Pope Francis on becoming a better father: Learn when to step back in parenting
Pope Francis reflected on what it means to be a father today in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
1.- FOR FUTURE FATHERS
In the interview, he asks today's young people, whom he calls “the fathers of tomorrow,” to consider “what parents they have had and what parents they want to be.” He tells them:
“They should not let the role of fatherhood be a fruit of chance...but rather they should decide with awareness how to love someone, how to take on the responsibility of someone.”
2.- TEACHING RESPONSIBILITY
Pope Francis says that being a good parent consists of “placing children in the condition to take on their responsibilities, to exercise their freedom, to make choices.”
Yet the Pope himself recognizes it is no easy task.
"Love is taking care of others. Love is not the sound of violins and romance, no. Love is work."
3.- OVERCOMING FAILURE
He also recalls that “A true father does not tell you that everything will always go well, but rather that even if you may find yourself in a situation in which things are not going well, you will be able to face and live with dignity even in those moments, those failures.”
4.- KNOWING WHEN TO STEP BACK
The Pope says a good father knows when to take a step back as his children grow...
“...so that his child can emerge with his beauty, with his uniqueness, with his choices, with his vocation.... in every good relationship, we have to give up wishing to impose from on high, an image, an expectation, indeed a visibility, completely filling the scene with excessive activity.”
Pope Francis says these characteristics should also be adopted by the Church, which must be more fatherly and help people make better decisions.