Author Archive for Marybeth Hicks

Miley Cyrus’ Exploitation Doesn’t Surprise
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Miley Cyrus’ Exploitation Doesn’t Surprise

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You’d better sit down because this is going to come as quite a shock. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth have broken their engagement. I know. You probably need a minute to collect yourself. Who wouldn’t? They’ve been together since 2010 when they met on the set of a forgettable film called “The Last Song” (would […]

Core State Standards Raising Questions for Parents
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Core State Standards Raising Questions for Parents

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With the school year starting soon, here’s a sampling of questions from recent emails: Q. Our school district is revamping the curriculum to comply with the new Common Core State Standards, but we don’t know what that will entail. Will my kids be behind since they have not had this curriculum from the beginning of […]

Role Models Like A-Rod Aren't Worth Your Time
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Role Models Like A-Rod Aren’t Worth Your Time

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Q. This week’s suspension of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and 12 other major league players for ties to performance-enhancing drugs is yet another example of celebrity athletes setting a horrible example for their young fans. It seems celebrities of all stripes enjoy the fame and fortune that comes with their high-profile careers but never give a thought to […]

Mom and Teen Disagree About Pope's Message
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Mom and Teen Disagree About Pope’s Message

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Q. Pope Francis’ recent comments about gays — meant to be loving and conciliatory — have unfortunately created tension in my home. My teenager believes his comment, “Who am I to judge?” means that we should accept homosexuality as a normal occurrence and, therefore, something we shouldn’t reject. I’m certain that’s not what the pope meant — […]

Spoiled Children are Spoiling the Summer
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Spoiled Children are Spoiling the Summer

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Q. It’s the dog days of summer and I’m out of ideas to entertain my kids. For the past week, I feel like all I do is open my wallet and shell out more money to keep them from complaining. They are bored and plugged into electronics all day. My suggestions for things to do […]

Gay Friend Offers Teachable Moment
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Gay Friend Offers Teachable Moment

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Q: Recently, a boy at my daughter’s Christian high school revealed to his lunch table buddies that he is gay. The group was caught off guard, but not surprised. After a few days, the novelty of this news wore off and the general feeling on the part of the kids is, “Whatever.” In short, it’s clear […]

Lying is Normal, But Not Okay
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Lying is Normal, But Not Okay

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You’ve caught your child fibbing time and time again — even about inconsequential things where telling the truth would not result in consequences. Do you have an issue with integrity? Is it a normal phase of child development? Or are you raising a serial liar? I’ll never understand why children try to lie their way […]

Summer Offers Chances to Learn Independence
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Summer Offers Chances to Learn Independence

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What’s the right age to let children ride their bikes to friend’s houses? Isn’t it just safer to drive them? Should I worry about what other parents might think? Riding a bicycle used to be the standard mode of kid transportation, especially in the summer. I recall hopping on my bike on golden summer mornings […]

Children Need Not See Parental Conflicts
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Children Need Not See Parental Conflicts

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From: Always the Bad Guy? My husband thinks it’s OK for our 12-year-old to get a Facebook page. I say absolutely not. She has heard us arguing about this issue and tries to jump into the conversation. Next thing I know, it’s me against them, which feels very unhealthy. I think we should present a unified front […]

Enduring Obnoxious Behavior
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Enduring Obnoxious Behavior

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To: Marybeth From: Bracing myself for obnoxious relatives Summer is coming, and that means it’s time for our annual family reunion, a full week at the beach where I will once again spend several days surrounded by some of the worst parents I know. I say this lovingly — these terrible parents are my own […]

Health Teacher Needs Boundaries
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Health Teacher Needs Boundaries

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To: Marybeth From: Annoyed by Unhealthy Questions I’m a freshman in high school. Our health teacher has a policy that there is no such thing as a stupid question about health, or no topic that is off limits. She makes a point to stress that she is willing to answer any question about sex and […]

Plan Ahead to Oppose Cohabitating
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Plan Ahead to Oppose Cohabitating

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To: Marybeth From: Opposed to cohabiting Can you offer any advice for my young adult daughters about why not to live with their boyfriends? I feel strongly that living together is to be saved for marriage, but it is hard for them to understand because “everyone is doing it” and they think I’m just old […]

