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Parents

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.

Parenting Programs
  • 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.
    Spring 2022 programs are forming now for both CSP of Toddlers and Preschoolers (ages 0-6) and CSP of School-Age Children (ages 6-16). Contact Sue DiSisto at (646) 794-3191 or susan.disisto@archny.org. Registration is open until April 21, 2022.
    For more information, click here for flyer.
  • “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.
  • 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.
  • Sexuality
    • 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 susan.disisto@archny.org 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
Parenting Centers

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.

Ongoing Education for Parenting programs and workshops are offered throughout the academic year. If you would like to start a parenting program in your parish or would like to inquire about a program, contact Sue DiSisto, susan.disisto@archny.org, (646) 794-3191.

Digital Tools for Parents
  • 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. Keep an eye out for the Bark phone, coming in late 2022. The Bark phone will give families the ability to completely customize their child’s online experience, helping to keep them safe online and in real life. 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/
Blended Families
  • 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.
Youth Suicide and Depression

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.

In the following video (use password ADNY), Cardinal Dolan reminds young people – and all of us – how much God loves us, and how valued each of us is. “Our feelings can sometimes overwhelm us …” he says, yet we need to remember all the sources of support and love that surround us, especially Jesus’s divine love, and our human family’s love too. “You just need to ask, or have a friend ask for you” encourages the Cardinal. “All life is precious, YOUR life is precious, beyond all understanding, beyond all troubles….”

During the fall, 2021, as part of a suicide prevention initiative, the Family Life Office sponsored a live webinar (presented twice) for parents of teens and young adults called, “Hope and Action: Preventing Suicide Among Our Children” (see flyer below). The presentation featured Father Chris Alar, MIC, a priest with the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and author of the bestselling book, After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and for You; Dr. Pamela Morris, 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; and Stan Collins, who 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. These presenters covered topics such as how to create a safe space to talk with your teen, warning signs, what to do if those signs are critical, how to plan for safety, and God’s unconditional love for all. Below the flyer, you will find a link to the video of the presentation.

Suicide Prevention Parent Webinar flyer – FINAL

Here is the video recording of the October 28, 2021, “Hope and Action” 

https://vimeo.com/641534284


For information and the video link for the Suicide Prevention webinar in Spanish that was recorded on 3/22/22, please visit our Spanish-language webpage, (Vida Familiar) 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: In July, 2022, the original 10-digit lifeline number changed to the new, 3-digit 988, similar to 911. While 911 is geared to 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 also call this line for information; it is not necessarily a crisis-situation-only resource. 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. (Please note, the previous 1-800-273-TALK (8255) number will continue to function indefinitely.) For more information, see https://988lifeline.org/

Red Nacional de Prevención de Suicidio
(988 para ayuda en español)


To find Counselors/Therapists, here are some options:

  • catholictherapists.com
  • The Archdiocese of New York has a Catholic Charities Parish Counseling Network that is a network of clinicians providing short‐term, low-cost counseling. To be eligible for services through this network, you need to be Catholic, and affiliated with an Archdiocese of New York parish. To request this service, either contact your parish priest/deacon, or you can contact Sue DiSisto in the Family Life Office at susan.disisto@archny.org or 646-794-3191. For more information: http://www.cccsos.org/wp-content/uploads/Parish-Counseling-Network.pdf
  • Additionally, counseling options include your child’s school counselor, medical provider, or priest/deacon.

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. Keep an eye out for the Bark phone, coming in late 2022. The Bark phone will give families the ability to completely customize their child’s online experience, helping to keep them safe online and in real life. For more information, visit  https://www.bark.us/


ADAPP – the Archdiocese of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program – serves schools and parishes since 1972 with prevention/intervention programs designed to prevent the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, as well as overall crisis training and response for issues such as bullying and school mental health and wellness education, particularly within our Catholic Schools.

ADAPP has suicide prevention information and resources for parents and students, which you can find here: adapp.org/news/suicide-prevention-information-and-resources/

Please note that our listing of organizations on this webpage does not constitute an endorsement, but is rather offered for informational purposes. These sites are not associated with the Archdiocese of New York or ADAPP and we are not responsible for their policies, the views they express, the products and services they offer, or the content of their materials or websites.


See our Respect Life webpage for resources on finding hope. Teachers and Parents: Click here for information from the Respect Life Week curriculum, click on “Knowing My Value,” grades 7-12.

More on parenting …

For more information on any of these subjects, see these links here:

Contact Us

Sue DiSisto, Parenting and Family Life Education Specialist

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