The Christian education of the mother (I)

The responsibility of the mother in raising the children is great. Everything the mother has, she transmits it to the child. Elder Paisios, who was very interested in the subject regarding children’s education, said: `The children are pure, are like an unwritten board where we write everything we want. They are unrecorded tapes where we hear right what we record. The first paint, the primer we use with them resists their entire life. Even if you threw this child in fire he would resist.

There will always be made mistakes. Everything we do from ignorance or weakness is covered by God. It is very important that the mother should confess her mistakes. It is not necessary to try to seem better than she is. The child doesn’t need theories, he seeks authentic experiences, a pure life. The mother should have the power to humble herself and apologize to her children when she does them a wrong.

Very often the mothers in their daily strife have many demands from their children, they rebuke them easily and without a reason and use tactless interdictions.

The always commemorated starets Isaac the Athonite said: `We put fence to the garden where we didn’t plant anything. First plant then fence.`

First the mother should strive to change herself to be able to rebuke the child or forbid something to him when it is necessary and this with much fear of God. The mother is the soul of the house. The heart of the mother can give so many things to the children. It is a pity to waste herself in useless things. There are so many powers wasted in things without use: excessive cleaning, visits without purpose, worries about the furnishing of the house, about clothes, shopping…All these should be done but the children have priority. Someone wastes himself with different occupations then he gets stress and loses his peace.

The mother must fill the house of peace. She is like the oil we put at the hinges of the doors to make them stop squeaking. Maternal love can cover everything. There must always be a blessing in the mouth of the mother – she should never be revolted against her children. It’s painful to hear the mothers saying inappropriate words to their children. The word of the mother must be said very carefullu. In this way she will teach her children gentleness and good behavior. As for the subject of beating them every mother should remember one more word of pious Paisios: If you hit a child once, then when you want to comfort him he will step back because he will think that you want to hit him again.

The presence of the mother must be always humble. Her clothes in the house and outside may be beautiful but simple. In this way she will be a good example for her children.

The mother should be dominated by long lasting patience and forgiveness. Thus they will teach their children to forgive.

Because the mother loves her child she doesn’t stop only at advice, rebuke or punishment, she also assumes the mistake of her child. In this way she can start healing it. Most often for the mistakes of the children are guilty their parents who commit or committed mistakes themselves. Severity is needed. Saint John the Chrysostom says that we must rebuke severely the children but when you advise them or forbid them something you should kiss and embrace them, showing them your love. In the same time the mother must have steadiness in her opinions and feelings. There should be a control in expressing sorrow, despair and joy…All these are transmitted to the child and influence him.

Excerpt from the book Anatomy of famiy problems to be published soon at Evanghelismos.