Why We Give Parents Power

parent power

One commenter on my post about whether children are an oppressed class had this to say: You can't give someone great responsibility without giving them equally great power. . . . If parents are going to be held responsible for their children's actions, they must have the power to curtail their children's actions. This is an important point. While I don't believe in "parental rights," I do believe that parents have responsibilities toward their children. They are tasked with ensuring that their … [Read more...]

Are Children an Oppressed Class?

parents_lecturing

I've often heard that children are manipulative, but it just occurred to me that being without any real power can't help but make people turn to manipulation. After all, what other options are there? Think about it: If a preschooler wants to stop by the ice cream store, the only way she can meet that desire is to convince her parent to take her there and buy her ice cream. And the parent, in this situation, has absolute power. The parent can simply say no and that's the end of it. And it's not … [Read more...]

The Thaw, Evangelical Teens, and Persecution Complexes

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I recently came upon a video from Christian youth outreach group Reach America. In it, Christian students explain that they face persecution in their public high schools for their religious beliefs, and list examples of this persecution. They finish by calling for change, calling for other Christians to rise up and throw off the persecution and restore the (mostly imaginary) Christian American of the past.For those of you who don't have the time to watch the entire video---and it does … [Read more...]

“One More Never Made a Difference”

Duggars

I grew up in a very large homeschooling family, and people were always surprised when they found out how many children my parents had. Sometimes it came from a stranger, a sort of incredulous sort of shock. Sometimes, coming from other homeschooling parents, it was a sort of admiring awe. One thing I remember clearly is my mom's response to people's shock, surprise, and awe. After about five kids, one more never made a difference! At the time, I smiled and nodded in agreement. We children ate … [Read more...]

Dear Pearls: Crying Is How Babies Communicate

tantrum

I spent an hour this evening at the park with Sally and Bobby. I put Bobby in a swing, and gave him a good push, and you should have seen his face---it was like he'd just realized he had wings! After he'd been in the swing for about fifteen minutes, I took Bobby out to take him to play with something else. He immediately stiffened and started screaming, bucking and thrashing until it was all I could do to hold onto him (he's getting big!). So I put him down and watched him crumple, collapsing on … [Read more...]

Trained Monkeys and Seeing-Eye Dogs

trained monkey

If parents carefully and consistently train up their children, their performance will be superior to that of a well-trained seeing-eye dog. This quote from Michael Pearl brought to mind a section in Robert Kunzman's book, Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling. In this excerpt, Kunzman, a researcher, is visiting a large homeschooling family in Tennessee who follow the Pearls child training methods. Gary, the father, demonstrates his child … [Read more...]

HSLDA’s Defense of Child Abuse

Child-abuse

This post is part of a series examining the role of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in aiding and abetting child abuse. I have previously looked at HSLDA's efforts to prevent the reporting of child abuse and their efforts to stonewall child abuse investigations. In this post I will turn to HSLDA's defense of child abuse.HSLDA has made a name for itself defending parents' right to spank their children and spends a good bit of its time and energy monitoring and opposing new … [Read more...]


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