Parenting Tips & Tales

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By Rebecca Teti

Monday: Parenting

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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.

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Rebecca Teti


  • I have a pre-teen son who is questioning God. He loves science and is a avid reader of all this about the earth, animals, & space. He is concerned about how God fits in to this. We have talked to him about how without God people would not have the skills to discover what they did, that when the Bible says 7 days it may not literally mean 7 - 24 hour days a day could be millions of years. I told him my belief that the Big Bang was God clapping his hands together to make the Heavens and the Earth and if this was not true then scientists would be able to recreate this and they cannot. (not sure if this was the best advice but at the time seemed right) He has spoken to the parish priest about this and was recommended to pray and read the Bible. Does anyone have experience with this? anything that we can offer him to read or watch? My husband feels the most discouraged by this as if HE let our son down by not being a better Catholic (we are the only ones in our families that still practice on non-Easter & Christmas). Thanks for anything that can help.

    Posted on Mar 4th, 2013 at 7:46 AM by Lynn

  • Try Amy Welborn's "Prove It!" books. They are really good and address a lot of questions like this. Also, pointing out that the Big Bang theory was originally posited by a priest might help show that the Church is far from anti-science. Catholic Answers might have some resources too, but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

    Posted on Mar 4th, 2013 at 8:44 AM by Anna

  • Could you google for Catholic scientists and their inventions and discoveries? (Mendel, Marconi, and Pasteur come to mind.) I grew up in a university town and it really surprised me when I grew up to discover that quite a few of the people I saw at Mass (even daily Mass) were well-respected scientists.

    Posted on Mar 4th, 2013 at 10:11 AM by Alice

  • I work with pre-teens & teens for a profession. Don't be discourage or feel like you did something wrong when raising your child. During this time in life, teens are going to have a lot of questions and they are just searching for the truth. Questioning God is actually a good thing as long as searching for the answers happens. There are a lot of Catholic Scientists and honestly science and faith go together. I agree with Alice about having your son google Catholic Scientists. Here is a book that may also help. Catholicism and Science (Greenwood Guides to Science and Religion) Peter M.J Hess (Author), Paul L. Allen (Author) I think it would also be a good idea to see if you can find some other adults who can be a friend and resource for your teen. Teens do tend to like having many adults in their life who can support them and help them as they discover and come to understand the world we live in and how their faith fits into that.

    Posted on Mar 4th, 2013 at 1:14 PM by kate

  • Hmm, Jean from Florida is back trolling--ignore her if you don't already know about her! LOL Anyway, I am teaching a homeschooling coop high school biology course from the Apologia series. It is a creationist series and I was a little leery about the Protestant/Evangelical slant I might find (none of my students are Catholic LOL) BUT I LOVE this book. The author does a wonderful job of giving both points of view and explaining why Chrisitians in general believe/don't believe certain things. Just for example--in evolution Darwin spent over half of his original book pointing out flaws in Darwin's own argument. This flaws have now become insurmountable scientifically and the theory of macroevolution (we all started as a single cell organism) is now not even really supported by the van guard evolutionary scientists. The chapter on evolution is worth buying the whole book. There is a whole series of homeschooling science books by Apologia and I am sure that you can get old copies on e-bay and spend some time looking at specific chapters with your son and that my at least start a thought process.

    Posted on Mar 4th, 2013 at 3:30 PM by Lisa

  • Um, not trying to start a fight, but if your son is interested in science, Lynn, I wouldn't send him to young-earthers to strengthen his faith. Catholicism and science are not in opposition; all truth is from God, but he won't get that impression from Protestant Biblical literalism. I'd go more with biographies of Catholic scientists like the ones Alice listed so he can see how the faith of those scientists was lived out through their work, not eclipsed by it. Given your son's age, something like "Fides et Ratio" is a bit out of his league, but there are still tons of Catholic sources out there that will encourage his love of science while showing that science is not incompatible with faith in God. Also, you might tell him that your answer about God's "hand clap" wasn't meant to be a definitive scientific answer (seeing as God doesn't have hands...), but that answers are out there, they just take some research (which, you could point out, is what any good scientist would do).

    Posted on Mar 4th, 2013 at 11:44 PM by Anna

  • thank you for all your responses! we order a couple of Prove It books for him and looked at some websites about science and Catholism.

    Posted on Mar 5th, 2013 at 10:13 AM by lynn

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