I teach a parenting class in my vocation as a certified prevention professional and I always tell the parents, "You have to be militant against our culture to be successful at raising kids these days." Unfortunately most of these parents are outside the church and do not have the weapons they need to engage in this cultural battle.
In fact, many of them are themselves caught up in the very cultural influences that are causing their kids to get involved in alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, criminal behavior, sexual promiscuity, and poor school performance.
Each week we sing the prayers in the vesperal tone of the week.
What a joy to sing the Plain Chant in our home and practice for the stichera to be sung at Great Vespers on Saturday night.
In addition, they create hyperactivity, impatience, nervousness, and the need to be constantly entertained and stimulated.
Many of the parents I work with are too busy going through their own personal soap operas to have the time or emotional energy to give their kids the guidance and protection that kids need.Attendance at Divine Liturgy, Vespers, and other services should not be optional for children.Children need to grow up knowing that this is simply what Orthodox Christians do, that the divine services are the most important, life-giving and, special events of the week.In the Orthodox Church we often use the expression that the home should be like "a little church." In Romania, a country the size of the state of Pennsylvania with over 500 monasteries, they take this saying a step further and say that the home should be like "a little monastery." It is my firm belief that in our increasingly secular and hedonistic culture, these sayings are true more now than ever.To raise Christian children in 21st century America, parents need all the help they can get from the church and, yes, even the monasteries.