Open Forum Tuesday

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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


  • I would like to thank everyone who prayed for my little guy last week during his MRI. He did very well with the procedure (including 7 hours without food) and bounced right back after the anesthesia! We get results from the neurosurgeon on Friday and are crossing our fingers for the best. :) Again, we are so, so grateful for the prayers from all of you wonderful ladies! They supported me through watching him get rolled back there and waiting and waiting, too. :)

    Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 at 11:16 AM by Jen

  • I am curious what ya'll do when you conflict with your spouse about parenting rules/ideas? Discuss after the situation? Defer to him? Some of both? My husband and I don't feel like picking apart *every* parenting issue, but he tends to lay down the law and stick to his guns no. matter. what. I tend to be less consistent because I allow exceptions based on what I believe to be reasonable scenerios. I don't know how to reconcile this, though. I really don't feel comfortable NEVER budging once I say something. Ex: clear your plate. But what if Grandma serves your plate for you and puts something on there you REALLY hate to eat... I would make an exception for that. Hubs, however, would not. How have others dealt with these "issues" like these that are going no where? I feel like hubs is frequently mildly grouchy (very mild, he tries to "let it go" but I can tell it bugs him), and I am frequently stressed about this!

    Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 at 11:26 AM by Issues

  • My teens and pre-teens have wanted to go to the Pro-life march since they heard about it two years ago. It involves a two-hour plus bus ride, through and into areas I wouldn't choose to take my family on a walk. I am pretty scared about having them go because where the walk is held is in a bad neighborhood. I fear for their safety even though my husband is taking the day off work to go with them. I will be home with the baby and preschooler...It doesn't help that the media goes to great lengths to IGNORE the pro-life group. Please pray that I will have peace about this because I'm already losing sleep over it! Also, please pray that, through some miracle---!!-- that the march will get a bit of positive media attention!

    Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 at 12:56 PM by Worried Mom

  • Issues, I know what you mean and, like Danielle M. said, I've been able to talk to dh about this on exactly that basis: I'm here all day and can maybe give some background on what's going on. Also, from a practical point of view, you do want to teach your kids about following your instructions with no arguing (think Laura Ingalls and the bear), but also give enough leeway that you don't get a kid who, since you told him to Stay in Bed does stay - instead of running to the bathroom to throw up. ;-) Have you talked to dh about it in general, not every situation, but just, when nothing is going on, about how to handle the overall difference? It's a good lesson for kids too, to see their parents be willing to sometimes hear another side of things or to apologize for getting angry and giving a consequence without thinking and then being willing to change it once you've calmed down. That being said, sometimes it's also good for kids to deal with two different parenting styles. My ds responds well to my dh telling him sternly "knock it off!" and to me cajoling gently - and doesn't handle a reversal of that well. He has one response to a male authority and another to female and that's a fine (and normal) thing, I think. Dd, on the other hand, needs a more gentle "touchy-feely" approach from us both and would be extremely hurt by the daddy directness that works fine with her brother. So sometimes the difference in approach really isn't as bad as it seems. Good luck - it's way more of a minefield than I ever thought it would be, even though, pre-kids, our mindsets seemed really similar!

    Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 at 1:33 PM by Anna

  • Worried Mom, without knowing which city you're in, I wouldn't worry too much about the March for Life. It's generally a huge enough crowd that, even if you wouldn't walk through the neighborhood with just your family, you won't run into trouble with thousands walking right with you. A bit of profanity is usually the worst one has to deal with.

    Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 at 1:35 PM by Anna

  • Worried Mom, I lived in the area of DC that hosts the March for years, and before I moved I was a participant for many years, even with babies in tow. The neighborhood is really not all that bad, and despite the lack of media attention, there is always a good police presence, and a huge crowd. Other than suffering from cold, I don't think there is much danger. Be at peace, it is a WONDERFUL witness and experience to be their in person.

    Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 at 2:06 PM by Danielle M.

  • Thanks ladies, I feel better! Prayers to all!

    Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 at 3:04 PM by Worried Mom--feeling better--Thanks!

  • Worried Mom our Archdiocese is sending 1600 to the March. We have an 18 hour bus ride one way. We were told to expect a crowd of about 500,000 and that it could be larger than the one that is expected for the inauguration. It looks to be a wonderful trip. Peace.

    Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 at 9:30 PM by Theresa

  • Worried mom: if it makes you feel any better. I went the March twice during college & went to the life mass before the march. It was such a beautiful witness to see all the religious orders present. It was my 1st time seeing so many priests & religious sisters. It was beautiful experience for a young woman.

    Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 at 10:52 PM by Jay

  • Issues, I'd say, tread carefully & pick your battles carefully because time may bring more important and heart-wrenching parenting disagreements. #1 Rule: don't disagree with or contradict him in front of the children. Discuss it behind closed doors. My husband & I were blessed to agree on EVERY parenting choice... when our 3 kids were young. When our eldest was a sophomore in high school everything changed. Like you I felt empathy for his situations & requests, so was comfortable recanting a "No" once I heard son's side & prayed more about it. While I felt this was being open-minded & sympathetic, husband, who never undoes a "No," viewed this as going against him, & going back on what we had already decided behind closed doors. This affected our relationship. Pray to the Holy Family!

    Posted on Jan 16th, 2013 at 2:39 PM by Marci

  • Issues, one other thought. I don't know how old your kids are (that can make a difference), but I used to work at Boys Town and they have all their social skills split up into very concrete steps. One skill is "Accepting Decisions": look at the person, say ok, don't argue. A useful skill to teach your kids. But another one is "Appropriately Disagree" b/c even in a residential treatment program, sometimes the kid is right and the adult is wrong (or the kid just needs to feel heard): wait 15 min (after accepting decision - this could depend on circumstances or the ability of your kid to tell time), ask to disagree, explain (e.g. "I understand I got a consequence for ___, but here's what really happened _____"), accept yes or no. The kid has to be able to show they understand what the original consequence was for, and then give a real reason it should change. ("I didn't say what you thought you heard" for example, not "yeah, I said that but *he* said it too!") Maybe providing a format (not just whining about what dad said) to disagree, along with shorthand ("right now you just need to accept my decision") for the times when really nothing is going to change would help both kids and dh. I get not wanting to get into the trap of lawyer-kids trying to endlessly argue every decision away, but there does need to be some way for an actual problem or misunderstanding to get fixed. hth!

    Posted on Jan 16th, 2013 at 8:15 PM by Anna

  • Worried Mom: Place it all in God's hands. Your husband will be with them. The many times I went to the March, there were never any problems. It's a very peaceful day. May God Give you Peace.

    Posted on Jan 18th, 2013 at 8:35 PM by Joan