Talking about vocations with our kids

We talk to our kids about college. We talk to our kids about becoming a doctor or lawyer or journalist. Do we talk to our kids about vocations? Whether your child’s vocation is to the priesthood, marriage, single life, consecrated life, or another vocation, it is important to help your child discern what God is calling them to be. Laura Kelly Fanucci, author of Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting, joined Morning Air® to discuss why it is so crucial to talk to your kids about vocations.

“Part of what I’m called to help my kids do, as their parent, is to think about what the gifts are that God has given them for the needs of the world,” says Fanucci. “That’s where our callings start, whether we are called to be a priest or a sister or brother or whether we’re called to be married or to the single life or to parenthood, whatever it is, it starts with God speaking to our hearts and giving gifts through us that the world needs.”

Parents talk to their kids about ‘what they want to be when they grow up’, but often forget that their child’s call is much bigger than a career path. “Parents and grandparents love to say, ‘oh look, little Johnny has such a gift for numbers; maybe he will be an engineer or a teacher!’ But there’s something else to say. ‘You know what, he’s got gifts that could be wonderful for the priesthood,’ or ‘he loves kids and maybe he’s going to be a father someday and I want to nurture that in him no matter what God is calling him to be.’”

One of the best ways to nurture vocations in your children and help them discern what their vocation may be is to integrate faith into your family life. “So much of helping kids learn and develop at every stage to adulthood is about repetition, deepening and understanding. One hour of church on Sunday is just not enough to really form kids, so I think that’s got to be part of a whole culture at home with the family,” says Fanucci. With all the other influences in the world, “we’ve got to make sure that that presence of faith is so strong in their lives, and trust of course that God will do the rest—we can’t control who our kids become. That’s one of the hardest parts of parenting at any age.”