Listen to Podcast Episodes!

Get a new episode delivered to your inbox every week!

FamilyMarriageParentingSpiritual Life View All
MFP
293
60 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP 293: What To Do When Your Kids Lie

Parent’s reaction to their children is more important than any consequence that they may give. It is our reaction that teaches our children.

One of the trickiest things for a parent is when they catch their child in a lie.  Do you punish them for lying?  Do you punish the offense?  How do you teach the virtue of honesty when lying seems to come so naturally to them?  Join in our conversation with Jordan Langdon of Families of Character, a ministry that coaches parents to be their best for their families.  In this discussion, we hear Jordan’s thoughts on why kids lie, how to create realistic expectations, and why punishing kids for lying only makes things worse.  Hear about the “Honesty Incentive Rule” and how that works for young children and even more importantly as your children become teenagers.   Find more about Jordan and her work at www.familiesofcharacter.org 

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a
web browser that
supports HTML5 video


60 Min Listen

What To Do When Your Kids Lie

Key Takeaways

  • Training the will of your child is just as or even more important than training their intellect

  • Most children will lie at some point.  It is a natural part of their development.  It is how you react to them that matters.

  • There are different stages of lying.  The lie of a 3 yr old looks different than that of a 7 yr old. 

  • The Honesty Incentive rule helps children take personal responsibility for their actions.

  • When you find your child lying, allow yourself time to think about how to handle it.  There is no need to react – this is not an emergency!

  • Take time to observe your children’s behavior so you can tell when something is going on beneath the surface. 

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • What is our reaction when our children lie to us now?  How do we handle it? 

  • How do I feel when our kids lie to me?  

  • Do we feel like we take enough time to observe our children’s behavior?  Would we know when something was going wrong?  


Download Here

Read More
Listen Here 60 MINUTE LISTEN
MFP
292
75 MINUTE LISTEN

MPF 292: Managing Kids Activities

Play is the work of childhood.

Maria Montessori

It seems like in today’s world, parents are judged by how many activities their kids are in and how committed the whole family is to those activities.  We see this as leading to complete burnout for parents, but more importantly, it robs children of the joy of unsupervised, spontaneous time to just play.  We explain in this podcast what play is and why it is so important for children to engage in. The beautiful thing about play is that parents should NOT be involved!  It is one thing that we can do for our kids that requires less of us, not more.  Parents need to learn that kids must take risks, make choices, and be independent from adults.  And this means less supervision, not more.  Listen in to this conversation where we try to strike a balance between keeping kids busy in a healthy way and giving them space to be bored and make good choices.

 


75 Min Listen

MPF 292: Managing Kid’s Activities

Key Takeaways

  • Play is essential for a child’s development. It is “freely chosen and directed by the participants and undertaken for its own sake, not to achieve something” – Dr. Peter Gray

  • You need to be intentional about choosing your child’s activities based on their developmental needs.

  • Kids under 12 really don’t need structured activities – only do them if they work for your lifestyle and are not a cause of stress in the family

  • Don’t allow external forces to impose false expectations on your involvement.

  • Encourage your child to persevere even if an activity is difficult or not what they expected, but have the common sense to know when enough is enough.

  • Know the adults that are around your child recognizing that especially in the teen years these people can become mentors for them for good or for bad.

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • Share with your spouse your experience with structured activities (sports, theater, lessons, etc).  What would you like to repeat? What would you like to avoid?

  • What activities are our children involved in?  Are they developmentally appropriate for them?

  • How can we encourage more play among our children?  Are there other families who would join us in this?

Resources:


Download Here

Read More
Listen Here 75 MINUTE LISTEN
MFP
291
54 MINUTE LISTEN

Finding the Lord in Others

Growing in holiness doesn’t require extraordinary actions, it requires doing ordinary things with great love. And there is nothing more “ordinary” in the life of a child than a parent.

Often when people talk about life with children, the focus is on just getting through their childhood with your sanity in one piece!  There is some truth to that because parenting can be the most challenging thing you may ever do, but we would like to offer a different perspective.  What if we did allow family life to change us? What if we allowed it to change us for the better? Jesus wants to teach us how to love Him by loving our spouse and our children.  They are the first neighbors that we are called to love and serve and this, as lay people, is our path to holiness.  Listen in to this honest conversation about the challenges of loving those closest to us as we would love Jesus Himself. 

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a
web browser that
supports HTML5 video


54 Min Listen

MFP 291: Finding the Lord in Others

Key Takeaways

  • If you are a frantic family you will resent the sacrifices that naturally come with family life.  Fruitful families embrace these sacrifices. 

