For the Books for the #boymom series, Lindsay Schlegel reviews a book that addresses many of the hot-button issues of our time.
As much as I loved my children as babies, it is pure gift to watch them grow into toddlers, preschoolers, and then school-aged children. There is great joy in watching my kids grow up. But of course, with each stage also come unique challenges.
My husband and I often talk about how best we can handle our children’s increasing understanding of what those who don’t profess our faith believe and how they choose to live their lives. One way I’m grateful for the pandemic is that it’s given us more time together at home as family and less time being potentially exposed to forces outside of our value system.
But the cocoon of our household isn’t permanent. I’m aware that my kids are not immune to the temptations of the world. I know that when they are adults, it will be their choice to practice the faith we’ve passed on to them or to choose another way of living.
In fact, we tell them this even now — that not everyone in the world knows what they know; even some adults don’t have the knowledge of the Faith that we are trying to give to them. “This is what leads to happiness,” we tell them, “and it’s a gift.” But I know that doubts and fears will creep in. Each of my children will have to contend with these in his or her own way.
We are striving to give them the knowledge, the tools, and the experiences to joyfully choose to live as they were created to live. And so, I’m grateful to have found Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues by Leila Miller and Trent Horn, to help us initiate and navigate important conversations in our children’s formation.
This book takes the hot-button issues of our age one by one, explaining first Church teaching, then how to talk about the topic with little ones, and then how to approach it (and some likely objections) with older children.
As these issues present themselves in our home, I don’t anticipate reading directly from this book to my children, but I really appreciate the mini-scripts each chapter suggests. It’s good to have a sort of draft to work from, which we can adjust according to our particular situation and the needs of each of our individual children.
Any chapter in Made This Way could be read on its own, but I would recommend reading the whole, start to finish. Many of these issues are interconnected, and our understanding of one will help us speak to another. Having a more holistic understanding of what the Church teaches — and why — will go a long way in reaching kids who ask a lot of questions, who have underlying doubts, or who just need more information to come to a conclusion they can live with and abide by.
The style is direct and honest, and doesn’t make any apologies. For some who are still struggling with Church teaching themselves, this may be off-putting at first, but I would encourage anyone feeling this way to press on. There is truth in these pages, truth that doesn’t change with political positions or cultural trends.
I recently read, in an article by Father Paul Scalia, a quote from St. John Henry Cardinal Newman:
In every time, [Newman] said, "serious and anxious minds, alive to the honour of God and the needs of man, are apt to consider no times so perilous as their own.”
There is some comfort in knowing this isn’t the first time it’s seemed hard to raise children in a counter-cultural way. But then again, this is the time in which I am raising these particular children. And I want to be as prepared as possible to do it well.
Copyright 2021 Lindsay Schlegel
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About the Author
Lindsay Schlegel is a daughter of God, wife, mom, editor, and speaker. She’s the author of Don’t Forget to Say Thank You: And Other Parenting Lessons That Brought Me Closer to God and host of the podcast Quote Me with Lindsay Schlegel. Lindsay seeks to encourage, inspire, and lift others up to be all they were created to be. Connect with Lindsay at her website, LindsaySchlegel.com.