Steering children in a positive direction often requires thinking outside the box.
When Katie and Kevin’s son Matthew was 2, Katie was concerned that he was getting lost in between his older brother Bennett and his baby sister Annabelle. “He was a huge challenge. I couldn’t seem to connect with him the way I did with Bennett. He was so impulsive and emotional,” Katie says. She feared that Matthew’s difficulty could lead to a relationship fraught with issues. She decided that the way to steer him to a more attached and positive relationship was through time set aside just for him.
Helping young people become followers of Christ means making Catholic education accessible to all.
“Why do you send your boys to a Catholic school?” my sons’ pediatrician asked, looking at the St. Monica school sweatshirts and uniform pants my two boys had strewn over the floor of the examining room. It was the boys’ yearly checkup, in 2002, and they sat expectantly in their Hot Wheels underwear as their doctor walked in.
Don’t forget parents who have lost their children.
It’s that time of year when the parental back-to-school glow lights up playgrounds and parking lots. I drive past an elementary school every day on my way to work. Moms and dads drop off their children, beaming with a loving mix of pride, joy, and relief. We are back to the routine! Just think of all my son will learn! Imagine all the ways my daughter will grow this year!
The scene is full of hope—and, for many, heartache.
What about the parents whose children are not going back to school ever?
A sign of peace, genuinely given, brings Christ into a situation.
I’ve always liked the sign of peace. As a child, it was my favorite part of our all-school liturgies. The sign of peace provided an excuse to move around a little—to stretch across pews and vigorously shake hands with as many classmates as I could before the teacher reined us in for the Lamb of God. In college, when I attended daily Mass at Marquette University’s tiny Joan of Arc Chapel, the sign of peace was a chance to hug a friend who had an exam the next day or a roommate whose mom was ill.
Sabbath should last more than just the hour of Mass.
Our family has had trouble with the fourth commandment, keep holy the Sabbath day. It’s not that we skip Mass on Sunday, but rather that too often we only keep holy the Sabbath hour and a half (our time at Mass), rather than the Sabbath day itself.
Don’t worry too much about being sacrilegious if your child wants to distribute communion with potato chips or baptize their dolls.
A joyful squeal erupts from the hallway outside of the kitchen as I prepare dinner.
“En garde!” shouts my son in the deepest, throatiest voice his 8 years can dig up.
“En garde!” volleys his 3-year-old sister in a voice far less successful at impersonating a pirate.
My father taught me to pray with intensity and to be unafraid to kneel during Mass.
For most of my childhood I was a little bit afraid of my father, a stranger who didn’t arrive home from his downtown office until after 6 p.m. and who then demanded silence while he watched the local television news, the network news, and another half hour of local reports before we ate dinner as a family at 7:30. If my brother, Kevin, managed to make my sister, Sue, suppress a laugh so that milk came out of her nose or someone made the mistake of putting their elbows on the table, we all flinched if Dad stood up quickly.
White Christian parents need to examine how they talk about race with their kids, says religion professor Jennifer Harvey.
White parents need to talk to their kids about race—and the sooner the better, says Jennifer Harvey, professor of religion at Drake University and author of Raising White Kids (Abingdon Press).
A deacon’s personal account of parenting a transgender child.
Fifty years ago this year, the church restored the permanent diaconate, opening the doors to married clergy who brought and continue to bring with them all the joys, sorrows, and complexities of family life to ordained ministry. In the case of my family, that included first-hand experience with LGBT people. In the fall of 2013, at the beginning of our oldest child’s sophomore year at Georgetown University, she came out as transgender. With that news, my family found itself plunged into questions and issues that surround families of faith with LGBT children.
Family sing-a-longs can bring you closer to each other and to God—but they don’t have to be during Mass.
There are many ways my husband and I differ, but perhaps the most significant is that I come from a family prone to spontaneous outbursts of song while he comes from a family prone to subtle nods as they listen to the car radio together.