Kids These Days . . . Are Actually Okay

I'm sure you're no stranger to people complaining about today's young people. They're addicted to technology, glued to their cell phones, unable to function in the real world. They're selfish and entitled, they want everything handed to them on a plate. They don't know what it is to work hard, they haven't been properly disciplined. Our nation is in serious trouble. Or at least, so the narrative goes.I recently noticed this narrative on display in a Facebook meme:Text is: R.I.P. A … [Read more...]


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Supergirl’s Jeremy Jordan: My Gay Cousin Has Been Sent to a Christian Home for Troubled Teens

I have a good friend who was sent to a Christian home for troubled teens in Florida in the late 1990s. The stories she tells me are horrifying. The children were forced to work in the fields all day every day in the summer, and for long hours during the school year as well. While the home was co-ed, the girls were responsible for preparing and cleaning up all of the meals, on a rotation linked to their dormitories. The home used the ACE program, a curriculum used by Christian private schools and … [Read more...]


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“Do I look like a boy, or a girl?”

My daughter Sally recently put on a new outfit and turned to me with a question."Do I look like a boy, or a girl?" she asked."You look like Sally," I told her.This exchange was brought to mind when reading Jessica Winters' Slate article, "Are You a Boy or a Girl?" In the article, Winters speaks of people's frustration when they can't immediately identify the gender of her eighteen-month-old daughter.Like a lot of 18-month-olds, my daughter is epicene; even if she’s out on the to … [Read more...]


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Christian Homeschool Leader Announces Conference for Arranging Child Marriages

This November, in Wichita, Kansas, fundamentalist and conservative evangelical parents will gather at a conference to create betrothals for their marriageable children---with emphasis on the word children. This conference is called Let Them Marry and will be held by fundamentalist writer Vaughn Ohlman. I've avoided writing about Ohlman here for a while now, but this conference is so the last straw.Let me start with how a parent can know if their child is ready to be married off: 1) The … [Read more...]


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Why Do We as a Society Still Spank Our Children?

By now, you've probably heard about the new spanking study published in last month's Journal of Family Psychology. AUSTIN, Texas ­ — The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties, according to a new meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking by experts at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan....“Our analysis foc … [Read more...]


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How Do I Explain Trump’s Rise to My Children?

This is the first election my daughter Sally has paid attention to, and she's horrified. Completely horrified. She has Hispanic friends at school, and while she may be too young to grasp all of the ideas in play, she's outraged by Trump's rhetoric and campaign promises on immigration primarily. She's terrified her friends will be deported, but mostly she's angry, and she laments the fact that she can't vote. For my part, I've lost track of how many times NPR has warned me to cover my child's … [Read more...]


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The Duggars, the Dionnes, and Child Exploitation

Child labor laws frequently come up in discussions of the Duggars. There are laws about how child actors are paid---laws intended to prevent their parents from exploiting them---but these laws do not apply to the children of reality TV shows. As I was thinking about this recently, the Dionne quintuplets came to mind, and I began to find some interesting parallels.The Dionne quintuplets---five identical baby girls---were born in 1934, in Ontario. The Great Depression affected more than just t … [Read more...]


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