Our children need a stronger foundation than self-interest and peer approval. We need to help our children nurture and develop their moral commitments. We must be parents, teachers, and mentors for our children’s sake. For parenting is not about us feeling good, but about our children becoming good, principled, moral adults.
We parents should not fear that if we are no longer needed, we are no longer loved. Family love (storge) must change and develop over time in order to faithfully steward the gift of children from infant to adult. Parents must learn the art of welcoming and letting go. Ideally, family love gives us roots for our soul and wings for our spirit.
Adolescence is not easy for any family – including the holy family. Jesus must have been an ideal son. Mary and Joseph were surely godly parents. And yet, even for the holy family it was not easy. Growth comes at a price. It is impossible to escape growing pains. If the holy family could not do it, then neither can we.