The Floor Is Yours

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By Rebecca Teti


Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti

Comments

  • Hello?

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 9:57 AM by unknown

  • Our son is receiving his First Communion this Sunday. Any advice on focusing on the day and not the lunch afters? We are praying a novena that ends the night before. We plan on ordering a cake and making something simple for lunch but haven't decided what. We do have a ham in freezer we never used for Easter Sunday dinner that we can use.

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 11:36 AM by Jay

  • Jay, Praying a novena leading up to his First Communion sounds like a wonderful idea. I'd say, just keep discussing how exciting it is that your son gets to receive Jesus for the first time. Make sure to say a prayer of thanksgiving at the lunch, and then enjoy it as a joyful celebration of the big event.

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 12:47 PM by unknown

  • A question for all you parents of multiple children: My husband and I have an infant daughter, and someday hope to have some more children. My husband, an only child, is very concerned that when we have more than one, they will bicker constantly, because he's observed my two youngest siblings, who are aweful in this regard. (He wonders if spacing them out more or less would help?) Do you have any advice for minimizing sibling rivalry and raising kids who actually help each other and enjoy each other's company? I know it's not possible to completely eliminate arguing, but is there a way to help?

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 12:50 PM by Miranda

  • Miranda, I don't know what my parents did with us, but all 6 kids born within 10 years didn't argue or fight. I always thought it strange to hear about other siblings fighting. We all had to cram into a tiny house and share bedrooms and 1 bathroom too. I remember going to my friends's that didn't get along with their siblings and their parents would buy separate food for the kids. Some even had separate cabinets in the kitchen.

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 12:58 PM by MMH

  • HEY jAY: When my foster to adopt kid receives First Communion next year, I am going to give three choices and a budget to work with and maybe we can draw from a coffee can where we are going or what we are doing. That way, it makes it fun. Maybe let God decide at the drawing? tee hee. Then there's no argument. I think my mom did that with me cause when I had mine there were no relatives around.

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 1:15 PM by unknown

  • My Mum raised two girls and one boy within a couple of years of each other. We occasionally disagreed, but no fights were allowed. I get along better with my brother than my step-sister, but still, we get along. I think putting out there that "family is forever" and *Thou shalt get along*--{said tongue-in-cheek} will go far in helping your kids see how important it is to you that they love, and get along with each other. I'm not talking perfection here, obviously, but the goal of working things out. I was always shocked when kids at school talked about fighting with their siblings. It's just not done... So far, my kids are getting along very well--ages 15 down to 3, and I have taken the time to say aloud and often--"Friends may come and go, but family is forever". I have cancelled trips to town, or visits with friends if my kids were not polite to one another when they were young--and I would just explain that if they couldn't get along together, then we couldn't visit other people. It only took twice and they "got it". Also, my daughter reminded me that having a job to do together helps the relationship grow stronger--organizing toys, washing windows, baking cookies together etc. Good luck!

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 1:28 PM by Donna L.

  • I am writing to vent. If you disagree with me, that is your business but I doubt you will change my mind. I just read through another blog of a young mother who had a baby with major medical issues--and I am praying for them. I am super upset at her though, and several others you are young and seemingly clueless. What follows is my disgust at behaviours that seem selfish at best, and cruel at least! "She" gloated about how she sailed through the pregnancy with glasses of wine or beer every day. No big deal, she says. Perhaps she doesn't know that alcohol can be deadly for a tiny baby? How "she" had to have the gray hairs covered at the salon so she would not look so old...really? How she noshed on sushi and sashimi and goat cheese and whatever else...how she's down to half a pack a day... What??? I am upset when people smoke, do drugs, drink alcohol and coffee and do a whole host of other bad habits when they are nourishing a baby! I mean, really? I am not a perfect person, but I tried REALLY hard when I was pregnant to give my babies the best chance at a healthy life. I love wine and mixed drinks---but I am not so selfish that I would drink those when I should be drinking water! I didn't eat a bunch of junk food or pour chemicals all over my body...I am just heartsick that some of these babies will have lifelong health issues because of lousy choices their mothers made. End of rant

