In the world of international diplomacy, there are two main forms of exerting pressure on another nation. The first is hard power. That’s to say, military force. If you want to bend another nation to your will, you can take direct military action and try to force their hand. The second, and perhaps more effective, is soft power. Soft power is influence. In diplomacy it consists of lobbying, economic aid, and other tools by which you can try to win the hearts and minds of your opponent.
Like any nation, soft power is the most effective tool that any parent has in their kit. Children deeply desire to be pleasing to their parents. It's almost as if when they rebel or question, they’re pained to be going against their nature. Their desire to express autonomy conflicts with their desire to make their parents happy. The emotional explosion from that conflict can be hard to contain.
When children, particularly young children, are disobedient or not listening, the reason behind this poor behavior can be hard to discern. They may be tired, hungry, or conflicted over an unrelated issue. So while my first instinct is to enforce discipline, my first action should actually be a mini-investigation. If I can solve the underlying problem, my little angel will reemerge and happily do as she’s told.
Discipline must be enforced evenly and consistently, a struggle that we all face. There are days when I don’t feel like prolonging a fight. I’d much rather leave the problem alone and change the subject. Children push the boundaries constantly, and what they’re asking for is to be shown where the line is. It can be very hard to see how heavily the consequences weigh on a child’s heart. In those moments when you want to give in and extend too much grace, you have to hold the line.
You’ll constantly hone and refine your discipline strategy, but make sure that you consider the weight of any situation before acting. Temper your own emotional response, address any underlying causes for the disobedience, and make sure that the process includes heavy doses of teaching, love, and affection.
St. Benedict is a well known figure within Catholicism, but his impact had a direct role on the preservation of Western Culture. Benedict grew up in an affluent Italian family and was sent to Rome to continue his studies. While there, he applied himself to his schooling, but was appalled by the moral weakness of his peers. In frustration, he fled.
Benedict sought, as many of his contemporaries did, to find and connect with God through asceticism. By rejecting the comforts of daily life, though by modern standards they were anything but, these men and women sought to enter into relationship with God by removing all distractions and obstacles. Benedict lived, for a time, in a cave below a monastery.
Benedict’s holiness became well know throughout the country, and pilgrims would journey to visit with him and to seek counsel. Eventually, some sought to join with him in his life of work and prayer. At first, Benedict did not want to engage in this path. After all, he lived in a cave so that he could be free from distraction and lead a simple life. Taking on the responsibility of creating and leading a religious community stood opposed to his basic goals.
Benedict may have left the cave and assumed leadership, but his principles came with him. His Rule is very strict, and many of his followers buckled under the pressure. On more than one occasion, they conspired to kill Benedict, only to be thwarted by divine intervention. Benedict’s rule, in its simplicity, gained popularity among successive religious orders. Today, Benedict is regarded as the Father of Western Monasticism. Through his Rule, Benedict inspired many of the religious communities who worked diligently through the Middle Ages to preserve and protect the arts and humanities of Western civilization. We owe him a debt of gratitude.
In Chapter 27, St. Benedict describes how an Abbot is to act towards a brother who has been removed from the community for offenses against the order. Benedict emphasizes that the Abbot should take great care not to punish the wayward brother, but rather, to remedy the situation. Excommunication isn’t a punishment, but a plea for reconciliation. Benedict writes that the Abbot should remember that his role is to care for the sick, not tyranny over the strong.
All fathers are the Abbot of their families. We’re are charged with care for the weak, not tyranny over the strong. This kind of service requires tremendous humility. We must summon the energy and courage to care for our children even when they don’t cooperate.
The number one virtue that you must have, in order to fulfill your mission, is humility. You must have the strength of character to accept your role and serve your children with everything that you’ve got. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to give it your best effort every single day.
The Abbot of a community gets the title, and the mitre, but they also get all of the responsibility. They’re accountable to the community for the care of the members, for setting a vision, and maintaining the monastery. Dads occupy the same space. We have the responsibility to enforce uniform discipline, adequate nutrition, and health and safety.
