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Showing posts with the label Catholic parenting

"Because I said so": Modeling the Love of God to Our Children

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As a parent, I have a responsibility to imitate God’s loving guidance for my children. God, in His infinite perfection, is the Perfect Father, and parents have to model their child-rearing after Him. Consequently, the way we parent our children will have lasting effects on the way they perceive God. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become acutely aware of the similarities in how I talk to God and how I talk to my own dad. It’s amazing how my mind has categorized the two so closely. Now that puts a lot of pressure (as if we didn’t have enough already) on parents. I have wonderful parents who were exemplary models of God to my siblings and myself, but that is not a universal experience. I constantly remind myself of my need to be loving, just, kind, merciful, and forgiving to my children, lest I place a stumbling block in their path to God. One of the big perks of this responsibility is the ability to say, “Because I told you so.” .... Click to read the rest at "Messy Buns & Latin Chant&q…

5 Practical Ways to Organize Your ADHD Life (and Feel Good about Yourself)

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When I first began to realize that I had ADHD, I came across an invaluable list of 50 tips for managing Attention Deficit from Drs. Ed Hallowell and John Ratey.  I still have my original copy of the list printed off from AOL! In today's blog, I am sharing not only their life-changing advice on managing your tasks but also my personal experience with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity disorder and how I used these suggestions to transform my life. Set up your Environment to Reward Rather than Deflate. "To understand what a deflating environment is, all most adult ADD'ers need do is think back to school. Now that you have the freedom of adulthood, try to set things up so that you will not constantly be reminded of your limitations."

During the last 3 decades since graduating from High School, I have dabbled in many different professions with the best fits being the careers with task versatility and work from home capabilities. Not coincidentally, these are also the cho…

Lessons Learned from The Prodigal You Love

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When a BOOK is a Blessing
My son does not know if he wants to be Catholic. In fact he is not even sure if he even believes in God. When the subject comes up between us, my response, quite frankly is usually terse and accompanied with a tone much louder and more frustration filled than I intend it to be.  The result from the pain in my heart hearing his words which cut much deeper than he intends them to. I blame myself for his faith struggle, wondering what I could have done better or differently, and if it is now too late to make a difference.  Yet the truth remains despite my greatest efforts, or at least my best attempts at a greatest effort, my son is not sure where he stands with the faith that I love so very much.

For the Remaining 9 LIFE CHANGING lessons... CLICK HERE
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras, 2016

Beautiful Souls: A Series on Parenting Pt. 3~ We Interrupt This Program (Practical Parenting Tips)

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Beautiful Souls: A Series on Parenting Pt. 3~ We Interrupt This Program (Practical Parenting Tips)
Today what was scheduled for my Parenting series - Was: Why bother with Baptism and the other Sacraments? -the anticipatory act of Baptism -the comprehension that we are changed by the Sacraments -learning healing from the Grace of God
However, I'm interrupting the regularly scheduled programming to share a fun little quiz/interview I did with my kids and to just give you a few practical parenting tips...
read the rest at Picture a Skyline
Working with Your Child's Temperament from Four Waters Pres It’s release day for A Spiritual Growth Plan for Your Choleric Child!
Enjoy the slide show on the temperaments I put together for the upcoming Minnesota Home Education and Curriculum Conference. I included lots of photos of my kids to make you smile. Have you ordered your copy? If you pre-ordered the ebook, you can access it now. The ebook is $3.99 on Amazon. The paperback is available for $12.95 at Amazon. You can also buy the paperback at CreateSpace.
As always, if you buy five paperbacks directly from me, I’ll sign them all and give you a sixth free–with no shipping cost. Email me at crossini4774 at comcast dot net if you are interested.
See the book blog tour schedule at  Contemplative Homeschool.

Free temperament quiz and pre-sales for choleric child book

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I am happy to announce that I have published a 44-question quiz to determine your children’s primary temperaments. You can also use it for yourself. You can download it free through Smashwords for your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or as a PDF. I also uploaded it to Amazon, but Amazon only allows free distribution during special offers or as a price match. I have notified Amazon that the quiz is free elsewhere. I hope they drop the price to free soon. That is beyond my control. (It currently sells there for $.99.)

