As Long as Your Kids are Happy

I read an article on Huffington Post this morning that made me do some thinking. “What Kind Of Parents Were We?,” although a relatively short entry really made a strong impact on me–especially the author’s closing statement read, “I don’t care what you do, darling, as long as you’re happy…” (A statement which is directed to her kids.) As long as your kids are happy, that should make you happy as a parent (at least I believe that).

I believe that every parent has a dream for their children. The intensity of our resolution to have our children realize these aspirations may vary, but I certainly believe that we all have these dreams for our kids–something we want them to be. While it is not a bad thing to have these thoughts for the future of our kids, some of us get so caught up preparing and pushing our kids to these career plans that we forget about their happiness. Forget what you want for a second, as long as your kids are happy that is what matters.

I am not saying that it is wrong to set out a career pathway for our children. All I am saying is that as parents, we should always keep in mind that a wonderful career is not tantamount to happiness.

The Effects of Shaming Children are Not Positive

I read an article this morning that I 100% agree with–“Shame Does Not Teach Children to Do Better.” I have seen a few parents on the internet advocating “shaming” as a disciplinary tactic. No matter how much I try to see something positive from this practice, I just can’t find anything. The effects of shaming children are not positive nor have they ever been.

Frankly, I would say that “shaming” is a form of emotional abuse. Some parents may say that it is an effective way to teach a child a lesson. I think that shaming does more than teach kids a lesson, it scars them for life. Well yes, you may be instilling a lesson in your kid’s mind when you humiliate them but at what cost? Ample evidence from academic research that shows that children who are consistently shamed as a punishment grow up to be depressed, anxious, and less confident than others. You could probably guess that the effects of shaming children are not positive, but parents still continue to do it.

As in everything in life, quick fixes are not good. With shaming, you may be able to stop the initial problem fast, but in exchange you are causing some serious damages to your child–damages that will affect them for life.

Being Catholic in Modern Times

I know there are  a lot of tips out there on how we can be faithful Catholics in this day and age, but I picked up a tip today that is certainly worth sharing. Being Catholic is modern times is not something to take lightly. I got this tip from a blog post titled, “Living as a Catholic in a Secular World.” The writer said has this nugget of wisdom to share to modern-day Catholics like you and me:

Being a Catholic in the modern age isn’t an easy road. When the world is so contrary to church teaching, a Catholic who wants to live as a Catholic has to look closely at church teaching and find out as much as possible.To believe in these things you need to REALLY believe them. Understand them and not just take them on face value. On face value they make little sense, until you find the reasons why. You need to act upon them. You need to believe and seek Truth. The double life isn’t easy and people will look for hypocrisy in every thing you do.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? How can we actually firmly stand behind something we don’t really know much about? How can we defend and share our faith to people who are doubtful of Christ and His saving grace? More importantly, without a strong foundation of faith, how can we be sure that we won’t be swayed by unbelievers? Being Catholic in modern times presents a lot of tests. People and events will test your faith, but stand strong.

 

Parenting Guilt: Positive and Negative Effects

A post titled, “How I Became A More Confident Mum” had a section that talked about the issue of parenting guilt. I just can’t help but share my thoughts on the matter.

Guilt is one problem that probably every parent has encountered–it is said to be an intrinsic and inevitable part of parenting. Being erring humans that we are, we are bound to commit mistakes and short comings along the way. You know, we feel guilty about working too hard and not having as much playtime as we want with our kids, or we feel guilty about the way we reprimanded our kids or not being able to give in to their requests.

Feeling parenting guilty can have its negative effects, it can make us hold ourselves and our kids to unrealistic standards, it can give our children the impression that they can control and manipulate our decisions and can potentially break down communication, trust, and love within the family. However when managed appropriately, parenting guilt can also amount to something good–it can prompt us to reflect upon our actions and teach us lessons, help us feel empathy, connect to our children and drive us to make positive changes in our parenting.

Protecting Children From The Perils of Overabundance

I was very happy to finding this eye-opening, reflective, and inspiring post today from Patheos entitled “Parenting in an Age of Affluence.” Aside from making me realize how having too much in life can negatively affect my children, it also gave me a chance to help others who are in need through a very noble project called “Project 1040.”

As parents, we all want nothing but the best for our children. This very desire prompts a lot of parents to provide their kids with everything they ask for. Little do they know that their actions are putting their children in harm’s way. Not a lot of parents may know this but overindulgence is one of the worst things a parenting can do for their child. When we give in to our children’s every whim, we are preparing them for an empty life ahead.

Furthermore a child who always has more than what he needs will very likely take life’s blessings for granted, and fail to see that everything they have is from God.

May all moms and dads always resist the temptation to give our children material things which provide nothing but temporary and shallow happiness. If we must give our children something in abundance, it should be our love, time, and prayers.

This Papal Resignation is Not The First

News of the Blessed Father’s resignation shocked me, as with the rest of the world. It never occurred to me that it was actually possible for a Pope to abdicate his position. I have lived to see four Popes father the Catholic Church–Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and the incumbent Benedict XVI. All of Pope Benedict’s predecessors reigned until they passed away, so it really surprised me how something like this could happen.