  • Our world does not prize the ordinary so we can think that to be holy we need to do extraordinary things. 

  •  The true measure of how much you love the Lord is the measure by which you love that person in your life who is most difficult

  • Mark 9 – “Whoever receives such a child in my name, receives me.  And if you receive me, you receive the one who sent me”

  • Matthew 25 – “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.”

  • Jesus doesn’t ask us to love an ideal.  He asks us to love actual people in our lives as we would love Him.

 

Couple Discussion questions

  • Think of a person in your life who shows God’s love to others.  What do they do?  How do they do it?  What can you imitate?  

  • “Whoever receives such a child in my name, receives me.  And if you receive me, you receive the one who sent me”  Who am I being called to “receive” right now in my state in life?  What are my thoughts on this person being Jesus? 

  • What is one small, practical way in which I can love my husband or wife better, starting today?  How can I receive their love more fully?

 

Key Moments

  • 00:00:07 – Introduction and welcome to the podcast.
  • 00:02:51 – Family Events and Picnic at NEC.
  • 00:08:11 – Changing perspectives and seeing children as opportunities for growth.
  • 00:09:51 – Challenges of parenting and making sacrifices.
  • 00:13:08 – Viewing daily tasks through the eyes of Christ.
  • 00:13:33 – Contrast between frantic and fruitful families.
  • 00:13:59 – Importance of reflection and embracing messy sacrifices.
  • 00:14:17 – Presence of God in everyday moments.
  • 00:14:50 – Finding prayer time amidst parenting duties.
  • 00:15:13 – Structuring day for clarity and routine.
  • 00:52:21 – Reflecting on who we are called to receive and love better.
  • 00:54:06 – Closing prayer and blessings.


Download Here

Read More
Listen Here 54 MINUTE LISTEN
MFP
290
48 MINUTE LISTEN

Creating a United Front for Your Kids – Parenting as a Team

The greatest and most important collaboration you will ever have with another person is raising a child with your spouse.

Parents come to us with discipline issues all the time and our first question is usually, “What does your spouse think about this?”  You see, the most important person to learn from is the other parent of this child you are trying to raise!  It is when moms and dads work together that the greatest power is unleashed in parenting and that is when we can do the most good for our children.  Instead of focusing on your child and their behavior, focus first on yourself, then on how you and your spouse work together, and then you can come up with the best way to love your child and form them.  Listen in to this re-release of our 2019 podcast, Parenting as a Team.  


Download Parenting As A Team Tip Sheet

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a
web browser that
supports HTML5 video


46 Min Listen

Creating a United Front for Your Kids – Parenting as a Team

Key Takeaways

  • The best thing you can do for your children is to not focus on them, but focus on your spouse first, and them second. Prioritize your relationship! 

  • Strength is found in your differences!  Respect what each one of you brings to the table.  

  • God never meant for you to be parents alone, or even just the two of you.  He wants to give you all the grace you need if you will just ask Him for it.  

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • What do you admire about how your spouse parents your kids? Tell them this.  

  • What is the biggest difference between you in how you parent?  How is this a strength? 

  • Take time this week to sit down and talk about your kids and how they are doing.  Make a plan to help them as best you can. 

 

Resources


Download Here

Read More
Listen Here 48 MINUTE LISTEN
MFP
289
64 MINUTE LISTEN

Fr. Mike Schmitz on Parenting and Marriage

Parenting isn’t about doing everything perfectly.  It’s about showing up over and over again no matter what.

Some may question how a celibate man could have wisdom for husbands and wives, let alone parents.  But in this interview with Fr. Mike Schmitz, host of the Bible in a Year podcast, we think everyone will agree that his insights are awesome! Drawing from his own family experience as well as his role as a spiritual father, Fr. Mike shares with us how to love children who have fallen away from the church, the importance of your marriage to your walk with God, and why you actually don’t need to have the perfect plan for your family. In this conversation we laughed and cried as we reflected on the beauty and difficulties of life in a family (with some special shoutouts to middle children!).  Listen in as we have an honest and inspiring talk with a priest whose ministry has blessed so many. 

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a
web browser that
supports HTML5 video


64 Min Listen

Fr. Mike Schmitz on Parenting and Marriage

Key Takeaways

  • Our family of origin impacts us more than almost anything else in our lives.

  • Parents put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect that sometimes they miss out on the joy of family life. 

  • It’s more important that we are intentional about family life than we have the “perfect plan” on how to be a family.

  • It’s not a bad thing for kids to see their parents have conflict as long as they are also able to experience the effects of their reconciliation. 

  • We can’t make the world safe for our kids, but we do need to make our kids strong.

