Raising Little Catholics

It would be much easier if kids came with an instruction manual.  It would be nice if I had a question or a problem, that there was a 1-800 number to call and the expert on the other end of the phone would help me fix my kid right over the phone, similar to tech support on a computer.  But, no.  God sends us these beautiful gifts and then…nothing but a dial tone.  Or is it?
I don’t want too much for my girls.  I want them to be confident, independent, well-mannered, and nice to everyone and above all: Catholics—for life.  It is tough.  Everything I do, they do.  They are like little recorders.  They repeat what I say and do what I do.  It keeps me on my toes.  From what I say, to where I go, to what I watch on TV or what I listen to on the radio, they are watching and listening. 
I like today’s music, but when you hear a three year singing the lyrics to a song on the radio, “I cross my heart and hope to die.  But I’ll only stay with you one more night.” OH WOW!  Is that what they said?! And then you think, “Hmmmmm, maybe I shouldn’t be listening to that.”  These are the times I think God teaches me more through them then I can teach them about God.
How do we raise Catholics for life?  I don’t know. I try to be an example and teach them how to act and how to behave, but end up saying, “No, don’t do that.” And, “No, don’t say that.” And, “NO, NO, NO.” I feel like I am too negative.  And then feel guilty.  Is this going to drive them away?  Church is something that I look forward to every week, but some Sunday mornings trying to get all of us out the door…heck, I am ready to lose MY religion.  Is it worth it? Will this change their mind about being Catholic?  I do love that my children see Good Shepherd as another home.  I say that I am headed to the church for a meeting or whatever and they say, “Can I go with you?”  I guess that is a start.  What about the people that are in their lives: friends, teachers, babysitters, relatives.  Will this help or hurt?
Bottom line is I have no control over this.  I have to do the best I can.  I have to pray for guidance and listen to the Holy Spirit.  I have to have FAITH!  I need to have faith.  I cannot worry about it, because worrying is a sin in itself!  I think about my life and how my parents raised me.  I didn’t start out as a Catholic, but got here as fast as I could…that should be a bumper sticker!  Seriously, my parents raised me to be confident, independent, well-mannered, and nice to everyone and to put God as number one.  I have fallen several times, but He has always been right there when I come back.  Shoot, He was there with me when I was falling, I just chose to ignore it.  I am fortunate to be surrounded by a loving husband, family, and friends.  This support system is what God has put in my life to help me raise my little Catholics.  I continue to thank Him for the blessings that He has given me and to honor Him by raising future Catholics to do His work.
Bio:  I am a wife and a mother to three beautiful girls (ages: 6, 5 and 3) and another girl due in May.  I am blessed that I am able to stay at home with them.  We live in Fort Worth but happily travel the distance to Good Shepherd.


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