Not All Days Are Easy Days


One day a few weeks ago, Sally completely lost it. I don't even remember what it was about, but she just let loose. She was crying and screaming and yelling---and knocking over furniture. Sally knows that being upset is okay, but that hitting people and throwing things or being otherwise destructive is not. It was the evening and Sean was home and I was in the kitchen working on supper with things on the stove, so when Sally began flipping chairs I called Sean in as backup.Sean picked Sally u … [Read more...]

What Makes a Person an “Atheist” Parent?


I was going back through my feed reader lately, and came upon a post on the Friendly Atheist from December. In it the author, Kate Cohen, writes about her interest in how atheists are represented in TV shows and movies shown on TV. She focuses especially on the representation of atheist parents.She leads with this: I found one! I found one! I found an atheist mom on TV! She goes on to explain that she is talking about Doris Walker in Miracle on 34th Street. I've never seen Miracle on 34th … [Read more...]

Grown Children and Estranged Parents


A recent headline caught my eye:Why Some Grown Kids Cut Off Their Parents Could their estrangement be caused by how we raised them?My immediate response was, wow, you think? Like, you abuse and mistreat your kids and then wonder why they don't want you in their lives when they grow up? Really? But as I read the article itself, I realized that this wasn't what the author meant. And as I read, I was increasingly horrified. The Rise Of Narcissism In The YoungParents tell stories of il … [Read more...]

How Spanking Sounds to a Never-Spanked 5-Year-Old


Have you ever wondered how the idea of spanking comes across to a child who has never been spanked? I wondered, too, and given that I have a never-spanked five-year-old, I thought I'd find out. This conversation is the result."Sally, do you think mommies and daddies should be able to hit their children?""No.""But what if their children do something wrong? Should parents be able to hit their children then?""No!""Why not?""They should use words, they're not … [Read more...]

Michael Farris’s Selective Interest in Protecting Children


In the most recent installment of my Anonymous Tip review series, social workers Donna and Rita forcibly strip-searched four-year-old Casey. In the comments, a reader pointed this out: The strip-search bit sounds (to me, anyway) awfully similar to a spanking. Child is pinned down against her will, clothing is removed against her will, child writhes and screams to no avail... Casey is probably surprised that after this, the social workers just let her go instead of whacking her with a wooden … [Read more...]

In Which Sally Goes to School

Children being dropped off by the school bus.

As many of you know, Sally started kindergarten this fall. I've blogged before about my school phobia and some fears surrounding sending my daughter to public school after being homeschooled from kindergarten through high school myself, but most of those hangups dissipated before the time came for me to actually put her on the school bus and send her off to school. Mostly I was just excited for her---and boy was she excited herself! I watched her as she boarded the bus, turning back with … [Read more...]

How Not to Teach Children Critical Thinking


I found this series of comments on a post I wrote about atheist parenting a couple of weeks ago very interesting and thought provoking: Two Pi Man: [I]t's about allow[ing] other people to make their own choices and respecting their decisions if they make different ones. And for children, yes absolutely it's about passing on critical thinking skills so they can evaluate philosophies & religions for themselves. Teaching, for example, that "homeopathy is bad" as an article of faith, just … [Read more...]