I think most Catholic parents would consider guarding their children’s innocence and purity a top priority in family life today, given our current culture. This is definitely a primary intention of mine when praying for my kids (and I have separate pages in my prayer journals, A Parent Who Prays and A Grandparent Who Prays, for the intentions of purity, chastity, and modesty), because these virtues are just so important!
“We must be pure.” said Saint Peter Julian Eymard, “I do not speak merely of the purity of the senses. We must observe great purity in our will, in our intentions, in all our actions.”
Here are 5 of my favorite resources to help you in your effort to raise pure young children and teens:
- ChastityProject.com – This should be a go-to website for Catholic adults and young people, presenting a huge variety of chastity resources, with all of the who’s-who of Catholic chastity speakers and writers contributing to this beautiful project (of which the awesome Jason and Crystalina Evert are at the helm). You’ll find tons of Q&A, video, audio, books, blogs, and other tools to encourage purity. I think some of the other resources I mention in this post are in their online store, so I won’t blame you for skipping over to their site and getting everything you need to know from there. (For the purpose of this post, I wanted to narrow down your purity selections to just a few great ones!)
- Raising Chaste Catholic Men – I wrote a review for this awesome book by Leila Miller in the National Catholic Register here, so if you want to know more in detail what I think about it, take a moment to read that article. For now, I just want to re-recommend this as a staple resource for Catholic moms of boys (she writes the book from the “mom to mom” perspective).
- Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Raising Sexually Whole and Holy Kids – I turn to Dr. Greg Popcak’s books all the time for practical, faithful, psychology-based guidance in raising my Catholic family, and this resource in particular is aimed at helping readers effectively communicate the richness of the Church’s vision for sexuality – not an easy task! But this book helps make it a whole lot less scary.
- Protecting Innocence: Parenting, Your Kids, and the Internet – this fairly new CD/MP3 talk by Matt Fradd helps guide parents in taking action to protect their kids’ innocence, giving them wording to address the sensitive topic with kids (of all ages!) before they encounter pornography or after they’ve been exposed to it. A great resource to have in your arsenal, and since it’s an audio talk, a short investment of your time can yield big returns.
- Children’s books: Many of my readers know I’m a huge fan of children’s books, both for enjoyment and for teaching purposes. A good children’s book has the power to convey an important and beautiful message that can stick in our child’s heart and mind long after its read. For a more straightforward approach to tackling this purity topic with your kids through children’s literature, I recommend Good Pictures Bad Pictures and Good Pictures Bad Pictures, Jr. For more story-based children’s books to help inculcate the message of purity into your child’s heart, I recommend The Princess and the Kiss for your girls and The Squire and the Scroll for your boys.
Scripture contains a beautiful promise for those who possess purity: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Let us, as parents, work to be guardians of our children’s purity, not from a place of worry or fear, but from a place of faith, trust, and hope that God, with our help, will raise up the next generation of pure, holy saints.
For links to all the books mentioned in this list, you can find them in my Amazon wish list here.