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 1:39 PM by Lynnea

  • I have 5 and they bicker and fight on occasion but most of the time it comes down to one child's stubborn temperament (or her autism or both) she just has a way of needling all of her siblings. Other than that there is very little bickering and virtually no sibling rivalry. The reason is I don't tolerate it and I certainly don't encourage it either directly or indirectly the way I see so many parents do when they compare their children. A lot of it though is something of a crap shoot. Children, even though those raised in the exact same environment, have their own personalities and sometimes those personalities aren't well suited to each other. The important thing is to teach them how to handle conflict with grace and the best way to do that is good modeling. :-)

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 4:09 PM by Becky Le

  • Lynnea, substance use during pregnancy is a huge sore spot for me. I don't think hair dye falls into that category, but smoking, drugs and particularly alcohol are really not good. I'm not talking about a very occasional glass of wine at the end of the pregnancy, but there are women who drink a few glasses of wine/week throughout the pregnancy, and this is playing Russian Roulette. It is impossible to know how a baby will be affected; some might be fine, while others could have issues from even moderate amounts of alcohol exposure. It is a neurotoxin. It is not worth the risk. If I were blessed enough to have another pregnancy (particularly one that actually progressed to the stage of viability), I wouldn't touch a drop.

    Posted on Apr 23rd, 2013 at 4:47 PM by Claire S

  • I agree with Becky Lee. I lot of sibling fighting is chance based on what kind of personalities your kids have and what combination of personalities are in the family. I only have two boys and they do bicker a lot but it's because one has anxiety/emotional issues and is constantly harassing the other who, though fairly even-tempered and docile, can only take so much before fighting back. If I had two even-tempered kids I doubt they'd be fighting.

    Posted on Apr 24th, 2013 at 5:50 PM by Monica (momof2)

  • Miranda, I agree with the other posters that a lot (not all) of it has to do with how they are raised...so I will try not to repeat what was already said. (Though I would like to point out that the "you always have your family...." type of discussion is a fairly regular one we have here for various reasons. That being said, we have 8 kids ages 18 to 1 and they do get along fairly well. Part of it is personality (we do have some clashers....and who and to what degree has changed over the years) Our two oldest (18 girl, 15 boy) get along so well I am very very often asked if they always get along and what we have done...and I feel bad for those asking because their kids constantly fight. I think it boils down to a respect issue. The kids need to speak respectfully to each other...if not they are sent to their room. We frequently remind the kids that God put them in this family for a reason. We can choose our friends, we can't choose our siblings. Nor can we usually choose our co-workers, classmates, team mates, etc. This is a training ground for learning to get along cordially with others. So....Miranda, I really do think the best thing you can give your child is siblings (if you are able to). She will learn alot about getting along with others and you can direct them to be respectful of each other. And when people are respectful of others that takes away 90% of the fighting! Not all my kids get along as well as our 2 oldest. But they all get along pretty well most of the time. They don't have to be best buddies...but I am thankful that, for the most part, our kids get along so well they often forget to ask neighborhood kids to come play. (not thankful they forget to ask....but thankful that they enjoy each others company so much they aren't yearning to get away).

    Posted on Apr 24th, 2013 at 11:02 PM by RealMom4Life

  • Lynnae, I agree with you 100% - and we all need to vent! I think a lot of it is maturity. It is so unfortunate (ok - sick - but I am trying to be somewhat polite) that someone can make decisions like that thinking it really doesn't matter. And I have to wonder if it's lack of maturity that causes someone to decide that doing something will probably be ok. It's the whole mentality of not understanding sacrificial love. If something "could be" harmful during pregnancy you can bet I am going to stay away from it. It's called being a parent.

    Posted on Apr 24th, 2013 at 11:11 PM by RealMom4Life

  • Hi Lynnea, I completely agree with you! It takes my breath away how some people who are going to be parents seem to have little-to-no common sense and self-control while they are pregnant! My husband and I had anxiouxly waited several years before we were sent our blessings, and I took their well-being very seriously--I still do..

    Posted on Apr 25th, 2013 at 6:53 PM by Donna L.