Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 29 November |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

What does it mean for parents to be the primary educators of their children?

Public Domain

<span style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">What do parents&#039; duties as the &quot;primary educators&quot; of their children entail?</span>

Caitlin Bootsma - published on 04/11/13

Parents are their children's first instructors in the faith

Families are the first society that children become a part of, long before they integrate into any school, civic community or government. It is the natural community that God gave us so that children could be educated, first and foremost, by their parents. By taking their responsibilities as educators seriously, parents not only contribute to the welfare of their children, but also to the common good of society at large (Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, 238).

The Church teaches that family is much more than just a unit in the culture or the economy; it is “a community of love and solidarity, which is uniquely suited to teach and transmit cultural, ethical, social, spiritual and religious values” (Charter of the Rights of Family). Recognizing that each person is a gift from God, parents should love and respect their children and teach their children to love in return.

As primary educators, parents are also children’s first instructors in the faith. By word, example and common prayer, parents can show children the love of Christ and teach them about the deposit of faith. The Charter of the Rights of Family also points out that parents have the responsibility to ensure that their children are not taught subjects in school that are contrary to Catholic teaching. This is particularly applicable in the area of sex education.

Not only in the faith, but also in the areas of learning social virtue, freedom and responsibility, parents are to be models and educators. Catholic social teaching says that the role of parental love is to “[place] itself at the service of children to draw forth from them (‘e-ducere’) the best that is in them” (Compendium, 239).          Parents should be concerned with supporting their children in many different areas – academic, social, catechetical, personal – always orienting them towards seeking truth.

While parents may choose various modes of education for their children (Catholic education, public school or homeschooling), it remains the parents’ duty above anyone else’s to teach their children. This necessarily means remaining informed and involved in the education children are receiving and supplementing or moderating when the need arises.

The Catechism reminds us of this role by saying that parents “bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues” (Catechism, 2223).

Tags:
EducationFamily
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
FIRST CENTURY HOUSE AT THE SISTERS OF NAZARETH SITE
John Burger
British archaeologist confident he has found ...
PRAY
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things we can be grateful for this Thanksg...
EARTHQUAKE
Bret Thoman, OFS
Two earthquakes couldn't stop these Italian n...
CATHEDRAL OF THE SACRED HEART
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
6 Questions to determine if your heart is har...
VATICAN POPE GOOD FRIDAY COLOSSEUM
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Learn to pray with the early Church and to di...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.