Please download your free copy of Determining Your Child’s Temperament: a brief quiz for Catholic parents.

If you find it helpful, please post a review on Smashwords or Amazon so that others can benefit. Share the links with your friends, family, and homeschool co-op. Let me know if I can improve it in anyway. Thank you.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Fathers, Daughters and St. Thérèse by Nancy HC Ward

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An interview with Connie Rossini, author of Trusting God with St. Thérèse.
Connie gives practical advice for overcoming fears and frustrations that hamper our relationship with God. I asked her about her father-daughter relationship as compared to that of Louis Martin and his daughter St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Nancy: Thérèse was blessed with parents who were “more worthy of heaven than of earth.” Thérèse had a special relationship with her father, who called her, “my Queen.” She formed her image of God from her father who never denied her love, affection and care. How did your father-daughter relationship compare to this?
Connie: In some ways, my relationship with my father when I was growing up was miles apart from the relationship between Thérèse and Louis. I am very quiet and reserved. As a child, I was also timid. My dad, in contrast, was outgoing and frank. He was also the primary disciplinarian. My mom often said, "Wait till your dad gets home!" I grew nervous around him. I…

Catholic Resources on Extreme Parenting (Special Needs, Adoption, Fostering, and More!)

My request for Catholic online and print resources on extreme parenting circumstances got an amazing response, so I'd like to share it with you. There's more on adoption than I thought, including an excellent new resource scheduled to be released by Pauline Books in 2015 (huge shout-out to author Jaymie Stuart Wolfe and the sisters at Pauline). But there's much less on fostering and step-parenting than I was hoping to find.

Please, please, please if you have more to add to the list, respond in the comments or by email to santoskaree@gmail.com. It's so important to support parents taking on this holy but often incredibly arduous work.

Adoption
Adoption: Room for One More?, by Jaymie Stuart Wolfe (forthcoming from Pauline Books in 2015)Adoption: Choosing It, Living It, Loving It, by Dr. Ray Guarendi (St. Anthony Messenger, 2009)Longing to Love: A Memoir of Desire, Relationships, and Spiritual Transformation, by Tim Muldoon (Loyola Press, 2010)While We Wait: Spiritual and Pr…

Laughing, Loving, and Crying Through 36 Years of Marriage: 10 Years & Then Some

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Today we welcome Michael and Melanie Jean Juneau to the series How to Stay Married 10 Years & Then Some. Michael and Melanie live on a small family farm in Canada, where they raised their nine kids. I know Melanie from her excellent work at the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers and through her prolific writing. Today Michael and Melanie explain how suffering doesn't have to crush a marriage, instead it can lead to great joy!



1. How many years have you been married and how many kids do you have?
We have been married for 36 years, and we are still in love. Surprisingly, we really have become one, deeply in tune with each other’s spirits. Our tangible joy is inexplicable through secular eyes because from all outward appearances our life together has been a tough journey including poverty, nine kids, overwhelming chores on a small family farm and clinical depression.

One priest gently consoled us by explaining we have lived through “trials by fire.” Another friend, not given to …

Should Parents Introduce "Bad" To Talk About "Good?"

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There is a dilemma that all parents face when raising their children. Desiring to keep them as innocent as possible for as long as possible is what lurks behind this conundrum. And the decision made in each family is the right decision—even when the decisions differ from family to family and even from child to child.
The issue at hand?
Do we as parents talk about “bad things” in a way that allows us to introduce the “good things?” And if we do, how “bad” can “bad” be without being too “bad?” And, of course, every parent’s definition of “bad” is different.
How do we equip our children to live in the world—and be salt and light—without robbing them of their innocence? Is this even possible? More importantly: Is it necessary?
Can you talk to your young daughter about chastity without telling her—in honest language—what she will encounter in the world of boys? Can you speak to your young son about temptation and hormones—in a realistic way—without introducing characteristics that girls exhibit …

