In my self-righteous 20s or my prideful 30s, I could have told you exactly how to do many things right. OK, well, I still can, but I will moderate my tone a bit. I’ll simply tell you how we do things, and you can decide what is helpful to you.
The much-loved and respected Fr. Vander Woude once counseled my friend who was having marital issues not to pick a fight if it was “not a moral issue.”
Let this become your mantra, “It’s not a moral issue.”
Judy Blume spoils my kids’ fun by saying there’s no Santa? I can be mad, but it’s not a moral issue.
Five year old kid tells me I have a vagina while his mom looks on in pride and awe? I can disagree with her parenting choices, but it’s a not a moral issue.
“It’s not a moral issue ” is the way you bite your tongue when someone is critical of your parenting choices before you calmly and respectfully say, “Thank you for your input.” “It’s not a moral issue” is what you repeat to yourself over and over when someone does something you think is stupid, but isn’t actually immoral.
Sometimes people will try to convince you it is a moral issue because lying to your kids about Santa is sinful (Gasp!). Whatever. You pray about that on your own time. Don’t let people bully you about how you parent, even me. And if it is a moral issue? Take it to prayer and conversation with your husband.
[Featured image is of St. Nicholas reading Wonderfully Made! Babies: A Catholic Perspective on How and Why God Makes Babies (for ages 9 and up) by Ellen Giangiordano]