Archives for September 2013

Being the Bad Guy is Not Fun: Parenting

Have you reprimanded your son or daughter from playing video games all night or stopped them from going to an overnight sleepover at a friend’s house when “everybody was going”? I’m sure you have. What did your children do? Maybe some form of a  tantrum ensued. All parents know that when we see our children suffer we feel the pain a hundred times over. Restrictions, regulations, and discipline should be a part of how you raise your children. No matter how tiresome or painful it might become. Being the bad guy is not fun, but as a parent sometimes it is necessary.

There’s a great point stressed in the blog post Someday You’ll Thank Me:

“No matter the age of our kids, they need us to make decisions in their best interest. They need the wisdom and perspective that our longer lives and increased experience bring. They need us to offer advice, make rules, and keep them from harm. They need us to be their parents, not their friends — even if the thanks for those decisions never comes. “

I do believe that appreciation will come, when your children grows older, they will realize how thankful they are because you have helped made them a better person. Being the bad guy is not fun, but feeling that gratitude when your child has grown up and realized these things is rewarding.

Being a Good Parent Means Being a Good Role Model

How many times have you caught yourself sounding like your mother? It has been said many times that children are a reflection of their parents and this is true. Children mirror what their parents do, both the good and the bad. Being a good parent means being a good role model for your kids. Consciously and subconsciously your child keeps that memory of how you acted when you dealt with this and how you acted when you dealt with that. Later in life, those actions and even decisions will then be their exact guiding light as to how they will be solving their own problems. A great blog post You Are Their Role Model says:

“Those are “words” or “thoughts” embedded in your subconscious mind and will reveal themselves when a situation triggers the memory of a similar thought, feeling or a situation. The precise words that were used by your mum or dad that were in your subconscious mind will automatically reveal themselves.”

Lesson? Work hard to be a good role model to your children. These rules also apply for mom and dad more than it applies to their kids:

  • Mind your language
  • Be honest
  • Walk your talk
  • Keep your promises
  • Always do what is right and just

Needless to say, amazing children are products of equally amazing parents.

God Always Accepts Us Back

Sin, it tears us away from God. While it tears us away from God, many forget that God always accepts. It is our guilt that keeps us from going back to God. God always accepts us back when we have strayed. A terrific post, titled What God Thinks of Sinners (Luke 15:1-10) shared a very wonderful verse that I wanted to share with you:

Luke 15:3-7

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

It justifies the love that God has for each and everyone of us. He does not give premature judgement but accepts us, gives us a chance and welcomes us back into His arms when we go astray. Our God is the God of love and forgiveness. There is none greater than the One True God. There is no love greater than His love. God always accepts us back because he is so great.

Leading Means to Serve, Not to Be Served: Pope Francis

Pope Francis is a man of humility and no one can deny that. Leading means to serve, not to be served and he shows that each day. He chose to live in a humble home, commute, and carry his own luggage. He is a person who does not want to be served. He is a real and great example of a leader whose heart’s desire is to serve and not to be served. He renewed the faith of many Catholics who had lost some of their faith. A great blog: Beyond Hemlines: What A Pope Can Teach Us About Modesty by Deborah Farmer Kris perfectly pointed out how Pope Francis has restored the meaning of humility in its truest sense.

“Pope Francis’ news-making decisions to shun certain “allurements of fashion” is what first endeared him to his new flock. He carries his own bags, swapped the apostolic palace for a room at the Inn of Saint Martha, celebrates mass each morning with rank-and-file Vatican employees, and is driven around in a Ford Focus.”

The Pope’s call for the Catholic Church to be a Church of the poor is a reminder to all Catholics to remain humble and to share. He is a great example to world leaders, that leading means to serve, not to be served.

Keeping Germs Away From Your Baby

Babies are cute. This is the reason why a lot of people want to hold them, hug them, and carry them around. Holding and hugging a baby is a great way to express love and affection. However, you have to put some limits out there when it comes to your baby. The hands can carry a lot of germs that can be passed from one person to another. These germs can be passed on to your child if you are not careful. Keeping germs away from your baby is not a laughing matter. There are some great tips from a post titled Don’t Touch That Baby to help keep dirty hands from touching your baby. Here are some more:

  1. Keep a hand sanitizer or alcohol handy. If relatives want to hold your baby and you can’t stop them from doing it, then have them sanitize their hands before doing so.
  2. Have them use a baby blanket to cover their shirts. Make use of the baby blanket to cover their shirt before letting them carry your baby.

It might sound a bit paranoid but parents want nothing but the best for their kids, more so if it concerns their health. Keeping germs away from your baby should be a priority as a parent.

