(Mis)Reading Children’s Intent

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We have a neighbor lady who just loves to bring things over for five-year-old Sally and two-year-old Bobby. She's a bit older, and her own children are grown, and she's the kind of person who might be called a "busy body"---once you get in a conversation with her it's hard to get out. But she's sweet, and considerate, and has watched my children grow since they were little. She brings them craft supplies, or old toys she had yet to throw out.One evening a couple of weeks ago she came over … [Read more...]

Are You Crunchy Enough?

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A couple of weeks ago we ran into a family at the park. We'd run into them several times before, and Sally had taken to their daughter, Ella. This time we learned that Ella will be attending kindergarten at the same school as Sally this fall. After we left the park, I remarked to Sean that it might be good to have this family over---that we might get on well with them. "But then, I don't know how crunchy she is," I added. I was referring to Ella's mother, and Sean asked what I meant. The truth i … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to Duggar Defenders

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More than two years ago I wrote a blog post titled My Concerns about the Duggars. To this day it continues getting hundreds of hits daily, along with the random comment. Probably half of the comments left on it defend the Duggars as upright, responsible people raising healthy, well-adjusted young people. These comments often lash out against me, calling me bitter and so forth. I've often thought of responding to these comments with further blog posts, but so far I haven't.Today that changes. … [Read more...]

“Be a Good Obeying Girl”

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When I was a child and my mother would leave me at a friend's house or with a sitter, there was one thing she always said right before she left."Be a good obeying girl." Of every virtue a child could have, the one my mother prized above all else was obedience. My mother was influenced by Michael Pearl's book, To Train Up a Child, which stipulated that obedience should be immediate and without question---and with a smile. Partly I think my mother was attracted to the Pearls' childrearing … [Read more...]

Guest Post: I Am Not Planning on Being a Stay-at-Home Mom (part II)

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Originally posted at I Turn and BurnRead part I here In my last post, I left off talking about the decision I made during high school not to have children, even though I knew my decision would be frowned upon by others in my Christian community. When I was in high school, I believed that public school damaged children in irreversible ways. I imagined students having sex and performing drug deals right there in the classrooms with the teachers there, condoning their behavior. I imagined … [Read more...]

Both Children and Parents Are Demanding

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Sometimes, when we are on a road trip to visit relatives, we stop at a drive through on the way. Last week was one of those times. Then comes the flurry of passing out fries and figuring out whose shake is whose and everything that goes along with that---straws, napkins, ketchup, the works. Sean was driving and I was passing things every which way, the children and Sean simultaneously putting in bids for their food. I was on sensory overload and feeling frazzled and finally, in exasperation, I … [Read more...]

Bullying Prevention

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The Parent Trap is on Netflix, so I watched it with Sally a few days ago. I enjoy showing her movies I remember watching as a kid myself. As we came to the part where Annie and Haley vandalize each other's cabins at camp in an escalating cycle of retribution, Sally rendered her judgement."That's bullying," she said."Where did you learn about bullying?" I asked her."At my school," she said. "Bullying is not nice."I'd been told that schools were being more proactive about dealing … [Read more...]


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