As parents, we always try to do what’s best for our kids—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We make sure they eat the right foods, play hard outside, feel loved by their parents, pray before dinner and bedtime. Sometimes we face difficult decisions and sometimes the decisions are fairly easy. Articles on this topic are always of interest to me—some make me feel good about my parenting skills and others leave me feeling like I’m failing miserably at parenting.
My husband and I are currently discussing preschools for our son. The first question is “Does he need to go?” Assuming the answer to that is yes, the next logical question is “Where do we send him?”
We have narrowed our focus to three preschools that all seem to offer different reasons for selection:
#1—We like that it’s cheap and super-close to our house, but a little anxious about the house-turned-preschool.
#2—We like that it’s nearby and our neighbor’s daughter goes there, but it is the most expensive.
#3—We like that part of the curriculum is devoted to religious education and we know one of the helpers through a family connection, but it is about 15 minutes from our house.
My husband and I understand that we are the primary teachers of our children in matters of faith, and we take that charge very seriously. However, we also think it is a nice reinforcement of our teaching to have our son hear about God at preschool. The only real cost to option #3 is a bigger hassle in terms of transportation. Not insurmountable, mind you, just more gas and more time in the car.
In an article from Every Day Catholic, Jeanne Hunt writes: “When we put emphasis on a particular way of living, we can expect our children to do the same. It is subtle and enduring. Children are sorting out what they see and hear, and deciding how they want to live. It is our role as parents to offer formation that is grounded in values that are consistent with our faith.”
Maybe that is the answer. We want to provide our child formation that is grounded in values consistent with our faith. Does it matter how far we have to drive to do that?