Raising Kids Right

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By Rebecca Teti

Monday: Parenting

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

Terrible toddlers? Trying teens? Something in between? This weekly forum is the spot to share your questions and struggles about all things related to parenthood.

Please join us!

Rebecca Teti


  • Carry on with parenting topics, please, but I have a Coffee Talk question for you. Besides technical fixes such as comments notification and the like, are there better topics for Coffee Talk? For example, what about a weekly "what did you hear?" to discuss the Sunday Gospel and the homilies we heard about it? What about a weekly "Good News" asking people to share good deeds they observed or happy news they've received? Other ideas? The Catholic Digest subscriber base is broader than the old Faith & Family one & I'd like to entice some new regulars. How attached are you to the current topics?

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 7:09 AM by Rebecca Teti

  • Ever wonder why your neighbours like to interfere in your parenting? I do. Since whwn is it their business that I let my seven amd six year old play out front? How old were your kids when you let them play with minimal supervision with the neighbourhood kids?

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 7:18 AM by unknown

  • I started letting my son play alone in our fenced-in backyard last summer, when he was 4.5. (I checked on him every couple of minutes from the windows.) This year I let him play alone in the front yard briefly, for only a couple of minutes at a time, if I need to go inside to make a cup of coffee or something like that.

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 7:33 AM by ClaireS

  • Rebecca, I like both your ideas. I especially like the Good News idea. These days it seems there isn't enough positive news. I still like the old topics but I think you could switch it up as long as there is still the open forum which covers anything that someone may wish to discuss. Unknown: My 4th child is 3.5 and runs through my front and back yards with the older kids with minimum supervision from me. However, I am very fortunate to have a neighborhood full of kids so he can do this and he's only out there if he's with an older sibling. (which is usually the 7 year old) I am going to assume that you know your neighborhood and street and therefore can assess what is ok for your children. Nosy neighbors will always exist and we have to parent the way we see fit regardless. Allow your children their freedom. If we were to constantly shelter our children from all potential harm they would never leave our wombs!

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 8:05 AM by KMB

  • unknown, I have had the same problems in the neighborhood I moved to 3 years ago. There aren't a lot of young kids here, and there is one woman who calls me whenever my kids are in front. We have 3 acres, and only a fence around the pool, we have a huge horsehoe driveway in front that connects to a side driveway and blacktop area around back where the garage is. My kids ride bikes, scooters, little motorized cars on the driveways, they never go near the street (which is not busy and is not a through street) and I still get the calls, "Are you are your children are in the front yard?" Um, yeah, thanks, I knew that... My kids are now 13, 10, 7 and 4, and they are always out there together, I know they are just fine. Trust your own instinct and just respond kindly to the neighbors. And Rebecca, I think if you had the previous information that has been shared about NFP in some sort of searchable archive, you could replace that day with one of your other topics, they all sound interesting. I am not suggesting NFP is not an important topic, but for the past few years, it seems the questions and answers are all pretty much the same from week to week and could be shared through an online resource of past shared info. I do miss the housekeeping topic, although I guess we can find that elsewhere, I just liked getting the ideas from the knowledgeable women who used to make up this group.

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 11:47 AM by Danielle M.

  • One vote for the Sunday readings and homilies here.

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 11:54 AM by unknown

  • Maybe combine Marriage/NFP and Parenting/Education to make room for other topics on 2 of those days? Also, since there aren't other blog posts happening here, it seems like these don't necessarily need to be weekly posts - couldn't you just post each topic once, and then we could all respond in the comments forever? Or would that get too long/unwieldy?

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 1:10 PM by K

  • Thanks for the feedback. No decisions yet, just thinking about it and wondering what YOU would like to see. We could bring back housekeeping, for sure. I was convinced women entering their 40s would want to talk about perimenopause and menopause as much as those in childbearing years want to talk about NFP, and that there's increased need for a forum for the ethical and emotional issues surrounding taking care of aging parents -- but that hasn't gotten any traction, so I'm prepared to dump that as a topic.

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 1:24 PM by Rebecca Teti

  • Rebecca, you've gotten good feedback so far regarding forum topics. Would politics be too risky and too tempting for our resident troll? I'd find it interesting. It does seem like you could stop the weekend-specific forum, since that seems to get very little action. I wonder if your homilies idea could somehow be combined with a questions of faith theme? But as long as you keep the Open Forum I will be happy. :)

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 1:47 PM by Anne in NC

  • I am just now letting my kids (9&5) play out front, with me checking on them every 15 mins or so. We live in a gated community and they have strict instructions to stay away from the street and not talk to anyone (aside from our known neighbors on each side) or leave the yard without my permission. If my 9y/o comes in, the 5 y/o has to come in, too. I don't believe my 5 y/o is old enough to make safe decisions, outside, by herself.

