Parenting Journey

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!

My 14-year-old is telling lies

Q: I have caught my 14-year-old daughter in several lies lately, sometimes about very minor things. It’s getting so that I can’t believe anything she tells me. It’s almost as if she is a chronic liar. How should I handle this?

A: Someone once said, “You’ll never get mixed up if you simply tell the truth. Then you don’t have to remember what you have said, and you never forget what you have said.” As your daughter matures, the challenge is to guide her toward honesty. 

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