“Best practices” for the home front, part two

Best practice: Reducing wheedling for privileges. Amy, mother of three, does not allow any electronics to be used before 6:30 p.m. “Once it’s 6:30, if homework is done, you can watch a show or play a game, but nothing until that time. No one ever asks because they just know that’s the rule.”

Patty, mom of four, has a similar rule. “No more than 30 minutes a day of screen time. You choose the screen—TV, computer, or video games, but that’s it.”

Denise and Arthur draw their line at dessert. “We made a rule that they can only have desserts on weekends,” she says. “We’ve found it makes our kids appreciate the treats more.”

Bill, dad of four, says he and his wife require a fruit or vegetable to be eaten before an unhealthy treat is consumed. “The kids don’t even ask for a cookie until after they’ve eaten a banana or some carrots,” he says.

Best practice: Building a faith life. Carol and Jamie, parents of four, say that not compartmentalizing their faith has helped their children. “We talk about God and faith throughout the week,” Carol says. “It’s not just something saved for Sunday. I might have a candle lit on the counter and a child will ask me why, and I’ll explain I’m praying for a friend’s surgery.”

Mike, father of two, says that he and his wife have a similar approach. “We don’t just pray before dinner and bedtime. We’ll pray with a child before a big game or in the car on the way to school for a test. We pray as a family whenever we leave for a trip. The kids will talk about God and faith without us introducing it.”  (Here is part one of this article)

—by Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the 2012 Best in Class award from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for the past three years running. Here’s a sample issue.

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