It is safe to assume that no parents intend or want to be bad fathers and mothers, and that they really want to give their children a good preparation for life. This would mean following most of the counsel given herewith, prepared by a parent who says:
1. Try to improve yourself a little every day. Become more pious, more virtuous, shunning carefully every wrongful word or act in the presence of your children. Control your temper and every outburst of anger, trying carefully not to be jealous or uncharitable, immoderate or stingy, and avoid being immodest, lazy, proud or haughty.
2. Give your children good example and let them see that you obey God and all lawful authority. Promote patriotism, and insist that your family avoid littering and marring of private and public property. Instill in the children a reverence and respect for elderly people, and give every person his/her just due, regardless of race, color or creed.
3. Demand punctual obedience from your children. Teach them to obey for the love of God, because God wants it. Children must obey their parents and teachers willingly and quickly. Discipline your sons and daughters when kind words are unheeded. Insist on diligent study and work, and be interested in their progress, but give them time for recreation also.
4. Teach your children simple life, simple food, simple dress. Give your boys and your girls a childhood, forbidding them amusements of adults, and keeping them out of night clubs, questionable theaters and dangerous movies. Teach your children to deny themselves and to bear unpleasant situations patiently.
5. Gather as many of your family as possible for prayers. See that your children are on time for church and school. Urge them to the frequent reception of the sacraments, and encourage them to take an active part in the liturgy and the life of the Church.
6. It is of prime importance that you keep a watchful eye on your older boys and girls in the home and out of it, on their companions and on their reading. Believe that you know more than your children do about life, and do not lose your self-confidence when they tell you that you do not understand what is good for children.
7. Recognize the value of having the children bring their friends home; if they can do this and if you make the home happy and pleasant, they will not want to hang around street corners.
8. Let the children see the depth of your faith in God and love for each other. Keep a happy atmosphere in your home and neighborhood so that your boys and girls will appreciate a truly Christian way of life.
Source: “Gem Thoughts For 365 Days” by Robert F. Joyce, ‘Thought for January 13’.