In today’s world of media bombardment, Archbishop Samuel Aquila encouraged parents to set limits on one of their children’s biggest distractions—cell phones.
“I know young people get excited when I say this, but parents, take their cell phones away from them by 7 p.m. at night and don’t give them back until 7 a.m. in the morning, or when they leave to go to school,” the archbishop said at a confirmation Mass last month at St. Thomas More Church in Centennial.
Cell phones are great, he continued, but a huge source of temptation. He also encouraged parents to be plugged in to the messages their children send and receive.
“If you’re not already reading your children’s text messages, all the way through high school, you better start,” he advised.
When kids ask him, “How can you say that? It’s private!” he armed parents with a response.
“[It’s] because you love them, and you care for them,” he said. “And it’s important to see what’s out there, because it’s frightening what’s out there.”
In matters of faith and morality, the archbishop reminded parents of the importance of their involvement and guidance.
“You’re the only ones who can give witness,” he said. “I can talk until I’m blue in the face, but it’s you who are the first teachers to your children in the ways of faith, and they will learn from you.”
Parents must also be authentic witnesses by regularly attending Sunday Mass and monthly confession as a family, he said, even when children “fight against it.”