Becoming a Better Family

 When life gets busy, family time and family relationships tend to fall by the wayside. We drive our kids to extra curricular activities and run errands, and while these things are important, they often act as distractors from building up our family. When the busyness of life gets in the way of strengthening our familial relationships, we may need to take another look at where our priorities lie.Theology of the Body reminds us that families are schools of love and virtue where we … [Read more...]

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St. Joseph: Our Father? – Part 1

Guest post by Dave McClow.Fatherlessness has become an epidemic in our society:  43% of our kids grow up without fathers (US Census), approaching a catastrophe rivaling the 1918 flu pandemic when an estimated 56% of the world was infected.  Fatherlessness is devastating—legally, morally, psychologically, and spiritually. A shocking snapshot of our fatherless youth shows they comprise 63% of youth suicides (US Dept. Of Health/Census)–5 times the average; 90% of all homeless and runaway child … [Read more...]

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7 Keys to Raising Caring Kids

 At times, being a parent can feel extremely overwhelming. It can feel like so much work to help our kids be the  intelligent, happy, ambitious, and overall successful individuals we want them to be. The good news is that research shows that there is one quality—caring-- we can parent toward that gives our kids all those other benefits and more.According to a report by Harvard’s Making Caring Common Project, “…when children can empathize with and take responsibility for others, t … [Read more...]

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The BeDADitudes: 8 Ways to Be An Awesome Dad

Pope Francis has called Jesus' Beatitudes  our "guide on the path of Christian life."   Of course, God leads by example.  As such, in addition to being a call to Christian discipleship, the Beatitudes also could be said to reveal something about the ways God the Father relates to us, his children.  Seen in this light, the Beatitudes present a unique opportunity for Christian men to become fathers after The Father's own heart.  That's why I wrote The BeDADitudes: 8 Ways to Be An Awesome Dad, whic … [Read more...]

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Do Your Kids Have Problem Friends? 3 Things YOU Can Do

Check out my interview with Chloe Mooradian of Aleteia's For Her.Your son comes home from school with a new word that his friend taught him. Your little girl’s playmates are teaching her to be a little bit sassier than you’d like. Or maybe your child was caught cheating on a test with his friend, even though you know you’ve taught him better.As parents well know from living through our own childhoods, the influence of our kids’ friends is pretty powerful, especially when when they’re youn … [Read more...]

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Kids on My Mind: Parenting Changes Dad’s Brain!

We've known for quite a while that parenthood facilitates changes in mom's brain that help her be more nurturing.  It turns out that being a hands-on parent changes dad's brain too!“Our findings add to the evidence that fathers, and not just mothers, undergo hormonal changes that are likely to facilitate increased empathy and motivation to care for their children,” said lead author Dr. James Rilling, an Emory University anthropologist and director of the Laboratory for Darwinian Neur … [Read more...]

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3 Ways To Be A More Peaceful, Joyful Parent

Parenting is tough work,  But there are lots of joys too--even if we can sometimes lose sight of that.If you are feeling a little fried in your parenting life, here are 3 simple habits  you can practice to reclaim the joy of parenthood and celebrate a more peaceful family life.1.Find the Eye of the Hurricane-- Too often, when parenting is getting stressful we think “If I can just get X to happen, THEN I’ll feel some peace”  For instance, “If I could just get this kid to behave….”  or “If … [Read more...]

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New Study Finds Parental Conflict/Lack of Affection Impairs Brain Development in Teens

Once again, research shows that parenting styles directly impact brain development and predict the likelihood of emotional problems in adolescence and adulthood.New research finds that those who experience relatively common family problems early in childhood have an increased risk of mental health issues later on.The study is one of the first to look at relatively common family problems–typically mild to moderate in severity–and tie these up to changes in the brain’s development (Walsh et … [Read more...]

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