Grown Children and Estranged Parents

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A recent headline caught my eye:Why Some Grown Kids Cut Off Their Parents Could their estrangement be caused by how we raised them?My immediate response was, wow, you think? Like, you abuse and mistreat your kids and then wonder why they don't want you in their lives when they grow up? Really? But as I read the article itself, I realized that this wasn't what the author meant. And as I read, I was increasingly horrified. The Rise Of Narcissism In The YoungParents tell stories of il … [Read more...]

How Spanking Sounds to a Never-Spanked 5-Year-Old

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Have you ever wondered how the idea of spanking comes across to a child who has never been spanked? I wondered, too, and given that I have a never-spanked five-year-old, I thought I'd find out. This conversation is the result."Sally, do you think mommies and daddies should be able to hit their children?""No.""But what if their children do something wrong? Should parents be able to hit their children then?""No!""Why not?""They should use words, they're not … [Read more...]

On Silencing and Dogmatism and Blogging

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As an ex-evangelical and blogger, I am sometimes accused of having exchanged one form of fundamentalism for another. There are other arguments I run into that are similarly problematic. There have been some incidents in the past week where commenters have accused myself or other commenters of retaining fundamentalist thinking or of silencing disagreement, and these accusations are always frustrating.So let's clear some things up, shall we?Being told you are wrong is not the same thing as … [Read more...]

Michael Farris’s Selective Interest in Protecting Children

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In the most recent installment of my Anonymous Tip review series, social workers Donna and Rita forcibly strip-searched four-year-old Casey. In the comments, a reader pointed this out: The strip-search bit sounds (to me, anyway) awfully similar to a spanking. Child is pinned down against her will, clothing is removed against her will, child writhes and screams to no avail... Casey is probably surprised that after this, the social workers just let her go instead of whacking her with a wooden … [Read more...]

Anonymous Tip: Where Things Go Haywire

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Anonymous Tip: A Review SeriesAs you may remember, we are reviewing Michael Farris's 1996 novel, Anonymous Tip. If you have missed the series so far, you still have time to catch up---we are only a few weeks in. Let me review for a moment, to make sure what has happened so far is still fresh in everyone's minds!In the first installment, Gordon called the child abuse tip line to make a false report on his ex-wife, Gwen, regarding their four-year-old daughter, Casey. He didn't give his n … [Read more...]

Dolls, Yes; Ballerinas, No

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It may surprise some readers to know that in spite of my parents' patriarchal beliefs, they gave one of my brothers a doll for Christmas one year---because he had begged for a doll of his own. My parents believed that my brothers were preparing to be fathers, and that that meant boys playing with dolls was perfectly acceptable.There's lots more, too. There's the brother who built his own dollhouse so that he could get in on dollhouse play with his sisters. He carefully fashioned the rooms, … [Read more...]

Things HSLDA Opposes: Required Medical Exams for Public School Students

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Click here to read the full series.While researching for this series, I came upon this from Illinois in 2009:Summary: Amends the School Code. With respect to the requirement that children enrolling in kindergarten have an eye examination, requires the use of dilating drops for the internal and external examination. HSLDA’s Position: Oppose.No explanation, nothing. HSLDA has absolutely no reason to weigh in on this at all. It does not affect homeschoolers in any way. That they di … [Read more...]


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