Parent Session -- This Blessed Mess!

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Help us to create families of love and faith.

Guide us in raising children who shine your Light to the world,

And give us the grace to be good examples.

Be with us each day as we strive to be better people,

Sharing our love for you by our words and our deeds.

We thank you for the gift of our faith

And for the blessing of our children.



Post its on each table:

·      List what you would like your family to look like...

·      List what an everyday family looks like..

·      What did the Holy family look like..

(when completing lists include everyday events, work, school, meals, prayer life, activities, health, etc)

Discuss / Share

Watch DVD 11:42


Holding On and Letting Go

·       Forgiving is a process. We choose to surrender to God – to let go and forgive—move on. Repeat over and over and over.  Parenting is a mixed bag of blessings and we create and find ourselves in the midst of human messes.  Learning, teaching  and modeling forgiveness within the parent relationship provides your children with the necessary life giving tools to forgive, let go, move on and love one another iin a healthy way.


Dysfunction – what is it?

  “the condition of having poor and unhealthy behaviors and attitudes within a group of people”  (Webster Dictionary)

·      Set your healthy boundaries. Modeling boundaries individually, as a couple and a family are beautiful ways to grow as a family.


8 Basic Principles of Healthy Boundary Setting

1.   Good, Decent People Set Boundaries. Establishing boundaries makes you a safe person. People know where they stand with you. Boundaries are the way we take care of ourselves. We have both a right and a duty to protect and defend ourselves.

2.   Generous People Set Boundaries. If you don't set boundaries you are giving yourself away. With boundaries you only give what you want which means you can afford to be generous to more people over a longer period of time.

3.   Boundaries Allow Others to Grow. Because it makes others conscious of their behavior thus allowing them to change.

4.   Boundaries Allow You To Get More of What You Want, and Less of What You Don't. Boundaries not only protect you from unwanted behavior, they also foster the behavior that you want.

5.   Effective People Set Boundaries. Because doing so keeps you in control of your time and efforts which makes you feel better about yourself. This leads to your being more effective.

6.   Stick to Your Guns. In order for boundary setting to work for you, you must develop a commitment to uphold what is right and true for you. You must act consistently in upholding your boundaries.

7.   Practice Makes Perfect. If this is not familiar behavior it will feel awkward and unnatural at first, but anything worth doing is worth doing badly at first. People may not like it at first that's natural they are used to getting their own way with you.

8.   Keep It Up. With practice you will get more skillful and graceful.


5 Healthy Benefits of Boundary Setting

·      Contribution to Others' Well Being

·      Freedom From Bad Behavior, Fear or Pain

·      Increased Self Esteem and Self Respect

·      More Respect From Others

·      Requirement for Honest, Direct Communication

5 Guidelines for Setting Effective Boundaries

§Back up boundary setting with action.

§  Be direct, firm and gracious.

§  Don't debate, defend or over-explain.

§  Have support easily available on the sidelines in the beginning.

§  Stay strong, don't give in.


The 3 C’s--- short reminder we can’t be others Savior – there is only one of those and it is not us. 

·      I didn’t CAUSE IT


·      I CANT CURE IT.

o   (Alanon)

We can love them, with out changing them, but set healthy boundaries for your self and your family.


What Religious Traditions do you have in your home.  Maybe it is time to create some or make new ones?

·      Special Prayer area—do you have one? What is in it?

o   Bible, candle, rosary, devotionals, adapt to the liturgical season.

o   Baptismal Candles lit at birthdays

o   Visiting churches, art work, history

o   Sign of cross on child’s forehead at bed time to bless them

o   Family Service

o   Other

o   If you are a family of combined religions –focus on the similarities not the difference



1 .   We are formed in many ways by our families. What is one quality you are glad you received from your family? What is one wound you received growing up

 2.     Which is more difficult for you at this tie in your families life, holding on, or letting go? What do you hope to hold onto?  Where might you be called to let go?

3.  Who has forgiven you?  Who is hard for you to forgive?  Why is  forgiveness so important?


Closing Prayer--For the Care of Children

Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the

joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient

wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love

whatever is just and true and good, following the example of

our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


For the parents


Almighty God, giver of life and love, bless N. and N.  Grant

them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common

life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a

counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion

in joy.  And so knit their wills together in your will and their

spirits in your Spirit, that they may live together in love and

peace all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.