Who Wants the Pink Cloth?

Like many of those who sew, I have a box full of cloth that leftover from previous projects. I recently went through this cloth, picking up each piece and brainstorming what I could make from it. I ended up with a stack of cloth remnants that were big enough to be made into pajamas. I called the children and began going through the stack, asking which one of them wanted which color."Okay, who wants the pajamas made with the pink cloth?" I asked finally.Both children answered at on … [Read more...]


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Parenting Survey Request!

Wendy Thomas Russell is the author of a book on offering nonreligious parents advice on talking to their children about God. I recently received this email from her: I am in the midst of writing a book about how science (specifically neuroscience) is helping to inform how we ought to be parenting (if only we'd listen!). I know you and I have very similar thoughts when it comes to child-rearing, and I believe much of the advice in the new book will very much appeal to your sensibilities and phil … [Read more...]


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No, Minecraft Does Not Have a “Sex Mod”

As I write, a new rumor is spreading across the mommy blogosphere, and thousands of mothers are starting to panic. Minecraft has a sex mod. You may think Minecraft is a safe, creative, healthy activity for your children, parents everywhere are being told, but it's not. Have a look at this piece by Amy Betters-Midtvedt on a parenting website: Take a minute to Google “Minecraft + sex mod.” I’ll wait.Did your brain explode? Because when I found out that this was a thing, not only did my brain e … [Read more...]


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Parenting Away from a Conflict of Wills

Growing up, my parents followed the child rearing teachings of Michael Pearl. The basic idea is to view childrearing as a conflict of wills between parent and child---a conflict the parent must win. Pearl advises parents to break their children's wills early, to show them who's boss. Today, I have two children of my own, and I don't parent this way---at all. Instead, I use a different framework, one that is cooperative and centers communication and compromise. These frameworks matter, because t … [Read more...]


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When Punitive Childrearing Creates Deceptive Children

I recently came upon a headline declaring that "Stricter Parents Are Turning Their Children into Effective Liars." Curious, I clicked through. As the article explains: According to research by Victoria Talwar, a renowned expert on children’s social-cognitive development at McGill University, strict parenting tends to result in offspring that really know how to deceive. By producing an atmosphere of inevitable punishment for any wrongdoing, the children of these parents learn how to lie in order … [Read more...]


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The Listening Parent (and the Thinking Child)

I was going to post something about politics today, but then I realized that there is way too much about politics out there right now, and that politics is a dark and unhappy place. So instead, I'm going to write about parenting.Last night I was watching Supergirl with my four-year-old son, Bobby, when he asked for a cup of milk. We were watching the show in the basement and had only just gotten all settled and started the show. I didn't really want to go upstairs to the kitchen, or to … [Read more...]


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Gender, Gender, Everywhere

I was recently at an appointment in a medical office with my preschool son, Bobby. As he is sometimes want to do, Bobby was wearing a dress. The dress was flowered, with a wide skirt that swirls out when he twirls. He usually wears pants or shorts, but he loves dress-up and has a small collection of dresses of his own, and I figure, if girls can wear pants as well as skirts, why shouldn't boys be allowed to wear skirts if they so desire? It wasn't his appointment and we hadn't been there before, … [Read more...]


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