Raising children is not simply a matter of developing their knowledge and skills. It is more important that the parents help their children grow as persons with the gifts given to each one of them by God. Imposing things by force is not going to help the children; rather the parents need to become real friends of their children. In bringing up the children, the parents need to commit themselves to help them grow in true freedom and responsibility according to their age.
Integral personal growth of children requires, besides the development of their intellect and will, an affective equilibrium. Whether during childhood or adolescent period or teenage period, it is vital that the parents create trust and maintain friendship with their children. Hence, imposing things by force in an authoritarian manner is not the right way; instead, as friends the parents must be willing to share their anxieties with their children and also be willing to listen to the problems of their children and help them to find solution.
Trust fosters friendship and friendship, in turn, creates a warm and trusting environment for better communication and interaction between the parents and children and subsequently to develop love, respect for the parents. All these underscores the importance of self-sacrificing love on the part of the parents. In fulfilling the task of raising the children in maturity and responsibility, the parents have to necessarily foster an environment of friendship with God. The children, who see their parents placing God first and foremost in their own life, assimilate the same practice of piety and try to see God as their Father and Mother and find a meaning for their life.
God bless you
Fr. Arul Joseph V.