A Mormon friend of mine received an invitation to subscribe to Catholic Parent. She was not interested, but offered to put me (a Catholic) down for the free issue. Sure, why not? It took quite awhile for me to receive the free issue from when she sent in the card. Long enough that I forgot I'd agreed to look at it until it came.
Recommend this product?
Catholic Parent is a short (50-60 pages) glossy magazine supposedly geared towards, you guessed it, Catholic parents. I say supposedly because the articles seemed to be either religious articles or parenting articles, but not religious parent articles.
For instance, the editor's letter in the Sept/Oct 200 issue was about getting a kitty and it's trauma of separation from its mother, but how its life will now be better and how God upsets our lives to put us on paths that will make us better. OK, but not truly family oriented.
Then, there was a totally out of place article on owning a minivan. The article made no sense and would be better put in a personal interest section of a mainstream parenting magazine, or even better, a men's magazine. I say this because it discussed how this man felt completely unattractive to young women because he now drives a minivan. This may be how a lot of men with children feel, but it really was out of place in this magazine.
Another article was on sleeping through the night. I skimmed the article, having my own opinion and not really caring what "experts" had to say on it. It's not like it's a Church teaching. The article bothered me in that they quoted experts against rocking children to sleep and co-sleeping, but then back-stepped to say what ultimately is instinctual and feels right to the parent is what they should do. It did, however, have some possibly helpful tips, but not for me.
Only one article fell into what I expected of this magazine: it was about Halloween. It discussed the Christian perspective of Halloween and how the history came about. It was very informative and probably not many people know the details. I thought this was something parents could share with their children. Another article discussed religious rights in public schools. This also falls under what one would expect in Catholic Parent, but the article itself did not appeal to me.
There are a lot of ads in this magazine. I didn't mind that so much because they are all Catholic ads and geared towards the lifestyle of Catholic parents. For once, the ads interested me in a magazine.
There is a regular feature about the feast days of saints falling in the months the magazine issue covers. This was nice. Regular features suggesting books, games, and music are also helpful.
Recently, I received a second issue of Catholic Parent. It was the Nov/Dec 2000 issue. While this issue was markedly improved from the first issue I described above, it still was not up to par. I found many of the articles to be similar to those in mainstream parenting magazine, something I find odd in a Catholic parenting magazine. Or the articles were specifically religious and had little to do with family. This issue did have many more articles that were specific to religious parenting than the previous issue.
There were many articles on the major holidays of November and December: Thanksgiving and Christmas. History was given, and ideas of how to make them special and holy were also discussed. This is what a Catholic parenting magazine should be like. Unfortunately, if it were not for the holidays, there would be little in this issue of worth.
Overall, there is not enough substance for me to subscribe to this magazine. I can get the parenting advice out of the mainstream parenting magazines I already don't like. I can get the religious stuff out of several different Catholic publications, ones I like much more, such as the Liguorian. I would not suggest this magazine to other parents.