In the Gospel Jesus cautions us: Don’t cause the little ones to sin. Pope Francis reminds us of this, too.
Let us be alert to simple ways that we can counter the many things in our lives and society that misrepresent truth, beauty, success and happiness to our youth. Perhaps a little dialogue in our ordinary situations can help our youth see that living the Gospel leads them to a joy-filled life whereas giving into selfishness and excessive sensuality leads to despair, self-hatred and abusive attitudes and behaviors. Click here for a few suggestions for using everyday situation as teachable moments to help our youth deal with attitudes and behaviors they experience in our culture.
Here are some suggestions.
Look for signs of the great love God has for us and our children; point this out to them and to their friends, encouraging them to respond by increasing their trust in, and love for, God.
Be attentive to conversations, news items, TV shows and movies. When you hear something that indicates stereotyping, talk about it, exploring how it makes people feel and what it does to individuals, communities and society.
When, watching TV, a commercial demonstrates un-Christ-like attitudes or behaviors, ask your children and their friends to talk about the good and the not-so-good that is conveyed by the commercial.
Discuss the wholesome and not-so-wholesome messages of a movie or TV show.
Discuss the social and moral implications of a current issue or recent news item.
When something happens in their school or in our town, dialogue about it, asking them to consider the incident and its short- and long-term impact on a person's life and faith as well as on the local community and society.