Feb 16, 2012

Parenting and St. John Bosco's practice of the one on one meeting "Rendiconto"

I have 5 children: 12, 8, 7, 4 & 1 year olds. The 4 yr girl monopolizes my time as soon as I get home. She would cry if I didn't give her a piggy back or sit next to her to watch Barney. The problem is that I don't get a chance to spend more time with the others. So, I assigned a night for every child and took that child out for the night. I realized that the others wanted my attention as badly as the 4 year old. I can excuse myself from her saying, "It's not her night." She still insists but later gives in knowing that she has her own night.

This event is spent on Wendy's for a cheeseburger, Chucky Cheese's for games or Marshall's for new trousers depending on the interest of the child. But whatever it is, every child has a night for my full and complete attention.

It's a time to ask about things or better still encourage them to talk about themselves so I'll know the issues and problems. It also gives me a chance to affirm and guide them, encourage or correct them - privately "in camera caritatis". Last night, I told my 12 year old son that I will always be his father no matter how badly he messes up; God forbid but just in case.

St. John Bosco did this with his seminarians. It is called a "Rendiconto" or manifestation where the person is full candor bared his soul with all the concerns, aspirations, failures and successes.

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