Parenting is never easy. Overcoming challenges and parenting successfully is within our control. It’s a high standard, but the kind of lofty aspiration that aligns perfectly with masculinity. We have the grit and tenacity to take on this lifestyle, and to do it well.
It’s been a number of years since I’ve been to Mass on a regular basis without my kids. When Alison and I just had the one, and he was an infant, it was a great experience. We even had to work out a schedule for who got to hold him during Mass. As he got older, and our family grew, things became more complicated.Read Article
Parenting in every era has its unique challenges. It's never been easy and the challenges are always different. One aspect of parenting is allowing your children to be children. The innocence of a child, once lost, can never be restored. It’s no longer enough to keep your kids from physically being surrounded by influences that you believe are bad for them. In a digital age, those people can get to your kids without ever meeting them.Read Article
A few months ago, I was given a Tiny Saint
for a gift. Tiny Saints is a relatively new business that sells small rubber keychains of different saints. They’re well made and the designs are very cute. I ordered a few more and put them on my keychain, one for each member of my family.Read Article
This is a big year for me. My son is starting school in the fall, my middle child is coming into her own, and my baby is getting ready to stand up on two feet and never stop moving. The lifestyle that we’ve developed, that of loose structure, is about to take on a whole new level of complication.Read Article
When we pray in a group, we’re vulnerable. Even if it’s just our family surrounding us, it’s easy to feel uncomfortable. That’s because prayer comes from the most intimate part of our being. Our hopes and fears are laid bare when we bring them to God in prayer.Read Article
A few weeks ago, I attended a men’s prayer breakfast at my parish. The speaker gave a short talk on the importance of praying as a family. One of the most challenging roles as a parent is not preparing your children to go out into the world on their own, but rather giving them the gift of faith.Read Article
I have an ambitious goal. In many ways, it may appear opposed to who I am as a person. I consider myself to be well versed in technology. I stay up to date on the latest news, and many of my RSS subscriptions (see what I mean?) are of tech blogs.
Goal: zero minutes of screen time per week for my kids.Read Article
There’s nothing wrong about a family in which both parents work outside of the home. Each family’s situation is different, and the choice about whether to have one parent stay at home with the children is a personal, family decision that should be made after considering all factors. While it’s true that a single income family may have lower wages flowing into their joint accounts each month, that doesn’t make them less economically efficient. Read Article
Parents have to do many uncomfortable things, not least of which is provide their children with a sexual education. This is what it means to be a parent, to shepherd the hearts of their children and raise them in truth. Moms and dads are irreplaceable, and they must be people of courage and integrity. I think that parents yield too much of their responsibility to schools.Read Article
We’re lucky in the summer to have several large oak trees around our house. They give us glorious shade and a respite from the intense afternoon sun. This was our first Fall in this house, and I didn’t realize just how many acorns these giants drop. I now have a sizable oak grove in my front yard.Read Article
Taking kids to Church is hard. There’s getting everyone fed, cleaned, dressed, and out the door on time. Then, of course, there’s the issue of noise. Kids aren’t very self-aware, and if yours are like mine, they enjoy the echo of their own voice in Church.Read Article
Defining success is elusive. In fact, it’s one of the more personal determinations that we make. We’ve had some great examples of success with the recent Winter Olympic games. It’s easy to conclude that the gold medal is the only one worth having, but how good must bronze feel after a decade of sacrifice, training, and hard work?Read Article
As a parent, I have a ton of things that I want to teach my children. I want to give them the skills and values that I believe will help them grow into healthy, well-adjusted members of society. Resilience is one of those skills.Read Article
Faith is a gift, one that parents try to transmit to their children. Those who have a strong sense of faith understand how it acts as a lever and fulcrum, elevating the common drudgery of our lives into something almost supernatural. The biggest challenge in the transmission of the faith is not explaining complicated doctrine, or even making the mysteries of faith understandable. Rather, the biggest challenge is making the invisible, visible.Read Article
