The focus of this article is a practical consideration: how to help parents in the task of “discipling” their own children. The topic is a rather vast one, so I’m going to break it down into two parts. The first part, the mindset catechists should have toward parents, is the focus of this article. Part 2, practical tools to empower parents for discipleship, will follow in the April issue. We all have heard the Church’s teaching on this: parents are the “primary educators” of their children.[i] But do we really believe this to be true, and indeed act as if we believe it? I have talked with many Church employees and volunteers who treat this statement like some empty platitude saying, “It’s a nice theory, but in reality WE are better at teaching young people the faith. We have degrees in Theology after all!” In the paragraphs that follow, I hope to shed some light in this area, and offer some practical ways we can empower parents to take up their call to educate, even “disciple” their own children. But fair warning: I may strike some deep-rooted cords and maybe even unnerve you a bit. This is an area that desperately needs attention in the Church today and needs serious renewal if we hope to be effective in the years ahead.
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