentous occasion, but no less is the occasion when the ship is successfully set in the waters. But the biggest moment of fulfillment comes when the ship is seen braving uneasy waters.
Parenting is hard enough. There are brilliant examples of how proper parenting has influenced their children to come up successful in life. To cite a few popular examples: Jimmy Connors, the master prodigy, was so much influenced by his mother. It all started right on the day she conceived the child when she cleared the backyard of her house for a tennis court for her son. Again, Steffi Graff's father turned a shy and timid girl into a world class tennis player. Coming closer to home, the famed film star Mammootty on receiving D. Lit. from Kerala University on January 26, 2010, surrendered it to the memory of his father who was his chief guide and inspiration for him.
Good parenting means giving a child two things: Roots and Wings. 'Roots' is the security and guidance to help him feel safe. 'Wings' is the opportunity and freedom to make him the best person.
On an auspicious day like this, let us let us recall the words of John Chrysostom given to parents: "Your children will be sufficiently wealthy if they receive from you a good upbringing that is able to order their moral life and behavior. Thus, strive not to make them rich, but rather to make them pious masters of their passions and rich in virtues. Teach them not to think illusory needs. Attentively watch their deeds, their acquaintances and their attachments and don't expect any mercy from God if you don't fulfill your duty."
With good parenting, parents can become angels at home. Surely, it is a tall order. But we can do this and God will empower us.
a Holy Institution
When a family lives together harmoniously, it creates a heavenly atmosphere in the home. Unfortunately, sometimes these are not happy families, which results in a disaster in the home and ultimately creates hell on earth. Through their attitudes and actions, each member of the family possesses the power to create an atmosphere for an ideal family (heaven) or they are capable of making it a miserable life on earth.
Fathers: Key to Their Children's Faith
A rather obscure but large and important study conducted by the Swiss government in 1994 and published in 2000 revealed some astonishing facts with regard to the generational transmission of faith and religious values.
Mother Angelica stresses the importance of our family relationship and the effect it has on our lives.
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