    Posted on Jun 17th, 2013 at 2:15 PM by Terri

  • Jeanne, I think the comment board is slow because the newer format is simply not as user-friendly when it comes to leaving comments & following up on specific topics. As Rebecca Teti commented earlier, they are working on that. Honesty, I find the troll thing insulting, too...but I think people are at a loss when it comes to some of your comments & accusations. I've found that the women (& a few men) who post here are fairly broad-based when it comes to the differences in our families, how we live out our Faith in our daily lives, how we educate our children, what our interests are, etc. Over & above those differences, our common Catholic Faith unites us. I think it is safe to say that most of us who post here do so not because we are seeking friendship but because we enjoy the various & diverse input of women with whom we share a love for the Catholic Faith. I don't agree with the opinions of all who post here, nor am I required to...but I can do so in charity. I am sure that I have posted things that others don't agree with. I know of at least one time that I unintentionally hurt someone's feelings...for which I apologized. On the flip-side...I've also appreciated & benefited from the comments & advice of many who've posted here over the past few years. I am truly sorry that you feel the way you do about those who use this forum. Praying that God grants you His peace that we all desire. God bless--

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 1:14 PM by Patricia

  • Jeanne - Those who see no need for this comment board are under no obligation to participate in the discussions here.

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 1:46 PM by Marie

  • Jeanne, I think we'd all agree that virtual, online 'relationships' are no substitute for real, in-the-flesh, human interactions. That being said, we can't assume that all who post here are fortunate enough to have faithful Catholic friends whom they can go to for input, advice, venting, etc. Even for those who do have such friends, some may prefer an open (& anonymous) forum with more diverse opinions & varying points of view. Although those who post here may not fit the traditional definition of 'friendship', there is no reason that discussions here can't occur in both honesty & charity. If some need to vent, so be it. I think the confessional is for the confessing our sins, not venting (which often has to do more with our frustration with the faults of others rather than our own faults).

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 2:42 PM by Patricia

  • In full disclosure, I deleted a lot of comments that no longer made sense once another editor had deleted what were apparently a bunch of Jeanne in Tampa's comments (which I didn't see). So there's a gap. I sincerely apologize to Jeanne that "troll" hurt your feelings and to the general audience if you've been scandalized by my letting "troll" stand. I don't consider it insulting because it has nothing to do with fairy tale trolls (ugly, clumsy, stupid -- that WOULD be insulting). It comes from "trolling" which comes from "patroling," meaning hanging out in search of.... In internet slang it has come to mean someone trolling for arguments in comment boxes -- a person who comes to a comment box not to dialogue but to tell people off or take over the conversation with off-topic, or deliberately inflammatory remarks. Nothing worse is implied!

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 2:47 PM by Rebecca Teti

  • Jeanne, On an unrelated topic...I meant to ask how the foster/adoption process is going with the child(ren) you've posted about becoming part of your family in the past?? I hope all is well in that respect! -- I think most people who post here do so in good faith that other posters (whom they don't necessarily consider personal friends) are being honest & genuine in what they say.

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 2:49 PM by Patricia

  • Thanks Rebecca. Please feel free to delete anything I've posted that would no longer make sense due to them being in response to deleted posts. I appreciate your clarification on the troll term. I know the patrolling definition is the usage that is intended...it is just sad to see that occur. I feel bad that these discussions have gone in the direction that they have. God bless--

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 2:59 PM by Patricia

  • Jeanne, since it seems that you really dislike this forum - then could you kindly remove yourself from it and let the rest of us have some peace in being able to get advice from other people? It seems to be upsetting you and that is not good. You say you are getting sick- so stay away and stay well. Back away from it and chat with your friends in Florida. Rebecca - I do think the comment boards are useful and would like to see them continue.

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 3:35 PM by Nadine

  • Patricia, believe me, we've been trying to politely engage on any positive topic for years at F&F; the response is invariably like you've gotten - yelling, insulting fury. So long-time denizens here just tend to call "troll" so as to prevent people wasting time and comment-thread space trying to add some rationality and to try to help people not take the insults (like accusing hurting women of causing their husbands to be abusive or of being rotten mothers or people that no one would want to be irl friends with) personally or as representative of what normal people think.

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 4:04 PM by Anna

  • Rebecca, is there any way that regulars could register and comments by unregistered users would be posted after moderator approval? Approve email addresses and allow people to use their real name or "anon" after that? Anything? The constant attacks on this forum and the people who participate has gotten really, really old.

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 4:21 PM by Alice

  • I like the idea of combining a few of the weekly forums that seem to get little or no comments. I do not know how other ladies are faring in the "change of life" roller coaster, but apart from a book, and lots of prayer and a few years, I don't really want to talk about it each week, because I'm in the middle of it...ditto for the sandwich generation forum--I have to raise my kids as well as caring for my Mum, so I don't really want to spend my *fun* time reading/complaining about it.... I second {third?} the idea of having people sign in with e-mails, so that if there is a problem with someone continually making cruel and unnecessary comments/insults/taking everything off-topic, they can be blocked. I grow weary of having to read through someone's angry stream-of-conscience messages, and have only been here once in the last month. I miss the great people who give awesome advice: Patricia, Anna, Danielle M., Claire {and others} but my on-line time is very short, and I don't want to waste it...thank you for improving it any way you can, Rebecca!

    Posted on Jun 23rd, 2013 at 1:52 AM by Donna L.

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