Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
August 10, 1962     Arkansas Catholic
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August 10, 1962

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O 18tTHE GUARDIAN AUGUST 10, 1962 Family Clinic Parents Disagree On Girl's So:ial Life BY FATHER JOHN L. THOMAS, S.J. Associate Professor of Sociology, St. Louis University What can you do with a wife who won't face the facts of life in raising our children? We have four, but the present major bone of contention is our daughter of fifteen. My wife started pro. meting her socially while she was still in grade school. Now she goes out about as often as she pleases and my wife thinks its all right. When I object to the late hours or the type of company she keeps, they both gang up on me and claim I'm over-suspicious or dirty-minded, so I get no place. How does a man handle a situation like this? One thing i clear, Jack, you've got your work cut out for you! The mother-daughter combination is always unfor- I I Ill DIAL SUnset 2-2061" 1215 Garrison FORT SMITH tunate and never easy to deal with. Bbsides, you're starting rather late, though perhaps not too late--at least, not too late to take some effective steps to protect your younger children. I use the term protect advised- ly; here, because well-intention- ed, shallow-minded mothers like your wife are a real menace to their children and society. It may help you deal with your situation more realistical- ly if you understand some of the social and psychological fac- tors involved. In lhe first place, owing to various changes in the social system, the moth- er's role in the training and guidance of children has been notably extended. More than in the past, she tends to become the primary formative influence in their lives, not only during childhood but throughout the teen - age period. Particularly if their husbands are unwilling or not trained to share adequately in FIRST National Bank 3 Convenient Locations SIXTH and GARRISON Highway 71 South and Jenny Lind Building 310, Fort Chaffeo FORT SMITH, ARK. KARPET.KARE algelw's OII.LOCAI'IOII CLIANII can make your car.get come fo fife tool RUGS & UPHOLSTERING CLEANED REPAIRED & REDYED Oriental Rugs . Carpets Installed MARTINOUS ORIENTAL RUG CO. "Arkansas' Oldest and Finest Rug Cleaners" FORT SMITH 2615 N. D St.--SU 2-1712 Serving Van Buren and Alma 503 E. 21st St. LITTLE ROCK Phone FR 4.4012 Serving Benton, Morrilton, Stuttgart & Hot Springs FORT SMITH PACKING CO. 1530 North 12th Street Fort Smith "ARKANSAS FARM BRAND" PRODUCTS Arkansas PHONE SUnset 3-5133 McLOUD SICARD Chairman of the Board MARY C. KELLY President DIVIDENDS 4% Per Annum PEOP[[S FEDERAL SAVINGS & LOAN ASSOCIATION South 6th & Rogers Ave.  FORT SMITH, ARK.  SUnset 3-6186 Priest Aces 'Sharing Our Treasure' 300-Yard Hole Invalid Marriage Palisades Park priest scored a hole-in-one on the 300-yard 15th hole at the Valley View Coun- try Club here. Father Peter J. Reilly of St. Michael's parish was playing with another priest when he scored the ace. Tom Corkery, Valley View profes- sional for 25 years, said it was the first time within his tenure that a hole-in-one has been made on the hole. rearing the children, some mothers attempt to take over this parental function complete- iy, forgetting that their views and aims necessarily bear a one. sided, purely feminine stamp. Moreover, even where this does not happen, mothers tend for various reasons to be more interested in social life and ill the need to promote the social- ization of their children than do fathers. Most mothers are anxiously concerned to have their sons and daughters be so- cially acceptable and accepted. ONCE THEY ASSUME the major role in the rearing pro- cess, they energetically promote lhe social life of their children as one of their princil)al func- tions. Apparently deriving con- siderable vicarious satisfaction from the popularity of their youngsters (the social game is a highly competitive one), they proceed to enter their young hopefuls into the contest at ever earlier ages. Leads to Conversi, Rev. John A. O'Br|en, Ph. D. (University of Notre Dame) In' virtually every parish there are many mixed mar- riages. Most of these are valid, but a few may be invalid. If y o u know of the latter kind, you m a y be able to help the couple have their marriage vali- dated. In eith- el" ease your kindness to the non-Catho- lic party will often hell) might- ily in kindling his interest in the Faith and ultimately in lead- ing him to embrace it. Ordi- narily the Catholic prty is the h)gical one to do this, but some- limes 1lie Catholic is hesitant and needs your help. ltow an invalid mixed mar- riage led to conversion is il- lustrated in the case of Mrs. Richard La Fluer of Sioux City, Iowa. "My interest in the Cath- olic religion," related Mrs. La Fluer, "arose from my marriage to a fallen-away Catholic in a civil ceremony. I went to Mon- signor Edward Lilly, pastor of St. Josephs' parislL to have this