Why Sally Doesn’t Have a Bedtime

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Would you believe that Sally doesn't have a bedtime? Well, she doesn't. She used to. We tried to put her to bed at 8:30 each night, and each night turned into a battle. "If you don't go to bed when it's your bedtime, you will be tired in the morning," we told her. "No I won't!" she insisted. So we would let her stay up, figuring that the next day she'd be tired and learn her lesson, and then she'd finally understand why she needed to go to bed at 8:30 each night. Except that it … [Read more...]

Teenage Boys and Pedophilia: Evangelical Purity Teachings Blur the Line

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Last week I briefly mentioned Debi Pearl's suggestion that working mothers should worry that the babysitters they hire to watch their kids might have their boyfriends over for sex on the job. I pointed out that if you're worried that your babysitter isn't trustworthy, you should find another, and that there are plenty of responsible teenage girls out there. One reader responded with this comment: Geneder essentialism alert! Boys can babysit as well. Yes, yes they can, but not in Debi's world, … [Read more...]

What about Sex Ed for Younger Children?

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Yesterday I posted a roundup of advice on sex for teenagers, and ideas about how to help teenagers learn about and navigate their sexuality. But as a number of readers pointed out, sex education starts long before the teen years.One reader, AfricaTurtle, posted a comment: I posted a question elsewhere just this week concerning sexuality and younger children (my oldest is 7). Do you have any practical advice/links in this category? I feel really lost because we are always told that this is a … [Read more...]

Let Them Play Sports!

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I am angry. And this is confusing, because I am not usually angry, or at least, not used to being angry at the people I'm angry at and defensive of the people I'm feeling defensive of. It's this. The Virginia Senate Education Committee has narrowly rejected a bill that would allow home-schooled students to play sports at public schools. ... When one home-school advocate complained about not having access to public school sports paid for by his taxes, Sen. Richard Saslaw retorted, "You pay tax … [Read more...]

A Day in the Life

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I told Sean earlier that I think today pretty much sums up our lives. Marriage and parenting are things that are beautiful and enriching when you zoom out and take a long view, but will naturally have bumps and turbulence along the way. Just like life. And in many ways, today was a picture of that.We had been planning for a while to go to a children's museum in a city about an hour away, and so had decided that today would be the day it would make it happen. Still, we treasure our lazy S … [Read more...]

Conversations with Preschoolers

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Can I say how much I love having a preschooler?My life is peppered with the most fascinating conversations. Watching Sally learn and figure things out is beautiful, and often also quite humorous.Let me offer this exchange by way of example:"I'm going to marry Daddy when I grown up.""Oh no you're not! I already married him. You have to pick someone else, because he's taken." "Then I'm going to marry Bobby." "Sorry honey, you can't marry your brother." "Why no … [Read more...]

Growing Up Evangelical at the End of the World

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"Dad, when do you think the rapture will happen?""Oh, probably in the next five or ten years."I was eleven. Eleven. And I trusted my dad. I respected him, a lot. He was the smartest person I knew - well read, intelligent, a thinking person. You know how doctors sometimes tell cancer patients how many years they have left to live? That's what this felt like. I had ten years. Ten. No wonder I hoped to marry and have children early. I didn't want to miss my chance.Any time I saw a … [Read more...]


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