Trust Me (?)

  Trust is in the news a lot these days as candidates from both parties present their ideas and ask us to trust them to lead nation.  But the campaign raises an interesting question.  How do we ever know whom we can really trust?  It can be especially difficult to know whether to trust someone on a personal level–particularly  if they have hurt you in the past. Some people respond to this dilemma by trusting people too much and too… Read more

MRI Shows Breastfed Babies’ Brains Develop Better/Faster than Formula or Mixed-Fed Infants

Several weeks ago, I posted an article on how nursing facilitates the development of structures in the brain responsible for moral cognition, and a follow up article on how certain “high -touch” parenting practices (extended nursing, extravagant affection, skin-to-skin contact, “baby-wearing”, prompt response to cries) facilitate the development of the social brain.  In that latter article, I walked readers through how such parenting practices facilitate moral and social development.  This latest study from Brown University’s Baby Imaging Lab provides further,… Read more

Hard to Say, “I’m Sorry” 3 Keys to an Effective Apology

Saying “sorry” and meaning it is about repairing relationship, not making ourselves feel better.  Check out my latest column for Our Sunday Visitor Lent is a time of reparation — a season of sorrow for sins committed and expressions of a sincere desire to reform our lives. But what does it mean to be sorry? What are the components of real remorse? Whether we are expressing sorrow to God, a spouse, family member or friend, it can be hard to… Read more

Meeting Your Needs AND Your Wants–A Godly Guide to Personal Fulfillment

“That’s not a need!  That’s a want!” How often have you heard this?  How often have you said it? We throw the words “need” and “want”around but do we really know what they mean?  Somehow, by labeling something a “want” many people–parents and spouses in particular–feel that they have a right to deny someone something.  Or, if we think something is a want and not a need, then we will often feel guilty even having it much less expressing it…. Read more

Parenting Style Most Significant Factor Predicting Support for Trump, New Study Finds

Readers of Parenting with Grace, in which I discuss this very issue (not as it relates to Trump, but to other historic, cultural and political trends) will not be surprised by this latest study from the Univ of Massachusetts which found that what draws voters to Trump is not church affiliation, political leanings, socio-economic status, or educational level–but the parenting style in which you were raised. Sound crazy?  It’s not as crazy as it sounds.  In fact,  are 60 years… Read more

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 anxiety and better… Read more

Mount St. Mary’s President Resigns: Do YOU Work for A Narcissist?

The news was released today that President Simon Newman of Mount St. Mary’s University resigned in the wake of the scandal caused both by his policy to aggressively encourage underperforming students to leave the school as a ploy to increase the school’s rankings, and then summarily firing tenured faculty who opposed the policy for being “disloyal.”  Matters were made worse when it was released that President Newman defended his unpopular policy by asserting, “You just have to drown the bunnies…put… Read more

Zika DOES NOT Justify Contraception, Says Catholic Bioethics Center

In light of the Holy Father’s comments on the return flight from Mexico, the National Catholic Bioethics Center released a statement. February 22, 2016 Given the spread of the Zika virus and microcephaly within the Western Hemisphere, some have recommended the use of abortion and contraception as appropriate tools in the fight against this disease. In the following statement, the Ethicists of the NCBC reply to numerous media inquiries and give guidance to faithful Catholics on this topic. A suspected… Read more

The Myth of Optional Breastfeeding & Why You Might Not be Breastfeeding Long Enough

UPDATE:  This article has sparked tremendous outrage from readers.  PLEASE NOTE.  Save for a few editorial comments which are mine, this article is a re-posting of a blog by UND’s Dr. Darcia Narvaez, 2015 winner of the APA’s William James Award for research in the psychology of religion, morals and values. Her work represents the state-of-the-art of developmental moral psychology and this award puts in on the same level as Lawrence Kohlberg. She isn’t saying that moms who can’t nurse… Read more

“Popes Say the Darndest Things” (Zika Edition)–Clarity for Confused Catholics

Are you confused, frustrated by, or for that matter, gloating about Pope Francis’ recent comments on contraceptive use and the Zika virus–especially in light of the Vatican Press Office’s confirmation that Pope Francis was not only speaking about using Natural Family Planning but also, potentially, hormonal contraceptives and condoms, to prevent the possibility of children born with Zika-related miroencephaly?   Be at peace.  Let’s all please take a collective breath and consider the following in which Dr. Janet Smith, world-renowned… Read more

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