The Valentine’s Day Disaster


It all started when I took Sally and Bobby to the dollar store after I picked them up from daycare. They needed to pick out boxes of valentines for their friends. Sean had gone straight home after finishing up at work, and told me I could drop one of the kids off with him. I didn’t take him up on his offer because I wanted to let them pick out their valentines themselves. We would stop at the grocery store afterwards for a few things like milk, but it would be a quick trip altogether. Or so I thought. [Read more...]

Self-Motivation and External Consequences


Unlike most of my parenting posts, this one is going to be high on theory and low on anecdotes. This discussion—which focuses on what it means that an adult or child “has to” do this or that—was prompted by reader Rebecca Horne in the comments section of a recent parenting post. I want to be clear that I don’t have all of the answers, and that this is more of a thinking post than something that is fully settled in my mind. [Read more...]

Unhelpful Things (Some) Atheists Say


Yesterday, Ed Brayton wrote a post titled Atheists, “Please Stop Saying These Things.” I thoroughly enjoyed it and agreed with what he had to say. Below are summaries of his points (in his post he offers lengthy explanation under each). Finally, inspired by Ed’s post (which you should read), I want to add a few more things to his list. [Read more...]

Sorry, You Don’t Get a Pass


I’ve noticed that there are an increasing number of evangelical Christians who argue that homosexuality is sin but that gay people should have equal rights. In other words, they make a distinction between their religious belief on the one hand and ensuring equal legal rights for all on the other hand. While standing up for LGBTQ rights (which should extend not only to marriage equality but also to ending housing or employment discrimination) is an excellent step, it is not enough. [Read more...]

What World Vision Says about Evangelical Priorities

Crying for Their Country - Rich Stearns Viusits With Letter  Writers, Irbid

World Vision is a Christian organization that serves children in the third world. It is perhaps well known for its sponsorship program, through which Americans may sponsor needy children in the third world through monthly donations that go to pay for things like school tuition and medical care. This week World Vision demoted the debate over marriage equality to the status of doctrinal dispute on par with that over infant baptism when it changed its policies to allow for the hiring of legally married gay and lesbian employees. [Read more...]

Solving Sally’s Meltdowns (Together)


I don’t think we give children enough credit. If there’s something we want kids to learn—even something like how to handle disappointment in a healthy manner—we can enlist their help in how to help them learn it. In other words, parenting needn’t be solely about something parents do to children. Parenting can and should be cooperative, involving open communication and brainstorming. And it can be like that even if they’re only four. [Read more...]

Kindergarten Approaches


Next fall, Sally will board a school bus, turn and wave, and leave for kindergarten. Sally is excited. She babbles on and on about kindergarten. But if I am honest with myself, I am scared. This may seem silly given that Sally currently attends full day preschool, and has been in daycare since she was little. But public school? As a K-12 homeschool graduate, public school is something that is still foreign to me. [Read more...]

Respecting Every BODY

spinning bucket

Today I was pushing Bobby on the swing at the park. Each time his swing came toward me, I reached forward and tickled him. He responded by smiling and laughing, leaning forward and grinning at me. Each time as he came toward me he became excited, anticipating my tickles. Then something changed. Bobby still laughed when I ticked him as he came toward me, but he did so in a forced, annoyed way, and he leaned away from my touch. He managed to get out an “uh-uh” in the midst of his laughter. And so I stopped. [Read more...]

“Don’t Lie to Me, Mommy!”


Not every child is the same. Some children might just laugh along at the idea that they could have a tail and enjoy the joke. Sally does not. This is one thing that annoys me about so much of formula parenting—it assumes children are all the same, or will respond in the same way, when they aren’t, and won’t. Parenting is about forming healthy relationships with your children, relationships that are reciprocal, relationships where listening and learning goes both ways. [Read more...]

“Mom, school is boring!” Musings of a Homeschool Grad Turned Conventional School Mother

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Sally recently declared school “boring.” There’s little that has made my stomach lurch as much as that simple proclamation. This homeschool graduate grew up hearing that going to school stifles curiosity and turns children into sardines and lab rats rather than creating innovative thinkers. My position on formal schooling shifted as I met graduates of public school in college and formed a more nuanced view of the subject, but the idea that attending school will rob my daughter of free thinking and individuality still lurks at the edges of my conscience. [Read more...]

“Those are for Boys!” and Other Stories


Two days ago I wrote about gender and confirmation bias and some of my own experiences as I raise my two young children, one girl and one boy. There’s a lot I didn’t write and there will be more posts on this topic to come, but I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of the comments on that post, as many of my readers weighed in with their own experiences, either as children themselves or raising children today. [Read more...]

Bobby’s Trains and Confirmation Bias


Bobby’s face was pressed against the glass surrounding the electric train set. The trains were running, whistling, and crossing each other’s paths. It was his favorite part of the children’s museum. Even at only one year of age, children have interests and show preferences, and one of Bobby’s definite interests is trains. Just then, my husband Sean’s Uncle Dale walked over and smiled at Bobby. “Look at him!” he said. “He’s obsessed with that train. He’s such a boy!” I frowned. [Read more...]