“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
Most parents realize that young children are not little adults and they have particular needs for their physical and mental well-being. We must realize that they have particular needs for their spiritual well-being as well. Parents need to learn how to tend the seed of their child’s faith life and that starts with acknowledging the differences, and realizing that in many ways, the child is closer to God than we are! The beautiful thing about parenting is that as we nurture our child’s faith, we will grow closer to God ourselves. We must learn from the child how to have a “child-like” faith as Jesus taught in the gospels. Listen in as we explain how the child’s faith is different than ours and how we can nurture their faith in appropriate ways.
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“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
More than any other topic, discipline is something listeners have asked us to address in our podcast. Our hesitation has been that this is just such a complicated topic! One that deserves much time and thought because, well… it's complicated and there are no easy answers, as much as we would like there to be. So instead of trying to cover all things regarding discipline, we decided to give some foundational beliefs in our discipline philosophy. This podcast explores 5 principles of discipline that all parents can apply to their children, not matter what the age. This podcast compliments our Guide to Discipline found on our website.
Welcome to the 100th podcast! We are celebrating the public launch of our ministry with new branding, new website, and even new intro and outro music on the podcast itself! As promised, we decided to interview the people who had more influence on our parenting than anyone else, and who have taught us the most. Those people would be (drum roll, please!) our children! We hope you find both interviews entertaining and informative (though the younger kids were more entertaining than informative!). We decided that 12 people talking altogether would be too much so we first interviewed the oldest 5 children and then the youngest 5. We talk about such topics as - What are the best and worst parts of being in a big family? What life lessons have you learned from our family? How did you handle fighting with siblings growing up? What did that teach you? It was fun for us to interview the older children and hear what influenced them and made the biggest impression on them. They came up with some really great insights that we hadn’t even thought of! We hope you can listen in and celebrate with us, but also gain some insight and inspiration from hearing from the Hernon Ten.
We listen to what our parents say to us because this is how we figure out who we are.
– Dr. Meg Meeker
The words that parents say to their children are important, but equally as important (if not more) is HOW we say those words. We have found this through our own struggles with yelling! Communication happens not only verbally, but also emotionally, so our words can be lost in the way in which we express ourselves. When we raise our voices in anger through yelling we may unintentionally be verbally assaulting our own children. In this show we talk about having a plan, getting perspective and asking for help.
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Raising children is beautiful but also hard work. It’s a task for unselfish, devoted parents. ~ Archbishop Chaput
Parenting is not for cowards, that is for sure! Thankfully, God gives children two parents who, when they work together, can provide the best environment for their child. But working together can be tough. Spouses come from different backgrounds, have different personalities, virtues, and vices. All of this needs to be worked through to get in sync with each other. Presenting a united front to your children is not only good for them, its good for you and your marriage as well. Listen in as we give some tips on how to parent together with respect, unity, and God’s grace.
"Each family finds within itself a summons that cannot be ignored and that specifies both its dignity and responsibility: family, become what you are” (Familiaris Consortio, #17)
We have discussed how important a family culture is. It is a powerful construct that communicates more effectively than your words alone can. But how do parents build a healthy culture in their home? What should the elements be? The first priority should be building a spiritual life, which we discussed in “Building a Family Culture” but what comes after that? In this podcast, we discuss the next 4 priorities: your marriage, the family’s network of relationships, discovering giftedness, and family operations. Listen in and then take some time to discuss with your spouse what needs to be strengthened in the culture you are building in your home. (BONUS: At the very end we are joined by a special guest.)
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Creating a Family Culture is a powerful way to influence our children in a way that goes beyond our relationship with any one individual child. It is greater than just you or your spouse. Family Culture is the unspoken system that binds your family together and communicates your expectations, beliefs, and values more powerfully than any written word. It is a natural construct, but it is actually spiritual also because it creates an invisible web that binds your family together. This system of values and beliefs that result in behavior powerfully forms the way of life for your family. Parents need to be thoughtful and intentional about the culture that they are stewarding within their home. Listen in as we explain the priorities that should be found in a healthy family culture. Part 1 of 2... more to come
Siblings: Children of the same parents each of whom is perfectly normal until they get together ~ Sam Levenson
One of the greatest gift we can give our children is more brothers and sisters. But as parents our responsibility isn’t just to provide those siblings and just walk away saying, “Hope it all works out!”. We need to provide the environment and guidance that children need to have healthy, life-giving relationships with their brothers and sisters. This is a challenge - no doubt about it! But the effort that parents put into this formation is worth it in the long run. Listen in as we give tips, perspective, and encouragement to all parents who are working to overcome sibling challenges.
“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions it is up to us to share our calm, not join in the chaos”
You are at a friend's house for dinner with your kids. The 3 and 5 yr old are playing on the floor. Each has a toy, but then one child decides that he wants what his friend has. Chaos ensues. What are parents to do? How do you deal with your child? What do you say to the little friend? How do you manage this with your hosts? This is a sticky situation that many parents run into - how can you have peace between little kids visiting together? We talk about this and give some realistic expectations on little kids play and social interactions.
“...the ability to be “at leisure” is one of the basic powers of the human soul.”
- Josef Pieper, Leisure, the Basis of Culture
How many of us really appreciate what it mean to enjoy leisure in our lives? Life can’t be just about work, and simply “having fun” doesn’t capture what we really need to be rejuvenated in our lives. We need to allow ourselves to just “be” and we need to also create that culture within our family. Taking time for reading, creating, or playing games is one of the ways we can have a foretaste of heaven. In this podcast we discuss this topic, but we also give a list of recommended games for different age groups and games that the whole family can play, no matter what the age!
