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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66% of Kids On ADHD Meds Don’t Have ADHD, Says Scientific American

According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 5 percent of American children suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), yet the diagnosis is given to some 15 percent of American children, many of whom are placed on powerful drugs with lifelong consequences. This is the central fact of the journalist Alan Schwarz’s new book, ADHD Nation. Explaining this fact—how it is that perhaps two thirds of the children diagnosed with ADHD do not actually suffer from the diso … [Read more...]

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When Every Child is Left Behind: Teaching “Stupid Faith”

My latest for OSV (online now and in the 10/16 print edition)Catholic children as young as 10 years old are renouncing God and quitting Church, claims a new study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown. According to lead researcher Mark Gray, children are finding that faith is “incompatible” with what they are learning in school, and the older the child becomes, the more this is the case. According to Gray, “this is a generation that is struggling wi … [Read more...]

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