Effective Parenting: Nurturing Rich Soils in Kids


Read Exodus 16:1-5.9-15, Psalm 78 and Matthew 13:1-9

“Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:8-9)

If as parents we now teach and encourage our children to commit malpractice in examinations, how do we make them understand that kidnapping, terrorism, prostitution, bribery, armed robbery, telling of lies, certificate forgery and so on are evil?

A child who is well brought up is the glory of his parents. As our Gospel passage today explains, the nature of the soil determines the nature of the harvest. Let us bear in mind that our role as parents is to cultivate and constantly manure good soils in the heart of our children so that God can work mightily through them.

Another serious problem among today’s children is the development of an entitlement mentality. This is where many parents of today’s generation got it wrong, they bring up their children to believe that they can always get what they want even without working for it. Children today do not understand that it is okay to suffer for a while, that is okay to delay gratification, that money takes time to come by, that life is a journey.

Like the children of Israel on their way to the Promised Land, children today want it all NOW, NOW, NOW. And when they don’t get it, they complain, they throw up tantrums, they get depressed, and even commit suicide. There has never been a time when life wasn’t tough for the youths. In fact, I think it was tougher those days. I listen to my father and many of his generation tell me how they suffered just to pay their own school fees through school given that their own fathers were not even educated. They survived. 

The murmurings of the children of Israel showed the depths of their lack of appreciation to God, a failure to look beyond their immediate circumstances (impatience) and a deep-seated sense of entitlement. These are sadly the same traits we see in the children of my generation; experts in complaining and murmuring; professionals in ranting all day on social media, insulting government officials without offering meaningful solutions or creative ideas.

Let us teach our children to develop rich soils by cultivating in them the virtues of trusting in God, the discipline of hard work, the willingness to follow the more difficult route and the beauty of patience.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help us to realize that by changing the soil (the foundation), we can change our fruits. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of week 16 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Exodus 16:1-5.9-15, Psalm 78 and Matthew 13:1-9).