The Children in the Sandbox

Over the holidays I read a novel by Jodi Picoult. I enjoyed the book, but there was one passage that bugged me. In it a mother acts as narrator, and explains that we’re all supposed to say there is no real difference between boys and girls, but that that is a “polite fiction.” She says all you have to do is look into any sandbox at any park, and you’ll see the girls preparing food and the boys smashing things... Read more

Mike Huckabee, Immigration, and Evangelical Compassion

I haven’t said anything about the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children entering the U.S. from the countries south of Mexico, but I’ve been following the story. I’ve never quite understood why American evangelicals are so anti-immigration and pro-borders. And I say this as someone who grew up in an evangelical family solidly involved in conservative politics. But border issues were never my thing. The first year I participated in homeschool speech and debate in high school, the topic was... Read more

Why I Put My Son in Dresses

So I recently came upon an article titled My Son Wears a Dress and That’s OK with Me. In it, a father explains his two-year-old son’s penchant for wearing dresses like his four-year-old older sister. Every morning my four-year-old daughter, Sydney, drags a chair into her closet and plucks a dress off of the rack. I try to lean her in other directions—“Why don’t we try shorts today?”—but Sydney’s stubborn. And I think she deserves the freedom to choose what... Read more

Strong-Willed Child: Bullying Slumber Parties

By Victoria Originally posted on Healing Victoria Strong The Strong-Willed Child, chapter 1, p. 16 Remember how Dobson condoned bullying behavior from children yesterday? Well, now we shall see that Dobson raises his children to at least tolerate and possibly even perpetrate such awful behavior. It begins when his (at the time) fifth grade daughter has fourteen girls (classmates) over for a slumber party. “I met most of them (the daughter’s friends) for the first time that weekend, yet during those seventeen hours... Read more

Oh Noes! Little Kids Might Learn Gay People Exist!

So, I recently came upon a Family Research Council video from 2008. Yes, it’s a bit dated, but I watched it anyway. The entire thing was Tony Perkins talking with parents of two young elementary school students (one in kindergarten, one in second grade) whose teachers used age-appropriate materials to teach children about gay and lesbian individuals as part of coursework on diversity. [youtube][/youtube] Perkins talked about how “confusing” it is for young children to be introduced to “homosexuality,” and... Read more

CTBHHM: God Does Not Override a Man’s Authority

Created To Be His Help Meet, 260-261 We’re in the section where Michael takes up the pen and explains the exceptions to the requirement for wives to obey their husbands. Last week we learned that it’s all about spheres of authority—if a husband is inside his sphere of authority, his wife must obey; if he steps outside of his sphere of authority, his wife need not obey. But what is inside of the husband’s sphere of authority and what is... Read more

A Word for the Homemakers

I’ve really enjoyed these “home-living” posts by Libby. Sometimes it seems like the Religious right has the corner market on home-living. They applaud women like me for being sweet, shy housewives with children. They approve of my desire to homeschool and to try to make my marriage work out even in hard times. Meanwhile in the secular world, I feel that I’m considered to lack career ambition, be overly attached to my kids, and probably co-dependent with my husband. I... Read more

Oh That Sarah Jones! Censoring the “Nones”

On July 4th, the New York Times published a story on Sarah Jones. I’ve known Sarah Jones, both through blogging and in person, for over a year now. Like me, Sarah grew up in a conservative Christian homeschooling family. Like me, Sarah is now a feminist, a progressive, and a nonbeliever. Of course, our stories diverge on multiple points—Sarah was abused as a child in a way I was not, she was ultimately allowed to attend public high school, she... Read more

Preschool Dating Drama

Sally is growing her hair out, but she absolutely hates having it washed.   “Sally, if washing your hair is this hard, we can cut it shorter,” I suggested during a recent bath, as Sally was literally in tears over having her hair washed. “But I want to marry Aiden,” Sally objected vehemently, “And he said at the library, ‘you better keep growing your hair out!'” O_o To be honest, I was completely taken aback by Sally’s comment. She’s five years... Read more

Child Neglect in a Helicopter World

I find myself a bit conflicted here. I’m seeing a story about a South Carolina mother charged with neglect pass across facebook. “Mom Jailed Because She Let Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Play in the Park Unsupervised,” the title reads. My friends are outraged, and are recounting stories of playing alone at the park themselves at that age. But when I clicked on the link I quickly felt that the title—and my friends’ defenses—were a bit misleading. This was not a case... Read more