When Felicity arrived this Spring, I had just gotten a handle on how to deal with Benedict. Now a toddler, he’s incredibly bright and interactive. We had a weekly routine organized that consisted of errands, trips to the library, adventures to see family, and even ways he could help around the house. As with all things, the moment that we get comfortable and confident, things change.Read Article
There are certain experiences that are universal to all parents. Children, regardless of culture and environment, all act in generally the same manner. They all follow the same mental growth curve and have the same milestones. Raking things towards themselves turns into a pincher grasp. Crawling turns into unstable standing. Babbles turn into words, which turn into sentences. As children follow this invisible curve, parents follow their own growth curve. We develop strong feelings of protection, strong opinions on proper parenting, and eventually, feelings of inadequacy.Read Article
One of the areas of parenting that I didn’t anticipate being uncomfortable with is timeouts. I wouldn’t say that Benedict has a case of the terrible twos, but I would say that he is certainly learning how to process his emotions. He’s a very easy going little guy whose bad moods can generally be managed by a simple change of scenery. Otherwise, he’s a joy to be with and lots of fun. Yet, like any toddler, his actions merit a timeout a few times per day.Read Article
Lately I’ve developed a real interest in car care. I want our cars to last, so I try to wash them weekly and keep them clean. I’ve always been on the meticulous side when it comes to the cleanliness of our cars, but these days I’ve also taken an interest in making improvements. I’ve upgraded the rearview mirror, the interior lights, and the radio on the van in recent weeks. While working on these projects, it occurred to me that I’m now the dad and these are the kinds of things that I do now. Several times I’ve been in a bind while making a repair, but with no one to back me up, I just had to troubleshoot my way through the problem and make it work. During these times, I realized just how fun it is to be a dad.Read Article
I’m experiencing a noticeable difference between Alison’s first pregnancy and her second: I’m a lot more cool and controlled. With less than two months until the arrival of our daughter, we’re only now starting to make physical preparations. It’s not that we’re disinterested, just that there’s less mystery. Less mystery requires less planning. We have almost everything already, now all that we need are the little essentials.Read Article
Benedict’s favorite part of the work week happens on Thursday mornings at our library; he absolutely loves story time. Even though we’ve only been going for a few months, he knows when we’re driving to the library and he always charges into the story room. It’s a great time for us to be out and about, for him to interact with other little people, and for him to learn from someone other than me.Read Article
I enjoy systems and stability. I like to learn how to do something, experiment to find the most efficient process, and then implement that process repeatedly to complete a task. I have 90 minutes to work in the morning before Benedict gets up. On weekdays, I spend that time working on web design for clients, on Saturday mornings I write, and on Sunday mornings, I play. I’ve tried many variations of my schedule, but that one works, so I stick with it. There’s little need to review or make course corrections in how I lay out my week because the work is already done. It’s set, I move on. There is, however, one area of my life where this type of plan and repeat process doesn’t work: parenting.Read Article
I love Spring. Nature reminds us of the joy of new life and it also signals the beginning of the outdoor season. Every member of the family values, to admittedly varying degrees, time spent together as a family. As humans, we crave connection, and family time gives us that in a very safe and stable way. Just as it’s important to provide a young child with a variety of activities, your family time shouldn’t be spent solely in your living room. Spring and Summer present a wide variety of outdoor fun that can bring joy to all members of your family.Read Article
Every moment is a teachable moment in a child’s life. What your children don’t realize is that as a parent, you’re constantly figuring out what to do. The life of a parent is one of judgement, evaluation, and action. We have to judge the proper course, model the expected behavior, and act decisively and within the vision of our children. We learn each day how to be better for tomorrow, but more importantly, all of this introspection helps us to define who we truly want to be and to start moving in that direction.Read Article
I wanted our next child to be a girl. When the ultrasound confirmed it, I was elated. Her name is Felicity and she’s arriving in June.Read Article