Some Parents Don't Always Know Best
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Some Parents Don’t Always Know Best

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To: Marybeth From: Not Crazy About Carpools This question might be filed under, “What are these people thinking?” My high school freshman got a ride home from a recent sporting event from a teammate’s parent. The conversation in the car turned to a high school party that took place a couple of weeks ago where […]

Tactful Response to Untactful Garb
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Tactful Response to Untactful Garb

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To: Marybeth From: Irritated Aunt My 13-year-old son will be confirmed in a solemn ceremony at our church. We have invited our extended families to join us for the confirmation and, afterward, for a nice dinner in our son’s honor. We would like everyone to dress appropriately (and modestly) for the occasion, but I’m certain […]

Teenagers and Violent Video Games
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Teenagers and Violent Video Games

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To: Marybeth From: Nonviolent Video Mom My son wants to play the same video games his friends play, but I’m concerned they are violent. He’s 15 and says I’m too strict about this issue; he’s not going to become a deranged killer by playing war games. Are violent video games really a problem? To: Nonviolent […]

Parental Responsibility Trumps Child's Privacy
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Parental Responsibility Trumps Child’s Privacy

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To: Marybeth From: Message-reading Mom My daughter’s smartphone buzzed when she was out of the room. I picked it up to see who was texting her and was puzzled by the message that previewed on the screen, so I read the entire exchange. What I discovered concerned me. When I talked to her about it, […]

Date Night for Parents
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Date Night for Parents

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To: Marybeth From: Dad is Desperate for a Date My husband says we should have “date nights” without our three kids, but free evenings are almost impossible to find. Our children’s schedules are full of school, sports and social activities that keep us coming and going, and when we finally choose date night, I’m either […]

The Terrible Teenage Years?
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The Terrible Teenage Years?

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To: Marybeth From: Preteen Parent How do I survive a moody 12-year-old daughter without damaging our relationship (or killing her)? I find it very hard to allow her the power to ruin a family event, even a meal, with her gloom. Some days she is a pure delight (engaged, happy, articulate, intelligent) and the next […]

The Problem of Popular Music
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The Problem of Popular Music

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If you’re concerned that the lyrics being piped into your children’s headphones are inappropriate — or even dangerous — you’re right. To: Marybeth From: A Sing-along mom What’s up with obscene and violent lyrics in pop music? Our kids have mentioned songs that their friends are downloading, and when we do a lyric check to […]

Sex Education and Parental Rights
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Sex Education and Parental Rights

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ANALYSIS/OPINION: In this week’s email, a question comes from parents who don’t want their fourth grader to take the school district’s sex ed class: From: Too Sexy for 4th Grade To: Marybeth In our school district, sex education classes are presented to children starting in fourth grade. My husband and I don’t want our children learning about […]

Parenting Teens: Where to Draw the Line
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Parenting Teens: Where to Draw the Line

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ANALYSIS/OPINION: Mom-blogger Ursula Hennessey, writing last week at OnTheCulture.com, questioned the lax supervision provided by too many parents of teens. A recent story in her local paper recapped an alarming incident in which nine high school students were found in one of the teen’s garage, drinking beer and setting up for an evening of drinking games. […]

Limits on Children's Media Exposure
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Limits on Children’s Media Exposure

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ANALYSIS/OPINION: From this week’s e-mail, a message from a dad whose ex-wife doesn’t share his concerns about the influence of the culture on their high schooler and preteens: To: Marybeth From: A concerned dad How do you suggest defending against the culture’s assault on childhood when it starts coming via an “inside job”? My soon-to-be ex […]

Giving Up But Holding on to Hope in our Changing Culture
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Giving Up But Holding on to Hope in our Changing Culture

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I quit. I just can’t do it anymore. I give up. I surrender. I call “Uncle.” For years, I’ve stood at the intersection of parenting and politics, trying to point out the myriad ways in which we are letting our culture change our children, only to anticipate with certain alarm the impact those changes will […]

Media Waste No Time to Display Ignorance
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Media Waste No Time to Display Ignorance

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Monday’s announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that he will resign the papacy at the end of this month because of his increasingly frail health has revealed what we practicing Catholics in America have long understood: Our faith remains a mystery. No time has been wasted stirring up a frenzy of speculation about what will happen […]

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