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Author Topic: Encouragement to Parents During Lent  (Read 2062 times) Average Rating: 0
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livefreeordie
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« on: March 12, 2008, 12:36:15 AM »

This post really is bragging, forgive me, but I hope it will be encouraging to parents. We have 5 kids, 9 months through 8 years, and although it can be a chore to get everyone to services, we've done it, or should I say my dear wife has done it, with fairly fanatic consistency since my oldest was a baby.  Even when I was working, my wife would bring the kids to as many services as possible.  Today I saw a sweet glimpse of the fruit.  My oldest, Isaac, was recently tonsured an acolyte and reader.  He loves it.  We had a busy day, but he begged us to go to the Canon tonight so he could serve.  We packed everybody up, and went.  Early in the 2 and a half hour service, my wife and I were taking care of our kids out of the church except for our hellion 2 year old Jude and Isaac.  As we took care of the other three my wife exclaimed, "where's Jude?"  I ran back into to Church to behold a slice of heaven.  Little Jude was standing in front of the Iconstasis next to our priest and Isaac, like he was a little server, as quiet as could be.  I was a proud papa.

The moral of the story, bring your kids to the services, more, not less.  Force yourself to struggle through the effort of sacrificing enough of yourself to center your life around the services of the Church.  You and your children will be blessed. They will complain, but as you grow together they won't be able to imagine themselves anywhere else.

May God bless you and your families throughout lent as we journey toward a glorious Pascha.
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Fr. George
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 08:38:52 AM »

What a great story.

The moral of the story, bring your kids to the services, more, not less.  Force yourself to struggle through the effort of sacrificing enough of yourself to center your life around the services of the Church.  You and your children will be blessed. They will complain, but as you grow together they won't be able to imagine themselves anywhere else. 

This I've observed at seminary, when (while I was there) there were a few families (student and professor alike) who would routinely bring their kids to church for services (2x per day) - and those kids were not just tolerant, but willing participants in worship.
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Thomas
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 10:48:52 AM »

As a father of 5 and grandfather of 8, I endorse what you have said.  They may not always do as you wished after they are grown, but showing them the way by example is an important step to keeping them close to you and to God.  Some of mine who left in their early adult hood are now returning because they realized that something we had shown them as children was now missing in their life---as they grow and unserstand what it is they are coming back to Church.

Keep up the good work.
Thomas
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livefreeordie
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 11:04:55 AM »

Thanks for the encouragement Thomas, it ain't easy! And may God Bless your family!

As a father of 5 and grandfather of 8, I endorse what you have said.  They may not always do as you wished after they are grown, but showing them the way by example is an important step to keeping them close to you and to God.  Some of mine who left in their early adult hood are now returning because they realized that something we had shown them as children was now missing in their life---as they grow and unserstand what it is they are coming back to Church.

Keep up the good work.
Thomas
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stewie
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 12:11:03 PM »

agreed with everything here... as a child I was "forced" to attend church regularly by my parents... even served for a while as an altar boy... but it never really sunk in... my late teens and early 20's were spent in selfish pursuits far away from the Church and the word of God.

now, 20 years later, I have a child of my own (we just took her for her 40 day churching a few weeks ago).  In my maturity I see the error of my ways and have spent the past few years coming back home, so to speak, and taking my faith much more seriously. 

I think my parents for "dragging" me to Church all those sundays when I wanted to stay home and watch football, or sleep in.  I didn't realize it at the time, but they planted seeds that are only now starting to sprout.  I hope to set a similar example for my daughter and future children, and I pray that they will be much smarter than I was!
   
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livefreeordie
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 12:39:55 PM »

In our experience, if you really commit to feeding your children the right things, they prosper.  We don't let our kids watch any television except for Sunday afternoons when they can watch a movie.  As a result, our kids play dolls, make up plays, run around outside, etc. all day with few complaints.  Our 8 year old Isaac reads all day and just completed the complete original Sherlock Holmes stories.  It's worth the effort, but does require doing things a little out of step with the rest of the word.

agreed with everything here... as a child I was "forced" to attend church regularly by my parents... even served for a while as an altar boy... but it never really sunk in... my late teens and early 20's were spent in selfish pursuits far away from the Church and the word of God.

now, 20 years later, I have a child of my own (we just took her for her 40 day churching a few weeks ago).  In my maturity I see the error of my ways and have spent the past few years coming back home, so to speak, and taking my faith much more seriously. 

