Category: Parenting

Core State Standards Raising Questions for Parents
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Core State Standards Raising Questions for Parents

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With the school year starting soon, here’s a sampling of questions from recent emails: Q. Our school district is revamping the curriculum to comply with the new Common Core State Standards, but we don’t know what that will entail. Will my kids be behind since they have not had this curriculum from the beginning of […]

Craft Time
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Craft Time

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You’ve got to take whatever life throws at you.  And if you’re a parent, you probably have to wipe it up, too — especially when it comes to craft time. Few words can strike more fear in the hearts of parents with young toddlers than “craft time.”  When the paint is flying and the glue […]

Role Models Like A-Rod Aren't Worth Your Time
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Role Models Like A-Rod Aren’t Worth Your Time

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Q. This week’s suspension of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and 12 other major league players for ties to performance-enhancing drugs is yet another example of celebrity athletes setting a horrible example for their young fans. It seems celebrities of all stripes enjoy the fame and fortune that comes with their high-profile careers but never give a thought to […]

Mom and Teen Disagree About Pope's Message
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Mom and Teen Disagree About Pope’s Message

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Q. Pope Francis’ recent comments about gays — meant to be loving and conciliatory — have unfortunately created tension in my home. My teenager believes his comment, “Who am I to judge?” means that we should accept homosexuality as a normal occurrence and, therefore, something we shouldn’t reject. I’m certain that’s not what the pope meant — […]

Empowering Our Youth to Make a "Mess"
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Empowering Our Youth to Make a “Mess”

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In one of his World Youth Days homilies, Pope Francis told the throng of enthusiastic young adults that he wants “a mess”. “I want trouble in the dioceses!” he exclaimed. The participants embraced his words, reacting with the customary jubilation we have come to expect every time the Holy Father addresses the crowds. The Holy […]

Spoiled Children are Spoiling the Summer
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Spoiled Children are Spoiling the Summer

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Q. It’s the dog days of summer and I’m out of ideas to entertain my kids. For the past week, I feel like all I do is open my wallet and shell out more money to keep them from complaining. They are bored and plugged into electronics all day. My suggestions for things to do […]

Mother-in-Law Words of Wisdom
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Mother-in-Law Words of Wisdom

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I love Marie Barone in the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.  Sure she’s a bit meddlesome. Admittedly she’s even a tad overbearing. Maybe she’s even off-putting to some. But her motivation is pure. She’s committed to her family. She really never puts herself first—even if we are led to believe that she does. If we are […]

The Best Parenting Advice
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The Best Parenting Advice

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When you care a lot about your vocation as parent, you think carefully about many of the choices you make: how to discipline, how to educate, how to feed them, keep them healthy, celebrate holidays, lead them in faith…. Big choices and little choices but most of them deliberate, though not always perfect. The problem […]

Big-Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families
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Big-Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families

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Patti Maguire Armstrong and Theresa Thomas, who previously paired up to write and compile the wonderful “Stories for the Homeschool Heart,” have now come together to create Big-Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families (Scepter Publishers, 2013). What makes a family big-hearted? It is a spirit of generosity with a focus on putting God first. “The […]

Sex Ed: Parents, It’s Your Job and You Can Do It
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Sex Ed: Parents, It’s Your Job and You Can Do It

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“I just don’t even want to talk about it.” A mom confided she’d buried her head in the sand.  Yes, her daughter could reasonably expect her period sometime in the next few years.  But Mom just wasn’t ready yet. Moms and Dads: We have to get ready.  It is our job to teach our children […]

If At First . . .
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If At First . . .

