FF FAQs – Questions from DREs about families resistant to change

What do you do with parents who are resistant to the idea of teaching their children at home?

Even the least-committed Catholic parents have an interest in their child’s religious formation.  By making Family Formation the only option in your parish, families are compelled to try it, and most will soon see the effectiveness of the program.  Also, do not underestimate the value of having your parish priest’s support.  His enthusiastic endorsement of family-based catechesis from the pulpit and at your parent training times will convince many families to give it a try.  personal contact by the DRE or another enthusiastic parent could also help to encourage them through difficulties.

What about the really resistant parents in my parish who aren’t likely to get on board with Family Formation, and what about those children who will get left by the wayside if we don’t continue with CCD?

It isn’t very comforting, but despite our best efforts, the effectiveness of any program is very limited if the Faith is not supported at home.  While it seems backwards to give the primary responsibility for religious education to these parents, the fact of the matter is that God already gave it to them when they became parents.  It is our job to help them recognize this fact and to support them every step of the way.  Follow-up phone calls, personal invitations, and education on parental graces can all be helpful.  Obviously, this support will take additional effort on the part of the DRE and parish priest, but it can be very fruitful.  The key to true transformation in a home is to re-evangelize the parents.  Family Formation offers several non-threatening ways to help make this happen:

  1. The Home Lessons are written at an elementary school level.  Even parents who were very poorly catechized can begin learning the facts of the Faith in simple ways along with their children.
  2. No additional research or study preparation is necessary to do the Home Lessons.  At the most basic level, parents can simply read them aloud to their family and do the activities together.
  3. The monthly meetings offer chances to help everyone learn about a topic in more depth.  During these meetings, it can be helpful to arrange for people to give testimonies outlining their struggles and successes in passing on the Faith to their children and offer practical tips to make it work.  Most parents are resistant because they are busy, they feel inadequate for the job, or because they have never imagined a system other than the “drop off” one.  Family Formation has answers to all of these concerns.

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