Make Strides in Your Daily Life

Today I read an interesting post titled, There Is No “Catholic Awareness” Ribbon. Upon reading it, a realization came to light that would probably answer why Catholics are often fond of symbolism. Most of the time, we see pictures of saints, a crucifix, and statues in Catholic homes. This sparks constant arguments with non-Catholics. While I was thinking of this fact, I thought of something else.

Andrew, the author of the blog was offered a pink ribbon for cancer awareness and he declined because he said he already knew about breast cancer and there was no reason for him to be wearing the ribbon. He also wrote about how he bought a new car and hung a rosary in the rear view mirror. The rosary ended up being a reminder for him to be kind on the road.

So my realization was that crosses, rosaries, and statues of saints can help make strides in your daily life. These strides can be like Andrew being kinder on the road, or they can be seeing a rosary and deciding to pray more that day. They help us be aware, and be constantly reminded that we should love our daily lives according to our faith and according to the teachings of God.

The Beautiful Life of Mary: Our Blessed Mother

The 8th of September was the celebrated birthday of the Blessed Mother. I took the opportunity on that day to reflect on the beautiful life of Mary. However, according to The Virgin Mary’s Birthday

“When was the Mother of God born? We can’t know for certain, of course, but for almost 15 centuries now, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated on September 8.”

The birth of the Blessed Virgin was planned and directed by the Almighty Creator. From the very start, her life was destined for both greatness and suffering. She knew that when she said ‘yes’ to the command of God, she also said yes to knowing that her son would face many trials, and that he would also sacrifice his life to wash away the sins of the world. Mother Mary is woman of contemplation and woman of prayer. Jesus loves his mother so much that he performed a miracle at the wedding in Cana even though it was not yet time for him to make his miracle. If Jesus loves his mother, how can we resist not loving her?

May you continue to guide us and protect us our Blessed Mother, especially in these trying times.

Your Children and The Internet: Pros and Cons

Is your child spending a lot of time on the internet? According to a post from Care2 titled, Children and Technology-Should You Be Concerned:

“Media technology is here to stay and has become a permanent part of our lives. But there is great concern about how it may be affecting our children.”

The use of the internet has concerned a lot of parents all over the world. Studies have been conducted to determine the positive and negative effects of internet use among children. Some of the positive effects of internet use are the following:

  • Research and learning are within reach
  • Makes communication easy
  • Learns about social issues and can easily get involved with it

Some of the negative effects are the following:

  • Decreases emotional and physical connection because of a more solitary form of play
  • Reduces physical form of play thus minimizing physical exercise for children
  • Poor development of social skills

According to experts, the key is to keep the use of the internet in moderation. Family internet filters should also be activated so that you are sure that your children’s surfing time are fun, productive and educational. Your children and the internet can have a good relationship where the web is used as a good tool for learning. It’s up to parents to foster this relationship.

Getting Involved at Your Local Parish: Don’t Be Nervous

I believe that there are a lot of individuals who want to belong in their Church community or parish but some are hesitant. So why would they be hesitant to get more involved? Getting involved at your local parish should be easy right? Based on my own experience, it’s not that easy. People get really nervous about things when they don’t know what to expect. I was afraid of not belonging when I wanted to start helping out more at my local parish. I was scared that no one would accept me and I would not know anyone in the ministry to talk to. This is normal, but sometimes leaving your comfort zone to doing something new can be amazing. I started helping out with my parish’s catechism program for children, and I love it! I’ve met so many amazing people.

If you are having the same fears I did, try reading this blog post from HDYDI: Find Your Church Ministry. If I read it before I got into the Church Ministry, it would have helped me decide to join in sooner. I found her post easy to relate to.

If your desire is to serve God, he will pour his blessings down on you and open opportunities for you to be exactly where you want to be.

Hugs Can Send Your Child a Message

Parenting is a really hard thing. Apart from the pressure and the responsibility that it puts on you, you need to make sure that you do your best to instill positive virtues and good behavior in your children. You need to become a good role model while you provide for all their needs. It might sound like a handful, but there is also a lot of fun along the way. Parenting is a learning process for both the parent and the child. I read a powerful story from The Better Mom titled If I Could Share a Parenting Secret. It talks about how they learned a good parenting approach from their son.

According to the blog, the surprising parenting secret that their son taught them is how valuable a hug can be! Hugs can send your child a message. In the post they talk about the different message it can send when you hug your child.

“A hug says so much to your child.

It says, I like being with you

and I like you just the way you are.

It says, I’m here for you

and I’ll always be there for you.

It says, I love you

and I know you love me too.”

The hug heals and encourages. It is actually recommended to hug your loved one at least once a day. Personally I recommend extra hugs, but that’s up to your discretion.