Fourth P: Parents

Cute Little Noisy Kids in Church

Dear Holly,My questions is, how do I get my little son 19 months old to behave in Church? He’s a talker and loves to sing but most of all he is really active and sitting for Mass seems to be too much for him. I have tried everything, some things work for a little while than he is distracted and bored. It usually makes my husband insane with embarrassment because he feels that our little guy is distracting everyone. My way of thinking is, he’s a little boy and it is a family Mass. By the end of Mass, my husband is mad and I am walking on egg shells. I really don’t want the option to leave the baby at home and my husband and I attend two different Masses. What is your take on... read more

A Newborn

Dear Holly,I have read your lovely book given to me by my husband before we got married. I have not yet put it into practice but hope to soon. I’m now married a year and have newborn baby- 3wks old. I would like to ask you your thoughts and opinion about managing the house and getting a routine with a newborn as I have no experience as there were no other babies in my family.My main difficulty is making her sleep during the day in her crib. She only gets to sleep in my arms and if I put her down she wakes up within 5 min. So I’ve been using a sling but I get back ache carrying her all day and she will be getting bigger. All my family advise me against carrying her as she’ll get used to it and will never want to sleep on her own. Is this true? or should I just respond to my babies needs and hope that in her own time she will feel secure enough to sleep on her own. I would appreciate your thoughts on... read more

Kids Don't Get Out Much…

Dear Holly,We homeschool and I find my children don’t get outside as much as I would like. It seems there is always so much to do around here that I am not always able to get them outside. My oldest is old enough to go out alone, but my youngest (1) needs me to take her out. Do you have any suggestions for me on how to get them outdoors more without leaving things undone... read more

Overwhelmed About School Starting

Dear Holly, Three years ago my husband came home with your book as a “pick me up” for me. He had read the back cover and thought it was what I needed (what our family needed). That year we finished our RCIA class and officially became Catholics. Since then I have quit my job as a teacher, last year tried my hand at homeschooling my then elementary children – one only lasted until Feb.) when I put my oldest daughter in a brand new Catholic school that was just starting up. My husband had a vasectomy reversal, I became pregnant and this past May had a beautiful baby boy! Oh, and we are trying to sell our house that we bought with 2 incomes and move closer to our parish. I thought homeschooling would be easy since I had been teaching and have a master’s degree, but it was a disaster! I ended up trying to bring all my knowledge about education and school into my home and it just didn’t work. Everyone was miserable. One of my children hated it and was so resentful and disruptive that I ended up putting him back in school in Feb. The public school curriculum was so easy that he was rarely challenged, but it made our home life more bearable for me and my 5th grader. I would try and develop fun and exciting things for her and she would hate them. I tried involving her in the process and when things got really crazy with the pregnancy and I needed to rest more she stopped putting forth her best effort.... read more

Teenagerism

Hi LadiesFor a two-part article I have written on “Teenagerism” for the National Catholic Register, click: Part One (July 27th)Teenagerism -Not So Inevitable Part Two (August 10th)Teenagerism – The Unnecessary... read more

When Siblings Battle

Dear Holly and other Moms,I am at my wits end with the fighting that is going on with our older 3 boys. Their ages 11 to 5 and they are just at each other all the time. Fighting, name calling, etc. – and then saying they aren’t treated fairly by my husband or I when we try to get some control. We waffle between trying to prevent them from breaking rules (like calling each other names – which is forbidden) and letting them work it out (which they don’t without being physical with one another). We just arrived home from a family ‘getaway’ – a few days at an indoor water park. The bickering was unreal. Granted – 6 of us in one hotel room suite instead of at home with playroom, etc. – was a lot of togetherness – but – they were burning off energy!! I felt so disheartened and ANGRY with them when we arrived home last night I just went to bed and woke up early to go to mass alone. I just couldn’t bring myself to go to the later mass with all of them – so my husband took them. I just wonder if it’s something my husband and I are doing wrong in our parenting. Anyone else have any suggestions? I know it’s part of growing up but I just want them to not act like they hate each... read more

How Much Sports is Too Much Sports?

Dear Holly,I am wondering what your take is on the sports issue. When our two oldest girls were young they played traveling soccer. After a few years of this I got a little smarter and saw how this was not good for the family to be running all the time. When they started high school we set a rule that they could play only two out of the three sport seasons. Well now my son is in high school and he wants to play three sports. After some persistence on his part I told him to write me a paper on why he thinks I should change the rule for him. He makes a good plea. He says that he needs to burn the energy. He feels that if he does not get the exercise that he needs, he tends to get irritable and not able to focus as well. He also feels that it is a good opportunity for him to evangelize to his class mates on the team by his good example. My husband thinks that we need to be able to change our rules according to where we are at and based upon the child. Of course he thinks we should let our son play the tree seasons of sports.What do you think? To much sports or do I need to back off on this... read more

Picture Schedules for Young Children Help Mummy

Dear Holly,Maybe this a given but I just have to share. My kids are 5, 3, and one year old. The oldest since he was born has needed structure. He has always asked what we are doing next, even before I read MRoL. I have had a rule for almost 3 years now and lately I made a picture schedule(chart) for the kids. It has the hour in one column and each child (not the one year old) has their own column. It has made my life amazingly different. They aren’t agruing about helping and everything is going so much easier. I asked my son why and he said, “I know I can go play next so I will help now,.” even though I used to tell him that!! I guess now that he can see it, he really believes me. Anyway, I thought I would share because I thought the kids were a few years off from needing to see their parts in... read more

A Teen's Prayer

Dear Holly (and other moms),My teenage son is wonderful – generous to a fault, and with an ability to forgive easily and genuinely that leaves me breathless. However, he hates reading and the bulk of his Christian formation comes from attending Mass and listening to me read and teach. His own prayer life is non-existent. Whilst I can have him pray a family Rosary with us, once again it is *with* others….any ideas (starting small would be best) to develop good personal prayer and devotional habits for... read more

Teens & Dating

Dear Holly,I am a first time poster on your site. I love your book, God is really speaking to me through you! My question is: What do you think of 16/17 year olds and dating? My children do not “date”. However, my daughter has an interest in a God-fearing, Catholic young man and admits she probably loves him too. They have known each other all their lives and she is totaly serious about choosing a future spouse. She is really responsable and is looking for a man (like this fellow) who has high standerds, loves the Lord with all his heart and of course, is Catholic. I would like to hear your thoughts on this. God bless you,... read more
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