Archive for 7 Building Blocks

Wednesday Links

It’s been too long since I offered Wednesday Links!  Here are some great links for encouraging us to live with generous love in our families:


Raising a Baby Well Is Like Climbing Mount Everest:  Just like mountain climbing, wise parenting takes preparation, focus, and practice.

Tiger Moms and Her Critics Are Both Right:  Fascinating.  This article looks at research which suggests that whether or not “tiger mothering” (pushing, pressuring, even nagging a child in order to get her to succeed) is beneficial is dependent upon the child’s culture.  Children raised in an Asian culture where community-identity is valued do okay while Western kids where individuality is valued do poorly.  Note:  in neither Asian nor Western cultures did children do well in critical, authoritarian households.


Play Ball:  A young mother questions her own inclination to sign up her son for sports.  “While most of us engage in activities with an end goal in mind (a competition, a recital, a game), my son and my niece wanted to engage in something for the sheer love of doing it.  After that realization, I began to look at this rush to put our kids in organized activities in a whole new light. I wondered if, perhaps, we as parents might do our children a disservice by taking them out of the yard and putting them on the field too soon. Or by placing them in organized activities where they interact with peers and other adults instead of nurturing their love for an activity with us, their parents, the people they really want to share their love with the most.”

Gentle Discipline:

Raising a Moral Child:  If you want to raise a kind, helpful, compassionate child, this NY Times article argues that a parent should 1) avoid making the child feel like a bad person through shaming and 2) focus on the child’s good character rather than her actions.

Kids with Strong Bond to Parents Make Better Friends:  When kids enjoy a warm, loving relationship with their parents, they are more responsive and caring in their childhood friendships.


Outdoor Play More Important than Indoor Play for a Child’s Development:  In this article, Darcia Narvaez looks at research which suggests that outdoor play is imperative to a child’s mental and physical well-being — even more critical than indoor play.  I would be cautious about the suggestion that indoor play is “detrimental” for children.  Indoor play is very different from outdoor play.  The article cites the dangers of video games on a child’s development, but there are so many more ways our kids play inside.  Indoors a child can build wooden block castles, make forts with his siblings, and play board games with his parents.  This are wonderful play experiences. It’s the balance of these experiences that matter:  kids need both outdoor play and indoor play; they need both self-directed free play, and family play which might be more organized.

Why Play with Your Child?:  A superb overview of the benefits of parent-child shared play.

Radiant Faith

How to Be a Prayer Warrior While Fighting the Battle of Parenthood:  Great practical tips from Charisse Tierney for getting into a habit of daily prayer no  matter how busy you are with parenting little ones.

A Strong Marriage

The Spirituality of Sex:  A great article from Dr. Greg Popcak about the true Catholic view of sexuality.

Wednesday Links


Depression During Pregnancy: How It May Impact Baby Brain Development.  “Children of depressed parents are at an increased risk of developing depression themselves, a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. These children also display alterations in the amygdala, a brain structure important for the regulation of emotion and stress.”  Self-care is always important, and especially during pregnancy.  Having a strong support system and being honest with our obstetrician about emotional suffering can help us deal better with prenatal depression.

Radiant Faith

An idea for a hands-on activity during Advent:  A Jesse Box.  Love this!  Inspired by “Jesse Trees”, this box is”a new and exciting way to teach your children salvation history through an interactive diorama that lets them act out the story.”  This is definitely going on my “must have” list!  Available on Amazon.

Jesse Box

Jesse Box

Christmas Is More Than a Temporal Celebration, an article exploring Pope Francis’s homily on the first Monday of Advent.  The Pope encourages us to encounter Christ during Advent with the heart, with life, to encounter him alive.

Helping Our Children Encounter Christ During Advent:  In this CAPC article, I responded to Pope Francis’s invitation to Christians to encounter Christ during Advent by asking what we can do to help our children encounter Christ.  I suggest children do this through love, play, and prayer.

Keeping Christ in Christmas.  Another CAPC essay.  Christina Kolb considers ways to keep her family Christ-centered amid all the trappings of the Christmas season, both in how we celebrate and in how we prepare our hearts.

Wednesday Links

Each week (or so) I will publish links to resources and news stories that are relevant to one of our 7 Building Blocks.  This week:

Love and Empathy

Stress in Babies:  How Parents Can Keep Their Babies Calm and Healthy by Gwen Dewar

Radiant Faith

15 Steps to Better Evangelization by Father Ed Broom.  Practical tips for how to be “fishers of men” including our own kids!

Gentle Discipline

Violence, A Family Tradition:  A TedX Talk by Robbyn Peters Bennett.  How adverse child experiences, including spanking, affects a child’s brain and long-term health and well-being.

A Strong Marriage

Build a Marriage that Taps Into God’s Love “This is a generation that has a real fear about making marriage work, and they’re hungry to figure out how to do it so they don’t end up making the same mistakes they see everyone else making and experiencing that agonizing pain.”

Welcome to Intentional Catholic Parenting

kimlydiaWelcome to our new website devoted to exploring the concept of “intentional Catholic parenting,” especially through “The 7 Building Blocks to a Joyful Catholic Home” parenting model.  This site will offer articles and links to relevant resources and research on how we can live intentionally with our children.

Here’s a description of “intentional Catholic parenting.”