I think my parents for "dragging" me to Church all those sundays when I wanted to stay home and watch football, or sleep in.  I didn't realize it at the time, but they planted seeds that are only now starting to sprout.  I hope to set a similar example for my daughter and future children, and I pray that they will be much smarter than I was!
   
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 01:04:59 PM by livefreeordie » Logged
John of the North
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 01:02:55 PM »

agreed with everything here... as a child I was "forced" to attend church regularly by my parents... even served for a while as an altar boy... but it never really sunk in... my late teens and early 20's were spent in selfish pursuits far away from the Church and the word of God.

now, 20 years later, I have a child of my own (we just took her for her 40 day churching a few weeks ago).  In my maturity I see the error of my ways and have spent the past few years coming back home, so to speak, and taking my faith much more seriously. 

I think my parents for "dragging" me to Church all those sundays when I wanted to stay home and watch football, or sleep in.  I didn't realize it at the time, but they planted seeds that are only now starting to sprout.  I hope to set a similar example for my daughter and future children, and I pray that they will be much smarter than I was!
   

Welcome to OC.net!
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John of the North
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 01:16:06 PM »

I think it would be really hard to be a parent....you want them to go to church but once they reach that age where its technically their decision, you dont want to push them away by forcing...
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Fr. George
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 01:20:43 PM »

agreed with everything here... as a child I was "forced" to attend church regularly by my parents... even served for a while as an altar boy... but it never really sunk in... my late teens and early 20's were spent in selfish pursuits far away from the Church and the word of God.

now, 20 years later, I have a child of my own (we just took her for her 40 day churching a few weeks ago).  In my maturity I see the error of my ways and have spent the past few years coming back home, so to speak, and taking my faith much more seriously. 

I think my parents for "dragging" me to Church all those sundays when I wanted to stay home and watch football, or sleep in.  I didn't realize it at the time, but they planted seeds that are only now starting to sprout.  I hope to set a similar example for my daughter and future children, and I pray that they will be much smarter than I was!

Thanks for sharing your story.  Oh, by the way - welcome!
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 02:53:51 PM »

Great stories, all. My four-month-old is still taking everything in. Last night at the Canon she was watching everyone make prostrations and seemed really interested in what was going on. It will be fun to hear her joining in the songs. She's already trying.
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calligraphqueen
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 06:05:06 PM »

even more important when u only get 1 service day (sundays) with your retiree priest from out of state... or factor in your daughter that is having seizures and you can't bring her-then find out how talented your husband is when he takes everyone else.  Wink

You guys that have services of whatever kind all week, be thankful!
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kmm
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2008, 07:35:06 PM »

I would love to hear how moms with 5 young kids manage to go to liturgy on their own - I need tips. I only have two,  but I think I'd find it impossible. Sometimes I miss church because of this (if my husband is away or working). My almost 3 year is a bit of a monkey, and while I love how he enjoys receiving communion (and generally does it properly), he can get ancy after about a half hour or so of liturgy and needs to be run around outside at regular intervals. But I also need to be able to nurse the baby (and dragging my older child off to the community room and keeping him within eyeball distance while I nurse the other is VERY challenging). Part of the problem I suppose is that most of the time I sing in the choir and so my husband is the one who deals with the eldest while I bring the baby to the choir loft. I haven't got my own technque sorted out yet.

At times when my husband has been temporarily absent, and the eldest decides to get too wiggly and behave innapropriately, I've had to drag him by an arm out (when reasoning and threats no longer worked) because I'm carrying the baby in a front pack and therefore cannot pick the misbehaving eldest up. That got me some disapproving stares from some Babas who then proceeded to rant about it to my husband in Russian (which I don't, for the most part, speak) when he showed up. FRankly I think they should have helped then if they disapproved while I tried to juggle two large boys (especially my eldest - he's a big lug - almost 40 pounds and not yet 3!), but maybe I'm wrong there.

