But What If They Don’t Do What You Ask?

Piggle Wiggle

I wrote recently that I would prefer to teach empathy than obedience. As some readers pointed out, at issue here is also responsibility. If we focus on teaching children to obey their parents and other adults in their lives, we aren't teaching them to make responsible decisions for themselves. One of the things I try to emphasize to my children when teaching empathy is that they live in an interconnected world and their actions affect those around them. This is part of teaching responsibility as … [Read more...]

“I am so, so sorry, Bobby”: On Apologies

children-hugging

I was sitting on the couch reading when I heard a sudden altercation in front of me, a yelp, and then Bobby was crying. "Sally, do you need to apologize?" I asked. I immediately regretted the question---I should have first asked what happened rather than jumping to conclusions. I'm not perfect. But Sally's response was immediate. "Yes mom, I do," she said genuinely. "What happened?" I asked. By this time I was holding Bobby on my lap, stroking his hair and trying to soothe him. He was still c … [Read more...]

Wisdom and Thoughts from Sally

childaskingwhy

From time to time I jot down something my five-year-old daughter Sally says to me, and the thoughts it leads to on my part, intending to share them here on the blog. But there's so much to blog about, and these words and thoughts are often shorter and don't seem to justify an entire blog post. So today I'm collecting a few of them together for your enjoyment and edification. ------------------------ Sally is finally old enough to buckle her own seatbelt. After years of having to buckle two … [Read more...]

(Mis)Reading Children’s Intent

cmimg_53522

We have a neighbor lady who just loves to bring things over for five-year-old Sally and two-year-old Bobby. She's a bit older, and her own children are grown, and she's the kind of person who might be called a "busy body"---once you get in a conversation with her it's hard to get out. But she's sweet, and considerate, and has watched my children grow since they were little. She brings them craft supplies, or old toys she had yet to throw out.One evening a couple of weeks ago she came over … [Read more...]

“Be a Good Obeying Girl”

follow the instructions

When I was a child and my mother would leave me at a friend's house or with a sitter, there was one thing she always said right before she left."Be a good obeying girl." Of every virtue a child could have, the one my mother prized above all else was obedience. My mother was influenced by Michael Pearl's book, To Train Up a Child, which stipulated that obedience should be immediate and without question---and with a smile. Partly I think my mother was attracted to the Pearls' childrearing … [Read more...]

Both Children and Parents Are Demanding

parents-discipline

Sometimes, when we are on a road trip to visit relatives, we stop at a drive through on the way. Last week was one of those times. Then comes the flurry of passing out fries and figuring out whose shake is whose and everything that goes along with that---straws, napkins, ketchup, the works. Sean was driving and I was passing things every which way, the children and Sean simultaneously putting in bids for their food. I was on sensory overload and feeling frazzled and finally, in exasperation, I … [Read more...]

The “United” Front?

Child

One of the first parenting blogs I read was Dulce de Leche. Dulce also grew up homeschooled and had a similar transformation to my own. Her children are some years older than my own, and reading her positive parenting posts were transformative to me as a new and questioning mother. Since those early years, Dulce and I have become friends, and we now message each other now and again about this or that, and watch each other's children grow.Anyway, I've been wanting to write for a while about … [Read more...]


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