However, as I read deeper into the issue of papal resignation, I have discovered that although Pope Benedict is the first pope to resign in over 600 years, he is not the only one to have voluntarily stepped down from the position in the entire history of the church. As a matter of fact, there are a handful of others who have resigned before him, namely:

  • Benedict IX (1032-45) – Resigned after selling the papacy to his godfather Gregory VI.
  • Gregory VI (1045-46) – Resigned after being accused of purchasing to papacy.
  • Celestine V (1294) – Resigned for “his longing for the tranquility of his former life.”
  • Gregory XII (1406-15) – Resigned to put an end to Western Schism.

Should you want to know more about Pope Benedict XVI, and his reason for resignation here is a good read: 9 Things You Should Know About Pope Benedict XVI

Listening to Hear God’s Voice

I have been blessed by this very inspiring devotional today: How Do I Know I Am Called? A Prayer for You.

As Christians, it is our life’s aim to seek the will of our heavenly Father. However, knowing exactly what God wants us to do is not as easy as it sounds. In my younger years, I always wondered why God made it so easy for people to speak to Him, but so hard for them to hear His voice. However, as the years passed by, my relationship with Him deepened then, I began to see just how profound and clearly He speaks to me.

The Lord is constantly speaking to us–giving us directions and answering our questions. Often, we think that He is not hearing us as He is not answering any of our supplications. It is not the Lord who is not speaking, but we who are not hearing. If you want to hear God’s voice, you may need to practice the H.E.A.R.T. exercise (taken from the devotional passage mentioned above).

H – Humble our hearts.
E – Examine our life experiences and current circumstances.
A – Apply our gifts and talents.
R – Read, study and pray the Word of God.
T – Trust in God’s timing and His answer.

Accepting Imperfection as a Parent

Like all mothers, I have always wished to be the perfect caregiver for my child. In the time I  have spent being parent, I  realized that it is just not possible to be perfect! I was glad to read 10 Truths I Learned In 3 Years Of Imperfect Parenting, a post from one Mom who shared my exact sentiments.

Parenting will put you through a myriad of situations that will elicit a host of emotions within you! You should expect to feel anger, incompetence, guilt and resentment; but know that there will also be feelings of joy, love and pure happiness. Believe me when I say that you wouldn’t trade those beautiful emotions for anything in this world.

Being a parent will change your life forever. In my opinion the change is definitely for the better. Having children is probably one of the biggest responsibilities and most difficult tasks you can have in your entire life. Nevertheless, without a doubt, it is also the most rewarding and the most beautiful experience.

Parenting Tip: Keep Communicating with Your Child as They Grow

I recently read an article about the importance of being current. When I first read the article’s title, I wasn’t completely sure what it meant. The main idea dawned pretty quickly on me though and I found it to be a valuable bit of advice. The author talks about remaining current in the sense that between parents and children, there shouldn’t be things that go unsaid. This means forgiveness, sharing your beliefs, telling them your dreams, and listening when they do the same. These factors are all a part of “being current” as the post calls it.

As a parent, it is really important to work hard to keep a strong relationship with your kids. When they are younger it is typically easier, but as they grow older that could change. Just keep communicating with them and try to remain as involved as possible with their day to day life.

The Best Catholic Articles This Week – December 21

As you all know I read a lot of articles every week. I’m pretty active in either mentioning articles I read, or personally commenting on them if I feel compelled to do so. I wanted to share with you the best posts that I found this week.

Three Priests Talk About Spiritual Direction – This post was featured on a site called Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction. In the post three different priests give advice to Catholics about how to find a spiritual director who can guide you. It also talks about what a spiritual director is and why you would need one.

Tips to Help You Pray Not Just Say the Rosary – I can’t say enough about this post, the title drew me in and the article did not disappoint. This article gives you ten tips about how you can become more spiritually in tune when you are praying the rosary. So many people rush through an important action like praying the rosary. It shouldn’t be about speeding through, it should be about feeling spiritually engaged.

Speaking With an Angel Requires Faith, Humility, and Trust – This post goes through biblical instances in which an angel visited a human. The post talks about Mary, Joseph, and Zechariah and their experiences in depth. The post ties together the need that they all had for the qualities of faith, humility, and trust and the need that we all have for those qualities in every day life.

5 Ways to Watch the Hobbit Like a Catholic – I let my nerdy side make this choice for me. I am a huge Tolkien fan and this article points out some interesting facts. It points out a lot of Christian lessons that can be learned from Tolkien’s the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.

Catholic Dads and the Domestic Church – This article was really well done and asked Catholic dads everywhere to become more influence in their family’s spiritual endeavors. The author calls dads to be better role models for their kids and more engaging overall where religion is concerned.

All of these articles are, in my opinion, spectacular and amongst the best of the week! Make sure to check them out and leave comments for all of the hard working authors.