New Major Study of 160,000 Children Finds Spanking Causes Similar Harm As Abuse.

Children need solid discipline, consistent expectations, and solid structure, but there are many better ways to accomplish these ends than corporal punishment.  A new study examining 50 years of data derived from observations of 16,000 kids finds that spanking (defined as striking a child with an open hand) and abuse are not  substantively different phenomena but rather cause similar problems with child behavior and well-being.  According to the study...--- The more children are spanked, th … [Read more...]

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New Study: Extravagant Affection in Infancy Leads to Healthier, Happier, More Relational & Moral Adults

From new study accepted for publication in the journal, Applied Developmental Science.Notre Dame professor of psychology Darcia Narvaez and two colleagues surveyed more than 600 adults. They asked about their childhood experiences. Darvaez was interested in things like how much affectionate touch did the adult receive as a child, how much free play, and what was family togetherness was like. What she found was, the adults who had positive childhood experiences evolved into adults with less … [Read more...]

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You Can Pass on Trauma Through Your Genes: New Study Finds

Genetic changes stemming from the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors are capable of being passed on to their children, the clearest sign yet that one person’s life experience can affect subsequent generations.The conclusion from a research team at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital led by Rachel Yehuda stems from the genetic study of 32 Jewish men and women who had either been interned in a Nazi concentration camp, witnessed or experienced torture or who had had to hide during the second wor … [Read more...]

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The Corporal Works of Mommy and Daddy: Living the “Little Way” of Family Life

In preparation for our oldest child's First Communion, we were reviewing the various Works of Mercy.  When he heard that they included things like feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty and clothing the naked, he looked up at us and said, "You guys do those things all the time.  They should call them the Corporal Works of Mommy--and Daddy too!"Our son stumbled upon a great spiritual truth.  Family life can be an incredible engine of spiritual growth.  The Works of Mercy as practiced … [Read more...]

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The Contraceptive Sanctuary–Redux

Why children MUST be welcome at churchHuffPo has an article praising parents who bring their little ones to church.  It is generating a lot of heat so I thought I'd revisit a post I did on this topic back when a very passionate debate erupted at Patheos about this very issue. For those who are interested, Lisa and I offer a TON of practical help for families who wish to worship together in our books, Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids, Then Comes Baby: The C … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis: Bring Your Babies to Church!

In a visit to St Joseph Parish in Rome, Pope Francis stated,  "Babies cry, make noise, go here and there. But it annoys me when a baby cries in church and there are those who say he needs to go out. The cry of a baby is God's voice: never drive them away from the church!" We've discussed this a lot on the blogs.  You can check out my post, The Contraceptive Sanctuary:  Why You SHOULD Bring Your Baby To Church"  here.  That said, if you're struggling with managing your infant or young child's beh … [Read more...]

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The Corporal Works of Mommy (and Daddy)! –Living the Year of Mercy at Home.

Pope Francis has declared this to be a Year of Mercy but...so what?  What does it mean to be merciful?  And what difference does this year make to families?The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy illustrate that mercy means treating others in a way that allows them to see their worth in God's eyes.We Are All RoyalWe are all God's children and baptism enables us to be prophets, priests, and royals.  The Works of Mercy remind us of this.  We clothe the naked because every child of God … [Read more...]

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FAITHLESS: Why Don’t Millennials Believe?

           Why are "nones" on the rise?  The answer might surprise you.I recently gave a radio interview about the latest Pew Center finding that "nones" (unchurched/"spiritual not religious") are the fastest growing demographic on the religious scene.  The interviewer asked me if I thought the increasingly secular culture was responsible for both the loss of faith and the breakdown of the family.  I surprised him by saying that the research suggests it just might be the other way around … [Read more...]

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