Category: Parenting

The Ways of God for Fathers - Introduction
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The Ways of God for Fathers – Introduction

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Some years ago a group of men from my parish were providing escorts and security for an all-night Eucharistic Adoration vigil for life. I drew one of the wee hours. My relief didn’t show up, so I stayed on for some more hours. I brought with me a little book: The Ways of God by […]

What the Rite of Baptism Tells Us About Limbo
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What the Rite of Baptism Tells Us About Limbo

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As the father of eleven who also knows the heartache of miscarriage, I was moved by a recent post by blogger Stacy Trasancos titled “The Spiritual Abortion Called Limbo,” exhorting even those who accept the longstanding theological opinion of the “limbo of the infants” to please pray for those innocent young souls who die before […]

Pride and Postpartum Depression
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Pride and Postpartum Depression

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My husband married a woman who had the ability to laugh things off, to be spontaneous, to work hard and get ‘er done. And then I got pregnant, had a baby, got pregnant, had a baby, and so on five times in a row. My five kids are aged 5, 4, 3, and 1 year […]

Teens and Dating
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Teens and Dating

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It may come as a surprise to many, but dating is a relatively recent phenomenon. So says Jason E. King, author of Dating: A Practical Catholic Guide, published by the Knights of Columbus Catholic Information Service. Prior to our modern conception of dating, which arose in the 20th century, says King, a family was much […]

<i>Grace Unplugged</i>, St. Augustine, and Miley Cyrus
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Grace Unplugged, St. Augustine, and Miley Cyrus

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Good versus good hardly seems like a movie plot, but in Grace Unplugged in theaters October 4th, Divine good and worldly goods are pitted against one another. At the heart of the conflict is the pull of a father’s love and concern for his 18-year-old daughter and her push to get out from under his […]

Making a Tough Decision: The Economics of Putting Family First
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Making a Tough Decision: The Economics of Putting Family First

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It was time to make another dreaded phone call telling  my wife that problems had come up and I wouldn’t be coming home the next day as scheduled. I was thousands of miles away, yet I could hear the disappointment in her voice as she tried to be understanding. She was used to this happening, […]

The Importance of Having Children at Mass
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The Importance of Having Children at Mass

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One Sunday a while back, a family of five filled a pew at church near where I was sitting during Mass. That family grabbed my attention. The pew was much larger than needed to accommodate a regular group of five. But this family, in addition to the two parents, included three young children. Three energetic, […]

How to Help Your Daughter Cope with Society’s Pressure to Be Thin
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How to Help Your Daughter Cope with Society’s Pressure to Be Thin

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For generations, American girls have been exposed to unrealistic and even unhealthy images of painfully thin women, and subtly encouraged to fit within a very narrow definition of beauty. While it’s certainly nothing new, this pressure has risen to an unprecedented level in today’s technologically advanced, celebrity-saturated world. Kids spend more time in front of […]

Book Review: <i>Small Steps for Catholic Moms</i>
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Book Review: Small Steps for Catholic Moms

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The hugely successful Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act by Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss was originally published in 2010, but fell victim to a publisher closure and went out of print. Ave Maria Press has re-released this popular book as part of the CatholicMom.com series of books. […]

Book Review: <i>Totally Catholic</i>
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Book Review: Totally Catholic

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Our children are often the impetus that draws us closer to God.  In between diapers, sleepless nights and planning for college, parents contemplate something more. For many poorly catechized Catholics, however, the “something more” is a bit intimidating. Our children have souls that need more than the ABC’s and a good college fund, but where […]

Why I Should Move to North Dakota
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Why I Should Move to North Dakota

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I don’t have a paying job at this time, but I am very busy. Even though I no longer homeschool and my girls are over ten, my house is messy. I spend most of my day on Facebook and Twitter. Why? Christina, my daughter, is growing up in a world where no one invites her […]

The Great Divide
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The Great Divide

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Because I’m known for blogging about the mishaps and joys inherent in raising a large family, it may surprise some of you to know that I have no siblings myself. I am an only child. I know, right? We onlies are a rare breed to begin with, but onlies who go on to have a slew of kids?  […]

Ten Suggestions for Being Contemplative in a Busy World
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Ten Suggestions for Being Contemplative in a Busy World

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I sat in my kitchen on the morning of Labor Day, watching and listening to the activity around me. My husband and I, along with our three youngest children, had arrived home on the previous evening from a three-week vacation in Newfoundland and this was the first time that the family (nine of the ten […]

Adult Children and Faith
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Adult Children and Faith

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A while back, I asked someone for  ideas for this column. “Why don’t you write about raising kids?” came the reply. Hmm. That would assume I would know what I’m talking about, wouldn’t it? Frankly, I’m not sure that I am an expert on the subject, even though all four of my children now qualify […]

Overestimating Me
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Overestimating Me

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When you live a life where you try to stay as connected to your Creator as this broken world and your sinful ways allow, you change your perspective on the big picture and the details.  He has control over all of it.  He can guide your path, deal with the obstacles on the way and […]

Good Old Neighbors
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Good Old Neighbors

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I drove through my old neighborhood last week. It is like many suburban neighborhoods that sprouted up in the 1960s. Many of the people who moved there grew up in the city. All of them wanted big yards in which their kids could play. Many wanted to be near St. Germaine Catholic Church and its […]

How Moms Can Get Help
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How Moms Can Get Help

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I never met a mom who thought she had enough help. So here’s a few ideas to make your days a little easier. Some ideas come from me, and some from other moms, but they’re all offered from someone who’s been there, done that, and wants to pass on what she’s learned. 1. Ask for […]

No Vacation From Faith
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No Vacation From Faith

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When I signed up for RCIA classes at our parish in September 1996, I failed to read the fine print. Graduation, otherwise known as Confirmation, would be at the Easter Vigil. Since my daughter’s school had spring break the week before and the week after Easter, we had planned a dream vacation and booked non-refundable […]

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 […]

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