Yesterday, we looked at why how we perceive children is so important. No matter what vocation your children take up, a love of life will translate into a love of humanity. There is no profession or venture that would not benefit from that. It will serve them to be honest and faithful, they will be patient with others and caring in difficulties. Raising pro-life children in a dark culture is a tall order--there are no easy steps. However, I have a list of three things that I believe will develop empathy and love for children in your children and thus lead them to be pro-life. If you have any other suggestions, please add them to the comments. We are all looking for inspiration.
Be lovers of life yourself! Preaching about the evils of abortion or denouncing the latest alterior motive of the "culture of death" will not win your children over. See you love life will! I always make a big fuss about babies, when we hear someone is expecting or just had a new baby, I talk to the kids about how special babies are. I gush over the gift of a new life. We talk about how big the "baby int he belly" might be right now, what he or she can do, how long until we can meet the baby. We have silly conversations about possible names and make up fantastical tales of the funny things "Suzy" will do when she is the age of my children. I recount stories of when I was pregnant with each of them, how exciting it was, silly things that happened, how we couldn't wait to meet each of them, how we picked their names. (Name picking is an Olympic Event for my husband and I). When I was pregnant with Little Man, we all went for the 5 month ultrasound together--it was a big day for Daddy to take off work AND to go out to lunch--we pointed out the different features of the baby, narrated what he was doing, and let the kids ask questions.
When we are with babies, I remind the children to be gentle. I tell them how special babies are and how they need our protection, and our love. I instill in them an awe for little children and once again gush over the little one. (In truth, I just like to gush over babies, but I do use it strategically as a teachiable moment!) In short, I make babies seem like they are the most wonderful thing in the world, every baby, because, well, they are.
Give your children pro-life media. I am not talking anti-abortion pamphlets or March for Life posters. Those have their place but, for children, it needs to be enjyable. Remember we want them to love life, not fear death. Some of our favorites are:
* Please note that Precious Life Ministries that published this book as well as The Most Beautiful Thing in the World appears to be out of print.
Get involved with charities that help children in need and do it in a tangible way. Our favorite ministries are Mary's Meals and Operation Christmas Child. Mary's Meals feed the poorest, most hungry children one meal a day at a local school so that they get life saving nutrition and life changing education. They do this all for a nickel a meal--A NICKEL! It is such a simple concept. Operations Christmas Child is not a Catholic organization, but I think that it is a great way to teach the children about giving to the needy. The concept is also simple, pack a shoe box with necessary items like school supplies, personal hygiene items, and small toys; then have it sent to a child in need somewhere in the world. Packing a shoe box is a tangible way for children to help and lends itself to conversations about caring for the needy, loving all children, and the importance of helping others. I have seen my children grow in love for other children by participating in these charities, and if they love and want to help other children that they have never met, they realize the value of life.