This blog post was originally intended to be a reflection on how the beauty of shared parenting reveals the true design of parenthood. I was going to discuss the many times when Alison has been there to help ease my struggles with caring for Benedict and how our system ensures a consistent experience for Benedict. As I sat down to write this post a few weeks ago, Benedict was crying. Usually he's asleep at 5am on a Saturday morning, so this behavior was unusual. I waited a few minutes to ensure that he was actually awake, not wanting to disrupt what may have been just a momentary expression of emotion after a bad dream.Read Article
Earlier last year, Alison and I started discussing acquiring a minivan. We've been a one car family for about 18 months, but as we looked to the future, the time for us to expand our fleet was drawing near. Logically, we decided a minivan would be the right choice for our next car.Read Article
We're nearing the half-way mark of Alison's pregnancy. This has been a very quick ride (for me, at least) compared to last time. I feel more confident in what's happening and what's going to happen. We're also getting to the fun part. Alison is starting to feel kicks, soon we'll (hopefully) know the gender, and in just a few short months, I'll be holding my second child in my arms.Read Article
A few months ago, I was one confused dad. As a first time parent, all of the development stages in Benedict's life are new to me. As a man, I'm a little less in tune with the changes going on in his life. To be sure, Benedict is extremely gentle and considerate. He shares everything very willingly, a trait that I hope he continues to have as he steps into the leadership role of big brother this summer.Read Article
My younger self would be very disappointed in me if he knew the truth. I like jazz. When I was in 4th grade, my dad got really into jazz and would have it playing as background music each night during family dinner. He loved it, my siblings and I did not. This small chapter of my childhood reveals a simple truth: we’re all like our dads in one way or another.Read Article
I'm happy to announce today that Alison and I are expecting our second child. After two amazing years with Benedict, we're excited to welcome his younger sibling this June. All is going well so far, and Alison and baby are healthy.Read Article
My goal in raising Benedict is that he grow into a wholesome, mature man worthy of a great woman. The path to this ideal is filled with challenges, especially as he will face pressure from his peers and the temptations to make poor choices. I want him to preserve his honor, and the honor of those whom he associates with, so that he can present himself as a worthy gift to his wife should he be called to the married life.Read Article
During this year's Synod on the Family, Pope Francis canonized Louis and Marie-Azelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese. What's particularly interesting about the Martin family is the vocations that came out of it. The Martin's had 9 children, four of whom died in childhood. Of the five who survived, all girls, each entered the religious life. This true model of holiness in a family has me thinking, what will it take for me to raise a family of saints?Read Article
Love is a concept that's been distorted and misunderstood. We all yearn to hear the words "I love you," but few of us can comprehend what it truly means until we're tested. It's easy to tell someone that you love them when all is going well, but what about when the whole world has been turned upside down? I think the best model of love in our world is that of a parent for their child.Read Article
Now that more of my friends are getting married and having kids, my Facebook timeline, or whatever we're calling it now, is filled with pictures of children. Heck, I look at my own Instagram and it's basically just pictures of Benedict. To some it may be annoying, but I think this all speaks to a deeper truth. Children are the most important thing in their parent's lives.Read Article
A father's role in his children's lives is unique. I've written before about how fathers are irreplaceable
, but today I want to focus on how you're a rock for your children. We all have needs. We want to feel emotionally secure and safe. Kids are no different. As fathers, our children depend on us to help them meet that feeling of safety.Read Article
Recently I've been looking back at old videos of Benedict. Man that kid was fat. What also strikes me is that knowing him today, I can totally see him and his personality in these videos. He shows the same curiosity, cheerfulness, and desire to be around people as he displays in his actions today. I'm so glad that we've captured many of those moments so that he'll have them to enjoy later in life.Read Article
Throughout the course of my education, I have had hundreds of teachers. I can say that, to the best of my recollection, only one didn't have passion. I had ineffective teachers, I had "bad" teachers, but nearly all of them had an intense passion for their careers, for their vocations. This deep desire to do well for their students is a unique asset in the teaching profession.Read Article
