Getting There on Being There

A formative, family-friendly factoid from a survey or study in the news.

Could it really be that today’s parents are reading more to their children and placing more restrictions on their television viewing? Yes indeed. In fact, it appears parents are more kid-involved overall than they were 10 years ago. So says Jane Dye, a family demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau. In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor, the researcher made a connection between those encouraging trends and newly compiled Census data showing that, compared with a decade ago, 9% more children are taking extracurricular classes and 5% fewer 12- to 17-year-olds are repeating grades. The Monitor also reported that some of the behaviors included in the new Census report were tracked for the first time in 2004: 78% of children under 6 ate dinner every night with their parents, and 53% ate breakfast with their parents every day. Previous studies have firmly established a strong connection between family meals and good kids.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.