This is a transcript for my short regular podcast series for the Journey Catholic radio program. It’s like a two-minute pep talk for frazzled parents!
In more than a decade of parenting, my husband and I have had our share of anxious moments over our children – sleepless nights with sick babies, accidents, calls for an ambulance, we once had two separate visits to emergency with a preschooler to have a lego piece removed from his nose (once was not enough!).
One of the most admired holy men of recent times was St Padre Pio of Italy, a Capuchin Franciscan friar who died in 1968.
There are many inspiring stories about him but the advice he gave about how to live well was very simple. He used to say pray, hope, and don’t worry.
It sounds easy doesn’t it, and do you know what, it really is a simple prescription for life but we all know it doesn’t come naturally.
Our natural impulse in stressful times – and raising a family does present us with many stressful times – is to worry, to be anxious, and to maybe even forget about praying. We can lose hope.
But a peaceful parent knows how to pray, hope, and not worry, and knows that this has be remembered every single day, and on bad days it might have to be recalled many times.
Some people like to pray a little prayer which is simply, “Jesus, I trust in you”.
Trust in God is a great antidote to worry. Jesus said do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I think that the key here is actually to deal with each days’ troubles, to do our daily work, to provide for our children, to make time for each of them and for our spouse every day, and to not waste too much time on ourselves.
We must teach our children not to worry.
Psychologists have noticed a rise in anxiety and depression in teenagers and even younger children over the past few decades.
One thing they say we can do is to give them opportunities to some solve problems by themselves and thus grow in confidence.
Also, our children should always be able to trust us. If our children know they can depend on us, even for little things like doing something for them when we said we would, they will learn what it is to depend on God.