by Gabe Triplett
Most parents want their children to do good in school, be involved in sports or music or dance, go on to college, get a good job, get married etc. etc. etc. These wants for our children are natural and come from a place of love, of wanting our children to be happy and successful. But do we as parents push too hard? What is it that will make our children truly happy? What is it to be truly successful?
In my time spent with youth the one thing that always comes up is how completely stressed out they are by the expectations put on them. On top of school they have hours of homework and hours of practice. Everything they do has a background noise telling them that if they don’t do “good” and do “more” then they are doomed to overall failure. “If I don’t get an A on my 10th grade math midterm I will never get into a good college.” If I don’t make it onto the varsity team this year the scouts will never look at me and my parents will be very disappointed.”
In 2008 the National Library of Medicine reported that:
Experts say these statistics have only risen since then. Numbers like these are staggering and frightening. So how do we change things?
In last week’s gospel we saw Lazarus as the example of what we should strive for. Our faith tells us not to strive for worldly “success” but to strive for a relationship with our Creator. Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). I am convinced that as parents we are the ones most responsible for teaching our children the faith, we are the ones responsible for making sure they are receiving Christ’s peace.
So here is my plea, tell your children often that you will love them no matter how good they do in school or in extracurricular activities. LIKE, EVERY SINGLE DAY TELL THEM! On Sunday evening when they are weary from too much homework and burdened by the stress of the test the next day, send them to youth group for a little rest. It’s important!