Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 28 July |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Stanley Rother
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

How long should parents be responsible for the spiritual formation of their children?

Rosary in hands

Shutterstock

Edifa - published on 11/19/20

Parents are the first educators of their children's faith, but for how long?

Parents play an irreplaceable role in educating their children in faith. Does this responsibility end only when they die, or just until the children are older? Abbot Vincent Baumann, founder of KT Sens in Paris, an association for the religious formation of students and young professionals, shares his thoughts on this question.

How long are we responsible for our child’s spiritual formation?

Since the aim of education is to foster true autonomy in the child, parental intervention must progressively diminish as the child grows older. This does not mean parental responsibility ceases, but rather that it evolves. Until their deaths, the parents should strive to remain a model for their child while gradually receding, to the point where they become exclusively available for advice when requested.

Can we still intervene in their spiritual life after they become adults?

Young people who mature before the age of 18 are increasingly rare. Ultimately, the young adult will use the values they have inherited from their parents in any way they see fit. This is the consequence of their freedom.

What should we do if they stray from the faith?

It would be good for parents to adopt the position of the father in the parable of the prodigal son, by remaining ready to receive their child unconditionally. It is not a matter of never correcting the child, which the Gospel also recommends, but of remembering that this is only one of the ways we show mercy. Parents should not be afraid to let their children distance themselves from their perspective once their work as educators is over. Although their responsibility towards them remains, they are now only co-educators of these offspring, entrusted to them by a Father who never ceases to watch over them and who holds everything in his divine hand.

Interviewed by Elisabeth Caillemer


FIRST COMMUNION

Read more:
What you should teach your children about the Eucharist

Tags:
EducationParenting
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 seven languages: English, French, 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
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
ORGAN
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
3
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
4
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
5
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
6
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
7
BABCIA Z WNUKAMI
Cerith Gardiner
5 Ways grandparents impact our lives for the better
See More