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...]


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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...]


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In Which Sally Goes to School

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...]


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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...]


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Terrie Elzie, and Children in Public Spaces

Last week a woman named Terrie Elzie was shopping when her preschool-aged child had a meltdown in the checkout aisle. When the volume got especially loud, another shopper, Natalie Bree Hajek-Richardson asked Elzie to quiet her child. Elzie responded defensively, then Hajek-Richardson told her to go to hell. Next, Elzie followed Hajek-Richardson into the parking lot, saying "Where'd you tell me to go?", and then punched Hajek-Richardson in the face. This was caught on surveillance camera. Hajek- … [Read more...]


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In Which Bobby Tries to Communicate

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...]


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

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...]


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