I am returning to the work force. I have two teens – ages 15 and 13. What is reasonable to expect them to do around the house in order to help me?
Q. My child recently turned 10 years old. Is that too young to have the talk?
A. Parents in the 1950s were asking this question, too, leading the National Education Association, in collaboration with the American Medical Association, to prepare a book to provide some answers. The questions that were addressed in that book are relevant today, as are the responses.
Q. My son has decided he doesn’t want to be confirmed. Is there something I can do to convince him? Should I force him to go through with it?
A. Your strong desire to see your son confirmed is natural since our Church teaches that confirmation deepens the grace that we received at the time of baptism. But the use of force isn’t consistent with the sacred nature of confirmation.
Q. My daughter does not have a close relationship with my ex-husband, and now that she is getting married, she does not want to have him walk her down the aisle. Do you think it’s appropriate if it’s just me or should I encourage her to include him?
Q. We were invited to a friend’s wedding and were told on the invitation that our young children were not included. I think weddings are the way we model family values – should we just boycott the wedding?
Q. My kids fight me about getting dressed up for Mass – I think the girls should wear dresses and the boys should wear dress pants. They think clean jeans are fine. Now that they are teens, the battle is getting worse.
Q. My daughter seems to like the day-care provider better than she does me. As a mother, I’m happy that they have a good relationship, but I’m still jealous.
Q. We were asked to be godparents by some friends who are expecting a baby. We are not that close to them, so we were surprised to be asked and are not sure what our obligations would be for supporting the child in the faith. How can we “parent” spiritually?
Q. Our kids have decided to become vegetarians, which we think is ridiculous. Should I try to force them to eat what we serve?