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To be in your child’s memories tomorrow you have to be in their lives today. ~ Unknown.
Be who you were made to be and you will set the world on fire. ~ St. Catherine of Siena
There are parents in this world who are greatly gifted. They started out as Catholic men and women who were highly successful in their professional lives and had made sacrifices to get there. When children come into the picture, how do these professionals, who are now parents, order their lives to make family a top priority? In this podcast, we discuss the principles that parents can apply in ordering these goods - the good of developing your professional skill and the good of family life - towards the optimal path to holiness and wholeness. There are no simple answers, but with prayer and discussion parents can make a decision that will give them peace.
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"Sanctify the family and you will sanctify the world."
No, we are not talking about dad (although he may be king of the remote!) We have a different King in mind.
62% of children say they stopped being Catholic between the ages of 10 and 17 according to the CARA research center. This means children are losing their faith while they are under their parent’s roof. How can we make sure our kids are not part of this statistic? What can a modern Catholic family do to create an environment that helps keep our kids faithful? Where should we start? We believe the “secret weapon” for Catholic families in the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus within your home. When families proclaim publicly that Jesus Christ is King, great mercies and graces flow into the family. Listen in as we explain what this means and how to use this “secret weapon” to keep your family close to Christ.
“Emotions are like children. You shouldn’t lock them in the trunk, but you don’t want them driving the car either”
Have you ever had a child melt down because they didn’t get what they wanted? How do we respond to emotional outbursts in our children? Self control is an under appreciated virtue in our modern culture, but ironically, it is the one skill we can teach our children that can help them achieve great success. Instead of embracing the maxim of today, “Just do it!” we should be echoing the slogan of the 80’s anti-drug campaign which was “Just say no!”. Our children need to learn from a young age that they CAN be in charge of how they react to their emotions, but they need your guidance and help to do this. In this podcast we give some tips and tricks on how to speak to your child and put them in the driver’s seat of life.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference” ~Elie Wiesel
Have you ever felt distant from your spouse? Living like married singles in the same house? or maybe just some dryness in your marriage? Every marriage goes through cycles of romance and then disillusionment which can lead to true joy. But without intentional decisions and actions, marriages can get stuck in indifference and that is a very real danger. What are the most effective steps to move out of this stage? How do you overcome indifference? In this podcast we give some practical and simple advice to husbands and wives who are striving for an exceptional marriage.
We regularly get questions from our listeners on a variety of topics. Some can become podcasts, some are answered individually, but some questions are a bit in between. On this episode, we tackle someone struggling with outgrowing a friendship and wondering how to handle that and another who is working to build community where they are. Another listener has an autistic son and would like to encourage all Catholics to be sensitive and inclusive, especially in church. We had another question about godparenting when the parents of your godchild are not practicing their faith. All important and relevant issues for parents everywhere. Listen in to hear our take on these questions and then feel free to contact us with some of your own issues!
Dads, no one will call you Hero like your daughter will. - Dr. Meg Meeker
The Father-Daughter relationship is sweet and sometimes cute, but the reality is that it is of vital importance in the light of every girl who will become a woman. Father’s don’t have to be perfect, but they need to be intentional about how they relate to their daughters. Well-fathered daughters enter the world with a healthy respect for themselves, and for men in general which often can help them enter into deeper, more fulfilling relationships as they enter adulthood. Listen in as we give some insight, inspiration and ideas on how you can work on your relationship with your daughter.
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way...” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Very few of us are blessed to be surrounded by people who agree with us on our faith or values 100% of the time, but we need to navigate these relationships and keep them healthy in spite of our differences. This is true especially in parental relationships because honoring your parents is a commandment, without a caveat or condition. The reality is that when people are critical of our faith, our values, or our parenting choices we need to learn to respond first with love and charity. It is a simple answer but a difficult one. In this podcast, we give 5 steps in loving those who differ with us. This podcast was sponsored by an anonymous supporter who is struggling to stay in relationships with family members who disagree with their practice of the Catholic faith.
Our family is a circle of strength and love. Every joy shared adds love, every crisis faced makes the circle stronger. With every birth and every marriage, the circle grows.
All of the parenting we have done for our son has led up to this point. The point where he separates from us and forms his own family. Feb 10, 2017 our son Patrick married Cassie in our hometown of Steubenville and it was a wedding to remember! Not everything went perfectly as planned, but that didn’t matter. The bride and groom beautifully reflected the love that God has for all of us and the formation of this new family should give all Catholics another reason to hope. We are so proud of our son and our new daughter, and we hope you are inspired by their wedding story!
Screens are part of our world and they are here to stay. TV, computers, smartphones, tablets are all around us and becoming an essential element in our everyday lives. Though many would like to demonize these devices, the reality is that they are amoral - not good nor bad. It is our job as parents to help our children learn to use these screens in a way that is beneficial for their physical, social, and emotional development. Screens are a big issue for parents and a complex one. In this podcast, we discuss navigating this topic with our kids and why limiting screens is it actually more of a challenge for parents than for children.
“Their performance might be high in gaming and internet information processing, but what about performance in low-tech activities such as building relationships? Parenting? Achieving greatness at anything, from sports to music to business?” ~Amy and Evelyn Guttmann
“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps 37:4
Making decisions is a stressful and sometimes difficult task for most of us, especially when you are a parent. Deciding where to live, what job to take, or how to educate your children are probably three of the most important decisions you will make. How can you know what God wants? How can you discern what is best for you and for your family? In this podcast, we discuss things to consider when you have to make a big decision. God wants to bless you. Just seek His face, stay close to Him, and don’t stress out!