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The Solution | Raising Children to Revere the Holy | Healthy Communication |
The Gender-based Communication Bias | The Mistake of “Gender Equity”

 
DHE beginning of the solution to all family problems is to realize that just as plants can’t grow in chalky soil unless you add to the soil whatever is needed to make it healthy, so children—and husbands and wives—can’t grow unless they are given whatever support and encouragement they need to become independent and responsible. No child or spouse can grow in the “chalky soil” of your pre-existing desires and expectations, because what a child or spouse needs for emotional growth might not be what you had expected—or wanted.

It’s a tragedy, but parents who do not raise their children with the blessings of real love impede the child’s reverence for the holy and thereby contribute to the child’s tendency to fall into perversion in seeking acceptance from the world—and then these wounded children have their own children who start the cycle all over again.

So, let’s consider what you can do to raise a child with and blessings and prayer so the child will grow to revere the holy right from birth.

 
Raising Children to Revere the Holy

Teaching a child to revere the holy should begin in the womb, with blessings, and should continue through infancy and childhood with blessings, prayer, and teaching.

 
Blessings

While the child is still in the womb, give it a blessing in the morning and evening and several times a day by making the Sign of the Cross over the womb and saying audibly, “May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you and protect you, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

After the child’s birth, whenever you fetch the child from bed and when you put the child to bed, make the Sign of the Cross on the child’s forehead with your thumb and say audibly, “May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you and protect you, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” As the child gets older, you can teach the child to say his or her own prayers on waking and going to sleep.

Whenever you feed the child, make the Sign of the Cross on the child and say audibly, “Bless us, O Lord, and this food which [name of child] is about to receive, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” As the child gets older, you can teach the child to make the Sign of the Cross himself or herself, and, ultimately, to say along with you the standard Catholic blessing (“Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”).

 
Prayer

While the child is an infant, hold the child in your arms or lap while you audibly pray vocal prayers such as the Rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours. This will teach the child to sit quietly during periods of prayer and worship. As the child gets older, he or she can join you in the prayers. Furthermore, this will teach the child to sit in church quietly and reverently, unlike all the other unruly children in church who have not been taught to sit quietly in prayer at home.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, let your child witness you praying and giving thanks. For example, before leaving home, go before the crucifix and ask for protection, and give a blessing to your home; on arriving home, do the same, giving thanks. Let your child see you constantly engaged in prayerful interaction with God. Whenever possible, pray audibly, rather than silently, so that the child can learn from you how to pray.

 
Teaching

When the child is old enough to understand, every time you bathe the child, teach him or her that the genitals are to be kept private because of their holiness before God, and that they are not to played with like toys.

When the child asks about babies and where they come from, explain that the genitals are used by adults in marriage to make babies. Explain that a girl has a special, holy place inside her for a baby to grow, but that it doesn’t work until adulthood. Tell the child that just before adolescence, when the genitals begin to work, you will explain the details.

 
Healthy Communication

As an aspect of an environment of love and blessings, it’s important for all family members to be aware of what other members are experiencing, and healthy communication within a family becomes an essential element of this awareness.

All too often, communication becomes unhealthy and takes the form of unconscious anger through sarcasm, innuendos and hints, or not saying anything at all—and mutual cooperation, the basis of family health, is defiled.

In contrast, healthy communication is direct, immediate, and clear, and it is a good model for learning healthy assertiveness. It depends on facts, opinions, emotions, and needs, as illustrated below.

  

Facts: “I had a very important appointment this morning, and when I got in the car I found that you had left it with barely enough fuel to get to the fuel station. Stopping for fuel made me late.”

  

  

Opinions: “I believe that none of us should bring the car home at night with an empty fuel tank.”

  

  

Emotions: “The whole experience left me feeling irritated and frustrated.”

  

  

Needs: “I need to be able to leave in the morning without having to deal with unnecessary delays, and I need the car to have a reasonable amount of fuel in it at all times, regardless of who used it last.”

  

 
The Gender-based Communication Bias

In most Western cultures, women tend to depend on emotions as the basis for communication while men tend to depend on thinking and intellect for communication. This gender-based communication bias can cause considerable problems in families and in all relationships in general.

For example, a woman might seek emotional support and a man will offer an intellectual problem-solving response, thus missing the point of the woman’s emotional needs. Or a man might seek concrete information (“just the facts”) and a woman will offer an emotional response, thus frustrating the man in his need to solve a problem.

Therefore, remember that healthy communication generally involves both emotions and facts—and a charitable attitude of mutual cooperation, rather than sarcasm and criticism, can help to overcome any communication misunderstandings that might occur.

 
The Mistake of “Gender Equity”

Quite often men are socialized to ignore healthy communication and to be aggressive and hostile in their communication. Sadly, this is a spiritual failure based in the sins of pride and wrath, and even though it tends to be common in Western societies, it is still opposed to the Christian virtues of charity and mutual cooperation. But when women try to attain “equity” with men through aggressive and hostile social attitudes and behaviors it only makes matters worse, not better, because then all communication degenerates into endless arguments and rebuttals, and the underlying emotions get trampled underfoot on the battleground into a social mire of degenerate rudeness and vulgarity.

 

Who wrote this web page?
 

 


 
Recommended Reading
 
A treasure of a resource for psychological and spiritual healing. Information gathered from my websites (including this webpage) is now available at your fingertips in book form.

 

Falling Families, Fallen Children by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. Do our children see a mother and a father both living in contemplative love for God with a constant awareness of His presence and engaged in an all-out battle with the evil of the world? More often than not our children don’t see living faith. They don’t see protection from evil. They don’t see genuine, fruitful devotion. They don’t see genuine love for God. Instead, they see our external acts of devotion as meaningless because they see all the other things we do that contradict the true faith. Thus we lose credibility—and when parents lose credibility, children become cynical and angry and turn to the social world around them for identity and acceptance. They are children who have more concern for social approval than for loving God. They are fallen children. Let’s bring them back.

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