Part of Parenting Is Letting Go (School Edition)

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School approaches, and in my Facebook feed I've seen many posts by moms sending their children off to kindergarten for the first time. They're worried. They're scared. They talk about crying over their impending separation, and about wondering if maybe they should keep their children home a few more years---homeschooling is better known, now, especially among the more progressive hippie types who grace my friend list. The tenor at school orientation was similar.On some level this feels … [Read more...]

When Love Is Abuse

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Love. Love. Love. It seems to be all I hear about.I was raised in an evangelical home. Between five and ten years ago I went through a time of incredible pain at the hands of my parents. They believed I was bound by God to obey them even as an adult, they freaked out when my beliefs began diverging from theirs, and they cracked down, hard. Their efforts to control and manipulate me can be safely termed emotional abuse. I cried so much during that time. I was still so young, and out on my own … [Read more...]

Gamergate Comes Home

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I am not and never have been a gamer. My interest in various fandoms (I'm a Whovian) and my friendship with progressive feminist women who do identify as gamers has given me a window into the community, but it has always been as an outsider looking in. As I've followed Gamergate and various controversies over sex and gender in video games and in the wider cosplay community, it has always been with a certain feeling of detachment.And now, here I am.My six-year-old daughter hangs with the … [Read more...]

A Letter from Jesus and Living in Fear

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I wrote earlier this week about the way even Christian homeschool kids aren't immune from peer pressure---or from picking things up from the culture that surrounds them. In that post I quoted from an article by Lorraine Espenhain, a Catholic homeschooling mother, in which she explained why her children are so lonely---because she has isolated them from any children who are not also both Catholic and homeschooled----and why she thinks their loneliness is okay.But as several readers pointed o … [Read more...]

Red Town, Blue Town

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The last time I visited my hometown to see my parents and siblings, I found myself in the gym at my parents' church, juggling kids and donuts. One of the church elders saw me and struck up conversation. He asked where I was living now, and when I told him, he shook his head. "It must be hard to raise a family in such a godless place," he said. I found that comment so bizarre---and yet somehow so insightful---that I haven't been able to shake it.I live in a medium-sized college town that has … [Read more...]

Stop Stressing Out and Give Your Kid a Snuggle

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As a working mother, I often feel guilt about the amount of time I spend---or don't spend---with my children. Partly it's because my own mom was a stay-at-home mom who taught me that working mothers have effectively abandoned their children. Thanks mom! Partly it's because mothering has become ratcheted up to the nth degree these days. You're enrolled in mommy-and-me yoga classes and feed your children organic locally grown carrots and peas, right? Sigh.A recent study suggests that this gui … [Read more...]

The Radical Notion that Children Can Have Anxiety Too

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By SamanthaOriginally posted on Defeating the DragonsI was in a conversation a few days ago that has stayed with me, and I think what I noticed is important. A few moms brought up how their children respond to church services, and as a part of that discussion, one mother mentioned that her son said “the music gave him a stomach ache.” Responses were along the lines of “well, no wonder, rock concerts in church aren’t very restful.” It seemed to me that they were chalking up this toddler’s … [Read more...]


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