Su Eminencia, I am having a problem with my son. He doesn’t listen to me and when I tell him to do something, he does just the opposite. How can I get through to him?
“Dear Hernando Lopez,
De nada y Dios te bendiga. It is unfortunate that many children do not listen to their parents these days. When I was growing up, if I so much as talked back to Momma Maria, she would slap me across the mouth. Now, I don’t suggest you do that with your son. Instead, take a firm stance but be gentle and always represent yourself as a formidable authority.
One of my parishioners, whose name I will not mention, had an authority problem. He consistently defied me. Eventually I told him that should he fail to listen to his God-given authorities, his soul may be tortured and his eyes be poked in hell forever. It worked fairly well. When your son attempts to disobey you, remind him of the consequences and spare no details.
Angelo Cardinal Fratelli.