Taking vacation is a vital part of our spiritual life.
I should take them to Utah.
Like all of my crazy ideas, this one popped into my head while I took my morning shower. As a divorced dad who lives six hours away from his kids, I’m constantly looking for new and creative ways to be in their lives.
A huge fan of the West, I wanted to see my kids’ faces when they first saw the rolling plains of Kansas, the towering Rocky Mountains, and the strange rock formations jutting out from the desert floor near Moab. Seeing their faces would be worth whatever meltdowns we might face on a 20-hour drive.
I’ve started praying to God father to Father, instead of child to Father.
Although my wife isn’t sure a man can be a feminist, I’m a male feminist. I got to be this way both through conviction and self-defense—I live with three women (the other two are ages 9 and 5). As a male feminist I’m aware that God the Father is not male. Or female. Maybe both.
God isn’t a “Wait until your father gets home…” dad, but rather unconditional love.
Setting the table is about more than etiquette and proper manners.
As Agnes Meehan’s first granddaughter, I had the distinct honor of being selected to help her prepare for her annual Christmas Eve party when I was about 8 years old.
When my 2-year-old grabbed my chin to pull my eyes up from my phone yelling, “Put down your phone!” I knew I had reached rock bottom.
In the early ’80s, when home computers were first widely available, my family plugged in early. My dad took a corner in the large room my brothers shared and made an office where we all took turns playing 2-bit graphic games or writing code in DOS that translated into a noisily printed image on our dot matrix printer. After that it was Atari, then Nintendo NES, and annual computer upgrades as we shot from the floppy disc era into the present era of all-consuming internet access and digital cloud storage. I came of age in a simpler time but not one without a reliance on technology.
Now is the time to end the institutionalization of children everywhere, says Sean Callahan, president of Catholic Relief Services.
In the U.S., orphanages have long been phased out. Today social services are in place to support families and orphaned and other vulnerable children are cared for in foster homes until a permanent family is found or their existing family is able to care for them again. If we don’t accept orphanages in the U.S., why should we accept them in Guatemala, Haiti, and Ethiopia?
Steer clear of Beelzebub or Baal.
When our first son was born, my husband and I, both writers, labored over the choice of what to name him. It had to be right. It had to be original. It was, my poet husband declared with much gravity, “naming a life.” The burden of that weighed heavily on us. We scoured bookstores and online lists of baby names. We wanted something our son could live up to, something that was different, but not weird. After months of combing through thousands of names, we finally landed on Atticus Levi, a nod to both Atticus Finch and my husband’s favorite poet, Larry Levis.
What exactly do children get from watching TV?
In his book The Rhythm of Life (Beacon Publishing), Catholic writer and speaker Matthew Kelly discusses his favorite childhood film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. In particular, he recounts the final scene when Charlie sets the Everlasting Gobstopper down on Mr. Wonka’s desk, thereby giving up any reward promised by Wonka’s competition, Mr. Slugworth. All we see is the back of Wonka, then a close-up of his hand as he gently places it atop the returned Gobstopper.
Teaching kids the difference between right and wrong doesn't always teach them empathy. In fact, it might do just the opposite.
So much for the golden rule. A since-contested study published in the November 2015 issue of Current Biology reported that, perhaps contrary to what one would expect, children from religious families were found to be more punitive and less altruistic than children raised in secular households.
None of us is eager to expose our children to the state of the world.
“It’s a good thing we’re white,” our 7-year-old son Atticus said, prompting my husband to almost leap out of his chair in pausing the movie we were in the middle of watching. The movie was The Help from Kathyrn Stockett’s novel by the same name, which exposes the continued slave treatment of “the help” in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. The scene responsible for our son’s precocious observation of his white privilege involves the violent arrest of maid Yule May.
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