How Parents Approach Mass With Little Ones Can Begin to Plant the Seeds of Faith

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All pictures in this post are from the book Little Acts of Grace by Rosemarie Gortler and Donna Piscitelli. Illustrations are drawn by Mimi Sternhagen. I highly recommend this book for Catholic parents who want to teach their children about many aspects of the faith and their meaning.
Let's face it, it's not always easy to attend Mass with children.  Sometimes you leave feeling more like you were engaged in battle than having spent an hour in the highest form of prayer in which we Catholics can participate.  In a way, you are engaged in the battle for your child's soul.  When we go to Mass, we are asked to leave the world behind for awhile and focus on the spiritual.  Even children can begin to sense these eternal truths long before they can fully understand them. As parents and the first educators of our children, we are called to teach them the Catholic faith.  How do we go about this with unreasonable toddlers, unruly preschoolers, and bored elementary st…

Why I don't let my boys be crude

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Adults seem to take for granted that being crude is part of the nature of boys. “Let boys be boys,” they say. Let them make jokes about body functions and use crass language. We can’t expect them to be careful in their speech. Well, here’s news for all of you: I am raising four masculine boys and I don’t allow them to speak or act crudely. And they don’t!

The other day, D (nearing 12), brought up the subject of crude talk. Some of his friends have always been looser in their talk than we allow here. As he gets older, the tongues of many of his friends are getting worse. Was I being too strict? He wanted to know.
Here are some of the reasons I gave him for our rules against being crude:
1. We are not beasts Unlike lower animals, humans have reason. We can regulate our behavior. We are not subject to impulses. We should be raising our eyes to Heaven, not lowering them to earth. We should speak about the higher things in life.


Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool

First Communion, Fourth Time Lucky

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Scabbed heads, burned faces, and stomach viruses might not seem like a lucky start to my fourth child Marguerite's First Communion day. Poor Marguerite tripped over the curb at school a few days before her First Communion and went flying up, up, up, and then down onto the pavement. Scabbed knees, scabbed hands, but the worst was a big scab on her forehead right by her hairline. Not the best for close-up shots.

Then there was my husband's burned face. He got scalded in the shower (horrible, I know -- how did that happen?), and the entire left side of his face was covered by a reddish-purplish burn. To disguise it, we had to decide between a Phantom of the Opera style mask, a Middle Eastern veil, or Loreal True Match foundation. We went with the foundation.
Read more of our story here...

Did You Keep Your 2013 New Year's Resolutions?

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Don't just forget last year's New Year's resolutions. Evaluate them and use them as a guide for this year's resolutions. For 2014, you can renew the good resolutions from 2013, revise the okay ones, and ditch the impossible ones (or the ones you've fulfilled). Most of all, ask God for his help in setting and achieving these goals. He wants us to be better people with stronger wills, and he wants us to keep our promises to ourselves. So don't give up. Every new year is a second chance to accomplish good things and become the people God wants us to be.

With that back-drop, let's see how I did on my 2013 New Year's Resolutions. I'll even grade myself. You can do the same for yourself, if you like. I made one resolution for each member of my family, and I definitely achieved greater success with some than with others.

Resolution #1: Help to manage my 12-year-old daughter's ADD. Grade: B

We managed to find a kind and empathetic child psychiatrist, who p…

Christmas Gift Ideas: Book Edition

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Just in time for Christmas, here are some awesome book suggestions for nearly everyone on your list.
For Married or Engaged Couples
For Better... Forever!: A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage, by Greg Popcak. This modern Catholic classic has been offering helpful advice to couples for more than a decade. Give a gift that helps love grow all year long. Click here for my review.

For Moms and Dads
Growing Up in God's Image, by Carolyn J. Smith.  One of the biggest struggles parents face is teaching their kids a healthy outlook on sexuality. You can start laying the groundwork when your kids are very young by teaching them respect for their bodies. Then, it's much easier to talk to them as they get older. Learn how in this helpful book. Click here for my review and link to buy.

