In my blog “Your Kids’ Friendships: Exercising Your Influence”, I mentioned a system to help parents navigate their kids’ friendships.
I first articulated it when talking with a client whose husband left her and the Catholic faith. She was devoutly Catholic and concerned about her wayward ex-husband’s influence on their toddler son. I told her not to worry and instead focus on two things: parental integrity and faith formation.
Parental integrity is the consistent, day-in-day-out, grunt-inducing work where parents are parents and not Disneyland daddies or best friends. Being a loving, healthy parent with appropriate limits and bonding creates a track record kids will respect when they later are tempted to question authority. Kids deep down don’t just want material things and fun: they want their parent’s time and loving care. Give it to them and you are halfway there.
The second leg is faith foundation. This is not something that you delegate to the Catholic school or PSR class. It must regularly happen at home and begin at the youngest age possible. I am a big fan of K4J (Kids for Jesus) as an age-appropriate, faith formation tool.
Kids in broken homes are more vulnerable so caution about outside influences (peers, technology, culture) should be high and their faith foundation needs to be twice as strong. In K4J, kids can start learning and applying virtues as young as age three. Their purity and simplicity with the right formation gives them incredible power and insight to see right from wrong and make good choices.
With these foundational steps a parent is on the correct road to forming a good “pickerouter” in their kids. A good “pickerouter” will help their kids pick the right friends, the right boyfriend, the right spouse, and the right vocation. In other words a good “pickerouter” does a lot of the dirty work for you and your kid so you don’t have to nag as they advance in age.
Learn the next phase of developing that good “pickerouter” in my next blog.
Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Spend quality time with your child today.
Copyright 2012 Christina M. Weber