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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Daughters Forever, Sons Forever Advice from a Parent in Green Bay




Today, I received this letter from a parent who was part of the Green Bay workshop for parents entitled: Parenting Teens: Building Strong Futures. She offered some personal thoughts and tips for fellow parents who are beginning to use Daughters Forever, Sons Forever with their teen son or daughter. The letter is helpful and she agreed to allow me to share it with you.  Linda Kracht

Dear Parents,
Thank you for attending the "Parenting Teens:  Building Strong Futures" parent workshop on January 19th at Notre Dame.  I hope that you all found it helpful and motivating for your important vocation of parenthood.
Today I am encouraging my husband to work with our sophomore son on chapter 2 in the book.  I have been reading it on my own, also, to be open to discussion and to encourage.  I also know that my husband can get very busy at times and not be able to get to it "weekly".  So I am ready to take over on a given Sunday evening, if he is not home. 
I think the most difficult thing is to maintain a weekly time to set aside.  For instance, tonight the Superbowl is on and our senior son is invited to a Superbowl party at his friend's house after a 7 hour long play practice at school!!  So, my husband plans to work with him one of the school nights this week.  We must plan ahead as we do with anything.  Get out the calendar or the iCal and find the open times, then pencil it in like any other appointment.  After all, this is as important to our spiritual health as a doctor appointment is to our physical health. 
Linda stated at the beginning of her conference that as parents we are each in charge of our own individual families, and this authority is given to us by God.  You know what is best for your children and what your family needs.  Each of our children are individuals and we know and love them more than anyone else.  So each family is unique as well.  As we pray to God the Holy Spirit to give us guidance and learn and follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, we can build the confidence to form and strengthen our families. 
In addition, as Catholics we are united as the family of God.  We need the support of each other to persevere in the faith and formation of our families.  I recommend that if you have a friend that you know who is working on the Daughters Forever, Sons Forever program, that you keep in touch and encourage each other.  You can also find support on Linda Kracht's website, www.fortifyingfamiliesoffaith.com.  She has an interactive blog where you can submit questions or share your knowledge.  I will also check in with you from time to time on email.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.  You can hit "reply-all" if you wish to share with our group.  I would love to hear of your progress! 
Finally,  I loved Linda's idea of having a family pot luck after we finish the course with our teens. It would be good for our teens to see that others are learning about the gifts of faith, love and life from their parents, too.  I will work on organizing that if we have enough interest.  At this point, I am looking at possibly Sunday, Jan. 19th, 2014.   That should give us plenty of time to get through the program.  We could hand out certificates of completion to each family and celebrate!  It would be great to reflect on the effect it has on our teens and our communication with them. 
Please remember to pray each day for perseverance and open minds and hearts.  God is attentive to the prayers of parents! 
May God Bless you and your families,
Cindy Stillwell
P.S.  If you were unable to order the curriculum for financial reasons, but would like to obtain one, please contact me. 

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