Have you ever realized the significance of the shadow you cast as you educate, guide, and set an example for your kids?
In the past, I have written to you about marriage: its beauty, the importance of building a strong foundation, the challenges, and the need to sustain and grow from those challenges. Marriage is one of the most beautiful blessings we can all experience as it gives us the opportunity to build a family and experience the joy of nurturing life through our sons and daughters.
Being a parent is both a gift and a privilege, but it also bears significant responsibilities. When we become parents, through natural birth, adoption or fostering, we take on the responsibility and obligation of forming, teaching, educating, guiding, and supporting our children as they grow and go through their own lives. We need to teach them values that will make them balanced individuals andlow them to face and experience the beauties and challenges of life.
Our kids will learn not only from what we teach them, but from following our lead, learning from our example, attitudes, and actions. We need to be conscious about this, as our example will be a key and significant portion of our children’s growth and education. Our attitudes and ways of living will become the base and norm, as well as the path to follow. Are we aware that the shadow we cast will be a key factor on their upbringing and on how they live their lives? It may sound simple, but our example is probably the most important factor in their education.
If we treat each other with respect and have solid moral values, our children will learn to do the same in their lives and marriages. If we don’t have values and are disrespectful or mistreat each other, they will probably act the same. Therefore, we must be aware and conscious of the examples we set for them!!!!
Educating kids in the Catholic faith also bears a significant responsibility. First, as a Catholic family, we are called to create a Domestic Church in our home. This Domestic Church enables our children to develop solid morals and values which will be influenced by our actions, intimate moments, and memories. The respect between each other is essential as we build this Domestic Church, where every family is a community of faith, hope, and charity.
As parents, we are called to be the first announcers and educators of faith to our kids. We do this by example and we bear the responsibility of guiding them and bringing them closer to their faith. Educating them by this faith does not mean taking them only to religious education; it means helping them to experience the sacraments and being committed to bringing them closer to God and the Church. Many actions are needed for this education; among them are bringing them to mass and teaching them how to pray and care for each other and the poor. It is a daily and continuous commitment. By our example, we are educating our children in the faith. We have to reflect: are we good role models by following the principles of the Church?
Through key moments in our children’s lives and through the sacraments, we as parents, must make commitments to our children’s Catholic education. For example:
- Through Baptism, we present our children to God and commit to educating them in the Catholic faith and being good examples for them.
- Through their First Communion, we commit to bringing them the experience of the Body of Christ and drawing them closer to the Faith.
- Finally, through the preparation for their Confirmation, we lead them to their own commitment to the Church and the Faith.
Over the past few weeks, my wife, Martha, and I had the opportunity to travel with our son, Berni, who is currently 21 years old. He has been curious about our life, our choices, our commitments, and our decisions. Through these different conversations, it became clear to me that our children will always seek our views and want to learn about our experiences. I was able to realize once again the importance of our actions, the influence our actions can have, and the complex role we play as parents. Through the shadow we cast, every action will be followed and every attitude may be copied.
Having kids is a privilege, but also a responsibility!!! Let us be conscious of the shadow we cast!!!
Genaro Poulat was born into a Catholic family in Mexico City where he lived for the early part of his life. He lives now in Key Biscayne, Florida with his wife Martha, to whom he has been married for 26 years. He has been blessed and fortunate to have 4 kids: Genaro, Daniela, Bernardo and Andres. Over the past 26 years he has lived in Edinburgh, Mexico, New York, Panama and Florida.
Genaro is an International Banker and he has worked in the sector for 28 years. Over the past five years, together with his wife Martha, he has been dedicated to supporting married couples and helping them to get closer to God. Genaro is an active volunteer in his Church and supports many ministries.