A Bit About the Reasons Behind Our Parenting Failures

A regular Pravoslavie.ru contributor, mother of a large family and wife of a priest, Anna Romashko, sent Her primarily maternal comment on the article by another of our regular contributors, Elena Kucherenko, about the priest’s son who smoked in the bathroom.

Here is Anna Romashko’s heartfelt commentary:


My thoughts on this wonderful article by Elena Kucherenko.

I completely agree with everything Elena Kucherenko wrote, and have noticed elements of withdrawal into a secular life in almost all of my children. Even sunny Anya, like Lena, is ready to believe and pray, but not for more than five minutes at a time. Lena described everything very accurately!

Let’s reflect on the reasons behind our failures.

I think that a family is like an incubator where people hatch and grow up. Our generation is unique in that we came to the church as infants in spiritual life, had children, and are growing alongside them. We seem to have enough life experience for parenthood but not enough spiritual experience. God’s grace covers and heals everything, undoubtedly. However, the parental desire to finally relax and rest on our laurels ruins everything. We baptize the child—thank God, they receive communion—wonderful! We attend Sunday school—we’re doing great, we pray—a significant achievement.

But these are not achievements or successes. Church life is a means, not an end. Simply being in the church and poorly following the commandments is often considered a great feat!

I think that church life, ideally, is like blood circulation. Take care of your health and it will be normal. We should pay attention to it (as a fact of our life) if it suddenly gets disrupted. And then we need to treat it if possible. Better yet, not let it deteriorate.

And we... hand on heart... don’t we consider this childhood churching our great achievement? We put a big, bold period there. Why? Because the thought that children might step out from under the “control” of parental Orthodox settings causes us panic and a sense of wounded pride: I tried so hard... and they…

I think we should focus on... our own religious education first and foremost and be strict with ourselves. Then the children will be in their place. Otherwise, we end up limping on both legs while dragging the children along (along with a monument to ourselves).

Of course, I’m judging by myself. I had to grow up only when it suddenly became clear that my efforts at the Christian upbringing of children was “shooting blanks.” And no good assurances from elderly ladies that if you commune an infant for forty days in a row they will later become a bishop will ever work without true love, faith, and natural religious life. And here, you have to grow and grow.

If we are too strict with children; if we are cold, angry, and resentful; if we manipulate, blackmail them with talk of the future, frighten them, and don’t let them have a childhood; if we consider ordinary childhood liveliness and adolescent mischief as sins; then the children will be, like us, “not venerable” as they grow up. If we discuss and criticize everyone in front of the children, scold mentors, and be petty and tyrannical, overly categorical, then the children will lack nobility and warmth, the ability to get along and endure others.

I can say that my children are in the church despite my spiritual failings. This is God’s mercy and a great gift. I haven’t earned it in any way. And I don’t deserve it. Because I grow painfully every day, and all the spiritual doors for my passions are narrow or completely closed.

Glory to Thy power, O Lord.

Anna Romashko
Translation by OrthoChristian.com



Bill Bauer7/7/2024 5:18 am
Could proboems circle about that families realize they can kill each and every child
Agata Mignon7/6/2024 12:16 pm
Oh, bonjour. Merci beaucoup d'avoir permis à une collègue lectrice (comme moi) d'exprimer son point de vue de manière aussi franche et ouverte. Votre site incarne vraiment les grandes valeurs occidentales d'égalité, de diversité et d'équité, ainsi que les valeurs fraternelles françaises qui ont fait notre grandeur dans le monde. Bravo aux rédacteurs de ce magnifique site.
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