I grew up Catholic from birth up unti now. I went to an all girl’s private Catholic school from kindergarten up until high school, prayed the rosary with my family at 6 o’clock during some evenings, heard Sunday mass regularly with my whole family, read the Bible, watched SuperBook and The Flying House and I believe in God, Jesus and Mary and what they stood for.
Growing up Catholic was all that I know. Fast forward 39 years later with a bonus 8 year old son living in the United States. Well, it is harder than I thought. Teaching and guiding your son to Catholicism. Sky doesn’t go to Catholic school – but at some point I have contemplated it. When I did, it turns out I have to fulfill 40-80 hours of volunteer work on top of the yearly tuition fee.
And time to me is more precious than money. My work schedule is pretty erratic, I have 6 to 12 hour days depending on the patient caseload. And I have to be honest with you, I would much rather spend my extra time with family and friends.
So, almost every Wednesday for the past 2 years I would try my best to finish or pick Sky up from school or aftercare YMCA and bring him to St. Joseph’s just in time for the 4 o’clock Church school. When I get off earlier, I volunteer in his class, not just to set as an example, but so I can relearn a few things or two.
My husband, like me was also born Catholic – but now he doesn’t follow it and has found his own ways to be spiritual. When you ask him what his religion is, “My religion is Kindness…”
There are times Tony would ask me why I am raising Sky Catholic. And he does not mean it in a bad way when he did ask that question. The question kind of caught me off guard initially, because in my mind…
That was all I ever knew.
Tony may not be religious, but he is indeed spriritual and coupled with my upbringing and belief as a Catholic, I believe that it is our responsibility to foster guidance when he is still young. Growing up as a Catholic, this is the only way I know how to sheperd him.
Why again am I raising Sky as a Catholic?
Because I want to give him HOPE and I just want him to BELIEVE in a higher being much bigger than ourselves out there. It really doesn’t matter if you raise your child Mormon, Lutheran, Baptist, Islam, Buddhist or KINDNESS. In this day and age of internet, social media and easy access of information online, where morality is but a fine line – nothing beats any form of religion, belief or spirituality through talking or celebrating it together with your child.
Here are just some Tips on How to Teach Your Child about Faith, Hope, Morality, Spirituality and Love:
1. Form Spiritual Habits. Giving thanks at the end of the day, sharing what the favorite part of your day was. For us, it’s saying a short prayer at bed time and me singing Sky a song, as well as hearing mass together every Sunday.
2. Teaching by example. Being kind to other people, even some stranger by saying hello or donating to the less fortunate or just by simply being nice to a server at a restaurant makes a big impact to our kids.
3. Have Faith during Difficult times. Sometimes when I know that I am going to have a long day, I would ask Sky to pray for me to get through the day healthy and strong when I drop him off at school. And there are times that we pray together when I am missing my parents and family in The Philippines. So, there are times that Sky would say, “Can you pray for me mom that I have a Good night’s sleep tonight?” And he almost always does.
Perhaps by teaching your child about Faith, Hope, Morality, Kindess and Love, you are also teaching them to be respectful of other’s belief as well.