Parenting Values Edition

As I was putting together this thread, I realized it encompassed all the values that I hold dear and hope to impart to my children. Without further ado, here they are:

Faith: In case you missed it, you must check out our ginabad’s blogpost about abortion, birth control and Rush Limbaugh. She echoed all that I thought as a Catholic mom and made me feel even more compassion for women in the difficult situation of an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy.

Oftentimes I have found my religion and politics colliding but as I always tell myself faith is a journey with bumps on the road and one that I want my children to experience. Speaking of, Ari’s first communion is this May. I was asked by friends at my church whether I wanted him to do reconciliation first. (Apparently, this has changed since I was a kid and it isn’t a requirement for first communion.) I am going to talk to Ari about it as I want him to have a foundation in the religion, but I also don’t want to push him if he is unprepared and turn him off to all religion. Catholic moms, can you share pros and cons to doing reconciliation before communion?

Bilingualism: This was important to me even before the kids were born. When I was a 21-year-old foreign exchange student in Spain, I bought kids’ books in Spanish from a street vendor. I translated all of my children’s English-language books into Spanish with my scrawl. My husband and I only speak Spanish to the children and send them to a Spanish immersion school to learn to read and write it — just as an English-speaking family would send their children to school.

Both my husband and I grew up in Spanish-speaking households where we had a least one parent who restricted English in the home. I, especially, have found Spanish to be very valuable for my job and see it opening doors for my children. I also see it as a way for them to connect with Spanish-speaking family members and feel pride of their Latino heritage.

I will be sharing this and more at a live chat on The Motherhood blog this Wednesday, March 14 from 1 to 1:30 p.m. ET. Please note in your calendar and join me!

Openness: It always saddens me when I read stories like these. Utah is about to pass the most restrictive law against sex education in the country. Public schools would not be able to provide any information on contraceptives in a health class or mention homosexuality at all.

What are these parents so afraid of? I can’t believe in this day and age in the United States of America, simply stating that condoms prevent sexually transmitted diseases — as I learned in a biology class in high school — is a source of controversy. I feel for these kids who will receive this information but from less trustworthy sources.

Clean Air: Cleaning our environment and reducing our carbon footprint has always been in the back of my mind even before I had children. I still prefer to walk over driving — even when the kids whine about it. My husband and son are vegetarians and I support that. I cook with organic ingredients and advocate for our environment whenever I can.

Ever since I took the staff position at MomsRising.org, I haven’t been writing anymore clean air columns. (No time.) But this is still an area of passion for me as the health of all life depends on clean air and water. In case you missed it, anti-clean air amendments have been added to a transportation bill, which would mean more emissions of mercury and other toxic metals in our environment. Please click on this petition by Moms Clean Air Force to send a message to Congress. Thanks!

What are the values you hope to impart to your children? Happy TGIF all!

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