Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”Matthew 19:14
I’m no perfect parent but I’ve been witness to some really bizarre behaviour by Christian parents. I’m sure you all probably have even worse stories to tell but the following is my own experience.
I’ve seen parents get rid of Santa Claus and the giving of gifts. Some parents actually have what is known as “Green Santa” where they go out and plant a tree. God give me patience. Others do not celebrate the giving of gifts at Christmas for commercial reasons. The whole tradition of gifting a child on Christmas day and sharing gifts is to celebrate the gifts the wise men gave to Jesus. Some intellectually minded parents look at it politically.
Then there are parents I’ve come across who don’t celebrate birthdays or Valentines day or Mother or fathers day for pretty much the same reason. What do they think? That they’re somehow offending God by celebrating these days and that the whole universe is going to benefit from them not giving each other birthday gifts? HAHAHAHA.
Moving on we’ve got parents who make their children under the age of reason obey every rubric for Mass and have them kneeling and sitting all rigid like soldiers. Others have no T.V, no video games, no comic books. These parents literally suck the enjoyment of their children’s childhood right out of them. Control freaks the lot of them!!!! On closer inspection and a little testing of the spirits reveals some of these parents are either spiritually sick, mentally unwell, or a dangerous mixture of the two.
Only God knows what they get up to behind close doors. Maybe the poor children wander aimlessly around the house in hairy shirts because they made the mistake of asking Green Santa for a PlayStation 5. Then they wander why their children, when coming of age have either rebelled or remain imbeciles with no life experience.
They cannot engage with the popular culture to evangelize others because they share nothing in common. One can certainly engage with the popular culture without compromising their faith. Many Catholic parents are living like monastics. Spiritually deluded the lot of them.
God give me patience and help me get through this article.
Then there are those parents who overwhelm their children with religious prayer and study. 20 minutes of a Holy rosary every day for young children who can’t handle it? Is it any wonder they find it monotonous. Old Irish traditional families used to do it every day. I know because I used to do it and I really disliked it. The more I was forced to sit and do it the more I disliked it. I was too young for such long marathons of the rosary.
Don’t run your children from the faith. Pray small decades that last 5 minutes and reserve your 20 minute rosary for later. Make reading scriptures a joyous occasion and stop forcing them to sit for long periods at a time to read the Bible. Go and watch that new Avengers movie with them at the cinema. Read some great fictional novels that are not written by Catholics like Tolkien. Go on non religious themed holidays. God is always with you no matter where you go.
It’s usually parents who are recent converts of the intellectual sort that be at all this behaviour of creating bizarre rules and weighing down their children with too much religion. The Church needs religious fruits not nuts. Don’t be treating your children as you treat yourself. “Let the children come to me” doesn’t mean overloading them with too much they can’t handle. Sometimes by doing that you have the adverse effect of not letting the children go to Jesus. Instead you treat children as reckless disobedient little monkeys that need to be “obedient” and follow all the “rules” to the letter. No! You’re choking their little spirits. STOP IT!