Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Begging for Advice

So I have Mass with our primary school students tomorrow. They cover the young age of grade school- preschool through 2nd grade. Is there a way I can speak effectively to them about abortion while not harming them too greatly or violating their parent's right on when to teach them. Ideas?


Adoro said...

Wow. That's a tough one. I'm sorry I have no advice to offer. My advice would be to avoid the topic, but on the other's really important to bring it up on such a day!

Adrienne said...

With all due respects since you are a priest and all, buuut - that is way to young of an age to even be bringing up such an issue.

Father, at that age they don't even know where babies come from.

I would instead stress the concept of the child being a gift from God. If they come to believe that the rest takes care of itself.

Fr. Andrew said...

Tom Parr wanted to comment but couldn't and so emailed:
Sorry I couldn’t get the comment item to work on your blog. I have a couple suggestions for “Begging for Advice”

1) Talk about how great it was that Mary did not abort Jesus and how John lept in Elizabeth’ womb, or

2) Bring out an easily identifiable item like a stuffed animal, like a cat and then start calling it a dog over and over. Hopefully the kids will get giggly about how silly you are and then point out that just because some people want to say a baby inside mom’s belly is not a baby does’nt change the fact that it is, or

3) Use the caterpillar and butterfly scenario to point out that just because things change in looks and function doesn’t mean they aren’t the same, or

4) Try to get them to think of things they can remember and then go back in time and ask them about the first time they walked or talked, the goal being to point out that just because they can not remember does not mean they did not exist inside mom’s womb, or something along those lines.


Fr. Andrew said...

Adrienee- I would never directly mention Abortion to that age group (and that wasn't clear in my post, sorry) but I want to plant seeds and also speak so that the parents will know what I'm alluding too. I might make a connection to bullying (which the 2nd graders know). Thanks!

Tom- I don't have any stuffed animals and probably wouldn't bring one out anyway. I'm not much of a prop guy, except when I'm on stage!

kelly said...

I would just lightly brush on the topic. (My 2nd-grader and K-gartener know what abortion is.)

Something like, "Sometimes moms don't want their babies because they don't think they can take care of them or they don't know what huge blessings they are. We should pray that God tells their heart that ALL of His creations are wonderful!"

kelly said...

I forgot to add that it would be good to mention any of the scripture references about God knowing and planning for us even before we are born. It's not really mentioning abortion, but it's planting the seed of a pro-life worldview.

Maybe it's too late for you to get this, though, but in any case, I'm sure you'll do fine :-)

--encouraging your continued use of emoticons-- ;-D

The Ironic Catholic said...

Well, the homily has been made, I assume. But my kids (8,6,3) were listening to NPR with me at breakfast a few months ago and asked if I was going to vote for Obama, and I said no. They asked why not? I said I didn't agree with some of his positions. Like what? (pause) Well, like abortion. What's abortion? (longer pause, decide to answer it) Well, its when a person kills a baby in its mother's womb. Shock, somewhat long discussion afterward.

While my husband looked at me like "have you LOST YOUR MIND?!"

8 yr old= got it. Disturbed, but got it. Told everyone at school to vote for McCain. (for the record, his parents didn't vote for either Obama or McCain.)

6 yr old= nightmares for weeks. Went around telling everyone she knew at school, incl. adults and classmates' moms, that Obama kills babies. (which...well, on one hand, its a witness. On the other hand, she's really young to know what that evokes in people. I rather wish I had not inadvertently put her in those situations. And um, this is a charter Montessori school...not quite Obama central but close. A couple of parents had disturbed conversations with me, which is fine, I can take it.)

3 yr old: ate her cereal, sailed over her head.

As sticky as all that was, at least it came from me, the mother. So we could do follow-up. And I got a sense that my kids may be activists in the making. :)

I would have suggested "Life is beautiful" theme myself. Hope it went well.

Fr. Andrew said...

IC- great story. Your 6 year old's reaction was precisely what I wanted to avoid, hence, my homily goal was to plant a seed with them while making an allusion that the parents would catch. You be the judge...

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

DO NOT SAY is the parents right as primary educator & protector!