In Which Bobby Tries to Communicate

Blond Boy Crying

Last week Sean and I decided to take the children to run a quick errand and then for ice cream after school. When it was time to leave the store and head for the ice cream shop, two-year-old Bobby resisted. He became upset, even when we told him the plan was to get ice cream next. Finally, Sean picked him up and buckled him in his carseat out front, kicking and screaming. I was about to broach the subject of skipping the ice cream stop when I realized what Bobby was saying. "My cars! MY CARS! … [Read more...]

“If we had known you were going to be a writer . . . “

My-Miserable-Life

I've seen people talk bloggers like me to task for airing our families' "dirty laundry." How could we do this to our parents, they wonder? Don't we realize how ungrateful we're being? Personally, my response is that I'm trying to help other parents avoid my parents' mistakes---in a sense, I'm trying to bring something good out of my parents' mistakes. If everyone was silent about their parents' mistakes, how would we identify overarching problems, patterns to avoid?This said, I just found an … [Read more...]

Why I Won’t Teach My Children That Religion Is Nonsense

parents_and_children

I was raised an evangelical Christian. I went through a time of questioning while in college and I ultimately found myself an atheist. The hardest part of my deconversion was the way my parents treated me as a result. My parents could not say “We disagree with you and think you are wrong, but you are entitled to your own beliefs and we respect that.” Instead, my entire relationship with my parents imploded over their belief that their beliefs and their beliefs alone were acceptable. In other wor … [Read more...]

Yes I Take My Poor Children Trick-or-Treating in Your Rich Neighborhood

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I know I'm late to the party, but I only just came upon that viral Dear Prudence letter about poor kids trick-or-treating in rich neighborhoods.Dear Prudence, I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters a … [Read more...]

I Will Listen. I Will Learn. I Will Grow.

hug

As my regular readers will know, I often blog about parenting. Primarily, I blog about the wonder I have found in parenting gently and positively after growing up in an authoritarian family that relied on corporal punishment. One response I frequently get is that I should not speak about parenting as though I know anything when my children are only five and two. I'm told to wait until they get older and see how it works for me then. This completely misses the point.Abuse is a very difficult … [Read more...]

“God” and the Borders of Belonging

god borders

Several weeks ago, five-year-old Sally spent a great deal of time making something for her teacher and then left it at home on accident. When I noticed she had left it, I took it to the school to give it to her. The busses had only just dropped the children off, and when I reached Sally's classroom students were still coming in, putting their lunch containers on the shelf and taking off their jackets. As I left the school after giving Sally the gift she had made, the school's intercom came on … [Read more...]

But What If They Don’t Do What You Ask?

Piggle Wiggle

I wrote recently that I would prefer to teach empathy than obedience. As some readers pointed out, at issue here is also responsibility. If we focus on teaching children to obey their parents and other adults in their lives, we aren't teaching them to make responsible decisions for themselves. One of the things I try to emphasize to my children when teaching empathy is that they live in an interconnected world and their actions affect those around them. This is part of teaching responsibility as … [Read more...]


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