In Which Sally Grasps Contraception

"Mommy, what's this?"In her hand Sally held a condom, still in its wrapper. Sean had cleaned out his desk earlier in the day, and it had somehow ended up on the floor, a leftover from last summer between when Bobby was born and when I had my IUD put in. I could have just brushed the question off with a non-answer---Sally's only in preschool, by the way---but I decided against that. Instead, I pulled out my copy of Our Bodies Ourselves and showed Sally diagrams of the female reproductive … [Read more...]


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That Time I Put Myself in a Timeout

Sometime last year, shortly after Bobby was born, Sally had the worst temper tantrum she has ever had. Sean was working late and I had the kids. Bobby was fussy and I was trying to cook supper and I don't even remember what set Sally off. But she wasn't the only one who got mad---I got mad too. Really angry, and not just at her. My evening was not going as planned. Sally was lying on the ground, screaming and kicking things. So I chose a course of action and took it. I turned off the stove, … [Read more...]


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What (Not) To Do If Your Husband Abuses Your Kids

I recently ran across this quote from Michael and Debi Pearl's child training manual child abuse manual, To Train Up a Child: Mother, if you think the father is too forceful in his discipline, there is something you can do. While he is away demand, expect, train for and discipline to receive instant and complete obedience from your children. When the father comes home the house will be peaceful and well ordered. The children will always obey their father, giving him no need to discipline … [Read more...]


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Sally’s Emotions Are Hers, Not Mine

"I'm really angry with you, mom! I don't like you right now! I don't like you!"I don't even remember what I'd done. I think maybe I told her that no, we weren't going to get ice cream while we were out, or maybe I told her we really did have to go inside because I had to make dinner. Whatever it was, my preschool-aged daughter Sally was very upset with me.But you know what? I didn't try to stop it. I can't control Sally's emotions, and I'm not going to try to. I can't force Sally to feel … [Read more...]


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“One More Never Made a Difference”

I grew up in a very large homeschooling family, and people were always surprised when they found out how many children my parents had. Sometimes it came from a stranger, a sort of incredulous sort of shock. Sometimes, coming from other homeschooling parents, it was a sort of admiring awe. One thing I remember clearly is my mom's response to people's shock, surprise, and awe. After about five kids, one more never made a difference! At the time, I smiled and nodded in agreement. We children ate … [Read more...]


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“The Rod Is a Tool To Stay Connected.” Say What?

I recently got a rather odd comment on a post in which I discussed Michael and Debi Pearl and their child training methods: You are taking the book out of context. The point they continued to emphasize was that you need to keep in communion with your children and the rod is a tool to stay connected. Look, the book is now online, so it's not like people can't read it for themselves and see whether or not I'm not taking it out of context (I'm not). But the thing is, it is true that the Pearls … [Read more...]


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Dear Pearls: Crying Is How Babies Communicate

I spent an hour this evening at the park with Sally and Bobby. I put Bobby in a swing, and gave him a good push, and you should have seen his face---it was like he'd just realized he had wings! After he'd been in the swing for about fifteen minutes, I took Bobby out to take him to play with something else. He immediately stiffened and started screaming, bucking and thrashing until it was all I could do to hold onto him (he's getting big!). So I put him down and watched him crumple, collapsing on … [Read more...]


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