Please Don’t Deny Our Agency


I wrote the first draft of this post last summer. I wasn't satisfied with it as it was, so I set it aside and promptly forgot about it. A conversation with one of my sisters reminded me of the post, so I've pulled it out and dusted it up.In writing, last summer, about Josh Duggar's Ashley Madison account, I noted that: Josh and Anna didn’t have sex until they married, so they had no way of knowing whether they are sexually compatible. Further, Josh doesn’t believe in birth control and he and … [Read more...]

One Million Moms Declares War on Children of Gay Parents


I was not at all surprised to read that American Girl is receiving criticism over including an article about a girl with two dads in their magazine, but as I read the criticism and then read the controversial article itself, I was profoundly saddened. I realize that on some level, the title of this article may seem like hyperbole, but bear with me, because what's going on here is important.Let's start with a recent Washington Post article, Maryland family faces harsh criticism after daughter … [Read more...]

In Defense of Letting Kids Talk Back


I grew up in a family where "back talk" was not allowed. The result was that I often felt muzzled and suffocated. For example, when I was in trouble any attempt to explain what actually happened or to disagree with a selected punishment and suggest an alternative resulted in more "spanks" being added to my punishment total. I often felt compelled to say something---to speak out in the face of what appeared to me to be clear injustice---but any words I might say were silenced, replaced by incre … [Read more...]

No, Praising Children Will Not Make Them Selfish


I grew up in a conservative home where I frequently heard about the problems of valuing children's "self esteem." Today, I live in a world where people often put down millennials by talking about how we all got participation ribbons as children, and somehow that means we all think we're extra special, or something like that.And then I come upon blog posts like this one, titled An open letter to my children: you're not that great: In the row ahead of me a family has taken hot pink duct tape a … [Read more...]

Marriage Is Not a Magical Social Cure


I recently came upon an article titled "We Can't Let the Family Die," via Ladies Against Feminism. After talking about the decline of marriage rates in the UK, the author, Kathy Gyngell, writes the following: The fact remains that children who grow up with parents who aren't married are more likely to experience the double whammy of fatherlessness and disruption. One in two cohabiting couples splits up before their child's first birthday. Exposed to disinterested boyfriends and multiple carers, … [Read more...]

The Problem with Gendering Kids’ Halloween Costumes Is Othering, Not Sexualizing


I recently came upon a Huffington Post article titled "Halloween Costumes Are Sexualizing Our Youngest Trick-Or-Treaters." In the article, blogger Raina Dellisle wrote about going shopping for Halloween costumes with her preschool daughter and coming upon these gendered police and firefighter costumes:As Dellisle explains: Halloween costumes that put a sexy spin on uniformed occupations (or anything for that matter) have been popular among women for years, but for little girls? I would b … [Read more...]

What Happened to Teaching Kids to Respect People’s Name Preferences?


When I was in middle school, I briefly tried out the youth group at my family's evangelical megachurch. I was homeschooled, and wasn't used to being around so many public schooled kids, and I had no idea how to fit in or even identify with any of the kids there. But the real problem I ran into had to do with the youth group leader. See, he wanted the kids in youth group to call him Andy*. My parents forbade me from calling him that, and required me to call him Mr. Jones*. And because I refused … [Read more...]