Rearing Rebels: Episode #1 – The rule of 7

Early on in my education I heard about the rule of seven – a simple heuristic claiming that before any marketing or educational message can be remembered, it must be seen or heard approximately seven times. Simple and highly memorable, it’s a principle that has remained with me throughout my career in Public Relations and Communications and served me well. And so, when I became a parent, I turned to it and, after more than a decade of using it, I’m oh-so-grateful to say it has been an invaluable tool in our quiver against the forces of media and persuasion around us at home. You see, it’s our goal, daily or at least as close to daily as possible, to communicate faith and virtue to our kids at least seven times. Thank goodness for different day parts! It starts with morning prayer in some way, shape or form [link1], then goes to grace before meals, passing through a look at the saint of the day [link 2], evening prayers and, as often as possible, reading from a solid book. At any point in time, the members of my household may hear the occasional, very dad-like, reference to lives of the saints or punchy zingers from Sacred Scripture. If we’re talking about depression or addictions, for example, it could go like, “Augustine says our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in you.” Or, if I happen to have a well located wound on my hands, feet or torso, I might pretend I have been blessed with the stigmata. As you see, a sense of humour goes a long way in the application of this strategy.

Notwithstanding the corny jokes or times I over-apply this strategy, it seems to be working on the whole. My children and spouse seem to appreciate what’s going on and understand the reasons behind it. The goal: to give ourselves a fighting chance at defending the souls, minds and corporal/material wellbeing of our kids – of each other really, adults included! – from the onslaught of influences that invite us to consume, indulge and follow the crowd.

If and when the kiddos choose to leave me, as young adults perhaps, at least I’ll live at peace with my conscience and they’ll know where daddy stood on this or that topic. And, I am hopeful, they’ll see not only the love that drove this strategy, but the wisdom and importance of it for their lives, and our world.

Happy faith sharing…seven times!

PS: On special occasions, for example the beatification of Carlos Acutis, we benefit greatly from the work of our friends at Salt + Light! Thanks for all you do for viewers!

Link/Resource 1 – Salt + Light Media

Link/Resource 2 – Maurice Zundel prayer

Link/Resource 3 – Saint of the day (Franciscan media)

Link/Resource 4 – Food for the journey (Renewal Ministries)

Bingo Night with the youngest “callers” in town – an enjoyable evening! It helps too to take kids out for a yummy slice of pizza afterwards!


Replicate Mass, at home, during COVID-19 period of confinement. The Word lives on no matter what! The experience too lasts a lifetime.