People often criticize me because I seem “obsessed” with encouraging parents to commit to parenting practices that facilitate strong, secure attachment in their children. This is why. It has nothing to do with making parents feel guilty or like they’re not enough. It has everything to do with seeing the enemy we, as Catholic Christians, are truly up against. THIS is the world we are sending our kids into. “Good enough” parenting just can’t withstand this kind of cultural pressure. We cannot hope to fight this level of cultural wounding, this epidemic of detachment, unless we are raising children who are capable of standing up and saying, “There is a better way. Let me show you.” To raise kids who are that strong is going to take an uncommon approach to family life. The parent-like-everyone-else-but-go-to Church-on-Sunday approach might have worked for past generations. It isn’t going to work anymore.
Evangelizing the Culture
A generation that is this relationally impaired cannot be evangelized via traditional means. They can’t just be told. They need to be shown. And the only way we can show them is if we, as a Church, are able to bear witness to the deep intimacy to which the person and the family is called. Deep intimacy with each other and with the God who made us. If you want to change the world, it is both as simple and as difficult as challenging yourself to express extravagant affection, model generous self-donation, and commit to cultivating real intimacy in your family lives. As St John Paul the Great put it, “As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live.”
For more on how you can evangelize the culture by loving your children and promoting healthy attachment in your home, check out Parenting with Grace: The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising (almost) Perfect Kids.