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Parents’ role in the education of adolescents

13 ottobre 2010

The role of parents in the education of adolescents according to Saint Teresa of Avila:

If I should have to give advice, I would tell parents that when their children are this age (adolescence) they ought to be very careful about whom their children associate with. For here lies the root of great evil since our natural bent is toward the worst rather than toward the best.

So it happened to me. For I had a sister much older than I whose modesty and goodness (of which she had a great deal) I did not imitate at all; and I imitated all that was harmful in a relative who spent a lot of time at our house. She was so frivolous that my mother tried very hard to keep her from coming to our home. It seems my mother foresaw the harm that would be done to me on account of her, but there were so many occasions for her to come to the house that my mother could not prevent it. This relative was the one I liked to associate with. My talks and conversations were with her, for she encouraged me in all the pastimes I desired and even immersed me in them by sharing with me her conversations and vanities. Until I began to associate with her when I was fourteen, or I think older (I mean when she took me for her friend and confidante), I don’t think I would have abandoned God by a mortal sin or lost the fear of God, although the fear of losing my honor was stronger in me. This sense of honor gave me the strength not to completely lose my reputation…

It frightens me sometimes to think of the harm a bad companion can do, and if I hadn’t experienced it I wouldn’t believe it. Especially during adolescence  the harm done must be greater. I should like parents to learn from my experience to be very watchful in this matter.”

(From the Book of her life)

 

“Parents are the first and principal persons responsible for the education of their children.”  (From “That they may have life and have it to the full – Guidelines for the educational mission of the FMA, number 65)

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