After reading a very insightful post called "A few brief thoughts on chastity and teens" over at Deacon Scott's blog, Καθολικός διάκονος (I highly recommend it -- check it out!), I've been thinking a lot about parenting teens and parenting in general.
When I was in grad school for social work (before I was married), I went through a period where I was working in the field of child abuse and thus I read a lot of Alice Miller, a PhD in Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology. Dr. Miller approaches the question of Christ as an atheist would (and thus she has serious blind spots), and yet her writings and her advocacy for children leads her to make reference to Jesus and the Holy Family:
So, we see her greatest blind spot: she is incapable of recognizing that Jesus' (or anyone's for that matter) person and character are more than the result of personal experiences in childhood. Still, she has an interesting point, one that I thought about long and hard in those days: what if, as parents, we approached our children as though they are indeed children of God? What if we had the same attitude toward them that Mary and Joseph had toward the Son of God? What if we saw them as holy? What if we were approach them with all the reverence we reserve for the Eucharist? Because, in fact, from the moment of their Baptism, they are one with Christ, as we all are.
Long before his birth Jesus received the greatest reverence, love, and protection from his parents, and it was in this initial all-important experience that his rich emotional life, his thinking, and his ethics were rooted. His earthly parents saw themselves as his servants, and it would never have occurred to them to lay a finger on him. [The Truth Will Set You Free, pp. 190-191]
Jesus grew into a strong, aware, empathic, and wise person able to experience and sustain strong emotions without being engulfed by them. He could see through insincerity and mendacity and he had the courage to expose them for what they were. [The Truth Will Set You Free, p. 191]
Children are temples of the Holy Spirit. What if, as we bathed them, fed them, spoke to them, listened to them, we did all these things as if in the Presence of God?