Catholic Family Fun, by Sarah A. Reinhard.  The family fun can last all year round if you use the ideas in this clever book. Imagine always having something wholesome to do that will keep bodies and minds acti…

Happy Anniversary to Can We Cana!!

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On December 2, 2012, I started the Can We Cana? blog on a wing and a prayer, hoping to provide support for Catholic marriages and families. Thanks to you wonderful readers, the blog reached its 1000th pageview in less than two months. By today, its one-year anniversary, the blog has attracted more than 30,000 pageviews from readers in all 50 states and in countries around the globe.

Blogpost topics have included everything from sexuality and the Theology of the Body to staying married through sickness and health, unexpected pregnancies, first-year disillusionment, and the pressures of raising a big family. There are parenting tips, household tips, and reviews of awesome Catholic family resources. I've even included discussions of difficult issues like marital abandonment, abortion, annulment, virginity, and rape. Thanks to the support of some amazing on-line friends I've made, Can We Cana? posts have also appeared on CatholicMom.com, CatholicLane.com, AmazingCatechists.com, M…

Dad is Fat, and Other Big-Family Belly Laughs

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"You know what's funny? Catholicism!" proclaimed the Washington Post recently. More and more Catholic public figures cheerfully crack jokes as they evangelize, including stand-up comic Jim Gaffigan, Stephen Colbert of the Comedy Central television network, and even Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.

The new book Dad is Fat, by Irish-American comedian Jim Gaffigan, is a perfect blend of hilarity and wisdom about parenting a large Catholic family. Gaffigan hides parenting advice amidst the jokes in the same way some moms try to hide pureed zucchini in their chocolate-chip cookie recipes -- and he's probably way more successful. Gaffigan says it best in his own words, so following is his advice on everything from home birth to bedtime. Enjoy!

Read more here...

The Terrors of the 7th Grade Dance

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Me to my 7th grade daughter: "You can go to the school dance, but you can't slow dance with any boys." My 7th grade daughter: "The principal said we're not allowed to say no."
This conversation, naturally, almost shocked me into a full-blown panic attack. Then it got worse.

Me: "Are you sure that's what the principal said?" My 7th grader: "Yep! And she said she wouldn't tell anybody who we dance with. The teachers can't tell either."
I think I actually felt my heart hiccup. Because we all know who "anybody" is, don't we? Paranoid parents like me. Why would the principal ally herself with the students as the one who knows their secrets and won't tell? I had to know.

Click here to read more...

New Resource for Catholic Moms-to-be

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Sometimes pregnancy makes us glowingly happy and sometimes it makes us miserable. But no matter how it makes us feel, it will change us and the world around us irrevocably. If you want to know more about the physical and spiritual changes that pregnancy can bring, if you're looking for deeper meaning in the little aches and pains, read Sarah Reinhard's book A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. Sarah's book offers pregnant moms a week-by-week journey in prayer with Our Lady through pregnancy, labor, birth, and beyond.

Each chapter of the opening section on pregnancy details the amazing physical developments the baby is undergoing. The chapters also lead us into meditation on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, helping us to imagine how Mary coped with the dizzying changes from the moment her motherhood was announced until the day she lost Jesus in the Temple and heard his radical declaration of departure from childho…

Expand Your Family, Expand Your Heart (A Review of Big Hearted)

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When the cover story of Time magazine brags that having it all means not having children, the culture badly needs a reminder that getting married and having kids is actually a good idea. That having children, whether one or five or ten, is not only praiseworthy but worth it. The percentage of childless couples has nearly doubled since 1980, and the percentage of families with three or more kids has dropped by almost half. Today's burning question is no longer why would any couple want to remain childless. It's why would anyone want more than one or two.

Big Hearted, by Patti Armstrong and Theresa Thomas, answers that question in a collection of moving, true-life stories, each one more inspirational than the last. The stories in Big Hearted open up a window into the private thoughts and feelings of parents of large families. Not all of them love babies, although some of them do. Some mothers walk away from corporate jobs without a backwards glance, and others lock themselves in…