Talk 76: Speak Less to Your Children, and More to God About Your Children!

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Set of 3 Audio CD's

(Duration: 4hrs) 

Wherever one turns, one hears parents complaining and seeking advice about problems with their children—problems with their behaviour, their education, their mental health, and their faith. These problems usually begin in early childhood and increase during the teenage years, but they can also occur in adulthood. Parents find it difficult to deal with their children’s weaknesses, faults, and passions, and are at a loss for when and how to discipline their children.

In this talk Father Kosmas uses the teachings of various saints and elders to help parents navigate their most difficult task: the upbringing of children. He emphasizes that it is a great mistake for parents to seek advice either from no one or from people who have limited knowledge on this topic. Instead, they should turn to those who, enlightened by God, can give them the correct answers to the age-old question: how do we bring up our children? Father Kosmas also explains how it is that parents can know in theory much of what the saints and elders teach on raising children, yet continually fail to put these teachings into practice.

The following questions are also discussed: how do parents create monsters? What is the best way for parents to correct their children’s weaknesses and faults? Why is it wrong to expect perfection from children? Why did one spiritual father penance parents who complained about their children? How did the saints advise parents to reprimand their children? How do parents determine which of their children’s behaviours need correction and which do not? How did the saints explain why children become indifferent and unfeeling? Apart from prayer, what else is necessary in the upbringing of children? What should parents do when their children rebel? Should parents force their children to go to church? 

Other points covered in this talk include: how parents who idolize their children damage them for life; parents who, blinded by irrational love and affection, refuse to see their children’s faults; why the first seven years of a child’s life are important for their future development; examples of mothers who were reluctant to discipline their children for fear of losing their favour; the importance of speaking the truth to one’s children; an explanation of Saint Porphyrios’ saying, “Words hammer at the ears”; and what parents should do before speaking to their children.