02 Sep, 2012
This past Sunday our priest spoke about “Choices.” WOW!!!!
I have to say, starting the week off with a GREAT message is a true blessing. This homily really spoke to me because I have tried to be the kind of mom that sets high standards for my children, yet I have given them the freedom to make the “right” choice on their own. I truly believe that if I were a tyrant and ruled with an iron fist, my kids would rebel every chance they get. I think it is imperative that I live my life by the same standards I would expect from my children. Letting our oldest go off to college would be an absolute nightmare if I didn’t know that she was capable of “making good choices.” (That’s a little inside joke for my kids).
As a parent I am very grateful for my good choice makers That being said, I think part of parenting is setting an example for our kids and then giving them the opportunity to make a choice for themselves. (Even if that means biting your tongue from time-to-time!) My children know my opinions on just about everything. I am quite vocal about the topics that I am passionate about! I tell my kids that if I could I would keep them in safe boxes to guard them from all the dangers out there and I would gladly live in the middle of nowhere so they weren’t exposed to all the “yucky” in the world today. Well, clearly that is NOT an option…so instead I have chosen to give my children the tools they need to make educated choices.
There are times when it is difficult because we have “been there & done that” so we want to just say….”because I said so!” Well, that didn’t work when our parents said it now did it?!? Sometimes we have to just hold our breath and pray….
A few years ago, I asked our oldest who she was going to choose to be her Confirmation sponsor and her answer was NOT what I expected to hear! “I don’t think I want to get confirmed.” WHAT?!?! It was like a dagger in my heart! So, my response was, “Well, that is entirely up to you. I know you will do what is right for you.”
Quite possibly the hardest words that I ever had to say. In the end, she DID get confirmed and now as a sophomore in college she has found a group of fellow Catholics and each week they attend mass together. She is passionate about her faith and has been a great example to her younger siblings and to us as well. It is important to me that our family share a common faith, but more important to me is that my children have a faith that is truly their own.
As Father Paul stated this past weekend at Mass, it isn’t always the BIG things that we have to make choices about….think of the little choices.
A common statement the kids hear me say is, “garbage in-garbage out.” I am a little picky about TV. I have rules about how much, when and what we watch! It just seems to me that if we watch shows where the characters are constantly making poor choices, we eventually become desensitized to it and we see it as the “norm” and acceptable. Well, I don’t want my kids to talk like some of the “cartoon” characters do and I definitely don’t want them to behave like TV glamifies! (Yes, I am aware it isn’t a real word!)
When did it become okay to scream at another human being or spew nastiness?!? Some days I look at some of the things we see on TV & I think, “is anyone nice anymore?!” Some of the “adult behavior” people seem to advertise on Facebook surprises me. I guess I am somewhat of a goody two shoes. I watch kids behave just like their parents and I think…well, what did you expect? Being the parent of three teenagers certainly makes me take a good hard look at the choices I make, even the little ones.
“Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past.”
Thank you Father Paul for helping me look at my life and the choices I make. They haven’t always been right…but they have made me who I am. I am sure my children will make choices that I don’t agree with and at times that may even be the right choice! I just hope that I can live my life setting an example for my children and the people I come into contact with. I truly believe that one of the best ways to teach someone something is to SHOW them! So, just like I say to the kids in the morning before school….
Make good choices!