Mk 12:1-5 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed.4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
We have all look exactly like this poor mom in this picture. We have children, family members, that just are spending day and night at each others throats. We want our homes to be the vineyard we build strong, build a wall around to keep the negative influences of society from coming into our home, but still negativity comes into our home. We are the watchtower that stand over the vineyard. We stand guard to watch out for those influences that we do not want to come into our home. Still with all we have done things will still happen to our family.
It is negativity that is the tenant that kills the servant, (our children), sent out in to the world to collect the harvest, (their calling). We are called to help our children overcome negativity:
1. Distinguishing between negative and accurate thoughts. Helping our child to see what is fact and what is opinion. help the child see what is positive in the situation. Saint Ignatius told his students that in everything we experience there is God and if that is true than even in our most difficult times we can find God’s peace.
2. Becoming an optimistic thinker. Practice what we hope our children will become. We have times when the ice cream falls off our cone, but if we see the humour in it that is far more positive than saying: “This always happens to me!” Does it really? No, and to say it does is the negative reaction.
3. Building distance from negative thoughts. Helping our children see what is real and what is negative takes helping them learn to step back and really see what is going on. We should allow our children to feel what they are feeling but we don’t want them to dwell in the negative so relabeling helps a great deal. You might say: “Remember when you said you were ‘stupid’ because you drew on the table by accident? You don’t feel that way now, right? But what would you call that voice in your head that made you feel that way then?” The word stupid means that our child is thinking they are unable to do things right, that is the devil speaking, rewriting the positive of God into the negative that will keep our children from fulfilling their calling! Having our child “name” that voice in their heads gives them control over their thoughts, they can create the positive that God calls them to have. They can say get behind me Satan!
What we are helping our children do is write the positive script of their lives, the true Scripture of how God loves them and finds GOODNESS in them, that they have been made good, that goodness is always something they can always choose.