Toddlers (0-4)

Giving Your Family A Reason to Care About Family

Shut down doesn’t have to feel like shut down! Due to current restrictions caused by COVID-19, many families aren’t traveling as much as they normally do this time of year. Even local activities in many areas are still difficult to enjoy because of closures. But, that doesn’t mean we should stop having fun as a …

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Talking About Nothing: Is It Healthy?

Our family loves games! We play card games, board games, outdoor games, sports, and imagination games. Sometimes we have conversations about games we play, but most of the time we talk about things of more substance such as family, improving relationships, truths we’ve found, books we’ve read, experiences we’ve had, memories we share, family history, …

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Simple Solutions for Lack of Motivation Problems

A mother recently asked me how to help her daughter feel motivated to do anything besides sit around the house. She isn’t alone. With the new quarantine lifestyle, many families are thriving with the increase of family time, personal time, and relationship-building. But, even the most involved parents can still find that their child might …

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Choosing Calmness Amidst All the Stress

Why do we cater to our stresses and forget to choose calmness? After all, calmness is the only state where we truly feel safe and empowered. Stress, anger, and frustration never lead to true empowerment or peace, only emotional bondage. In 1998, when I was the young mother of a small baby and a toddler,and …

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Carving Out More Family Quality Time in a Fast-Paced World

Creating quality, loving family relationships requires discerning between what actions are really quality and what actions are nothing more than conformity to social norms. Creating these quality relationships doesn’t require elaborate planning, just time. Strong family relationships are built upon many components, such as good communication, honesty, trust, love, forgiveness, bonding, listening, shared vision, and …

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10 Lessons for Listening With Love

Much emotional agony is avoided and more relationship healing is possible when a person learns to listen with love. There were two similar conversations that had very different results. The first conversation was between a mother and her son. The son told his mother about a problem he was having with a friend, but she …

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How To Create Magical Family Memories

As I held my 15-year-old son’s hand and watched the magic of Christmas unfold around me with lights and nativity displays at the city center, I felt that date with my son was a parent’s dream come true. Who doesn’t dream of the perfect parent/child memory? We all want them, but could our desire for …

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Making Any Holiday the Perfect Holiday

During this time of year when there are lists of things to do and places to go, don’t forget this one simple truth: people are more important than things. People are worth more of our focus than lists. We may think that the lists of things make the holiday perfect for the people, but that …

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What Your Mother Really Wants

Recently, while texting with my oldest son, he asked, “Hey, what do you want for Mother’s Day?” I shouldn’t really admit that I don’t like those kinds of questions, but the truth is I don’t. Maybe it’s because my love language isn’t gifts, or maybe it’s because I never know what to say. The most …

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Stitching That Holds the Family Together

“If our society is coming apart at the seams, it is because the tailor and the seamstress in the home are not producing the kind of stitching that will hold under stress. In the name of giving advantages, we have too often bartered away the real opportunities of our children.” (1981, Be Thou an Example, …

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Ah, 3-Year-Olds!

I once heard from a mother who was struggling with her three-year-old. The girl didn’t take “No” answers well, even when they practiced. When she earned a consequence she either wouldn’tdothe chore or would holler if it was the removal of a privilege.If the mother gave her a “No” answer to anything, the girl would flop on the floor and scream. If she didn’t get what she wanted from her siblings, she would yell and hit them.She was a sweet girl, but she was also very strong-willed and determined to get her way.

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Charitable Parenting

Even though the mistakes our children make are glaring us in the face, we also know that each of our children has certain attributes that make them wonderful, individual, and precious to us. Charitable parents focus more on those good, productive attributes than on the negative mistakes their children make daily. Each week I answer …

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How to Help Kids Enjoy Doing Work!

It’s all too common in many modern households to hear sighs, grumbling, complaining and whining from children when parents give reminders of daily work responsibilities, or when additional work assignments are given to children. But, before we think this is the way children have always felt about doing work or that everyone should feel work …

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Strong Families Create a Halloween Sanctuary for Children

When today’s parents were children, the costume was all about sticking out individually. But today’s young people and families are leaning more and more toward theme costumes. Why is this? Well, modern youth and families are more about togetherness than their parent’s generation. Also, the youth seem to recognize the power of community and/or the …

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Fighting Over The Judgement Seat

“There is no more war in my classroom, and there is no more war in my home.” Those were the words of a teacher from Kenya this summer. It was part of a parenting training I attended designed to teach Catholic leaders how to teach their families self-government skills and good communication. In the 19 …

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Love of Instructions and Reproof

Janae and Trisha both have a 12-year-old son who has a habit of being defiant. Each woman struggles with having the confidence to help her son change his behaviors during his outbursts. So why is Trisha’s son making so much more progress on staying calm and listening to her than Janae’s? Why is Trisha’s confidence …

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They’re Caught in the Moral Middle

Today’s children are caught in the middle of multiple moral battle zones. You could even say that children’s moral battles are divorcing them from their parents. One of the most common characteristics of a child with divorced parents is that the child feels pulled between the parents’ different values and lifestyles. It’s common for husbands …

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