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Helping Your Children Grow in a Sinful World

by Eric Engel

So your kids are getting older and you're worried about how to deal with the world outside your door. When you open it, you're flooded with a multitude of temptations...all inviting your children to join the new order of instant gratification. The seduction is hard enough for adults to deal with, so how can the underdeveloped Christian mind ever hope to resist. Especially when the don't understand the serious harm some of these things can do.

It Starts with Example Needless to say, it all starts with example. Johnny might not buy into Mom and Dad's strict life policies, but he'll at least always remember it. It'll gnaw at the back of his conscience and continue to urge him towards holiness throughout his life.

And it works the other way too. A bad example from parents will always be an excuse for poor behavior from young adults. Think of how many times you've thought to yourself, "My dad used to do it...it can't be that bad."

But it Doesn't End There Parenthood calls for more than example. After all, many selfless parents have raised selfish (spoiled) brats. There has to be more. There has to be some intervention. But how much? Do we keep them in a bubble until they're eighteen? Or do we allow them to experience and learn from the world?

This subject is much too large for one article. But there's an important aspect to parenthood that was probably not passed on from our own parents...because when they were parents, it wasn't as big an issue.

The fact is, we're no longer living in a Christian world...and we have to adjust our approach to life. We can no longer rely on any sort of rating system from the entertainment world. We can't trust that our schools (even the Catholic ones) are going to provide a Christian education.

This means that you'll have to pay more attention and teach your kids what it means to be Christian. You have to make them realize that they are different. They have to feel separated from the rest of the world. At first, this could mean something as simple as teaching them not to pay attention to the Jones's. But eventually, they need to know their unique position. They are children of God...and that carry's responsibility.

Telling them once isn't a cure-all. There has to be a continuing reminder that our duty to God comes first. And of course, it'll only work with prayer and example.

About the author: Written by Eric Engel, chief editor of The Catholic Letter at http://thecatholicletter.com

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