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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: May, 2024
May 27, 2024

The most important challenge you can take 


What does it take to be a great parent and have a joyful family? We think it all boils down to three essential elements. We have turned these three elements into the Play and Pray Challenge!  More than ever, we need to celebrate the love of Jesus in the month of June, because it is HIS love and lordship that will truly fulfill all our deepest longings!  What is the challenge? In the month of June do these three things with your family -  Organize and execute an amazing FAMILY DAY, plan and go on a DATE NIGHT, and proclaim Jesus Christ as the KING OF THE HOME by placing the image of the Sacred Heart in their house and “enthroning” Him as King.  We want to make this a fun and rewarding experience for families, so we have created some resources to help you out. Go to our website messyfamilyproject.org/challenge to get our Play and Pray Challenge Kit.  There are even promo materials for you to put up at your parish or school!  

Get the free download and let us know your family is taking the challenge - https://messyfamilyproject.org/challenge/

 

Related podcast episode: 

MFP 091: King of the Home - https://messyfamilyproject.org/mfp-091-king-of-the-home/

 MFP 257: How to Change Your Heart  - https://messyfamilyproject.org/mfp-257-how-to-change-your-heart-lessons-from-the-sacred-heart-of-jesus/



Key takeaways:

  1. One of the greatest assets we have in parenting is the ability to choose how we spend our time.  Protect your yes with 1,000 no’s

  2. Your children need to be known and loved by you. Joy must be alive in your home.

  3. Your marriage gives you the grace to be a parent. So invest deeply in your marriage!

  4. Devotion to the Sacred heart is a game changer for families

  5. If you want to pray with your kids you need to play with them.  



Couple Discussion

  1. How do we waste time with our kids?  How do we lavish love on them?

  2. What brings joy to the hearts of our children? How can we do more of that? 

  3. What is my understanding of the love of Jesus flowing from His Sacred Heart?  How can I express this love to my children?

 

May 20, 2024

Summary

In this next part of our series on tech, we talk about the specific challenges that tech use brings to boys and girls.  Just as men and women have different gifts, they also deal with different temptations in their tech use.  Because of this, parents must be proactive in teaching boundaries to their children so they can use tech with freedom when they leave your house and enter the world of adulthood. During this conversation, we give you some principles that you will need to discuss with your spouse to make a tech policy of your own. Every family must have some boundaries, because if you don’t define them, then the reality is that Big Tech will be calling the shots in your house. Their goal is to control your kids and they have the means to do it.  

 

Key Takeaways

  • Because of the genius of men to create and subdue the world they are more tempted to be addicted to video games.  Because of women’s gift of relationships they are more tempted to be absorbed in social media.  

  • Parents must know the symptoms of addiction and immediately respond if they believe their child has an addiction.  Their child’s future success in life depends on it. 

  • The best filter is a well-formed child who knows how to respond to toxic online content. 

  • You must teach and model healthy tech use for your kids - nothing is private, have a healthy skepticism of any online content, and learn good manners.  

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • Are we aware of the symptoms of tech addiction?  Are any of our children in danger of this addiction?  If so, what are we going to do about it? 

  • Do we have a written tech policy?  Plan a time to discuss with your spouse and create one.  

  • What is our plan for social media use for our children?  

Resources

May 13, 2024

The destructive effects of video games are not on boys' cognitive abilities or their reaction times, but on their motivation and their connectedness with the real world.

~Dr. Leonard Sax

Technology can be a blessing or a curse. It can be used for great good and yet it can expose people to grave evil. Helping our children learn how to responsibly navigate the use of technology, especially social media, is one of the immense parenting challenges of our age.  In this podcast, we look at the unique challenges that technology presents to parents and why parents must meet this challenge head-on!  We talk about how to discern your tech use as a family and why just locking down every device is simply not enough.  Like most areas of parenting, we need to first train ourselves and then take the time to train our children.  

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Don’t be naive. Stay on top of what your kids are watching and what they are engaging with.  It is our responsibility to prepare and guide them. 

  • Discern your tech use as a person and as a family. Walk them through the seven keys to empower them to make good choices because tech is a powerful gift of God and should be used for good.

  • Seven keys the church gives us to guide us in using technology

    • Does it communicate a balanced worldview?

    • How is the creator's attitude oriented towards the subject?

    • Does it dignify the human person?

    • Does it speak the Truth?

    • Is it inspirational?

    • Is it done with skill? 

    • Is it motivated by experience?

  • Train your children to use it as they grow. Like driving a car, prepare them to use it as they mature and are old enough to use it wisely and virtuously

 

COUPLE DISCUSSION

  • In what ways have we been blessed by media and technolgy?  How has it helped us? 

  • How can we discern our media use as a family?  

  • If our goal is to form our children to become adults who can make good media choices, how and when can we give our children appropriate freedom?  What does that look like for our kids today? 

 

Resources: 

Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media. By Dr. Eugene Gan

https://www.afterbabel.com/p/algorithms-hijacked-my-generation

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2799042

 

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/are-video-games-and-screens-another-addiction

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2024/03/teen-childhood-smartphone-use-mental-health-effects/677722/?gift=9xPqLPcwLfFbf_nnCRecvKJ-3gklcv6nZX-Hliug6W4&utm_source=copy-link&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share

 

https://ifstudies.org/blog/is-your-son-addicted-to-video-games

 

May 6, 2024

“We can only see our spouse clearly when we look at Jesus first.” - Dan Lawson

 

Summary

In this podcast, we tackle some hard issues in marriage.  What makes couples believe that they need to get divorced?  Why is it essential for couples to have a vision for their individual lives and for their marriage?  What is the pattern in successful marriages that we can emulate?  We even talk about what to say to a person who tells you they are getting a divorce - a very difficult and sensitive topic, but one that we have to discuss.  Dan Lawson is a Catholic therapist who takes a solution-focused approach with his clients, as opposed to “problem-focused” approach.  This means that instead of looking only at what is going wrong in a relationship, he asks questions and guides clients to look at what is going right.  This hopeful approach helps spouses to encounter their own goodness which is where you need to start to create a pattern of mutual admiration, one of the hallmarks of a successful marriage.  Listen into this essential conversation! 

 

Key Takeaways

  • Divorce is a sin against hope.  It says “I can’t change.  They can’t change.”  

  • The goal of life is not the perfect marriage, the goal is holiness. We need to start first by looking at Jesus and pursuing holiness in our own lives.  Then our marriage can improve. 

  • It is essential that each of us look first at what we are doing right in our marriages and in our lives.  When we can see and affirm that, then we can do more of that and “starve” out the negativity.

  • Every person needs to ask themselves the question, “Who do I want to be at the end of my life?”  We need to have a vision for our lives and live that way in our marriages.

  • Establishing a pattern of admiration and trust is key to building a life-long, life-giving marriage. Most spouses struggle to communicate their needs and their feelings. 

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • What is my vision for my life?  Who do I want to be at the end of my life? 

  • How has my spouse loved me this year?  What are some of our greatest accomplishments together?

  • “The goal of life is not the perfect marriage, the goal is holiness”  What are my thoughts on this?

 

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