Our church by the way does not have a nursery or Sunday school (at present, anyway). Toys don't work much either because he has no interest in them when he's out and about unless they are ones he's never seen before.

So what do you supermoms and superdads (and I mean that most sincerely) do???  Smiley

Thanks!
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livefreeordie
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2008, 07:40:16 PM »

I probably don't have a clue, but I think with my wife it begins with the fact that we homeschool our kids.  So she is with them all day, so they all have to learn to help each other get things done, and while a challenge I can't really appreciate, the kids rise to the occassion.  So when she has to bring them to church on her own it's really just an extension of what's been going on at home.  Which isn't saying its easy or that she has some secret technique.  She struggles mightily.  I thank God for her.

I would love to hear how moms with 5 young kids manage to go to liturgy on their own - I need tips. I only have two,  but I think I'd find it impossible. Sometimes I miss church because of this (if my husband is away or working). My almost 3 year is a bit of a monkey, and while I love how he enjoys receiving communion (and generally does it properly), he can get ancy after about a half hour or so of liturgy and needs to be run around outside at regular intervals. But I also need to be able to nurse the baby (and dragging my older child off to the community room and keeping him within eyeball distance while I nurse the other is VERY challenging). Part of the problem I suppose is that most of the time I sing in the choir and so my husband is the one who deals with the eldest while I bring the baby to the choir loft. I haven't got my own technque sorted out yet.

At times when my husband has been temporarily absent, and the eldest decides to get too wiggly and behave innapropriately, I've had to drag him by an arm out (when reasoning and threats no longer worked) because I'm carrying the baby in a front pack and therefore cannot pick the misbehaving eldest up. That got me some disapproving stares from some Babas who then proceeded to rant about it to my husband in Russian (which I don't, for the most part, speak) when he showed up. FRankly I think they should have helped then if they disapproved while I tried to juggle two large boys (especially my eldest - he's a big lug - almost 40 pounds and not yet 3!), but maybe I'm wrong there.

Our church by the way does not have a nursery or Sunday school (at present, anyway). Toys don't work much either because he has no interest in them when he's out and about unless they are ones he's never seen before.

So what do you supermoms (and I mean that most sincerely) do???  Smiley

Thanks!
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calligraphqueen
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2008, 08:11:09 PM »

Normally, and I say that lightly and mean when Heather is NOT seizing, we have a bit of a plan.
We get up at an unGodly hour, and I stress myself to death to get everyone ready all by myself. Every minute detail, every hairbow that snaps, every shoe that is lost-it's always something no matter how well you plan the night before.  Then Dh goes and takes the two older boys (11,9) that serve, as well as my youngest son. That one at 7 sits with his Nouna who babbles in Greek when he gets out of line. Thankfully that rarely happens anymore, we have been doing this over 4 years now.
I don't even have to look back to give the evil mommy's look anymore. Wink
Dh has Heather, who cannot comprehend to be quiet and pay attention and sometimes get's upset. He will take her out and downstairs where we have a live feed, and rock her until it's time for communion in that case.
I have the 2yo and the 4yo in the bench with me, and usually sit down due to both my spine and holding a heavy nearly 3yo for two hours is beyond my physical ability. She wiggles and battles me at times, or messes with my 4yo, but that's fixed pretty quickly.
Dh comes back up in time for Communion, and I get to lift to the younger girls while he contends with Heather's special needs. (like she doesn't understand she can't reach for the chalice and drink an extended draught) She is 5 1/2, 40lbs and in Stage 3 Rett-quite a handful on her own.
If I didn't have dh for her I would hang up my hat and resign.  Huh  Her godmother chants and everyone is too elderly to contend with her. We have no choir for me to be part of, but they did just ask me to teach sunday school!!!
And that is a sunday morning for us. One set of services just about does me in, but truthfully I would go more if we had it.
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kmm
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2008, 08:21:36 PM »

wow Calligraphqueen - that's quite a description. I imagine it must take the whole week to recover. Definitely shows your devotion, to both God and your kids!

I hope your daughter is doing better lately.

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