“She seems to have turned out pretty well!”

It happened so quickly, so naturally, and yet I can't get it out of my mind. At a graduation party earlier this month I ran into the mother of two homeschooled girls I tutored when I was in high school, homeschooled myself. "You were a great teacher for my kids," she told me. "You were very strict with them and they needed that." And I cringed, because I am not the authoritarian person I was in high school. And was that really what she remembered about my time tutoring? What about all the times I … [Read more...]


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Sorting Out the Good from the Bad

In yesterday's blog post, I compared my relationship with my own children with my mother's relationship with my younger siblings, and with me as a child. I wrote as follows: As my own children have grown, it has become striking how different the relationship I have with them is from the relationship my mother has with my younger siblings who still live at home. Her relationship with her children is built on authority and obedience; my relationship with mine is built on mutual respect and trust. … [Read more...]


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Kids need rules! Right?

I am constantly surprised by how much I was taught as common sense child rearing growing up is completely turned on its head by positive parenting. For example, one huge emphasis growing up is that children need rules, limits, and boundaries. Having boundaries, I was taught, makes children happy and secure. This from James Dobson of Focus on the Family: You have discussed the need for establishing boundaries within the home. Do children really want limits set on their behavior?Most … [Read more...]


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On homeschooled children and being “well behaved”

"Is she homeschooled?""What?" I stammered, looking up from the ribbon I was examining. Sally and I were at Hobby Lobby to pick up some cloth for a project."Is your daughter homeschooled?" It was the store attendant who cuts the cloth in the fabric area who was asking."No," I replied. "Why?""Oh, she acts like a homeschooled child. She's so well behaved, like all the homeschooled children who come in here."I told her about positive parenting and explained what it entailed, and … [Read more...]


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“Post-Fundamentalist Motherhood”

Latebloomer recently wrote an excellent post called "Post-Fundamentalist Motherhood." I've often had readers tell me that they read my posts and feel like I'm reading their minds. In this case, I felt the same when reading Latebloomer's post - she was articulating my thoughts almost exactly. I'm going to quote from her article and add some additional commentary. Latebloomer begins as follows: When I look at my little toddler, I am so glad that I am no longer a fundamentalist Christian. She … [Read more...]


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Authoritarian Parenting and Adult Children

This is part of a series in which I am re-posting a number of posts I've written in the past on issues involving parenting and Michael and Debi Pearl. I think these posts may be of interest to new readers, and if you're a reader who has been around with me since the beginning, they may be worth a re-read. This post was originally published here.   I have long wondered why my transition to adulthood has been so difficult. I want to be able to stand by my parents adult to adult, equal to equal … [Read more...]


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The Fruit of Spanking: Rage and Shame

This is part of a series in which I am re-posting a number of posts I've written in the past on issues involving parenting and Michael and Debi Pearl. I think these posts may be of interest to new readers, and if you're a reader who has been around with me since the beginning, they may be worth a re-read. This post was originally published here.   As I remember it, my parents didn’t spank me all that often. When I was spanked it was usually just three licks with a wooden paddle. My mom only r … [Read more...]


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