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In my mind, becoming a parent is an inherently hopeful process. What happens, though, when things don’t turn out as expected? Emily Rapp writes beautifully about her journey as a parent of a child with a terminal disease.

“My son, Ronan, looks at me and raises one eyebrow. His eyes are bright and focused. Ronan means “little seal” in Irish and it suits him.

I want to stop here, before the dreadful hitch: my son is 18 months old and will likely die before his third birthday. Ronan was born with Tay-Sachs, a rare genetic disorder. He is slowly regressing into a vegetative state.  He’ll become paralyzed, experience seizures, lose all of his senses before he dies. There is no treatment and no cure.

How do you parent without a net, without a future, knowing that you will lose your child, bit by torturous bit?

Depressing? Sure. But not without wisdom, not without a profound understanding of the human experience or without hard-won lessons, forged through grief and helplessness and deeply committed love about how to be not just a mother or a father but how to be human.

Parenting advice is, by its nature, future-directed…”

Read the rest here.

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Popular culture would have me believe that parents hate the amount of homework their children are given, believe that the homework they are given takes away from family time, and the amount of time children spend doing their homework takes away from recreation and family time.  However, a recent study put out by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that parents generally support the amount of homework their middle school aged kids are given and know how to help them complete it.  One area that could use improvement, according to the study, is communication between parents and school staff about homework and any issues that come up.  Another area of concern is the trend in which some parents will complete their children’s work for them, as opposed to helping them check it or teaching them to figure the answers out from the textbook or other examples.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2009, August 20). Contrary To Popular Belief, Parents OK With Kids’ Homework Loads. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/08/090820124048.htm

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