What would you do if your child came to you and said, “I molested someone?”

Tamar Alexandre Cabanel
Tamar Alexandre Cabanel

A few of my friends have been posting something or another about the latest “Duggar News”  what especially caught my eye was Simcha Fisher’s Would your kids know what to do if someone molested them?

It is a good question, though I think the answer for all children really is “no, they wouldn’t”  and I could expound upon that a little but it is just the nature of children to not know.  In reality the best you can hope for is that the relationship you have with your child is such that whenever anything disturbs their peace they can come to you.   I completely share Simcha’s absolute lack of any interest in even the smallest news about the Duggar Family, but  I will say that my take away from the little Facebook has forced on me is this: Josh Duggar went to his parents when he was 15 years old and told his parents he had done something horrible and they took him to the authorities.   His parents convinced him to turn himself in.   Which brings me to the question, “what would you do if your child came to you and said, ‘I molested someone’?”

I suppose the only lawful and moral answer to that question would have to be to convince them to turn themselves in and failing that to turn them in yourself.   But I can’t even imagine the pain that would cause.   When on occasion my children have come to me to confess something “horrible” they have done I have always been able to sooth them, advise them on how to right the destructive road they have started down.   But something so horrific?  Where do you even start with that?  My soul shrinks at even the smallest thought of my child doing anything like this.  I know my heart would want to hide them, protect them, keep them safe.  Fifteen is still so young.  It would be so easy to make any excuse not to contact the authorities.

Prayer could be the only place to start would be prayer.   When David heard that his son Amnon had raped his sister he did nothing as we read in 2 Samuel  “King David, when he heard of the whole affair, became very angry. He would not, however, antagonize Amnon, his high-spirited son; he loved him, because he was his firstborn.”  I feel nothing but compassion for the Duggars and any parent who has to deal with such a devastating turn of events and I would pray that Our Lady of Sorrows comfort them and sustain them to  do the right thing.

Mater Dolorosa - Titian
Mater Dolorosa – Titan
Catholic Homeschooling

Homeschool Planning: Goals for next year and beyond

The White Symphony: Three Girls
The White Symphony: Three Girls ~ Whistler

This post is the third post of of our homeschool planning series you can read the first here.

One of focus points of our parent and child interview is the child’s vision for where God wants them to be, what they envision for their future and what they are interested in learning more about. I prayerfully think about my goals for the children and where I think they need more focus.

Our goals serve three purposes: To improve where we are weak, to enhance where we are strong, to explore something new.

We also want to be living balanced lives so we make sure that we have goals in all the following areas: Spiritual and Vocational, Academic, Esthetic and Cultural, Life Skills and Career, Physical and Health, Character and Virtue, and Relationships and Family.

Homeschooling is more than just teaching your children reading and writing and history. While all those academic things are good and important it is critical to be working on developing a balanced person. With that in mind each of the children have a Guiding Statement. This would be a mission statement in the corporate world, but craft a statement to guide us. This statement focuses on the being of our better selves. We also pick a motto for the year, a short little statement that is to improve where we are weak.

Each goal should be focused and well defined, achievable given the resources of the family, each goal should be measurable and each goal should be completely within the control (as much as anything can be) of the family. While it is worthy to aspire to “grow closer to God” that doesn’t really make a good goal as there isn’t a good measure for it. It would be better to say “I will make a pilgrimage to the Vatican”, but if that isn’t within the means of the family it will only lead to frustration. Your child could set the goal of attending daily mass, but if they can’t get there on their own and mom or dad can’t take them they will not be successful. But they could set the goal of saying a decade of the Rosary every night – it is focused and defined, achievable, measurable and within their control.

I have a worksheet for tracking the Guiding Statement, Motto and Goals shared on Google Drive.