This month it’s official: three of our kids are now full-fledged teenagers. I know the thought of having three teens in the house makes some people shudder, but I think teenagers get a lot more bad rap than they deserve. When my siblings and I were teens, we certainly gave our parents gray hairs. But on the whole we had a great rapport with them. They worked really hard on our relationships, guiding, supporting, and encouraging us.
We can expect the teenage years to be a roller coaster ride. After all, it is a time of rapid growth and development, so frustrations, disappointments, and misunderstandings are bound to happen. But this doesn’t mean the teenage years need to be as awful as many anticipate. I can honestly say I enjoy my teens’ company and conversation. And they are often a tremendous help around the house. Of course we have our moments. So to help navigate through them, I made myself a list of Dos and Don’ts, mostly gleaned from parenting books and wise advice. For those of you with kids age 12 and up, I hope you find it helpful!
Continue reading “Navigating the Teen Age Years: 12 Dos and Don'ts”
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas season! One thing I love about a New Year is that it is a time for fresh starts. Each day is also a fresh start, especially when it begins with a peaceful morning routine. Why wait until the end of the day to decompress? Begin the day with stillness and prayer. And so I thought I’d share this post, written by Melissa Atlee, a dear friend and homeschooling mama: How My New Morning Routine is Giving Me Peace.
Continue reading “How My New Morning Routine is Giving me Peace”
How many of you are thinking of getting your tween a cell phone for Christmas? Because we all know that in the eyes of a tween or teen, a shiny new cell phone under the Christmas tree is even better than Santa. And the pressure is on: everyone at school has a cell phone nowadays. It seems that all the kids on sports teams, scouts, and youth groups have cell phones. If you don’t get your kid a cell phone this Christmas, you’re a veritable Scrooge forcing your child to remain in the dark ages.
But before you jump on the cell-phone band wagon, consider the pros and cons:
Continue reading “Kids and Smart Phones: Weighing the Pros and Cons”
Last post, I shared with you St. Don Bosco’s secret to discipline. Did you read how he could get 500 boys to sit in a hall and study quietly and diligently, without threats or punishment? If you have boys, St. Don Bosco is the saint for you! He is a shining example for parents and teachers. Today I share with you some of his own words of wisdom on education and discipline:
Continue reading “St. Don Bosco on the Education and Discipline of Youth”
One of my favorite saints is Don Bosco. Whenever my boys are particularly unruly, I think of him who dedicated his life to the care and education of the street boys of Turin. Beloved by his pupils, he transformed the lives of countless youth, giving them a Christian education and helping them to grow in holiness. For me, St. Don Bosco is a powerful intercessor. After all, if he was able to work wonders for the derelict raggamuffins of 18th c. Turin, surely he can do something for my well-meaning, but rambunctious boys.
Furthermore, St. Don Bosco is a shining example to parents and teachers. Researching his writings, I came upon this wonderful anecdote, which he himself wrote. I just had to share with you — St. Don Bosco’s Secret to Discipline:
Continue reading “St. Don Bosco’s Secret to Discipline”
In my last post, I talked about the importance of virtues and how they enable us to love fully and freely. The foundational virtue, the one that sets the stage for the development of all others, is obedience.
In addition to obedience, we want our children to develop the four cardinal virtues: justice, temperance, prudence, and fortitude. These are called the cardinal virtues because cardo means “hinge” in Latin and all other virtues hinge from these four. For example, honesty and responsibility stem from justice. Chastity stems from temperance. Patience comes from fortitude.
Virtues are like the muscles in our body. When you exercise one muscle, you also exercise the others around it. The cardinal virtues are like the core muscles of our body. Athletes need strong core muscles. Spiritual athletes are those who are striving for holiness and the ability to love fully and freely. And they need the cardinal virtues.
Continue reading “Raising Virtuous Children: The Core Virtues of Spiritual Athletes”
Last month, I had the privilege of speaking at a family conference near State College, PA. My topic was Raising Virtuous Children – a topic so broad one could write a whole book about it. I think I over-loaded the audience with too much info, so I promised one mom that I would post the talk on this blog. I’ll post it as a three-part series. Here is Part I of the talk on Raising Virtuous Children:
Continue reading “Raising Virtuous Children”
It takes a village to raise a child — so goes the African proverb. But what if that village, including schools, peers, media, and the culture at large, goes strongly and blatantly against your principles? What’s a parent to do?
In her newly released book, Don’t Let the Culture Raise your Kids, journalist Marcia Segelstein gives parents a highly researched and in-depth look at today’s culture. She describes how it undermines parental influence and challenges traditional family values. More importantly, she offers excellent solutions, tips, and tools for parents who are fighting to protect their children from gender ideology, social media and gaming addiction, sex-ed in schools, pornography, and consumerism. In this interview for Mercatornet, Marcia Segelstein shares some of her research findings and advice.
Continue reading “Who is Raising Your Kids? You? or the Culture?”
Here’s a special treat for you! I recently read a newly-released book, Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying. The author, Betsy Kerekes, happens to be a homeschooling mom who has learned, (and I quote her) “If you don’t laugh, you cry, but laughing is more fun.” Isn’t that the truth! Here’s the interview I had with her for Mercatornet. I’m sure you’ll appreciate her stories, humor, and her great perspective on dealing with parenting calamities.
Continue reading “How to be a Happier Parent”
Question: How do you prevent frustration on your child’s part when you home school?
One challenging thing about homeschooling is that children do not hold back their emotions from their parents as they would (usually) do with their school teachers. In the absence of peer pressure, children feel less compelled to keep their emotions in check. Thus, in a home school, children are more likely to burst into tears or go into a fit of rage over a difficult math problem. This can pose a considerable problem for us parents, one that can cause us to feel inadequate and frustrated ourselves.
Continue reading “Helping Children Overcome Frustration”