My Father, an Enigma

"Libby, you could be an engineer. You have the mind for it."My dad made this comment while we were in the car, driving by a factory of some sort. I was probably around sixteen. My dad's comment was completely offhand, and I didn't bother to respond. Inside, though, I was baffled. Why would my dad suggest such a thing? Didn't he realize that my lot in life, the lot God had designed for me, was to be a homemaker, raising children, caring for my husband, and tending the home? Couldn't he see … [Read more...]


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I’m Not Angry Anymore

I used to be angry at my parents. As regular readers will know, when I started forging my own way while in college my parents responded in a way that completely ruined our relationship and sent me into therapy. They caused me incredible pain and treated me in ways no parent should treat their newly adult child. They forced me to choose between my family and my freedom. And for a while, I was angry---and I had good right to be angry! But I'm not angry anymore.People are fallible, and my … [Read more...]


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Love Misapplied

I grew up hearing about Chris Jeub. He was a big name in NCFCA homeschool debate circles, and while I never met him I did use the evidence briefs he put out. The Jeubs had 16 kids and were deep into the patriarchal and controlling ideas at the heart of the most conservative strains of the Christian homeschooling movement. In fact, they kicked their daughter Alicia out of the family and shunned her completely when she became "rebellious." However, Chris says that he and his family have since left … [Read more...]


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“Breeders,” “Spawn,” and the Childfree

Last week I wrote about prejudice against children (which some scholars have termed "childism"). Many commenters focused on conservatives who believe in spanking children and see teenage rebellion as something to be eradicated, and I was indeed talking about this group. This wasn't the only group I was talking about, though. In response to commenters' focus on conservatives, reader Monala had this to say. To be fair, though, some of the worst childist comments I've heard have come from people … [Read more...]


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Freaking Out over Adolescent Rebellion . . . during WWII

I grew up hearing that young people today were especially sinful, rebellious, and hedonistic. I grew up hearing that young people were rejecting faith in God and turning to juvenile delinquency in larger numbers than in the past. I grew up hearing that as a result of parents turning away from corporal punishment, adolescents were wayward, drug addicted, and suicidal like never before. Then I learned in college about the 1960s and the Baby Boomers. I realized that this idea that adolescent … [Read more...]


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The Camping Trailer (and a Shunning)

It was a small popup camping trailer. I've having trouble describing it now because I'm having trouble remembering it. I was seven---or maybe eight. We were fairly new to homeschooling and my mom was still getting to know the other homeschool moms in our community. We were over to the Hulls' house for a visit. I don't remember how many kids they had, but it was a lot. There were two girls, and then a boy my age, and then three or or younger children. At the time, there were five kids in my own … [Read more...]


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Spanking Tears

I've written a lot about spanking in the past, but one thing that is difficult is that, for my family, it's not really the past. I am the oldest in a family of over a dozen; many of my siblings are still minors, living at home. My parents still spank. This can make visiting home painful. I keep trying to write about this but I'm having trouble doing it it in my normal fashion. So instead, I give you a series of vignettes---short scenes or conversations from recent visits … [Read more...]


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