Today is the feast day of St John Bosco.
Of all the saints, St John Bosco has been my role model, my saintlymentor, as both a parent and an educator.
I have shared these links elsewhere but thought I'd keep them here for reference.
Tired of the policing aspect of parenting? Read St John Bosco for a big, gasping breath of fresh air and for hints of another way.
Saint John Bosco
"Enjoy yourself as much as you like -- if only you keep from sin. "
"My sons, in my long experience very often I had to be convinced of this great truth. It is easier to become angry than to restrain oneself, and to threaten a boy than to persuade him. Yes, indeed, it is more fitting to be persistent in punishing our own impatience and pride than to correct the boys. We must be firm but kind, and be patient with them. See that no one finds you motivated by impetuosity or willfulness.....
Let us regard those boys over whom we have some authority as our own sons. Let us place ourselves in their service. Let us be ashamed to assume an attitude of superiority. Let us not rule over them except for the purpose of serving them better.
This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with a kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalized and still others to hope for God's mercy. And so he bade us to be gentle and humble of heart." from a letter by Saint John Bosco
In 1887 he wrote: "I do not remember to have used formal punishment; and with God's grace I have always obtained, and from apparently hopeless children, not alone what duty exacted, but what my wish simply expressed"