Every child is a gift, created to be nurtured in the love of family life. This ministry provides information on age-appropriate behavior, normal development and family dynamics, teaching skills of non-violent discipline, communication, and conflict resolution in family relationships. The Parenting ministry supports parents in their God-given vocation by creating networks to connect with other Catholic mothers and fathers. We provide opportunities to stop, take some moments to be blessed, and draw closer to God.
- “Parentcare” Weekly Groups for Parents of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers: Parents enjoy leader-led group discussions or listen to a guest speaker about spiritual, emotional, social, developmental and discipline topics related to raising young children. These educational, supportive groups operate weekly in the daytime, so supervised play is provided for the children, usually in the same room with parents. Some groups meet monthly.
- Common Sense Parenting: This six-session workshop identifies important discipline skills and offers specific examples of how to use those skills with children in situations all too familiar to parents: How to stay calm when you think you are at your wit’s end, the real difference between punishment and teaching, using consequences to shape behavior and advice on communicating clearly are among the topics presented and practiced. There are two programs available: 1) For parents of toddlers and preschoolers and 2) for parents of children, ages 6-16.
- Lectio Divina for Parents: Contemplation of the Word with regard to the parents’ journey
- The following Blessings are available upon request. Rite for a Blessing of a Child in the Womb: This is a beautiful blessing for the woman and/or family awaiting a new life through birth or adoption. It can be easily incorporated into a Sunday Liturgy, with or without a reception following Mass. Each expectant mother receives an imposition of hands blessing and a medal. Blessing prayers, medals and rites, or suggested procedures are available from this office upon request. Blessing of Little Children: A beautiful and simple blessing ceremony for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, this is often done at the start of a parish Education for Parenting program, or can stand alone. Ceremony script is available upon request. Mother’s Day Blessing: This hour-long program starts with a beautiful service, including a hymn, psalm, blessing and discussion. A wonderful way to support and celebrate mothers in their vocation.
- LoveEd is an age-appropriate, gender-specific program designed to help parents teach both the theology and science of human sexuality in the context of God’s plan for love and life. Steeped in Church teaching [and science], it conveys not just the facts of life, but the meaning of life. Includes facilitator resources, parent video and materials, student videos, parent-child dialogue and lessons. Click here.
- TeenFEMM and teenMEN offer an educational and human formation in sexuality for middle and high school boys and girls, and in particular, introduces teenagers to the dignity of their bodies and their fertility. Mother/daughter programs open the conversation about how the fertility cycle works, how to monitor hormonal and other signs of health, a Comprehensive Facilitator Guide providing all needed to confidently implement the program and fertility in their monthly cycles, and why there are healthier alternatives to hormonal contraceptives when symptoms such as acne, painful periods, irregular cycles, etc., appear. https://femmhealth.org
- Live the Love Mother/Daughter Fertility series. Mothers are in a special position to engage their daughters about the gift of their fertility. “Live the Love,” a video series from the Couple to Couple League offers three age-related programs for moms and daughters to view. Each video is short, scientific, and appealing: segments include “Beauty of the Body,” “Hormone effects,” “How to Talk to Your Doctor,” a mother/daughter online social community, and more. Contact email@example.com for more information.
- The Person and Identity Project (PIP) assists the Catholic Church in promoting the Catholic vision of the human person and responding to the challenges of gender ideology. Gender ideology has permeated the culture with stunning speed, influencing medicine, business, media, entertainment, government and education. Because it is sowing confusion, the rise of gender ideology has created an urgent need for clarity, education, and compassionate guidance for Catholic families and young people. Click here for parent FAQs, resources and a toolkit.
- Protecting children from pornography on the internet:
Internet pornography has grown dramatically in recent years and threatens the health and wellness of children. The Witherspoon Institute provides a comprehensive study on The Social Costs of Pornography, developed by leading experts in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neurophysiology, philosophy, sociology, law, and political theory. Useful resources to combat the problem of pornography include internet filters (see Covenant Eyes) and educational websites (see Fight the New Drug). For information on True Freedom click here.
- CASAColumbia, a national science-based organization responding to the disease of addiction, sponsors a yearly Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children,TM promoting parental engagement by organizing a family dinner. Join parents all across the country by visiting www.CASAFamilyDay.org
Parish-based parenting centers and programs provide information and resources to assist in child behavior and development. These programs offer vocational nurturing and support for parents raising children in our Catholic faith. Most leaders are parents who, faced with the awesome responsibility of raising their own children, have decided to encourage and serve others.
