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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family

Parenting is not a clean-cut, simple process for those who like to follow the rules. Family life is messy and unpredictable, but it is the greatest adventure you will ever have. We are Mike and Alicia Hernon, parents of 10 children ranging from 10 to 27 and we would like to invite you into some of the conversations we have had with each other about marriage, parenting, and Catholic family life. Our hope is that our conversation sparks a dialogue between you and your spouse that leads to greater unity and intentional Christian parenting in your home. Listen in to our podcast and start the conversation as we seek to lead our families to heaven. Visit us at https:///www/MessyFamilyProject.org for resources, guides, links and show notes.
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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family
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Now displaying: November, 2023
Nov 27, 2023

“The family is where children discover how to be human.”
- Archbishop Charles Chaput

Over and over again people ask us how to help their kids get along with each other.  We usually respond that of course their kids don’t get along - because they are kids!  That is what you are doing as a parent.  You are the ones teaching them how to live at peace with other human beings in the world and they are practicing what you teach them in your home!  This is the training ground for their lives.  But that doesn’t mean that parents do nothing.  There are important lessons that parents need to teach their children at home so they can learn key social skills and have great relationships with their siblings not just while they are under your roof, but for the rest of their lives.  Listen to this re-release of our 2016 podcast on this subject.  

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Be open to giving your children as many siblings as possible. 

  • Don’t always intervene.  Let your children alone to work things out on their own. 

  • Help them value differences between different personalities by learning to appreciate each other.

  • Teach them how to forgive and repair relationships when they are broken.

 

Couple Discussion: 

  • How can we structure our home routine to foster better relationships between our children? 

  • Do we intervene too much in sibling conflicts?  Not enough? 

  • Have we taught our children how to ask for forgiveness?  If not, how can we do this?  

 

Nov 20, 2023

Boundaries are not meant to keep people out, but to set a clear understanding of what is acceptable and what is not within our relationships  

At a few of our events, we have gotten questions from older parents who ask what to do about adult children who have cut them out of their lives.  At first we were surprised by this question, since the parents who attend our events are usually not ax-murderers or reprobates.  But then we realized that this seems to be a disturbing trend in our culture - young people who find fault with their parents and therefore choose to disown them.  Because we serve parents, we wanted to give a different take on the “wisdom of the world” and challenge our listeners to set boundaries and be healthy, but in a way that still honors the commandment that God gave us to honor your mother and father.  Yes, some of us have grown up in dysfunctional homes, but that does not mean that our families of origin should still have power over us.  Listen in as we help color in some gray to a discussion that is far from black and white.  

 

Key Takeaways:

  • No one should have the right to “push our buttons”.  We need to be free in our relationships even when people are unhealthy.

  • Boundaries are good things to keep our families peaceful.

  • You can’t replace your family - for good or for bad, they belong to you and you belong to them. 

  • One of the Ten Commandments is to honor your father and mother.  This is God’s idea, not ours and it needs to be taken very seriously

 

Couple Discussion:

  • How can we honor our father and mother appropriately?  

  • How would we want our children to treat us someday? 

  • What are good boundaries for our holiday visits with family? 

 

Resources

Forgiveness- Shalom series https://www.shalomworld.org/episode/forgiveness-in-the-family-susan-and-urby-potvin

Nov 13, 2023

“The idea that the family is a democracy and that children and parents have the same responsibility within the home completely ignores the developmental needs of the child ” - Mike and Alicia   

A child’s temper tantrums are frustrating to parents, but we should recognize that they are often a result of a child’s deficit in communication, understanding, and emotional control.  Children simply have immature responses to situations of conflict.  Knowing this may help, but parents also need strategies to get through these tricky, volatile, and potentially embarrassing situations.  In this podcast, we get practical and give parents the Four D’s of temper tantrums.  Determine, diffuse, distract, and - when all else fails - Done.  In a world that says parents and children are equal, parents have no rights, and honor is a thing of the past, we would like to push back and challenge parents to instead embrace the sacred calling to form their children with love and wisdom.  Listen in and start a conversation with us and your spouse.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Determine

  • Diffuse

  • Distract

  • Done

Couple Discussion:

  • When do our children have meltdowns? Why? 

  • What are some strategies to proactively avoid tantrums? 

  • How can we be more effective in responding to our children's tantrums?

 

Nov 6, 2023

“You are called to have great hearts here, counter-cultural and brave.  You can build something better, freer, more generous, and nobler, beginning in your own home.” - Bishop Thomas Olmstead, Complete My Joy 59

Man and woman coming together to build a home is a natural experience that has happened over and over again since the creation of the world, but we need to keep learning about what marriage is for and how to nourish this essential communion.  In this interview with Mike and Sharon Phelan we discuss how marriage can be transformational in the lives of men and women and a path to the true flourishing of the individual.  The problems are coming from a culture that is lying to us and pointing us in all different directions.  We discuss the concept of “submission” and “headship” as well as NFP - the good, the bad and the ugly.  Join in this conversation and find wisdom from this Catholic couple.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Marriage is like ballroom dancing - without a leader, there is no dance.

  • Men need a mission!  And that mission should be to enable their wives to be a mother who is strong, beautiful and free. 

  • NFP unpacks the mystery of a woman’s body to her husband (and sometimes to herself!)

  • Following the Church’s teaching on marital sexuality changes us! Even if we don’t fully understand or agree, acting in a virtuous way promotes virtue.   

Couple Discussion:

  • How is does our marriage “dance” look right now?  How can we do this better? 

  • Are we in “awe” of our ability to bring children into the world?  How does this effect our marital relations? 

  • How can we learn more about the Church’s teaching on marriage and family? 

Resources

  • Complete My Joy - apostolic exhortation written by Bishop Thomas Olmstead

  • The Mission of the Family video series https://www.kofc.org/un/en/campaigns/into-the-breach.html

 

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