all the Protestant explain too the of the Church -- 550 members in all lands the same Failh, same sacraments and edging the same thority. "I was deeply by the long list of which stretches from Fish.erman to the That list shows the lure of the Church, bishops were the shows too the antiq Church as co the Protestant "When Monsignor Jesus, as depicted pels, my mind and out to Him in h)yalty He became so real to seemed as t'hough I lhe hem of llis at His feet and blessing. Ills mercy ill the sacrament of an(l Ills love in the charist, I came io see Sacrifice of the Mass as prerne forill of worship finitely higher and more ing to God than mere This quite understandable maternal anxiety to guarantee the popularity of their children is associated with a more ques- tionable feminine trait. Through a convenient selectivity in their perception of reality, many mothers can apparently ignore the biological and psychological consequences of normal sexual development in their children perhaps even in themselves. Thus they can eagerly pro- mote t he early . frequently, relatively unsupervised and in. timate cross-sex association of their youngsters while ignoring its necessarily emotional and sexual overtones. I don't have to tell you, Jack, what reaction a man receives when these obvious facts of life are called to such women's at- tention. Your wife and daugh. ter are typical in accusing you of being over-suspicious and dirty-minded. Like so many others involved in promoting the system, they act as if iroubiesome elements in hu- man nature cease to be opera- tire, provided one consistently ignores them. WHAT SHOULD you do'? Well, Jack, as I indicated, a mother-daughter combination is a patently unhealthy family situation. Parents, by the very nature of their common task or mission, must plan and work together. If any combination exists, it should be between father and mother, thus making parental authority a stable, uni- fied power. Although I may be reading between the lines, your ease seems to illustrate the not uncommon family situation in which decisions relating to the raising of children are regard- ed as the exclusive concern of the mother. Once this pattern is formed, it is not easily changed, as you are discover- ing! Your first step is to redefine the situation. Both you and the ether members of your family must realize that you have par. ental rights and obligations. In practice this means that you ac- tively share in maknig and en- forcing decisions concerning the raising of your children. Mere random protest does not meet this requirement. Second, in regard to the spe- cial dating problem that now concerns you, remember that it is useless to argue with people whom you first have to educate, Whether through wilful ignor- ance or convenient blindness, your wife and daughter refuse to face some rather obvious facts of life. Your job as a mn is to spell these facts out to them in no uncertain terms, Don't 'be put off by their re. marks about "over-suspicious- ness" or "dirty-mindedness." START WITH the assumption marriage performed in the Cath- ()lie Church. "Monsignor explained that I would first have to receive in- structions. Thank God, he didn't give me the mere premarital instructions but the whole course. As the course proceed. cd, I got a new and accurate un- derstanding of the divine char. actor of the Catholic religion. All the Protestant denomina- tions have arisen since the. time of Martin Luther, the founder of the first Protestant sect in 1524. "But ahuost 15 centuries he- fore that, Jesus founded Ills Church when He said to the Apostles: 'All power in heaven and earth has been given to me, Go, therefore, and make dis- ciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days, even unto the consumma- tion of the world' (Matt. 28: 18-20). "These are the words of the great commission, the words of the Church's Charter, which might well be carved over lhe entrance of every Catholic Church. They bring out vividly the God-made character of the Catholic Church as con'trasted with the man-made character of that your daughter is normal for her age and consequently quite capable of emotional and sexual involvements. Point out that in the past (and in many parts of the world today) a good percentage of girls were mar- ried and bearing children at her age. Since she is not ready for marriage in our society, her dating activities must be care- fully supervised and restricted. This is a matter of con- science. Because you're starting so late, they'll not give in easily. Remind them that you mean business, for your stake in the outcome is high--the sal- vation of your soul as parent. "I was received Church and our validated. That opened new world of richness and happiness. mn-eatholic parties in ed marriages 1 would not delay.. Take a cam'so of instruction, whole life will be your hal)piness lmndredfold!' " Package Store Your favorite brand we have it ---" Cold Beer to go. 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