Baby left in nativity scene’s manger

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Image from abc7ny.com

Last Tuesday in New York, a church custodian set up the nativity scene inside Holy Child Jesus Church in Queens. He went to lunch and returned to the sounds of a baby crying, only to discover a newborn, with umbilical cord still attached, lying in the manger.

Surveillance footage revealed a young woman entering the church with a baby and leaving without one. And under NY safe haven law, which permits a parent to leave a child in a safe place (such as a hospital or church) with hope of their being taken care of, she will not be charged with child abandonment. And as it turns out, there are parents in the parish who have already asked to adopt the baby.

This story has a few aspects to it. On one level, it is so heartbreakingly sad that a young woman feels desperate, helpless… click here to read whole article and make comments



Millennials being “priced out of parenthood”

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Image from goaskmum.com.au

I just read an article in The Guardian about how millennials have become “priced out of parenthood.” How, in the struggle to earn enough to pay off their tertiary education and buy a house, they have nothing left over with which to raise a child. It makes me wonder: what’s our obsession with being SO financially secure?

I mean, I understand that it’s important to look after your kids. And I empathise with couples living in shared housing or who don’t have the support of extended family to fall back on. But I do have to consider that this attitude is all over the place, even for people who could quite comfortably start a family. Is it even possible to get to a point of complete and utter financial perfection where all else is taken care of and you can 100% safely pay your child’s way?

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Are your kids learning to think critically?

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In Intellectual Character: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Get It, Harvard’s Ron Ritchhart asks, “Does school make kids smarter?”

To answer that question, we need to define “smart.”

Nearly all educators would agree that being smart includes being able to ask good questions. Do schools teach that? How many instances can you recall, from all your years of schooling, of being taught how to ask good questions?

A personal story: When our older son Mark was in 5th grade, he came home from school one afternoon and said, “We learned today that the Chinese discovered America.”

“No kidding,” I said with sincere interest. “When I was your age, we learned that Columbus discovered America. Later, schools taught that Leif Erikson and the Vikings discovered America. How did they decide that the Chinese discovered America?”

“That’s what the textbook says,” Mark replied.

“Okay,… click here to read whole article and make comments



What will your kids remember of their childhood?

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When my parents tell stories of their childhood, they speak of wonderful things. They tell us of falls on their bikes, walks with their grandparents by the beach, using the grocery money for ice-cream, and of cricket on the street.

Sometimes I wonder – what will kids of today’s generation tell their children? How they sat on their iPads all day?

That’s exactly what this video looks at. It may just be a Nature Valley commercial but it makes you think: I’d like my kids to have a fuller childhood; one that involves more than staring at a screen. 

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Couple’s sex fast gives new life to a familiar idea

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Terry Crews and wife Rebecca.



“My wife and I, we did a 90 day sex fast. Ninety days. No sex,” says Terry Crews in a video posted on the Huffington Post Facebook page recently. Until then, I had never heard of Terry Crews, an American black actor. The short video showed up on my own Facebook feed and I couldn’t help but take the 60 seconds to watch it, like 4 million other people (guys?). No sex for 90 days! Nada. Call it abstinence, fasting, chastity, masochism … what is this about?

I can imagine at least two reactions to Crews’ introductory statement: “Dude, are you crazy?” or “Join the club of frustrated people (men and women) who are struggling to make this part of their life work.” After all, in a  recent large scale study  of married adults ages 18-60, one… click here to read whole article and make comments



Hugging school for Korean dads

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Image from PRI.org

Ever heard of a school that teaches fathers how to hug? Well weirder things have happened because they do exist, created to teach stoic Korean dads how to be more loving towards their families (as I read in this PRI.org article).

I’ve heard it time and time again – a loving and involved father is so important for raising confident sons and strong daughters. Maybe in generations past, fathers were happy to take a step back and let mothers do the work of parenting. And this evidently still stands in some cultures - Korean fathers work some of the longest hours, and have grown up with Confucian values which praise them for not showing their emotions. The response? The rise of these “Father Schools” in some Korean-dominated areas of the USA, staffed mostly by graduates who are keen to pass on what they’ve learnt, and… click here to read whole article and make comments



A Halloween treat like no other

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Here’s some great news from the United States about college communities that are seriously into building a new family culture.

Over 300 students and alumni from nearly 50 colleges and universities across the nation will spend their Halloween weekend learning from leading scholars about the importance of strong marriages and sexual integrity in contributing to a flourishing society.

The annual conference, the largest in its eight-year history, will equip the attendees with the knowledge and arguments they need to be effective witnesses for the message of an authentic understanding of love and fidelity on their campuses. Sexuality, Integrity, and the University will be held on the campus of Princeton University on Oct. 30-31.

For those unlucky enough not to live anywhere near Princeton, N.J. (that is, nearly everyone reading this) the presentations will be live streamed from 7:30 PM EDT on Friday and from 9:00 AM EDT on Saturday.

“Every… click here to read whole article and make comments



Do you binge watch TV?

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When I was a kid, we were told not to watch too much television or our eyes would “go square.” Whether an understandable reason or not for a child, we’ve all always known that too much TV should be avoided. But for a few years now, it hasn’t seemed like the biggest issue. There was enough to talk about with the rise of smart devices, and how they impacted kids and families.

But then I saw the topic come up on Time’s “Question Everything” section and I realized – it’s back with a vengeance, thanks to providers like Netflix. Such companies really are facilitating the isolation of individuals and the breakdown of family time.

Think about it. At least, back in the day, there was a certain time when your show ended and you had to practice some kind of patience by waiting a week for the next episode. Now? It’s… click here to read whole article and make comments



How strong families help create prosperous states

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Nathan Rupert/Flickr CC


Economics has its roots in the Greek wordoikonomia, which means the “management of the household.” Yet economists across the ideological spectrum have paid little attention to the links between household family structure and the macroeconomic outcomes of nations, states, and societies. This is a major oversight because, as a new report from the Institute for Family Studies and the American Enterprise Institute shows, marriage and family patterns are important factors in states’ economic performance.

The report, Strong Families, Prosperous States: Do Healthy Families Affect the Wealth of States?, was authored by W. Bradford Wilcox, Joseph Price, and Robert I. Lerman. In it they show that higher levels of marriage, and especially higher levels of married-parent families, are strongly associated with more economic growth, more economic mobility, less child poverty, and higher median family income at the state level in the United States.

In fact, in… click here to read whole article and make comments



Curing the wounds of the family

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Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles at the Synod of Bishops on the family. Photo: CNS/Paul Haring


As the Synod on the Family nears its end in Rome, one of the bishops participating, José H Gómez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, has contributed a commentary to the series Letters from the Synod, edited by Xavier Rynne II. In the following excerpt Archbishop Gomez argues that Catholics need to respond to what is a real crisis of the family with “positive ways to proclaim God as Creator and to show the beauty of his plan for the human person and the family.” 

The family crisis

Some of my brother bishops have remarked on the sense of urgency – some even call it anxiety – that has been felt during this Synod. The somber mood is reflected in the working document that has formed the basis… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@ mercatornet.com

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