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Growing Up

posted Oct 8, 2016, 8:38 AM by Church of the Risen Christ
The Lord’s favour fell upon my wife and me when we became parents of two wonderful girls. I used to remember when I opened the outer gates of my house after a hard day’s work, and as mom announced to our daughters one, six years old and the other four years old, that dad has come, they would then peep from the doorway at me and then run to the sofa in the living room to sit down and laugh as I enter the house.

Parenthood is a gift from God. No amount of money can buy and no amount of human wisdom can create. It is important therefore to value and treasure it like all the other talents and skills that we have learnt in our lives. Though we have put considerable efforts to learn our skills, yet sometimes we forget that our intelligence, skills and talents are God-given and we must be grateful to Yahweh for his blessings.

Then, comes the part known commonly as “bringing up the children”; How much love to give? Spare the rod? Be strict? etc. My wife and I came up with some basic rules such as no favouritism, different approaches for each child, recognizing their different cognitive abilities, etc. However, we made it a practice that they share the same room and bed. Thus, they also share their time with one another.

We made it a point to know who their friends are and invited their friends to our home. The Convent girls are a close knit community. Till today, they share their time and activities together.

Understanding their study methods and their pace of absorption of knowledge is vital to reducing the anxiety and tension that comes with schooling. Talking to them about their school days on a regular basis helps us to appreciate their school life. We used to go for the CHIJ carnivals and feast days and relatively immerse ourselves in some of the school celebrations. During these moments, we manage to meet their teachers and learn more about our children.

My two daughters do not miss their catechism classes and Sunday masses. We remind them that they are not just our children but also precious children of our Father God. We hope their faith is built on rock, as our Lord wants, and not on sand. We trust that their unshakeable faith will guide them and bring them closer to Jesus in their daily activities.

As they now outgrow their teenage years, we as parents, pray for their well-being. At this point of time, the choices they make will significantly affect them. The main one is the choice of their career; perhaps not just a how to earn a living but more generally how to contribute to society and the common good. I always remind them of what St James said in James 2: 17 – “So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all – it is dead and useless”. We also encourage them to join the Ministries in our parish and serve our Lord.

So how they spend their time, juggling with their careers, marriage, filial duties, etc does matter. Parents are the first role models for them. They look up to us and observe us from a very young age.

~ Gabriel Sebastian, Media Team