Listed are programs that offer ongoing Education for Parenting throughout the academic year. Other parishes may offer differing parenting groups or one-session parenting workshops. You will find descriptions of the Education for Parenting meetings, grouped geographically by New York City borough and upstate county locations.
If you would like to start a parenting program in your parish or would like to inquire about any program, contact Sue DiSisto.
- NotOK app – A [free] digital panic button to get someone immediate support via text, phone call, or GPS location when they’re struggling to reach out. With the push of a button, the notOK app can let pre-selected contacts know they are not OK and in need of help. This is a pre-crisis tool, a support-response app that kids use before a suicide crisis. Designed by youth after a spiraling anxiety condition, teenager-use is trending up. (And, FYI, notOK is supported by Lady Gaga [and others]!) For more information, visit https://www.notokapp.com/.
- Bark – A comprehensive Parental Control Tool for parents and families that helps parents and families to proactively manage and protect their children’s online lives by monitoring over 30 of the most popular apps and social media platforms, including text messaging, YouTube and email for signs of digital dangers and potential safety concerns. Parents get automatic alerts via email and text when Bark’s algorithms detect potential risks, so parents don’t have to comb through every post and text. This makes it easier for parents to talk to kids about digital dangers and other sensitive online issues, such as suicide. Bark is likely best used when kids first get a phone/online so parents can help monitor, and also best with parents being open with their kids about why they are using this. Then, over time, as the youth ages and demonstrates responsibility, parents can decrease the level of surveillance. For more information, visit https://www.bark.us/
- Qustodio – Qustodio keeps your kids safe online and helps them create healthy digital habits. Parental control tools ensure they don’t access inappropriate content or spend too much time in front of their screens. Online predators, sleep problems, online addiction, online privacy, mental health issues, inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and education issues are some of the issues that Qustodio addresses. Qustodio keeps your children safe, creates balance, gives you full visibility, and helps your children learn. For more information, visit https://www.qustodio.com/en/
- The Five P’s of Stepparenting: Ron L. Deal, LMFT, LPC is one of the most widely read and viewed experts on blended families in the country. He is founder of Smart Stepfamilies™, Director of FamilyLife Blended® for FamilyLife®, the author of over a dozen books and video resources on stepfamily living including the bestselling books Building Love Together in Blended Families: The 5 Love Languages®, Becoming Stepfamily Smart with Dr. Gary Chapman, and The Smart Stepfamily. To view/download Ron’s ebooklet on the “Five P’s of Stepparenting,” click here. Here is a short video from Ron Deal with tips on what “good parenting” looks like:
- For more information on how to approach and manage merging families, see Ron Deal’s new book, Preparing to Blend: The Couple’s Guide to Becoming a Smart Stepfamily. Ron Deal has pulled together an indispensable, hope-filled, and practical resource guide to help couples who are marrying again build a strong and healthy blended family. Mr. Deal carefully and compassionately explains why “marrying someone means marrying not only their expanded, multi-household family structure; it means marrying their relationship patterns and dynamics, their personality quirks, their credit score, and their spiritual values.” Activities after each chapter are strongly encouraged because becoming family – the emotional process that builds trust and affection – doesn’t just “happen,” you have to work at it. Deal understands how to dialogue with children – young, teen, or adult – to feel included, valued, and important, as their experience may be quite different from the happy couple’s. From planning the wedding, to blending different parenting styles, and ultimately to acknowledging and honoring the grief of the previous family unit and merging financial issues, Ron Deal teaches how to have “faithful love in the midst of ambiguity.” An excellent book for blended couples, extended family, clergy, and therapists.
- To learn more about Convalidation / Remarriage, click here.
One call or text can make the difference.
These help lines are FREE, CONFIDENTIAL, and available 24 x 7
(that is, any time!)
Crisis Text Line (741741) – For 24/7, immediate, free, and confidential help (for you, or for a friend): Text Got5 to connect. (FYI – you can actually text any word to this anonymous text line to start a conversation, but New York State has partnered with the Crisis Text Line to use the Got5 word. If you visit the Crisis Text Line website, they use the word HOME. Any word is fine!) The 741741 number is easy to remember: It’s the first column of numbers on a phone. It usually takes less than five minutes to connect you with a Crisis Counselor who is a trained volunteer. When you’ve reached a Crisis Counselor, they’ll introduce themselves, reflect on what you’ve said, and invite you to share at your own pace. You never have to share anything you don’t want to. The goal is to get you to a calm, safe place.
