Being a parent can be one of the most joyful of life's experiences, and one of the most challenging. There are endless resources instructing parents on how to do parenting "the right way." However, parenting styles are going to vary and differ from family to family. Parents should be encouraged to learn more techniques and tools of parenting while keeping in mind the unique personalities of their children. Additionally, parents should reflect on their own personality, their weaknesses, and insecurities that would interfere with them becoming a balanced and consistent parent. Lastly, as a foundation to all parenting, parents should continually bring their children to Jesus, entrusting them to His care.
Alpha Parenting Course
In the area of evangelization, the parish has an extraordinary opportunity to proclaim the Gospel to parents, and equip them in their discipleship formation journey. The following two resources can help the parish provide a space for parents to learn and share their journeys. They can be implemented in an Alpha style initiative, with a meal, video and discussion. Both are age- oriented, with specific resources and discussion about children (0-10 years old) or teenagers (11-18 years old). These courses are based on Christian principles, providing guidance for small groups in a non-threatening or commitment environment, that eventually becomes a great source of first contact to parents that otherwise would not devote time to belong to the community of the parish.
These resources can be ordered through Amazon.com.
There are many other good, solid resources for parents, to inspire and guide them in their vocation and mission in raising their children. The Office of Formation and Discipleship has compiled select resources.
The role of grandparents has changed significantly from what it was 50 years ago. Grandparents today are often more involved and even help to raise their grandchildren.
Supporting the many diverse roles that grandparents may find themselves in is a great way for parishes to engage with their senior population.