Archives for August 2013

Parenting Gets Me Worried Sometimes

Parenting gets me worried sometimes, and I know I’m not alone with that feeling. Parents keep track of anything and everything when it comes to their children. We always want to make sure that their physical and mental development are right on track, that they eat the right kind or food, and that they grow to be exactly how the book tells us they should. Often, we focus too much on what the book tells us. We pay less attention to reality. Books are ideal but like I always say, development and learning is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. We tend to worry whenever our child’s developmental milestone is not “on the date” and “by the minute” perfect.

With all these things worrying me, a blog post from Life Blessons titled The Promised Land of Parenting encourages parents to just relax, keep your cool, and focus on what matters most. What matters most do you say? Teaching your child to grow up and lead a happy lifestyle. Parenting gets me worried sometimes, and it was nice to read this post and remember it’s all going to be okay.

Martyrdom Through the Ages: From Ancient Japan to Today

We are all lucky because we do not have to go through the same form of persecution that some Japanese Christians had to endure long ago. Back in ancient Japan, Christian believers were tortured and killed just because of their faith in God. It surprised me to read about martyrdom through the ages because it has been so vicious and cruel. When St. Francis Xavier went to Japan, he planted the seed of Christianity well into the minds and hearts of Japanese people. So well in fact, that it grew to great numbers. The believers increased to two hundred thousand strong and that alarmed the authorities. Deviating from the religion that they were used to, these numbers were seen as a threat. Many were punished and tortured to death.

Today we are faced with a different kinds of torture. The media, the people, and the ways of the community are constantly enticing us to deviate from the teachings of Christianity. We may not be physically tortured but we are constantly tried. We do not need to run away from soldiers, but we need to keep away from the things that break our souls and weaken our faith. Read more from an inspiring blog post featured on Crisis Magazine called Lessons Drawn From The Japanese Martyrs. Of course, martyrdom has existed since even earlier than ancient Japan. However, my main point was to show that martyrdom has existed for a long time, and despite its changing form it will exist forever.

What to Do When a Child Swears

Parents and children sometimes argue about things. Okay, parents and children kind of argue about a lot of things. That’s the nature of the relationship, sometimes you disagree and sometimes you agree. You’ll always love each other though. A lot of parents want to know what to do when a child swears or uses a bad word.  Do you question where did I go wrong or think have I been a bad parent?

Not so fast! The truth is there are a lot of factors that contribute to how your child grows to become an adult in this world. Friends, the media, magazines, video games, sports, coaches, and many other things all affect how your child grows and learns. Having limits on what type of language you allow in your house is a smart move though. Just because your child swears doesn’t mean you have failed as parent. Stay consistent with your rules and stick with it.

For more ideas about what to do when a child swears check out an interesting post I read at Parenting Problem: How to Handle a Child’s Hateful and Disrespectful Speech. Some of the author’s main points included:

  • Build a foundation
  • Maintain consistency
  • Give it time
  • Use clarity
  • Stay calm

These are all techniques that can help you discipline to your child for their poor choice of language. The bottom line is you should build a firm foundation and be consistent.

Miracles Happen All Around Us, Take Notice

A car accident happened in Missouri recently, and a pretty miraculous story has come from this tragic event. A head on collision occurred causing Katie Lentz to be crushed and trapped inside the vehicle. Katie was obviously distraught, but she managed to keep herself calm and asked her rescuers to pray aloud with her. Not long after this, a priest approached the rescuers and Katie at the scene. The priest prayed with them. Everyone felt a sense of calmness from the prayer and the priest’s presence.

Not long after the rescue team successfully freed Katie from the car. She has gone through several surgeries and is now on her way to recovery. She wanted to find the priest who came to the accident scene to thank him but no one knows him and did not know where to look for him. It was then that they realized that the priest might have been an angel in disguise, there to save her and guide her rescuers. Miracles happen all around us during life, sometimes we just aren’t paying attention.

“About an hour into the rescue, Katie asked rescue workers to pray out loud with her. That’s when a priest appeared out of nowhere.”He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer. It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well. I can’t be for certain how it was said, but myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle.Where did this guy come from? We’re looking for the priest and so far, no one has seen him. Whether it was a priest as an angel or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie. We would like to find this gentleman and be able to thank him,” “

You can read more about this story at Catholic Online by clicking here. This amazing story is proof that God does not abandon us, and that prayer is quite powerful. Miracles happen all around us, we just need to take notice of these great works.

Parenting Styles: From the Heart

Many mothers, especially first-time moms, read a lot of parenting books and look up almost everything on Google. This seems to be second nature to society today, but why? Well it’s because every parent wants what is best for their child, so therefore we educate ourselves. Sometimes no matter how much we read, there are problems that we cannot solve. So what do we do when that happens? Personally, I think we should go with our gut instinct. Different kinds of people from different parts of the world have different parenting styles that are usually passed from one generation to another. This is according to a recent post about parenting from blog you can find here.

“Styles of parenting differ in different parts of the world. When a baby is learning to walk in Indian homes, most of the parents love to hold hands to teach the young one but one fall sends the whole household scampering to quieten the child who breaks out to as if he or she is running for the title of ‘Prince/ Princess of Wails’ ! In Mid East and especially in Israel the parents stand on the other side of the room and call the child to walk in their direction. Even if the child falls there are no tantrums and is encouraged to try again! The cultural differences are ingrained in the psyche from such a tender age.”

“Humans are the only species that want to hand hold their children forever regardless of whatever age they reach! It is not difficult to find overgrown ‘Guddi’, ‘Baby’,’Munna’ and ‘Chicko’! The names given with much affection at tender age become embarrassing sometimes for the individuals at a later day in the age when they are addressed by these nicknames! The birds, animals and all natural species other than humans take care of their children till they learn to catch their own prey and hunt their own food! Once they can stand on their own feet none of these birds or animals tag with their children!