Now that I've been a full-time caregiver to Benedict (read "stay-at-home parent") for just over a year, I can admit that it's nothing like what I thought. Part of this reality is of my own choosing and the other part is unexpected reality. Our house is too small and Benedict's needs are too limited right now for my duties to expand to take up my entire day. I can clean the house in an hour and Benedict is still napping for 4-6 hours during the day. Were I not working, the rest of my hours awake would just be play time for me. Here's what I've learned.Read Article
Lately I've been really into movies, books, and TV shows based on real life Cold War era spies. History fascinates me. Some of the stories are so crazy and unbelievable that they're more entertaining than any story that a writer could make up. I think that's why I'm so drawn to spy storylines.Read Article
One of the most difficult challenges that parenting presents is passing on family values. If you value health, then don't give your kids three scoops of ice cream for dessert every night. If you value community, share a meal around the table at least once a day. Engage in family activities that reinforce family identity, values, and mutual growth.Read Article
Benedict has been sleeping less lately, meaning that he requires more entertainment during the day. He's mostly satisfied if I'm at least in the same room as him, but he won't let me work at the nook that we have in the family room without him sitting on my lap. As his behaviors evolve, I have less time to get work done. While some may view it as an inconvenience, I don't. It simply means I need to be more productive while he sleeps, and ensure that I'm getting up at 5am so I can get everything done.Read Article
Most days, I'm surprised that I'm a father. Certainly Benedict has been in my life for nearly two years, yet actually being in these shoes, it's still quite shocking. I know that the challenge of parenthood is going to be the biggest one that I face, and I know that it evolves every single day as he grows. I'm learning all that I can so that I can help Benedict be a man, with a clean heart and a free conscience.Read Article
One of the great tragedies of our modern era is our misunderstanding of the value of children. For a wide range of reasons, people tend to hold a very pessimistic and self-centered view on children. This contraceptive mindset has brought us to a very sad place where people miss out on the absolute joys of raising children.Read Article
Growing up, one of the staples of my day happened just before bed. As I lay in bed, my dad would come into my room and we'd have a "goodnight talk." These few minutes just before I fell asleep would be full of conversation, jokes, and inevitably, some tickling. We could discuss whatever I wanted, I could ask any question because it was my time. Perhaps my favorite goodnight talk would be when my dad "made" me into bread, which was essentially a few minutes of tickling, rolling, and general silliness. There's so much talk in parenting circles today about the importance and impact of strong fathers and my dad's goodnight talks could be a case study in effective parenting. Perhaps the most difficult part about his being deployed so often was that we'd miss out on many goodnight talks.Read Article
Last Fall, I wrote about To Kill A Mockingbird
and the great scene where Atticus explains to his daughter that he has to have integrity, that he has to be the same person in public as he is in private. I took that scene and applied it to our Catholic identity and how we need to be bold in the public square expressing our faith with the same level of comfort as we do in our homes. In fact, that part of the book had such a profound impact on me that this is the fourth time that I've discussed this great American literary work since March of 2013. Today, I want to turn this lesson back on us again, only this time to discuss the integrity that it takes to be a real man. You need to be the man you ought to be, even when your family isn't around.Read Article
It's been a year since I started caring for Benedict full time. It's almost hard to believe not just that a year has passed, but how quickly his development has progressed. He's awake more, walking around, and talking to me. I share one of the looming questions that I'm confident every dad asks himself on a daily basis, "Am I doing enough?" Am I doing enough to support and promote his development? Am I doing enough to help him have confidence and trust in himself? Am I doing enough to make sure that he knows that he's safe with me? Am I doing enough to help him know that he's loved? Your kids need love, attention, affection and time from you. If you're giving them those things, then you're doing enough.Read Article
