Hello friends, I am by no means a father but I was wondering if any of you guys could give me tips on how to raise my future children in the Catholic faith, like maybe a few tips or maybe some resources like videos or books etc. or any opinions… I just really want to know the stuff before I have kids. Thanks in advanced!
That is very smart of you and also a good thing. I’m a Mom not a Father but I would definitely say the best way to raise them in the Catholic Faith is by example: let them see you PRAYING with your wife at meals, at night before bed, any time. Also bring them to Mass with you and when they are old enough and you can get permission for someone to open the Church for you or go early before Mass and explain the parts of the Church to them and what they mean. When even older and they can understand then explain the parts of the Mass to them and what they mean. There are books out there for little ones on these subjects. Get easy to understand videos and books on the Rosary, etc. Mostly live the Catholic life and share with them WHY you do so and what it all means.
Also by serving in the Church: lector, Sacristan, pass the collection, Adult altar server—get involved in Church activities.
I’m not a guy, but these are the things I have been told:
Preparing to be a father?
- Give your prayer life a priority. Learn to let go of your own will and submit to the will of God. Parenthood will be giving you plenty of opportunities to practice that one!
- Practice differentiating between a want and a need. Be able to balance your needs with the needs of those who need your service. You’re going to have to give up your needs for the sake of your family’s needs on a regular basis, but eventually you have to be responsible to keeping yourself capable to serve. For instance: you can’t put off your prayer life in order to be more of service. That’s a losing strategy.
- Practice patience: not just giving others the time to do things more slowly than you could have done them yourself, but also seeing other people as God sees them, which is saints who are still in formation, as we all are.
- If you have bad habits that a father should not have, work on eliminating them now. It is hard to learn to say, “That man was NOT safe!” when you are cut off in traffic. If that is not the kind of thing you say when you are frustrated, it is time to gain control of your tongue now, before you have a youngster who will be soaking up every word you say, particularly the loud ones.
- Find ways to show affection for your wife that will still work when at least one of you is utterly exhausted.
- The more things that only one of you–you or your wife–know how to do that you can both learn how to do at some level of competence, the better. You never know, for instance, when you’re going to be putting in so many hours at work that she’ll need to pick up some things you used to do so she can be at home with the children full-time. You never know when she’s going to be on bed rest with a difficult pregnancy and you’re going to need to be able to do everything. The list goes on and on, but a parent has to be ready to do whatever the couple sees needs to be done but only one of them is available to do, as much as possible. Ask someone who had their third (or fourth or sixth) baby around Christmas time about that one, LOL!!
- If you are married, get a will done with your wife and get financial things in order for a family. It is easier to change it later than to muddle through without these things done at all.
- Choose a durable home. Hold on tight. Don’t forget to enjoy them; they’re on their own before you know it.
Oh, and notice you’re getting advice from women already!!
If you haven’t married yet, find a wife who wants you to be the kind of father you want to be. I would go so far as to put this on the non-negotiable list. You really need to see eye-to-eye on what that means and you both need to believe that even though you won’t ever agree on everything, parents have to have each other’s backs.
Everything Petra said.
If your Catholic Faith is important you WILL make sure that is stressed in your home: what kind of shows you allow to be watched in your home, what kind of music you allow to be listened to in your home, what kind of social media is allowed, what print materials are allowed in your home.
These are all excellent answers. I can’t stress enough - what happens in the home must mirror what happens at church. Kids are always watching and the notice the smallest discrepancy. Pray together as a family and as a father, take that leadership. This is the sign of a true man after God’s heart. Make sure you are praying for your future wife and future children. Blessings on your future.
My niece - had five years of Catholic schooling -
After one year of public schooling - ( 7th grade )
She doesn’t pray anymore - or go to church -
I try to encourage her - but the stubborn thing, is manifesting.
Parents - are to blame.
All you can really do is plant the seeds -
I think the most important thing is to let the kids see you and your wife practicing your faith every day. Going to Mass every Sunday is important, but they should be seeing it every other day of the week too. If they see you praying every day, mentioning God or Jesus as part of your thought process for doing things, referencing church teachings like the Commandments and the Beatitudes, giving to the poor, participating in a parish ministry, going to a Bible study, and generally making Christ an important part of your daily life, that will make a big impression. If you lovingly encourage your kids to pray, give to the poor etc then that will reinforce their behavior.
Young kids usually want to imitate their parents, and they also want to do things that make their parents happy or that their parents get excited over.
When kids reach adolescence, that’s when you might start getting some pushback as kids suddenly want to separate themselves from the parents. But if you’ve done a good job prior to that, the seed will be planted. They’ll associate Catholic practice with nice family times.
Good questions. We are not really train to be dads. We have the example from our parents but times keep changing. First, love the child’s mother. Give her all the support you can and work so that the two of you are consistent in your parenting. Second, children learn far my from your example than what you say. Third, make being their dad a priority.
Every child is different and you need to adapt to what works best with that child. Finally, nurture their spirit and shape, with appropriate discipline, their will. I have three PhD’s in child raising one for each of my children. It is hard work, but the payoff is when you see them living their faith and raising your grandchildren. Teaching them things you said to them that you didn’t think they heard from you!
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