Pope to Parents: Talk With Your Children, Listen to Them

Notes the Importance of School Years

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is reminding parents of the fundamental importance of conversing with their children.

Sunday after praying the midday Angelus with crowds gathered at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, the Pope mentioned the start of the school year in his French-language greeting.

He invited parents to dedicate time to their children and to talk with them about what they are experiencing.

The Holy Father stressed the importance of the years spent in school. «One learns to structure the mind and broaden the field of knowledge,» he noted. «In school one also learns to live together.»

The Pontiff reminded the parents that they are the «first educators of their children.» And he invited them to «encourage [your children] in their work.»

«Take time to listen to them and speak with them about what they are experiencing,» he exhorted. «In this way you will help them to make the right decisions.»

Benedict XVI described the family and school as the «good earth in which the humanity of tomorrow is tilled.»

«That is why I ask you to pray,» he added, «so that every child everywhere will be able to receive the education to which he has a right.»

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