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We tried.  Our cat….the one I have dubbed “Cat’…is indispensable and obviously knows it.  Our son found ‘Cat’ outside his apartment a few years back and called to see if we could give her a home.  He named her ‘Sheba’–but I’ve never quite settled into that name, so for me she remains – ‘Cat.’ I’m […]

Gay Friend Offers Teachable Moment
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Gay Friend Offers Teachable Moment

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Q: Recently, a boy at my daughter’s Christian high school revealed to his lunch table buddies that he is gay. The group was caught off guard, but not surprised. After a few days, the novelty of this news wore off and the general feeling on the part of the kids is, “Whatever.” In short, it’s clear […]

God and Parenting Woes
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God and Parenting Woes

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Remember when you had all the answers about parenting—in other words, when you were single? Then you got married, conceived your first child, and were instantly unsure of yourself. You decided you must consult the experts. At least, that’s what happened to me. I spent my first pregnancy reading Dr. Sears and Greg and Lisa […]

Essential Parenting
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Essential Parenting

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Model and support a life of religious faith and practice.

Movie Review: <i>Despicable Me 2</i>
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Movie Review: Despicable Me 2

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Gru and his yellow, gobbledygook-spewing, Contac-capsule-shaped minions are baaaack! Despicable Me 2 picks up where Despicable Me left off, but if you didn’t see the first installment, no worries, “2” is a hoot without it. All you need to know is that Gru (Steve Carell) is a former dastardly doer of evil deeds on a […]

Scrapbooking in a Digital Age
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Scrapbooking in a Digital Age

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Scrapbooking is one of my passions.   It’s no surprise; when I was a young child my father (a history teacher) dubbed me the “family historian”.  I have always been fascinated with family relationships and their history.   When I discovered scrapbooking twelve years ago, I jumped at the chance to document my family history while exercising […]

Now My Eyes Have Seen the Light
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Now My Eyes Have Seen the Light

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PVC is amazing stuff. Its versatility rivals that of Duct Tape. And growing up, we always had plenty of both around the house. The PVC was mostly for Dad’s plumbing work on our house, which seemed constant. I guess eight kids put a lot of mileage on the pipes. As for the Duct Tape, as […]

Slouching Toward Adulthood
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Slouching Toward Adulthood

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I recently received an interesting book for review, the softcover edition of Sally Koslow’s Slouching Toward Adulthood: How to Let Go So Your Kids Can Grow Up. Let me underscore up front that this is in no way a “Catholic” or even a religious book, although it does touch upon spiritual issues. Here’s the primary […]

Requiem for the Ballerinas
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Requiem for the Ballerinas

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The corruption of innocence is a deadly sin, because it corrupts the innocents. Better a millstone be tied around the necks of those who corrupt the innocent and they be flung into the sea, said Jesus. He really never pointed out too many particular sins attaching to them a ‘woe betide’. About the only other […]

Helping Our Children Discern Their Vocations
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Helping Our Children Discern Their Vocations

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When I grow up, I’m going to be a priest and a policeman.” “I want to be a nun who rides horses and sings. Can a nun have babies?” “Mummy, when I grow up I’m going to marry you.” I smile as I remember these statements made by some of my children when they were […]

Book Review: <em>The Catholic Baby Name Book</em>
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Book Review: The Catholic Baby Name Book

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Considering that no one in my family is expecting, it might seem strange that I have been so happily perusing a baby name book.  But The Catholic Baby Name Book by Catholic Lane Senior Editor, Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, is a complete delight and of nearly the same interest whether you are looking to name an expected […]

Summer Camp: Exploring New Passions
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Summer Camp: Exploring New Passions

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At some point between the ages of 5 and 12 most children find a passion.  It may be a vocational kind of passion like an animal-lover on the path to veterinary medicine, or an avocation like a softball player who one day applies that determination to passing the Bar Exam.  At this tender age, it’s […]

Lying is Normal, But Not Okay
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Lying is Normal, But Not Okay

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You’ve caught your child fibbing time and time again — even about inconsequential things where telling the truth would not result in consequences. Do you have an issue with integrity? Is it a normal phase of child development? Or are you raising a serial liar? I’ll never understand why children try to lie their way […]

Oh No, He’s Discovered the Opposite Sex!
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Oh No, He’s Discovered the Opposite Sex!

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As soon as the men of the world perceive that you seek the devout life, they will launch forth all their raillery and slander against you; the most ill-natured will pronounce your altered ways to be hypocrisy, affection, or bigotry; they will assert that the world having slighted you, rejected by it, you turn to […]

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