Children and Respect Life Issues
How do I incorporate the respect life issues in our family life? How do I talk to my child about these issues? How do I build a culture of life at home?

These are some of the questions parents ask me. Some respect life topics can be tricky and confusing for young children. It is not necessary to discuss all of the issues with your children at one time.

The first thing I would suggest is to pray... Pray that God will give you the guidance and words to share with your children. Pray that the Holy Spirit will be with you and your family as you share your values. Pray that Jesus will walk with your family as you share your respect life beliefs with others. And pray that our Blessed Mother will wrap her mantle around your family as you build a culture of life in your family and community.

Children already have a sense of what is good and what isn't. It is not necessary to go into detail when talking to your children. Abortion is a topic for those who are pre-teens and older and not one for younger children. Encourage your younger children to pray for the unborn and his or her parents. This is such simple, but incredible way to encourage your children to be a voice.

Discussing the humanity and human dignity of others can be done by talking to them about treating everyone with dignity and compassion because every person is created in the image and likeness of God. Acknowledging people by name, a simple wave or "hello" to a passer by, assisting an elderly person or person with a disability, giving a dollar to a homeless person, or helping a mom with a baby or just a few of the ways we can acknowledge the humanity and respect for all.

As they get older, children will have more questions. At this time it is important to reinforce that they were created in the image and likeness of God and need to treat their bodies and others with respect. It is also important to discuss chastity and the gift of fertility with them.

When it comes to sharing Respect Life issues with children, prayer is the most important thing you can do - pray for your children, for those in need, and for guidance in how to build a Culture of Life.

For information on simple ways to build a community of life with your family, please visit ChoosetheChild.com