Whether we live in a palace or a cave, Catholic parents have the awesome responsibility of raising their children to not only learn right from wrong, but to recognize that the real purpose of their lives in this world is to work out their salvation for the next world – their eternal lives. This has to be the No. 1 priority in raising Christian children. God provides the blessing of a family structure to accomplish this. The Church teaches us, “Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among children. Parents certainly have a high calling. The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.
The Catechism tells us, “Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment and self-mastery – the preconditions of all true freedom.
As first and foremost educator, parents will ultimately be answering to God with regard to how their children have been educated. Yes, that means parents need to investigate all that is going on in their children’s education, not just at home, but also in their schools, both Catholic and public, and their religious education programs.
To be continued…….