  • The heart of the Father is the heart of the priesthood. 

  • If someone falls away from the Church, we may be tempted to cut them out or approve of everything they do, but neither is correct.   Remain in their lives in a consistent and uncompromising way, recognizing that their story isn’t over. 

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • Are there areas in our family life that we need to evaluate and possibly change?  Is there a course we are on that we need to correct?  

  • Knowing that our kids will be growing up in a difficult world, how can we make them strong? 

  • How can we respond better to those who have turned away from Christ or His Church?  How can we keep those lines of communication open?  

  • Who are the “spiritual fathers” in our life?  How can we pray for them?

 

Resources

 

Key moments

  • Introduction and Fundraising Campaign (0:00 – 4:04)
  • Interview with Father Mike Schmitz Begins (4:04 – 5:09)
  • Father Mike Schmitz’s Background (5:09 – 7:02)
  • Parenting and Family Life (7:02 – 13:23)
  • Insights on Parenting and Perfection (13:23 – 18:13)
  • Parental Sacrifice and Consistency (00:19:32 – 00:21:28)
  • Parental Influence and Decision-Making (00:21:28 – 00:23:42)
  • Navigating Marital Challenges (00:23:43 – 00:27:37)
  • Spiritual Fatherhood (00:37:06 – 00:38:41)
  • Parenting Journey and Impact (00:38:42 – 00:41:36)
  • Understanding Parental Heartache (00:46:43:18 – 00:47:31:20)
  • Dealing with Children Leaving Faith (00:47:31:22 – 00:48:57:00)
  • Parental Support and Communication (00:50:29:03 – 00:52:37:11)
  • Sexual Intimacy and Spirituality (00:56:53:17 – 00:58:32:06)
  • Blessing and Spiritual Growth (01:02:14:04 – 01:03:32:18)


Download Here

Read More
Listen Here 64 MINUTE LISTEN
MFP
288
48 MINUTE LISTEN

Sisterhood – an interview with the Doman Women

Our parents made us sisters, but God made us friends.

One of the greatest blessings of Alicia’s life is that God gave her 9 brothers and sisters to laugh, play, fight, create, and pray with most of her life! This conversation is from a girls getaway weekend with the five Doman sisters.  Now, because all the Doman siblings are practicing Catholics  in good relationship with each other and their parents, people may put them in a category of “the perfect Catholic family”.  But that is far from true.  As you will hear, each one of these sisters has lived through tragedies and difficulties that were completely unexpected and not chosen by them at all. It is by God’s grace that each one of them has grown into the woman God is calling her to be and it is through that relationship with Christ, as well as the accident of birth, that we are able to have true sisterhood together.  Listen in as we talk about God’s faithfulness through the difficulties of life and how true sisterhood with those in your family and friends are essential to our survival.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Life is not always easy, but God is near

  • We can learn from those who God gives us, even when they are different from us.  Don’t get frustrated by differences, embrace them!

  • When we are joined together by common faith in Christ, we can develop true friendships

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • What relationships can we invest more in to develop sisterhood and brotherhood?

  • Are we happy with our relationships with our siblings?  Why or why not? What can we change about this?

  • How does sharing values with others change us?


Download Here

Read More
Listen Here 48 MINUTE LISTEN
MFP
287
62 MINUTE LISTEN

Training for Virtue and Giving Freedom

In this episode, we explore the essential aspects of training for virtue and the challenging task of granting freedom to our children. We emphasize the importance of always communicating that you are on their side as a mentor, teacher, and guide, expecting mistakes along the way. We discuss the value of risking giving your child freedom, acknowledging it’s not an easy journey. Key discussion points include how to provide more freedom for kids to make good choices, understanding if teens view parents as mentors, and identifying areas needing better boundaries and more training at home. Join us for practical strategies and insights to support your children in making virtuous choices while balancing freedom and boundaries.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Always communicate that you are on their side as a mentor, teacher, and guide. 

  • Expect mistakes

  • Be willing to risk giving your child freedom – beware!  It’s not easy!

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • How can we give our kids more freedom to make good choices? What are my fears about this? 

  • Do my teens see me as a mentor?  Why or why not.  Plan some time to talk to them about this.  

  • Where do we need better boundaries in our home?  What are the areas in which our children need more training?


