Raising Children

“Every time you say: ‘Lord, have mercy on my child,’ he will receive from Christ a good thought… The more you Pray the more good thoughts your child will acquire.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“Fathers and Mothers: Go and lead your Child by the hand into the Church.”

Saint John Chrysostom

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“Pray with faith, counsel [your children]… with love, in a gentle way.”

Saint Iakovos Tsalikis of Evia

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“If you wish to leave much wealth to your children, leave them in God’s care. Do not leave them riches, but virtue and skill.”

Saint John Chrysostom

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“Keep in mind that you must always be setting an example through your moral life and your actions.”

Saint Anthony the Great

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“A child’s upbringing commences at the moment of its conception. The embryo hears and feels in its mothers womb. Yes, it hears and it sees with its mother’s eyes. It is aware of her movements and her emotions, even though its mind has not developed… Whatever the mother experiences — sorrow, pain, fear, anxiety, etc. — is also experienced by the embryo.

If the mother doesn’t want the child, if she doesn’t love it, then the embryo senses this and traumas are created in its little soul that ac­company it all its life. The opposite occurs through the mother’s holy emotions. When she is filled with joy, peace and love for the embryo, she transmits these things to it mystically, just as happens to children that have been born.

For this reason a mother must Pray a lot during her pregnancy and love the child growing within her, caressing her abdomen, reading Psalms, singing hymns and living a holy life. This is also for her own benefit. But she makes sacrifices for the sake of the embryo so that the child will become more holy and will acquire from the very outset holy foundations.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“Speak more to God about your children than to your children about God… The Soul of the teenager is in a state of an explosion of freedom. This is why it is hard for them to accept counsel. Rather than counselling them continuously and reproaching them again and again, leave the situation to Christ, to the Panagia, and to the Saints, asking that they bring them to reason.”

Elder Epiphanios of Athens

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“A child needs to be surrounded by people who Pray and Pray ardently. “

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“We are so concerned with our children’s schooling; if only we were equally zealous in bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord!… Let us give them a pattern to imitate; from their earliest years let us teach them to study the Bible.”

Saint John Chrysostom

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“You don’t need to say a lot to children. Words hammer at the ears, but prayer goes to the heart. Prayer is required, with faith and without anxiety, along with a good example.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“The best inheritance parents can bestow upon their children is their own Spiritual devotion”

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

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“Teach your children this lesson: The rewards of evil are temporary; while the rewards of Godliness are Eternal.”

Saint Cyprian of Carthage

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“Don’t pressure your children. In your Prayers say the things that you want to tell them. Children don’t listen through their ears, but only when Divine Grace comes to enlighten them do they listen to the things we want to tell them. When you want to say something to your children, tell it to the Panagia and she will bring it to pass. This Prayer of yours will be like a spiritual caress which will embrace your children and will grab their attention.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“Parents should love their children as their children and not as their idols. That is to say, they should love their children as they are and not how they would like them to be – to be like them.”

Elder Epiphanios of Athens

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“A mother should not be satisfied by giving her child a physical caress, but should also coddle it with the caress of Prayer. In the depths of its soul the child senses the spiritual caress that its mother conveys to it and is drawn to her. It feels security and certainty when its mother mys­tically embraces it with constant, intense and fervent prayer and releas­es it from whatever is oppressing it.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“When your children are still small, you have to help them understand what is good. That is the deepest meaning of life.”

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

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“We must see God in the faces of our children and give God’s love to our children.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“Children look more at their parents’ lives and reflect them in their young Souls than they listen to their words.”

Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk

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“What saves and makes for good children is the life of the parents in the home. The parents need to devote themselves to the love of God. They need to become Saints in their relation to their children through their mildness, patience and love. They need to make a new start every day, with a fresh outlook, renewed enthusiasm and love for their children. And the joy that will come to them, the Holiness that will visit them, will shower Grace on their children.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“The primary lesson for life must be implanted in the Soul from the earliest age. The primary lesson for children is to know the Eternal God, the One Who gives Everlasting Life.”

Saint Clement of Alexandria

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“An important part of a child’s education is story-telling, since good stories excite the imagination and strengthen the bond between parent and child. Stories from the Bible are preferred, and the child should repeat them often, to underscore full comprehension.”

Saint John Chrysostom

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“Children cannot endure coercion. Don’t compel them to come with you to Church. You can say, ‘Whoever wants can come with me now or come later.’ Leave God to speak to their Souls. The reason why the children of some devout parents become rebellious when they grow up and reject the Church and everything connected with it and go off to seek satisfaction elsewhere is because of this pressure which they feel from their ‘good’ parents. The so-called ‘devout’ parents, who were anxious to make good Christians of their children with their human love, pressurised their children and produced the opposite result… When children grow up in an atmosphere of freedom and at the same time are surrounded by the good example of grown-ups, they are a joy to see… what does your child see in you? How do you live and what do you radiate? Does Christ radiate in you? That is what is transmitted to your child.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“Take great care of your children. We live at a time when much freedom is given to the expression of thought, but little care is taken that thoughts should be founded on truth. Teach them to love truth.”

Saint Macarius of Optina

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“When the parents are Saintly and transmit this to the child and give the child an upbringing ‘in the Lord’, then the child, whatever the bad influences around it, will not be affected because by the door of its heart will be Wisdom — Christ Himself. The child will not undergo great travail to acquire Wisdom. It seems very difficult to become good, but in reality it is very easy when from an early age you start with good expe­riences. As you grow up effort is not required; you have goodness within you and you experience it. You don’t weary yourself; it is yours, a pos­session which you preserve, if you are careful, throughout your life.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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