Parenting Journey

I want my younger son to step out of his brother’s shadow

Our children had diverse interests in high school, but the entire family supported each pursuit. For example, we all celebrated when Erin became our high school’s first delegate to have a resolution passed through the General Assembly at Model U.N.! Shannon, a member of the golf team, was cheered on each hole by family members riding in a golf cart. Healthy high school pursuits, whether quiet or bold, should be encouraged.

How can I invite my kids back to mass?

One challenging aspect of parenting is realizing that children grow up and forge their own paths. It’s easy to forget how sometimes our own parents couldn’t fathom particular life choices that we made! When we look for wisdom in the lives of the saints, often we forget that they were ordinary individuals struggling to determine their own spiritual journeys. St. Jane de Chantal shared her desires for her children with her spiritual director, Francis de Sales. He responded by saying, “As much as possible, we must touch the hearts of others as do the angels, delicately and without coercion.

How Much Screen Time is Too Much?

When I was young, one of my teachers spoke of attending the 1931 White House Conference on Child Health and Protection as a contributor to the Children’s Charter. Her favorite phrase was: “For the child, his play is his work and his work is his play.” President Hoover noted that, “These plans must constantly be translated into action.” The suggestions that children need opportunities to grow spiritually, to have secure homes, to attend wholesome schools and to spend time in play still need to be translated into action.

Does our daughter really need tutoring for a ‘B’ in math?

In his Prairie Home Companion radio broadcast, Garrison Keillor would invite listeners to follow the tale of Lake Wobegon where all women were strong and all men were good looking. Of course, their children were all above average! Your daughter’s B in math would allow her to be one of Lake Wobegon’s above- average children! In general, “A” grades represent exemplary/outstanding progress in a subject area. A student with a B is demonstrating proficient/above-average progress. All of us have gifts and talents in specific areas; we can’t be exemplary in every skill valued in our society.

Can we have Easter fun without the Easter Bunny?

I love the tradition of the Easter Bunny, but don’t want to take away from the real meaning of Easter. How do I incorporate the fun without losing sight of the resurrection?

When I was a child, my grandma taught me how to honor Mary by making flower bouquets to leave on the doorsteps of our neighbors on May Day. Years later I discovered that the tradition originated in pre-Christian Ireland. An ancient Gaelic tradition had been integrated with Christianity by focusing on Mary. Many cultural traditions have been associated with Catholicism.

My daughter just started college and her grades are bad

My daughter is in her first semester of college, and her grades have slipped since high school. I tried calling her academic advisor, but nobody will talk to me. What can I do?

After 18 years of parenting, it can be challenging to accept how much your role changes as your child reaches adulthood. In this case, the government established laws reflecting one of these changes. When you tried calling your daughter’s academic adviser, it is not surprising that no one would talk to you because you may have been asking school officials to break the law!

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