French Kids Rescued from “the tyranny of their own desires…” – UPDATED

My Photo, 1991 Over on Facebook, Melanie Bettinelli -- the wise and graceful blogress at The Wine Dark Sea -- posted this article from Psychology Today on Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD, or at least not the way American kids seem to have it.To the extent that French clinicians are successful at finding and repairing what has gone awry in the child's social context, fewer children qualify for the ADHD diagnosis. Moreover, the definition of ADHD is not as broad as in the American system, … [Read more...]

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As Mothers Day Looms, Two Obituaries to Die For – UPDATED

Well, in a manner of speaking. I hope when I die, my kids can manage to produce something as wry and fun as this:Waffle House lost a loyal customer on April 30, 2013. Antonia W. "Toni" Larroux died after a battle with multiple illnesses: lupus, rickets, scurvy, kidney disease and feline leukemia. She had previously conquered polio as a child contributing to her unusually petite ankles and the nickname "polio legs" given to her by her ex-husband, Jean F. Larroux, Jr. It should not be … [Read more...]

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“I will not forget the lessons you have taught me…” – UPDATES

You all know I am not a sentimentalist.I'm always suspicious of emotionalism and of course, tough-as-nails, right? But I am human! And this video which Kevin Knight put up at New Advent got me all verklempt!It's just priests, saying thank you to Pope Benedict. But it's very moving.And with this sort of thing, that so few of us even knew about, it's like, "yeah...thank you for that, too!"UPDATE I: And a video of young people saying thank you, too!UPDATE II: Fresh off of … [Read more...]

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Matt Archbold’s Talented, Funny Kids

I really love thew way Matt Archbold writes about his kids, but this piece on a school talent show, and what he learned from it is a hilarious,insightful and touching keeper that really resonated with me, for all the nights I've lain away regretting a too-hasty answer, and for all the times -- like the day pictured above -- that I let a kid surprise me:She dropped to her knees in the living room, put her hands on her head, and moaned an anguished yawp as if her visions of grammar school … [Read more...]

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Of He-Men, Fathers and Popes who Do Not Swagger

If you are not subscribing to The Catholic Answer, you're missing a lot of good stuff. My column for the Jan/Feb issue jumps off an interesting piece on the Feast of the Throne of Peter, to ponder why it is that the Vicar of Christ--beginning with Peter, himself--does not swagger:For competitive purposes, our fathers were invested with outsized swagger, but, in truth, we held them in a bit of awe and wonder. If our mothers were so familiar to us that we went running to them interchangeably … [Read more...]

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Bill Clinton Father of the Year? Well, Okay, but…

So, Bill Clinton has been named Father of the Year by the National Father's Day Council.Really?Okay, normally, I wouldn't care about this or give it a second thought, but I'll bite. Why this father of a single child (who is now over 30 years old, married and presumably on her own) and why now?Actually, I am not even interested in the answer. But it seems to me someone like this father, Robbie Parker, might have been a more understandable and laudable choice. Under a time of great … [Read more...]

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Older Parents, Weaker Children, Future America

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.comAn important piece by Judith Shulevitz, focusing on the unforeseen effects of having children at a later age:…The Nature study ended by saying that the greater number of older dads could help to explain the 78 percent rise in autism cases over the past decade. Researchers have suspected links between autism and parental age for years. One much-cited study from 2006 argued that the risk of bearing an autistic child jumps from six in 10,000 before a man r … [Read more...]

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“Monstrous Evil” Indeed

If I were not already feeling sick this story found by Mark Shea would get me there. Mark calls it a "monstrous evil" and he is correct -- this is nanny-statism and bureaucracy out-of-control, and it's only going to get worse:Even after Marie Freyre died alone in a nursing home 250 miles from the family in North Tampa that loved her, Marie's mother had to fight to bring her home.In March 2011, state child protection investigators took 14-year-old Marie from her mother, Doris Freyre, … [Read more...]

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“I needed this for him…and for me…”

Sometimes a piece is so authentic that its truth overpowers you. Like this one, written by the mother of a severely autistic child:But as this year wound down, I added a seemingly tricky expectation/goal to my list for Lil D – that he should walk across the stage for his fifth grade graduation. It morphed from something I would speak of with a longing in my voice to something I discussed with more and more determination in the multitude of meetings we had with his school team these past s … [Read more...]

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A Church Where Sheep May Safely Graze

Imagine you're pregnant, unchurched and addicted, and you want to step out of the darkness and into the light. What sort of hand will you trust to lead you out?My first child was conceived out of wedlock. I was, at the time, not only unmarried but also a crystal meth addict. I was not Catholic but some strange combination of agnostic/lapsed Protestant; my boyfriend and the father of my child was a Catholic. Obviously neither he nor I were living virtuous lives at the time, but the reality … [Read more...]

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