raising children

LA Times_Watts Riots

Black Crime and White Flight

The recent events in Ferguson, MO, in which a “gentle giant” was shot and killed after assaulting a policeman, leading to demonstrations and riots, brought back to me memories of the August 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles, which likewise developed in the aftermath of assaults on a policeman after a young black man was [...]

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. [...]

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