The best way to make children good is to make them happy ~ Oscar Wilde


  The best way to make children good is to make them happy ~ Oscar Wilde

Help Spread This, an organization dedicated to stopping child abuse, twittered this today.  I understand the sentiment: that if children are happy, supported, they will grow up to be good.

But is that our calling as Moms/Priest/Prophet and Queen?

For many the idea of having happy children are children who have everything they want, not always everything they need.

We fall into the trap of: “If I give them everything they will like me, and if they like me, life is good.”  There are some very interesting thins to consider.  One: there is a touch of fear in this philosophy.  We hope that bribing our children they will follow the rules; but it always back fires.  They are good for as long as being good gets them something, as soon as the shine is off the apple, and you want to be parent the children the cycle starts again, they again need to be bribed.

Is that how we are to be Priest?  Is that the best way to nurture our children.  Nurturing isn’t just to make our children feel good, but to feel great love.  Great Love is that deep understanding that our children are seen as worthy, that they have worth, that they can be what ever God has called them to be.  And that requires that we give our children the disciple they need so that they have a good foundation, the tools to deal with the challenges of life.

Wanting children to always be happy is impossible.  Happiness is such an allusive thing, it comes and goes at a whim.  We have to teach our children, being Prophet, that happiness is something we create, it is not from the outside, that ever allusive thing, but from the inside!  Happiness is a choose.  Happiness is an attitude, we can change how we are feeling by knowing our deepest self is greatly love.  Happiness will not be skipping in a field of daisies but being content with who we are, teaching them to be comfortable in their skin.

The best way to make children happy is to gather all the resources we need to help our children grow to be independent people.  If we are always give into our children we create the opposite of what we want: strong independent people, they become weak, dependent on things that have no foundation, that will come and go.  To have strong children we must say no when we know that what they want will not help them, and yes when yes means this is something that supports you.

Our children need and want rules that create in our children the boundaries of how far they can go without hurting themselves or others, expectations that we know they can do their best, and disciple that will to only do what will move them forward, that will to understand they are not the only creatures in the world, that what they do affects others.


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Is a spiritual director working helping moms find God in the everyday. She has been a spiritual director since 1998: worked as a Director of Religious Education for Holy Cross Parish(2000-2005), was Director of Project Rachel, a healing ministry for Post Abortive women(1999-2000). Patty worked a social worker for Catholic Social Services (1988 - 1995) Then studied for spiritual direction at the Dominican Center of Religious Studies, DeWitt Michigan

She is married 20 years and has four children

She has a BS/BA in social work from Aquinas College, CSD Certified Spiritual Director

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