Monday, February 15, 2010

worst parenting ever...

... overheard at mass yesterday; an empty threat from an exasperated mom to her obnoxious pre-teen daughter...

"If you can't behave and follow along I am going to make you come back tonight and sit through mass again!"

I don't think it ever would have occurred to me to turn the most holy sacrifice of the mass into a form of corporal punishment. sadness.


Enbrethiliel said...


I know a sister who made a noisy classroom of girls pray all twenty decades of the rosary in one sitting. It wasn't supposed to be punishment; it was merely (!) a way to keep them quiet. I wonder which one is actually worse.

Shark Bait said...

I am sure it was never meant as a punishment. Surely it was only offering her an opportunity to experience the full and unspoiled beauty of the mass if again if she missed something the first time.

Yeah, okay. That was a little bit of a low blow. Point taken.


The Crescat said...

hey wait... it just occured to me, isn't this what penance is. I mean the Our Father, Hail Mary and several dozens rosaries have been used to punish me for my sins.


Anonymous said...

"I don't think it ever would have occurred to me to turn the most holy sacrifice of the mass into a form of corporal punishment. sadness."

I have been to some[many] Novus Ordo Masses where this would be an effective corporal punishment,
It definitely goes into the "offering it up" category.

It is kind of ironic that assisting at Holy Mass can become an occasion for the deep suffering of the one assisting.
Maybe there is no irony.

Adoro said...

I think it depends on the age of the child. Recently I had to give a series of 1st Communion talks to parents of 2nd graders, and asked for them to make suggestions as to how to help children learn to behave at Mass, etc. What works, what doesn't.

One parent, maybe two, said that if they went to Mass and the children wouldn't behave, they'd leave and come back to the next Mass, or to another local parish if an in-between time with their regular parish. Here where we live, that may mean going to Mass ALL DAY LONG!

I think she said that the record is 3 Masses before the girls learned to behave.

They were very young, though, not pre-teens. This is a wonderful mother and I can testify that her children know how to behave in a church, at Mass, and are growing up with incredible formation.

But yes, there is a line that can't be crossed....a pre-teen would read that totally as punishment...UNLESS THERE WAS PRIOR CONTEXT.

It may not, in that case, be "punishment" but rather, an expected consequence for something she learned long ago.

I don't think we can really come down too hard on the parent you cited without knowing that context. We don't know the conversations that may have taken place before, or after that moment.

I say kudos to the parent for stepping up and being a parent! I just hope she WASN'T turning Mass into a punishment.

Smiley said...

The problem is even if the kid is well behaved, if the church has unruly kids around the good kids then to behave badly. At the regular church i find most kids behave badly, however at the NO latin mass church the kids and adults behave well and quite.
How can a parent tell the kid to be quite if all around befoer mass there is a murmur in the church of adults talking.
This weekend i had to go to the regular church for mass. i reached 30 mins in advance and as the congregation comes in its all noise and chitter chatter. Then the prist comes in to dress for mass and he chatters with everyone. Im slowly going mad there telling God please dont make me lose it please please pretty please trying to control the building rage.
How can we expect kids to be quite if the parents and adults themselves dont STFU.

Kike said...

Oops, I totally agree: worst parenting ever.

Also, heard at The Simpson's, from Ned Flanders' mouth, speaking to Rod and Todd: "[Because you hadn't behave] this night there won't be no biblical reading for you [both]".

Good grief.

Congratulations for your blog. I really enjoy you been Catholic and funny: I think that laughs and fun is what Catholicism is lacking these days (without forgetting, of course, what Christianity has of martyrdom, sword and bravery! By the way, I think that if you speak Spanish you could enjoy this blog--it's not mine: hmmm also I think that if you read Spanish you could enjoy my blog too, he, he...).

Rod Todd

Anonymous said...

It will be especially helpful if the mass is in a language the child cannot understand.

Lee Strong said...

Sadly, I have been to a few Masses that were a form of punishment!