“The Talk”: On the Role of Schools and Fathers

In this episode, Upper School Head, Michael Moynihan discusses how we, as a School, partner with fathers to help them talk to their sons about God’s plan for human love.

  • Each child has the right to a personal conversation with their parents about human love. To deal with this topic solely in an institutional way does not do it justice.
  • The topic of human love is best addressed in the context of the home, in such a way that both respects the child’s innocence and respects the metaphysical and spiritual realities of love, not just the physical.
  • Schools do have a role to play in this education through an integrated curriculum offering, inter alia, examples of friendship and love in literature, a correct human anthropology through philosophy, and a love for the theological underpinnings of the sacrament of marriage.
  • Schools also have a role to play in supporting parents as they educate and form their sons. This is especially true given that many parents are trying to offer their guidance to their sons in a way that is different from what they themselves received.
  • The Heights offers a series of nights for fathers. In the 4th grade, we discuss with the fathers how to begin sharing with their sons God’s plan for marriage; in the 6th grade, we discuss with the fathers how to begin to address the threats to God’s plan, especially pornography; in 9th grade, we discuss the proper approach to courtship.
  • Fathers must share with their sons the fact that God’s plan for marriage is under attack, especially when it comes to pornography. Sons must be given the tools to confront this great evil when they are first exposed to it. Otherwise, interest may result from initial paralysis.
  • These conversations are most effective when there is a good foundation in place, including (a) a developed appropriate friendship between father and son, (b) a home where modesty is observed, (c) a culture in the home that celebrates mom and dad’s stories and marriage.
Michael Moynihan

About the guest:

Michael Moynihan

A native of Rochester, NY, Michael Moynihan earned B.A. degrees in history and science pre-professional studies with a concentration in the Honors Program from the University of Notre Dame. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After teaching for one year and earning a master’s degree in theology from The Catholic University of America, he joined the faculty of The Heights School in 1995. He has taught chemistry, Advanced Placement chemistry, eighth grade science, ethics, math and religion, has coached The Heights’ cross-country team and founded The Heights Mountaineers program. Michael was named Head of the Upper School in 2002. He and his wife, Angela, have eleven children, with four sons here at the School.

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