Annemarie Scobey has a unifying theory about Catholicism and holidays and parenting, and it goes something like this:
• Early parenthood is like Advent.
Advent is all about getting ready for something else that's coming down the pike – specifically, Christmas. And early parenting is all about preparing too: the slow and repetitive process of getting children ready to become bigger and older and wiser and more self-sufficient.
• Parenting adolescents and young adults is like Lent.
Lent is a period of waiting for the resurrection of Christ celebrated on Easter. And parenting adolescents and young adults is about waiting too: having done what we can to prepare them for adulthood, now it's time to wait and watch and, if we can, hold our tongues a little bit.
"For me, humility in parenting is recognizing that every solution does not need to be immediate," writes Scobey. "There is wisdom in waiting for the right time – whether it's to give advice, ask a big question, or bring up a habit that I'm hoping the child will change. I'm finding that when I lengthen the pause between a child's behavior and my reaction to it, I give both my child and myself the gift of perspective."
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