Are Bugs “Boy” Things and Dolls “Girl” Things?

baby doll

This fall a little girl wrote to Abdo Publishing after becoming concerned that the book she was reading, "The Biggest Baddest Book of Bugs," was part of a series titled "Biggest, Baddest Books for Boys." "Some girls would like to be entomologists too.," she explained. Abdo wrote back, thanking her concern and agreeing to change the series title to "Biggest, Baddest Books." But there was something about the story that struck me: According to the local paper, the publisher responded and told her … [Read more...]

“Normal Childhood Sexual Exploration”?

secrets

When I was around seven, we often got together with a family with a little boy my own age. His parents went to my parents' church, and I think they were in the same Bible study. At some point he began nagging me, wanting me to pull down my underwear and let him see my bare bottom. I didn't want to do that, and I told him as much, but he wouldn't let up. Finally, I gave in. When no one was around, I laid down on the floor face down and pulled my underwear down so he could see my bare bottom. Afte … [Read more...]

“God” and the Borders of Belonging

god borders

Several weeks ago, five-year-old Sally spent a great deal of time making something for her teacher and then left it at home on accident. When I noticed she had left it, I took it to the school to give it to her. The busses had only just dropped the children off, and when I reached Sally's classroom students were still coming in, putting their lunch containers on the shelf and taking off their jackets. As I left the school after giving Sally the gift she had made, the school's intercom came on … [Read more...]

More Thoughts on Teaching Consent to Young Children

boy-chasing-girl

"When I was at Brogan's house, I kissed him," five-year-old Sally told me recently."Okay. Where did you kiss him?" I asked, curious what sort of kiss she meant."On the back of the head, because he didn't want me to so he was moving all around.""Wait a minute, now---""When we go over to Brogan's house again, I will run and catch him and kiss him again!" Sally proclaimed excitedly."Sally, what should you do if someone doesn't want you to kiss them?" I asked."Just get him … [Read more...]

“It’s like their brains time-travel back to 1952″

Draper

In the past, I've done what I've called "awesome comment award." I want to start doing something similar but more regular. I have a lot of readers who say many interesting things, and some of their comments call for a bit more spotlight.Today I want to highlight a comment by reader snowmentality, left last week on one of my posts, "What's Your Favorite Princess?"I love that Sally had the self-confidence to say "I don't have a favorite princess." At her age, I probably would have just nam … [Read more...]

Obedience, Empathy, and the Laundry Hamper

child-hugging-mother (1)

I was chatting with a friend about the results of a recent pew survey when she asked a question I found very, very interesting. I mean, if you teach a kid empathy, tolerance, and responsibility---do they need to be obedient? Or will they just do the things that are in the best interests of everyone? Like, "Hey, could you do the dishes?" "Sure." Because they realize they should help out with the house.  This is an excellent point.Let me offer an example: I would like my daughter Sally to pu … [Read more...]

Are You Crunchy Enough?

crunchy enough

A couple of weeks ago we ran into a family at the park. We'd run into them several times before, and Sally had taken to their daughter, Ella. This time we learned that Ella will be attending kindergarten at the same school as Sally this fall. After we left the park, I remarked to Sean that it might be good to have this family over---that we might get on well with them. "But then, I don't know how crunchy she is," I added. I was referring to Ella's mother, and Sean asked what I meant. The truth i … [Read more...]


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