Parenting Pointers

These parenting pointers come from Susan Vogt and are offered here with permission. Susan has worked in diocesan family life education for the Catholic Church and been a consultant with the ecumenical Parenting for Peace and Justice Network for over 30 years. She is editor of the Journal of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM) and content editor for the USCCB website on marriageĀ Susan’s own website isĀ

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 21st Apr. ’17

April 22 is Earth Day. This year’s focus is Climate Literacy. Click here  for ideas on how to teach your child some basics about the environment. Want something less academic? Take a hike or clean up a nearby park.  

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 14th Apr. ’17

Good Friday. God so loved us that he gave us his only Son. The gift was not pain-free, however, as we know from the crucifixion. When your child becomes a cross to you, remember Jesus words, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 7th April ’17

April 9 is Palm Sunday. Tell your children the story of how the people praised Jesus by waving palms. Of course just a few days later we remember Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday. Click here to learn how to make a palm cross with your child.

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 31st Mar. ’17

It’s almost April Fool’s Day. Have fun with it. Tell your child stories of silly mistakes or dumb things you did when you were a kid. Mutual laughter can take the pressure off.

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 24th Mar. ’17

Teach your child two contradictory life lessons: 1. How to stand up for themselves. 2. How to forgive someone who has hurt them. Model it. Role play potential situations.

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 17th Mar. ’17

“The people grumbled against Moses” (Ex 17: 3) It’s normal in any family to grumble occasionally. Parents grumble about their kids and vice-versa. But what happens after the grumbling? Model apologising for your child. “I’m sorry. I’ll try to do better.”

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 10th Mar. ’17

If your child is old enough to choose a Lenten sacrifice, help them to see beyond just giving up candy. Consider how the devil tempted Jesus with food, power, and money. Let the tangible sacrifice be a reminder to love someone who is hard to love.

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 3rd Mar. ’17

Lent has just begun. March 3 or 4 is also National Day of Unplugging. Can your family do a “tech fast” of a day without TV or the internet? If not today, choose another day soon. What kind of homemade fun can you substitute?

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 24th Feb. ’17

Children whine and complain. (OK, adults do this too.) Join with your child to make a “Gratitude List.” See how many things you can each think of for which you are grateful.

This Week’s Parenting Pointer – 17th Feb. ’17

“Love your neighbour as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) Generally, preachers generalise neighbour to mean beyond the person next door. But today, why not take it literally. With your child, choose a neighbour. Make them a treat or do a favour for them together.