Pushing or Encouraging?

February 9, 2017

The following is my weekly letter to the Bishop Chatard High School parent community:

For your consideration…

Are we pushing our kids too hard? Let me start by saying that this is not an indictment of you, me, or our school community. Also, I should warn you that I will not be offering a definitive response to this question. I am simply inviting you to reflect on the question as I often do.

I find myself wondering if we are pushing young people to achieve “success” as defined by society while making minimal effort to help them discern who God wants them to be.

Our kids are stressed. Many lack self-confidence because they are not sure whose expectations they are supposed to be meeting. Those of society? Parents? School? Their own? And if those expectations don’t all align, then what? This leads to the aforementioned stress and all that comes with it.

I am not suggesting that parents “stay out of it” or disregard their children’s effort or grades. However, I would like to issue a challenge. Over the next few weeks have some conversations with your children. Ask these questions: What do you believe God’s plan is for you? What are you passionate about? Do you think you are using your God-given gifts as He intended? How can I help?

Be sincere in asking the questions and encourage their sincerity in responding. By listening carefully to their answers, we may be able to incorporate language that encourages them rather than pushes them.


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