raising children


US Civil Rights Commission Targets Religious Liberty

On September 7, 2016, the US Commission on Civil Rights issued a report entitled Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties. The report has not received the attention it deserves. Should the next president appoint and the Senate approve judges and justices that agree with its findings, the report will serve as a playbook [...]

A Family-Friendly Guide to Sex Education

“How do I answer my children’s questions about what they hear on the news?” “How do I parent in a post-Obergefell world?” “My childhood was far from innocent. How do I raise my children?” Parents want answers: I’m writing here to propose a few thoughts on human nature and to suggest some reading that puts [...]

How to Discourage Socialism Among the Young

When business is based on selfishness everybody is busy becoming more selfish.  ~ Peter Maurin You gotta’ love socialists. At least I do. I love their passionate idealism, their desire for economic parity, their disdain for rapacious laissez-faire capitalism—and their mod outfits. Thanks to Bernie Sanders and his quixotic campaign for the presidency, there’s plenty of [...]

Totalitarians of the World, Unite!

Whenever I'm in a diner or a family restaurant, I look around for the most cheerful thing in any day's experience, and that's a young husband and wife and their children. Today the two children sitting with their parents at the table next to us were a baby boy and his four-year-old brother. The four [...]

The Infantilization of Parenting

British author Alexander Pope was perhaps the first writer to turn a "bad hair day" into a poem—really, a satirical tragedy.  Modern Americans, bereft of a sense of humor and inclined to view reality through the lens of a selfie, turn their bad hair days into epic farces. On the way to work in Washington [...]

The West’s War on the Family

For decades, now, Christians have worried about the progressive push to strip naked the public square by forcing religion into the shadows of a private sphere. Recent events have made clear that this is not the case. Everything is public and political to the secular left. All aspects of our lives are fair game in [...]

On Respecting Children When They Make Mistakes

Helping children navigate the road to virtue is a challenging task. Thousands of books, articles, videos, and programs present strategies for how to discipline children effectively. Many parents have found tremendous help this way, and the abundance of information available for struggling families can be a gift from God in difficult and complicated situations. Two [...]

The Education of “Student 1950”

While students have caused a ruckus on several campuses in recent days, one particularly noisy and increasingly popular student coalition has made itself heard locally and nationally.  Collectively called The University of Missouri’s “Student 1950,” they bear a name meant to commemorate the year the first black students were admitted to MU. While all of the [...]

Ferguson Highlights the Neglect of Boys

A couple of years ago, a fellow professor at my school, not indicative of the quality of the education we provide, began her course by informing the students that if they were white, they should be ashamed of themselves, if they were male, they should be ashamed of themselves, and if they were American, they [...]

Misbehaving Children Need Punishment

There seems to be a lot of overlap between people who don’t believe in spanking, and people who don’t believe in sin. This is a long-standing theory of mine, but it was especially confirmed in recent weeks following the kerfuffle over NFL superstar Adrian Peterson’s severe spanking of his 4-year-old son. To be clear, I [...]

What Are Your Kids Being for Halloween?

Death and sex for kids—Halloween is scarier than ever. Given the trends, there is little wonder why many Catholics hold Halloween as more trick than treat nowadays. One of the wildest perversions of the Christian calendar is that the holy day before All Saints Day, All Hallows' Eve, is now an unholy day of fear [...]

The World Needs a New Don Bosco

It’s one of those gorgeous September afternoons when Minnesota seems like a slice of paradise, rather than a stage of Purgatory. I’m sitting on a park bench watching small boys (my own three, plus a few they just met on the playground) pretend to kill one another. It’s truly a beautiful sight. “I shall slay [...]

The Noah Film and Biblical Interpretation

Bible stories were an important part of my childhood. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know that David slew Goliath and that Cain slew Abel. Meditations on Jacob’s deceitful usurping of Esau’s blessing, and on David’s lamentation over the dead Absalom, formed some of my earliest ideas about the nature of justice and [...]

The Well-Being of Children

An article in the March issue of Pediatrics entitled “Marriage and the Well-Being of Children” tacitly admits that there may be empirical evidence that “children reared by same-sex couples fare worse than children in other arrangements.” However, the authors, Jeremy Garrett and John Lentos, argue that there are no “intrinsic properties of traditional marriages that [...]

Kids and Lying

Fibbing is an all-too-common childhood malady that parents naturally desire to curb. No one wants little liars at home to turn into big liars out in society, so the Wall Street Journal’s work and family columnist, Sue Shellenbarger, offers some practical advice on the subject. She presents scientific evidence that lying is part of normal [...]

Honors and American Girl Dolls

I could have kicked myself.  Recently, I ran into a friend at the grocery store, and I abruptly asked her the most impertinent question,  "Did Laura get into high school with honors?" I asked--and immediately regretted it.  First of all, I don't care whether or not her daughter got into Notre Dame Academy with or [...]

Yes, Video Games Kill Attention Span

The few glimpses I have had of video games, courtesy of young relatives, have left me with the impression that one needs a very agile mind, able to constantly react to developments in the game and make instant decisions. Does that mean they are good for training children to pay attention? Not necessarily. It seems [...]

Will Rascals Defend Our Civilization… and What Books will they Read?

He faces execution each day.  Seven days a week, his jury of peers votes unanimously for capital punishment.  The judge’s hand is typically stayed.  Mercy reigns because the accused shows signs of improvement.  Perhaps, this little boy will one day also become fully human.  With him and his kind rests the fate of Western Civilization. [...]