Let’s talk about what? Telling your kids about "the birds and the bees"

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family
Don’t swat away the birds and the bees. Start the conversation early with your kids.

The only test I ever flunked was in my freshman year of Catholic high school, when after being out sick a few days, I returned to biology to be handed—to my horror—a test asking us to label the parts of the male reproductive system.


Empty nest? Now what? Tips for maintaining a marriage after the kids have gone

By Wendy Donahue| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family

This story accompanies The 25-year-itch: Empty nesters and the second half of marriage.)

David and Claudia Arp, founders of Marriage Alive and authors of The Second Half of Marriage (Zondervan), don’t fault couples for feeling drained when the last child leaves home.

“You’ve just survived the adolescent years,” Claudia says. Plus, says David, “The tendency is to get busy and avoid facing the challenges of this new stage of marriage.”


Little women: How consumer culture is forcing girls to grow up too fast

By Meg McSherry Breslin| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Sex and Sexuality Women Young Adults
Mattel and Abercrombie sell sexiness even to 6-year-olds. Enter those who are fighting back to let girls be girls.

At a recent wedding Becky Groth was amazed to see the revealing dress on the beautiful 17-year-old daughter of a close friend. The dress was so skimpy and inappropriate, Groth says, that the girl drew a lot of unwanted attention from young men. Groth asked the teenager to talk about it privately after the wedding.


No stereotypes need apply: The depth and vibrancy of Irish culture

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Spirituality

The kids in the Catholic seventh grade classroom—Hispanics, Filipinos, African Americans, and my own Irish American offspring—took on a project to highlight three aspects of their cultural heritage. As the teacher listened to the kids brainstorming, he turned to my child and said, “Three cultural traits of the Irish? That’s easy: drinking, drinking, and more drinking.”

The next day we met with the principal, who turned pale as she listened. The teacher apologized to my husband and me. There were no fisticuffs.


Go ahead, be a burden to your adult children

By Patrick Lynch| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Seniors
Parents put a great deal of effort into caring for their kids. When the time comes, it’s OK to let them return the favor.

My father came home from his service in the Marines in the South Pacific to marry the redheaded girl of his dreams, whom he’d met at St. Francis De Sales in the fifth grade. She’d written to him daily and he’d written her back, making plans for the future they hoped for together. They moved into an apartment over a funeral home in Detroit and he went to mortuary school, working evenings while she began to raise the inevitable family.


Show and tell: Six ways to teach your children the faith

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family
Handing on the faith to one’s children is a learn-as-you-go thing.

Often you find your heart in your mouth, like the day you drove off from the hospital with your first baby and thought wildly, “They’re letting us take this kid out of here?!” When my husband and I brought our newborn in for checkups during those first weeks, I couldn’t shake the notion that I was returning him like a library book, so the doctor could look him over and give us the OK to check him out again for a few more weeks.


Christmas presence: Tuning in to the season

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Spirituality Marriage and Family
Give the kids your attention before they're left to their own electronic devices.


Don't be scared of Halloween: Readers share frightful memories

By Angelo Stagnaro| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
There's no reason to be afraid of the ghouls and goblins roaming the neighborhood on All Hallows' Eve. They're just participating in an ancient-and Catholic-holiday.{C}

How parishes can help infertile couples

By Patrick T. Reardon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ethic of Life Marriage and Family Parish Life
These are just some of the ways that the parish can be a resource to couples experiencing infertility.

• Raise the issue of infertility at the pre-Cana marriage preparation meetings. It would alert couples to the reality that conceiving a baby isn’t always easy, while providing an opportunity to walk through the do’s and don’ts of church teaching.

• Establish a diocesan network of support for infertile couples, regardless of what treatment choices they have made or are considering.


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