Apart from educating ourselves, it is also important to listen, feel, and do your parenting by the heart.

Pope Francis Gave a Surprise Phone Call

For as long as I can remember, the Pope has been one of the most important role models in my life. I never imagined that the leader of our Catholic Church would be so down to earth and friendly. Recently Pope Francis received a letter from an Italian boy, and he really went the extra mile. Instead of just reading the letter he responded. I don’t mean through letter either. Pope Francis gave a surprise phone call to this student recently.

Pope Francis is gaining a reputation for being a very down-to-earth person. Despite his position at the Vatican he seems to live a really simply life. Personally, I believe that his deeds reflect the type of leadership that we need as Catholics. He lives the life that we should all strive to live. The Pope has that humble aura that even doesn’t intimidate people, and the fact that Pope Francis gave a surprise phone call to this student affirms that.

You can read more about Pope Francis’ conversation with the Italian teenager here: “Hello, It’s the Pope”: Francis Calls Student

Parenting Thoughts: Toddlers Need Some Building Up Too

The formative years for a child are the most crucial to their development. From newborn to about severalmonths old, there is really nothing more than the basic needs as well as love and care that your baby needs from you. As they grow older, they require more attention, more love, discipline and encouragement. Being parents, our responsibility begins to grow. With all these changes that your little toddler encounters, life can also wear them out. Toddlers need some building up too, just as we do as adults. It is your job as a parent to help them.

5 Ways To Build Up Your Toddlers shares how to give that encouragement and praise to boost up your toddler’s self esteem:

1. Offer Quality And Quantity Time

2. Give Small Chores To Accomplish

3. Set Up Guidelines In The Home

4. Praise, Praise, and Praise!

5. Make Eye Contact

This will strengthen your bond with your growing toddler as you incorporate positive and responsible parenting.

“A woman that builds her home, is someone that God calls wise. (Proverbs 14:1)”

Looking For A New Devotional? The 7 Prayers of St. Bridget

There really is a prayer for every need. There are prayers for before bed or grace for before meals. If you are looking for a new devotional that you can pray daily to have that alone time of prayer and meditation, there are St. Bridget’s 7 Prayers. According to iPadre Catholic Podcasting, when the devotional is prayed daily for one year, it holds a corresponding promise.

The promises are listed as follows:

1. The soul who prays them will suffer no Purgatory.

2. The soul who prays them will be accepted among the Martyrs as though he had spilled his blood for his faith.

3. The soul who prays them can choose three others whom Jesus will then keep in a state of grace sufficient to become holy.

4. No one in the four successive generations of the soul who prays them will be lost.

5. The soul who prays them will be made conscious of his death one month in advance.

The prayer is recommended to be said during adoration and as a form of meditation. If you are looking for a new devotional I think that the 7 prayers of Saint Bridget could be something nice to try out.

Baby Is Not Sleeping Through the Night? Enjoying the Moment

Having a little bundle of joy excites you more than anything. However, just a few days after having that blissful moment of joy reality sinks in. You face the heap of laundry, washing the dishes, and cleaning he house along with the long resounding cry of your beloved little angel. On top of this, is being able to get little to no sleep at all. So your baby is not sleeping through the night? It might seem awful right now, but try to enjoy this moment. Seriously!

According to experts, some babies will be able to adjust and sleep soundly by the time they reach third month. So more parents at this stage get to sleep through the night. A perfect recharge to face another day! What if your child still isn’t outgrown this phase? One inspiring story for moms struggling in this phase actually gave me hope that everything will get better. The blog simply says “Let It Be“. The name of the post really says it all.

“Equally, when you seek out the 15% of parents whose child never sleeps, it feels good – we are not alone! You too are up every few hours with a teething/nocturnal/wide-awake child. At 3am I know that maybe 5 of my friends are up too, we may as well have a conference call (and a coffee).”

Yes, this too shall pass. Well, enjoy it while it lasts because before you know it, your little bundle of joy will go off to college. Well maybe that’s still a ways off, but you get the point! If your baby is not sleeping through the night, take the time you will spend awake as some bonus time together. One day you’ll long for that.

The Age For First Communion in the Catholic Church

For Catholics, the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation are two equally important stages that everybody goes through during their life. A discussion has emerged about whether or not these Sacraments should be given earlier to members of the Catholic faith. The age for First Communion in the Catholic Church is currently seven. Originally, it was Pope Pius who said that

“The age of discretion, both for Confession and for Holy Communion, is the time when a child begins to reason, that is about the seventh year, more or less. From that time on begins the obligation of fulfilling the precept of both Confession and Communion.”

According to Confession And The Age Of The First Communion:

“The desire to protect the Eucharist from profanation is admirable; but the way to do so is not to deprive children of the graces that they would receive from the Sacrament of Communion, but to insist that parents and pastors help those children avail themselves of the graces they would receive from the Sacrament of Confession. Delaying the age of First Communion because all too few Catholics avail themselves of the Sacrament of Confession would not solve the underlying problem; it would only make it worse.”

Personally I agree with this assertion. The main problem is that these children celebrate the Sacraments of First Communion and Confession, but then they don’t celebrate them again frequently enough. Most of the time they aren’t receiving Communion or Confession frequently enough because their parents do not bring them to Mass. Children are less capable of making their own decision to attend Mass, so that responsibility falls on their parents. I agree that we are not talking so much about a question of the “age of reason” in the Catholic Church being the problem, but more a cultural issue pertaining to parents. The age for First Communion in the Catholic Church is somewhat arbitrary in my opinion. Whether a child is seven years old, four years old, or ten years old they are going to require some help from a parent or guardian to attend Mass each week.