254. The children’s progress in the formation they receive depends on the help and example of their companions and on the influence of their parents. Both these factors should be taken into account.
As a parent, I have to comment on this interesting expectation. I would hope that my example is at least equally important as my influence would be. I suppose the Church assumes the “supportive setting” of peers is as important for youth as it would be for adults:
1. Since the children to be initiated often belong to a group of children of the same age who are already baptized and are preparing for confirmation and eucharist, their initiation progresses gradually and within the supportive setting of this group of companions.
What is 254.1 saying or implying? Are all children who have yet to receive confirmation and First Eucharist assumed to be in formation for these sacraments? Or are the groups in proximate preparation for confirmation and Eucharist the ideal peer groups? Surely the framers of this paragraph knew the variations in practice around the globe for confirmation and that First Eucharist is nearly always celebrated very early in a child’s life.
2. It is to be hoped that the children will also receive as much help and example as possible from the parents, whose permission is required for the children to be initiated and to live the Christian life. The period of initiation will also provide a good opportunity for the family to have contact with priests and catechists.
This is sound. The Church recognizes the special situation for unbaptized children, the opportunity for good pastoral ministry with parents, who, are either recently inactive Christians, or who have been bystanders as their children have taken some initiative of belief and brought it with them to family life.