One of the traditions in my line of Collins men is that each of us share the same middle name, Joseph. It's a tradition that started at least six generations ago, although I'm sure that the further I dig, the more Josephs I'll find. I'm not sure of the particular reasons as to why it was started, but I'm confident it was meant as a prayer for the intercession of St. Joseph. Joseph is a strong and silent character in the Bible, and the more we know about life in Nazareth in his day, the more we grow to respect him.Read Article
One June evening in 1996, I was almost left without a father. My dad was deployed in Saudi Arabia when the barracks next to his was bombed by terrorists. As I think back on that night, though I was quite young, I'm grateful that my dad was not among the 19 killed in action that night. While our culture doesn't put a premium on the impact that a great dad can have on a kid's life, the fact remains that no one can take your place. You're uniquely and perfectly suited for your wife. Your marriage is the most important relationship in your life, more important than that of yours with your children and more important than your relationship with your parents. Certainly these relationships are in a very close second place, but nothing will ever be as important as your marital relationship. It's the spring from which blessings flow, and no one can take that place of honor.Read Article
One of the books that I've read this year was Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People
by Truett Cathy. The book was Truett's way of sharing his thoughts on business, how he built Chick-fil-a into a national brand, and how he treats people. In the book, Truett tells a story about a man who sat down next to him on a plane and inquired about how to keep his teenage kids on the straight and narrow. While he was listening to Truett, he ordered a beer. Truett asked if he drank beer in front of his kids and intimated the importance of the example set by this gentleman for his children.Read Article
A few weeks ago, Alison called me on her way home from the hospital. She was listening to Catholic radio and the host had suggested that parents pray a monthly novena for their children's vocations. I instantly thought of the struggles in discerning my own vocation and the benefit that 18 years of constant prayer could gain. We shepherd our children's lives, why not pray for their vocations?Read Article
Although Benedict is recently beginning to prefer walking to crawling, I've already begun to plan out all of the activities and hobbies that I want to introduce him to. He should learn Spanish and hey, maybe I'll learn with him. He should learn to play the piano or saxophone... I'll do it too! His grandfather and I are both pilots, so was his great grandfather, so he definitely needs to learn how to fly. There are literally endless possibilities and each of them is equally exciting.Read Article
A routine is perhaps the greatest tool in the toolbox of parenting. Kids do wonderfully with routines. Not only do they provide consistency, but they give cues to kids about how they should behave. Routines also help parents manage the dozens of tasks that come with caring for and raising children. A routine helps a parent make major decisions once and simply manage them daily.Read Article
As I look back on the pictures of Benedict from his first year of life, I'm suddenly very aware of the fact that not too long ago, he couldn't roll over on his own. When we first moved into our townhouse last summer, he could barely crawl. Now, just a few months later, he's standing on his own and taking a few brave steps.Read Article
We're living in a very confusing time. For whatever reason, we've stopped seeing people as uniquely beautiful, each with something to offer. Domestic violence is alarmingly high, pornography and human trafficking is arguably more prevalent than ever, rates of absentee fathers are through the roof, and marriage is no longer permanent, but stable for as long as each spouse is sufficiently benefited.Read Article
When you have a new baby, everything in the world is wonderful. A long 10 months of hopeful anticipation culminates in you finally getting to hold your new little one as they snuggle up close to you and sleep. It's an amazing time and also an exhausting time. The joy of holding your warm baby is mixed with the terror that at any moment they could have a blowout and ruin your Hallmark moment.Read Article
I love Benedict. I love the way he laughs uncontrollably as I hold his arms above his head and tickle his tummy with my nose. I love the way he gets excited when I snuggle up close to him and kiss all over his face. I love how much he enjoys being close to me and sitting in my lap. I love how he'll sit still anywhere if I'm rubbing his back or scratching his head. I love how when he's about to cry or is actively crying, he holds his arms up, hoping that I'll pick him up.Read Article
Mass has become a bit of a struggle. For whatever reason, I didn't anticipate that Benedict would reach an age where he can't be entertained enough to be able to stay in Church for an entire Mass. For weeks now, Alison and I have had to take turns taking him to the back of Church and play with him there.Read Article
