An Irish lullaby that I loved singing to my children includes lyrics that reflect the underlying aspects of your concern. Cáislean Droma Mhor includes the phrase, “Take heed young eaglet, till thy wings are feathered fit to soar.” As parents, we know that eventually our children will be leaving the nest and soaring into their own futures. An adult child returning to the nest can be challenging for both generations.
One of my best friends decided to work full- time in an audio library for the music industry after our first year of college. I reasoned with her, earnestly explaining that she needed to stay in college to be successful. Fortunately, she ignored my advice, and ended up crafting a career that was highly rewarding on a personal basis as well as being one that provided her with financial security. Although loved ones can provide feedback in the discernment process, we can’t choose the paths for others.
Our children had diverse interests in high school, but the entire family supported each pursuit. For example, we all celebrated when Erin became our high school’s first delegate to have a resolution passed through the General Assembly at Model U.N.! Shannon, a member of the golf team, was cheered on each hole by family members riding in a golf cart. Healthy high school pursuits, whether quiet or bold, should be encouraged.
One challenging aspect of parenting is realizing that children grow up and forge their own paths. It’s easy to forget how sometimes our own parents couldn’t fathom particular life choices that we made! When we look for wisdom in the lives of the saints, often we forget that they were ordinary individuals struggling to determine their own spiritual journeys. St. Jane de Chantal shared her desires for her children with her spiritual director, Francis de Sales. He responded by saying, “As much as possible, we must touch the hearts of others as do the angels, delicately and without coercion.
When I was young, one of my teachers spoke of attending the 1931 White House Conference on Child Health and Protection as a contributor to the Children’s Charter. Her favorite phrase was: “For the child, his play is his work and his work is his play.” President Hoover noted that, “These plans must constantly be translated into action.” The suggestions that children need opportunities to grow spiritually, to have secure homes, to attend wholesome schools and to spend time in play still need to be translated into action.
In his Prairie Home Companion radio broadcast, Garrison Keillor would invite listeners to follow the tale of Lake Wobegon where all women were strong and all men were good looking. Of course, their children were all above average! Your daughter’s B in math would allow her to be one of Lake Wobegon’s above- average children! In general, “A” grades represent exemplary/outstanding progress in a subject area. A student with a B is demonstrating proficient/above-average progress. All of us have gifts and talents in specific areas; we can’t be exemplary in every skill valued in our society.
My daughter really wants to go to summer camp, but she's only 9. Is she old enough? How do I know she'll be safe, and that she won't be homesick?
Our daughter is getting married next year, and we offered to pay for the wedding. Shouldn’t that mean we have some say in the guest list and the plans? I feel as if our daughter is just treating us as a checkbook!
I love the tradition of the Easter Bunny, but don’t want to take away from the real meaning of Easter. How do I incorporate the fun without losing sight of the resurrection?
When I was a child, my grandma taught me how to honor Mary by making flower bouquets to leave on the doorsteps of our neighbors on May Day. Years later I discovered that the tradition originated in pre-Christian Ireland. An ancient Gaelic tradition had been integrated with Christianity by focusing on Mary. Many cultural traditions have been associated with Catholicism.