National Suicide Prevention Lifelife: (800-273-TALK ). The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness. In the summer of 2022, the (800-273-TALK ) will be able to be accessed by simply dialing 988. While 911 is geared toward a law enforcement response and crisis, 988 connects a caller in a mental health crisis to a trained counselor who can address their immediate needs (and even help connect them to ongoing care if they desire). A parent can call this line for information; it is not necessarily a crisis-situation resource.
Red Nacional de Prevención de Suicidio
(1-888-628-9454 para ayuda en español)
Suicide remains the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults, and one in five youth report having thoughts about ending their life.
Parents play a special role in watching, listening and acting. While suicide can be a challenging topic to discuss, it has been proven that talking about suicide does NOT increase suicidal behavior. Rather, when initiated by trusted friends and adults, it sends the message that you care and want to help.
JOIN US FOR A FREE WEBINAR ABOUT PREVENTING SUICIDE AMONG OUR CHILDREN: Two dates available, October 28 and November 3
(click on image to enlarge and/or register)
Fr. Chris Alar, MIC
Father Chris Alar, MIC, is a priest with the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. Father Chris wrote and produced the popular “Divine Mercy 101” and “Explaining the Faith” DVD series and is the author of the bestselling book, After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and for You. He is an internationally known speaker and a regular host and guest on EWTN. He also hosts the online “Divine Mercy Matters” series at DivineMercyMatters.org. He currently serves as “Fr. Joseph, MIC” the director of the Association of Marian Helpers, and is the head of Marian Press, located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.
Pamela Morris, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Morris is a suicide loss survivor (having lost her 17-year-old daughter to suicide in 2019). She brings lived experience to her work on youth suicide prevention. She is a Professor of Applied Psychology at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and an Affiliated Professor at the NYU School of Global Public Health. An interdisciplinary scholar, Morris conducts research at the intersection of developmental psychology, suicidology, education, and policy. Her newest research addresses adolescent suicide from a developmentally-informed, population-health perspective. She received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University.
Stan Collins has worked in the suicide prevention field for over 20 years. He has presented or provided training to over 750,000 adults and youth on the subject of suicide prevention including medical professionals, military, law enforcement, school staff and community members. Stan is part of the California Department of Education’s workgroup that developed the “Model Policy for Youth Suicide Prevention” in response to AB2246. Part of his work includes providing trainings to school districts to assist in implementing suicide prevention policies and procedures. He is the co-founder of the Directing Change Program and Film Contest.
NotOK app – A [free] digital panic button to get someone immediate support via text, phone call, or GPS location when they’re struggling to reach out. With the push of a button, the notOK app can let pre-selected contacts know they are not OK and in need of help. This is a pre-crisis tool, a support-response app that kids use before a suicide crisis. Designed by youth after a spiraling anxiety condition, teenager-use is trending up. (And, FYI, notOK is supported by Lady Gaga [and others]!) For more information, visit https://www.notokapp.com/.
Bark – A comprehensive Parental Control Tool for parents and families that helps parents and families to proactively manage and protect their children’s online lives by monitoring over 30 of the most popular apps and social media platforms, including text messaging, YouTube and email for signs of digital dangers and potential safety concerns. Parents get automatic alerts via email and text when Bark’s algorithms detect potential risks, so parents don’t have to comb through every post and text. This makes it easier for parents to talk to kids about digital dangers and other sensitive online issues, such as suicide. Bark is likely best used when kids first get a phone/online so parents can help monitor, and also best with parents being open with their kids about why they are using this. Then, over time, as the youth ages and demonstrates responsibility, parents can decrease the level of surveillance. For more information, visit https://www.bark.us/
For more information on any of these subjects, see these links here:
- Emmaus Ministry Retreats for Grieving Parents
- Rainbows, bereavement for children of all ages
- Find support on the Respect Life webpage for help with adoption, miscarriage, or an unintentional pregnancy
- A listing of Catholic counselors is available here or, call the office for information on short‐term, low-cost counseling within the Archdiocese of New York.
- You can find more parenting programs under Parenting Leaders
Sue DiSisto, Parenting and Family Life Education Specialist