Have you ever heard of The Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother by Amy Chua? A controversial New York Times best-seller, it tells the story of a Chinese Yale professor who raises her children “the Chinese way”. I have not read the book, but I am well acquainted with this Chinese way. When I taught piano back in the days when I was single, I had several Chinese students who were being raised by Tiger Mothers. These kids were amazing. They were respectful and hard working. They listened carefully to everything I told them and were very diligent about practicing exactly the way I instructed them to, every day, seven days a week. No wonder they made rapid progress and performed beautifully. I loved teaching the children of Tiger moms. They were dream students.
Once in a while, one of my kids fall into a funk – a period of negativity and difficult behavior which makes parenting, especially homeschooling, a real challenge. When this happens, not only do I feel sorrow for my child, but I also feel discouraged and inadequate. And yet, I know that this is a common experience among parents.
Perhaps it’s a hyper-sensitive child who whines and cries over the smallest vexations. Perhaps it’s a strong-willed child who fights you tooth and nail whenever you tell him to do something. Perhaps it’s that hormonal middle schooler, who has suddenly become moody, disrespectful, and ultra-critical. Or perhaps it’s a child whose health issues makes her irritable and crabby.
Whatever the situation, although you know deep-down that you love this child, there are times when it can be a real challenge to be patient and loving. So what can we do?
It is with great happiness and excitement that I announce the debut of my new book Evangelizing Our Children with Joy, released by Scepter Publishers. This book is all about raising our children to be saints despite our own shortcomings and tribulations.
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is receiving Christmas cards, photos, and letters from family and friends. To return the joy, we have made it a tradition to send out a family newsletter each Christmas, in which we include the amusing things our kids have said during the year. Kids can be so hilarious. Here are some of the Cooney and Clement Family Funnies:
It all started on a sunny day in California, when Big-Sis was a little over a year. We were at Mass, and for some reason our sweet little cherub was taking a fit. My husband carried her to the cry room with the hopes of calming her down, but to no avail. When the time for Communion came, Chris had to carry her, while she was kicking and screaming, to the front of the church to receive the Holy Eucharist. From then on, attending Mass has never been the same.
With the wonderful feast of All Saints Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about our children and what they think of becoming saints. Many of us adults know that we are called to be saints. But how many of us actually believe that we will reach that lofty goal? How many of us, when we consider our human weaknesses, feel discouraged? Sanctity is for Fr. So and So, but not for me. I often think if ever I go straight to Heaven, it will be on the coattails of the holy people around me or through a trap door.
After last week’s post, it’s time for a good laugh…
When I was in graduate school, I had a fantastic piano teacher. As a pedagogy student, I enjoyed talking to him about his thoughts and advice on teaching. For even with a variety of students from around the globe, he had a way of understanding how to motivate and inspire each pupil. One of the things he advised was that I get to understand my students better by learning about their temperaments.
This week we continue our interview with Carolyn Smith, veteran homeschool mom of ten, and author of Growing Up in God’s Image: A New Approach to the Facts of Life Talk.
Have you had that talk about the birds and the bees with your oldest child yet? Maybe your kids aren’t old enough yet… or maybe you know the time is fast approaching but you feel a little awkward bringing up such a delicate subject?
This summer, I read an excellent book that helped me tremendously in talking to my daughter about the facts of life. Growing Up in God’s Image. When I realized that the author sometimes goes to our parish, I realized that here was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Here is Part 1 of an interview with a veteran homeschool mom of ten kids, Carolyn Smith, on teaching your children about human sexuality.
Last week I gave some suggestions on how to cope with sibling squabbling and I hinted at the fact that there is actually an up-side to our children’s bickering. I know, some of you think I have really lost my marbles this time.
Believe it or not, there is a positive side to sibling squabbling. And whether or not we make use of it depends on our attitude.