As families grow and mature, they all face the same essential problem: with all of the different schedules, how do we spend time together? More importantly, how does the family spend time together on a regular basis?Read Article
Kids today are operating under very tight time constraints. While the number of potential activities continues to rise, what’s also driving this boom in kid’s after-school activities is college applications. We’re told that colleges are looking for well-rounded applicants. That means that between homework, after-school activities, friends and family time, kids today are facing a real time crunch.Read Article
There are many powerful acts of love and service. These acts force us into uncomfortable and inconvenient situations. However, it’s not usually the inconvenience that we recognize. The understanding that what we’re doing is important and helping someone else moves us beyond ourselves. This is never more clear than in helping to care for a sick child.Read Article
Our lives are full of priorities. Some things are simply more important than others. Making the right choices can drastically improve your quality of life.Read Article
Growing up in a military family, my dad was constantly deployed. He’d be gone for 3-6 months at a time, leaving my mom alone to wrangle us three kids. When we were living in South Korea, my parents came up with a brilliant idea. Each weekend, they’d reserve time to spend with us one-on-one. The kids would get to pick what we wanted to do. It was an excellent practice that provided for some great memories and experiences.Read Article
Kids grow up too fast. As parents, we have the privilege of experiencing their daily growth. As a part of this experience, the days can quickly and easily meld into one another and huge developmental leaps can be quickly overlooked as others come along. It’s important for us, despite our busy lives, to remember something from our own childhood: it’s important to make time for playtime.Read Article
One of the best things that your family can do together is take an evening walk. Not only is a walk in the evening a great stress reliever, it can significantly increase the amount of time that you spend together each day.Read Article
There’s an ongoing debate in the Catholic Church about what should be done with children who make noises during Mass. To some, it’s a needless distraction when kids can be taken to the cry room. To others, it’s important for the kids to have Mass as a regular part of their lives. To those who think that kids making noise should be immediately removed from the Sanctuary, let me save you some time, you’re wrong
I love my son. He’s 11 months now and really knows how to get around.Read Article
I wanted to write you this letter because it’s my responsibility to help you grow into the man that you were made to be. You were created with a very specific purpose in the course of Salvation History. Your mother and I are so privileged and honored to have you in our lives. You are a constant source of joy and fulfillment to me personally and to our marriage. You are truly the fruit of our love.Read Article
Words have power. Words have the ability to build someone up or strike someone down. They have the power to reveal someone’s innermost thoughts or heal a past hurt.Read Article
The responsibility of parenthood lies not so much in the direct instruction of children, but more so in setting the right example.Read Article
We live in a microwave culture. We want everything, now.Read Article
I’m about to embark on a new adventure and I’m both scared and excited at the same time.Read Article
It happens twice a year. Every Christmas and every Easter, without fail, our parishes are full of strangers. They fill our seats, they park in our spots, and some are even still using the old translation of the Mass.Read Article
Does teaching your child about the mystery and gift of their human sexuality really have to be an awkward conversation? The “Birds and the Bees” is the standard parental sex education talk, but is a one-time drive really the best approach? The talk is weird, it’s awkward, and both of you just want to get it over with.Read Article
It’s truly sad how little we value children today. Modern couples are pressured and even praised for holding off on starting a family for any degree of time. Instead of being seen for the value that they truly have, and without accounting for the sheer joy of shepherding your own child, children are seen as a roadblock. We tell women that they can’t both be a mother and a valuable employee. We tell men that children will ruin all of your fun.Read Article
We’re men. We’re hard charging. We’re all about getting stuff done. But how do you do that while not ignoring your family?Read Article
My son is rapidly approaching the one month mark and the experience for me, as a father, has been something truly amazing.Read Article
One of the strangest experiences I've ever had is seeing pictures of my parents when they were first married.Read Article
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have a cat.Read Article