20 Lessons I Will Teach My Son

Mother and Child

Mother and Child

My little boy should arrive any day now. Having ventured beyond my due date, I’m experiencing Advent as the “season of patient waiting” to a very realistic extent this year. The extra days have given me ample time to reflect and prepare for both his arrival and the celebration of the arrival of the infant Jesus shortly thereafter. I decided to come up with a list of 20 things I look forward to teaching my son, many of the lessons inspired by the example of the Holy Family. Now my baby just has to arrive so I can get to work!

1. No one loves you more than Jesus. If you want to learn to love and be loved beyond your wildest dreams, learn to be loved by Jesus and to love Him madly in return.

2. The priesthood is arguably the coolest job on the planet. Always be open to God recruiting you.

3. Treating a lady with great reverence and respect is never old fashioned.

4. Always honor your father and I. God gave you to us in particular, and He did that for a reason. Respecting us, especially when you don’t feel like it, will make you a better man.

5. The most important trait you should ever desire to master is holiness. Disclaimer: it’s also the hardest to master.

6. Adoration chapels are the best getaways and surest places to relieve stress and find clarity.

7. Your future siblings will look to you as an example of how to behave. Rise to the challenge; give them something to aspire to.

8. Be like your father. Work hard, sacrifice, pray, study, and live morally, so that someday, if God calls you to marriage, you will attract a woman who loves you as much as I love your daddy.

9. Don’t worry. I’ve read studies that explain how much more anxious kids are today (about everything) than in previous generations. Worry is a crippling thing. Trust that God’s grace will help you handle whatever comes your way, and live in the present.

10. Make Sundays sacred. You have six other days in the week to do homework and all other work. Start healthy Sabbath habits now, so you can benefit from Sunday rest for the remainder of your life.

11. Take good care of your body. Eat well and exercise. Show God you appreciate the gift of your health.

12. Use your imagination! Your father and I will help you learn how to play, read, imagine, and dream. Don’t be jealous of your friends for the hours they will spend watching TV and playing video games. Have real fun.

13. Go outside. Enjoy nature. God gave us the mountains, beaches, forests, lakes, and valleys as an expression of His power and beauty. Take advantage of it. It’s a gift…for you!

14. Be self-aware. Examine your conscience every single night, so you can concentrate on how to be a better man tomorrow.

15. Practice gratitude–everyday. Tell God and others daily what you are thankful for. Gratitude cultivates a joyful spirit. Live with joy.

16. Be kind. There is not enough kindness in our hurting world today. Blessed Mother Teresa says that a smile is an act of love, a gift to another person, a beautiful thing. Smile often.

17. Don’t be afraid to share your faith with others. Offer them a slice of the great gift you have that is your salvation and membership in God’s family, His Catholic Church.

18. Learn to love Our Blessed Mother. Imagine the unconditional love of two mothers: one on earth and one in heaven. You are one lucky boy.

19. Make your Bible and Rosary your travel and nightstand companions.

20. Be a good friend. A good friend of your friends, a good friend of the saints, and a good friend of your Savior.

What lessons are you passionate about teaching your kids?

(Editor’s Note: Katie and her husband welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world a few days ago!)

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About the Author

Katie (Peterson) Warner, Communications Manager, Catholics Come Home, Inc., has spoken at Catholic and secular venues on topics ranging from media and the culture of life to evangelization in the 21st century, plus a variety of apologetics, theological, spiritual, and practical topics.

She has been a speaker at the National Catholic Bible Conference and numerous Legatus chapters, an emcee for the Eucharistic Congress of Atlanta, and has appeared on EWTN radio and an EWTN television mini-series.

Katie currently works for Catholics Come Home, a national Catholic evangelism apostolate working to invite fallen-away Catholics and non-Catholics home to the Catholic Church.

Katie holds a graduate degree in Catholic Theology, specializing in Evangelization and Catechesis, from the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. Katie also has a degree in Communication and Professional Writing. Since her youth, her passion has always been to use her speaking, writing, and teaching skills to serve the evangelization mission of the Church.

Katie is a core member of a growing youth ministry program in Santa Clarita, California, where she lives with her husband, Raymond. In addition to her work in the parish and with Catholics Come Home, Katie writes for online Catholic magazines and is working on her first book. She plans to devote her life’s work entirely to Jesus, His Church, evangelization, and the sanctity of human life.

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  1. All of the above! Thanks for sharing. Already forwarded this link to my hubby to make sure that we’re on the same page ü Congratulations for new baby, and have a blessed Christmas ü

  2. All of the above! Katie has put life in simplistic form, the way God desires our lives to be. Jesus we Trust in You and Your endless flow of Mercy and Love!

  3. Spoken like a true mother-to-be! Sorry, it’s just with five of my own, I laugh at all the things I “knew” and “planned” before I had kids. These are sweet ideas but I kind of bristle at “have real fun.” If you think quality video games cannot be one way to have “real fun” I will pray you never have a techno-wizard kiddo with asthma, like I do.

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