Download Here

Read More
Listen Here 62 MINUTE LISTEN
MFP
286
55 MINUTE LISTEN

Learning to Love by Being Loved

The most important challenge you can take 

What does it take to be a great parent and have a joyful family? We think it all boils down to three essential elements. We have turned these three elements into the Play and Pray Challenge!  More than ever, we need to celebrate the love of Jesus in the month of June, because it is HIS love and lordship that will truly fulfill all our deepest longings!  What is the challenge? In the month of June do these three things with your family –  Organize and execute an amazing FAMILY DAY, plan and go on a DATE NIGHT, and proclaim Jesus Christ as the KING OF THE HOME by placing the image of the Sacred Heart in their house and “enthroning” Him as King.  We want to make this a fun and rewarding experience for families, so we have created some resources to help you out. Go to our website messyfamilyproject.org/challenge to get our Play and Pray Challenge Kit.  There are even promo materials for you to put up at your parish or school!  

Get the free download and let us know your family is taking the challenge – https://messyfamilyproject.org/challenge/

 

Related podcast episode: 

 

Key takeaways

  • One of the greatest assets we have in parenting is the ability to choose how we spend our time.  Protect your yes with 1,000 no’s

  • Your children need to be known and loved by you. Joy must be alive in your home.

  • Your marriage gives you the grace to be a parent. So invest deeply in your marriage!

  • Devotion to the Sacred heart is a game changer for families

  • If you want to pray with your kids you need to play with them.  

 

Couple Discussion

  • How do we waste time with our kids?  How do we lavish love on them?

  • What brings joy to the hearts of our children? How can we do more of that? 

  • What is my understanding of the love of Jesus flowing from His Sacred Heart?  How can I express this love to my children?

Download Here
Read More
Listen Here 55 MINUTE LISTEN
MFP
285
58 MINUTE LISTEN

Tech Traps for Boys and Girls

In this next part of our series on tech, we talk about the specific challenges that tech use brings to boys and girls.  Just as men and women have different gifts, they also deal with different temptations in their tech use.  Because of this, parents must be proactive in teaching boundaries to their children so they can use tech with freedom when they leave your house and enter the world of adulthood. During this conversation, we give you some principles that you will need to discuss with your spouse to make a tech policy of your own. Every family must have some boundaries, because if you don’t define them, then the reality is that Big Tech will be calling the shots in your house. Their goal is to control your kids and they have the means to do it.  

 

Key Takeaways

  • Because of the genius of men to create and subdue the world they are more tempted to be addicted to video games.  Because of women’s gift of relationships they are more tempted to be absorbed in social media.  

  • Parents must know the symptoms of addiction and immediately respond if they believe their child has an addiction.  Their child’s future success in life depends on it. 

  • The best filter is a well-formed child who knows how to respond to toxic online content. 

  • You must teach and model healthy tech use for your kids – nothing is private, have a healthy skepticism of any online content, and learn good manners.  

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • Are we aware of the symptoms of tech addiction?  Are any of our children in danger of this addiction?  If so, what are we going to do about it? 

  • Do we have a written tech policy?  Plan a time to discuss with your spouse and create one.  

  • What is our plan for social media use for our children?

Download Here
Read More
Listen Here 58 MINUTE LISTEN
MFP
284
50 MINUTE LISTEN

Is Your Child Addicted to Screens?

“The destructive effects of video games are not on boys’ cognitive abilities or their reaction times, but on their motivation and their connectedness with the real world.”

Dr. Leonard Sax

Technology can be a blessing or a curse. It can be used for great good and yet it can expose people to grave evil. Helping our children learn how to responsibly navigate the use of technology, especially social media, is one of the immense parenting challenges of our age.  In this podcast, we look at the unique challenges that technology presents to parents and why parents must meet this challenge head-on!  We talk about how to discern your tech use as a family and why just locking down every device is simply not enough.  Like most areas of parenting, we need to first train ourselves and then take the time to train our children. 

 

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t be naive. Stay on top of what your kids are watching and what they are engaging with.  It is our responsibility to prepare and guide them. 

  • Discern your tech use as a person and as a family. Walk them through the seven keys to empower them to make good choices because tech is a powerful gift of God and should be used for good.

  • Seven keys the church gives us to guide us in using technology

    • Does it communicate a balanced worldview?

    • How is the creator’s attitude oriented towards the subject?

    • Does it dignify the human person?

    • Does it speak the Truth?

    • Is it inspirational?

    • Is it done with skill? 

    • Is it motivated by experience?

  • Train your children to use it as they grow. Like driving a car, prepare them to use it as they mature and are old enough to use it wisely and virtuously

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • In what ways have we been blessed by media and technolgy?  How has it helped us? 

  • How can we discern our media use as a family?  

  • If our goal is to form our children to become adults who can make good media choices, how and when can we give our children appropriate freedom?  What does that look like for our kids today? 

 

Resources

Download Here
Read More
Listen Here 50 MINUTE LISTEN