Positive Parenting: “Yes Sally, I understand”

"Swish! Swish! Swish!"It was evening and I was in the kitchen cleaning up the dishes. Sally was playing with one of her daddy's belts, whipping it around, listening to the noise it made."Ouch!" I yelped as the belt caught my leg. "Sally, that hurt!" I got down on Sally's level to talk to her. "Listen honey, when you whip that belt around and hit someone, it hurts. You need to be careful."Sally nodded, but two minutes later she was at it again, whipping the belt through the air … [Read more...]

Things are different here: “Back Talk” and Healing

"Bobby!" I swooped in quickly to scoop up my wailing baby. "Sally, you have to be careful!" I admonished my preschooler as I held the baby close. "You just tripped on Bobby!""But he was in my way!" Sally exclaimed, indignant.Like a marionette puppet jerked by its strings, my younger brother looked up from where he sat on the couch, and for a moment, time stopped. Sally had just back talked me. This sort of thing was not allowed in our house growing up. This sort of thing resulted in a … [Read more...]

Kids need rules! Right?

I am constantly surprised by how much I was taught as common sense child rearing growing up is completely turned on its head by positive parenting. For example, one huge emphasis growing up is that children need rules, limits, and boundaries. Having boundaries, I was taught, makes children happy and secure. This from James Dobson of Focus on the Family: You have discussed the need for establishing boundaries within the home. Do children really want limits set on their behavior?Most … [Read more...]

I have another piece on Offbeat Mama

Click here:Preschoolers and the Art of PersuasionEnjoy! … [Read more...]

Positive Parenting: Get Some Perspective

On a recent weekend we were visiting relatives - this happens a lot in the summer - and we went to church with them. Sally sat through the service with us, because the church did not have Sunday school or even a nursery during the service. She did a pretty good job, for the most part, but like any young preschooler she was a bit antsy.Toward the end of the service, Sally started to get especially wiggly. I picked her up and held her, shushing her and telling her to sit still.Come on, … [Read more...]

On homeschooled children and being “well behaved”

"Is she homeschooled?""What?" I stammered, looking up from the ribbon I was examining. Sally and I were at Hobby Lobby to pick up some cloth for a project."Is your daughter homeschooled?" It was the store attendant who cuts the cloth in the fabric area who was asking."No," I replied. "Why?""Oh, she acts like a homeschooled child. She's so well behaved, like all the homeschooled children who come in here."I told her about positive parenting and explained what it entailed, and … [Read more...]

I write about parenting because Sally changed my life

As I went through the results of my recent readers survey, I was struck by a particular comment. I like your reflections on parenting Sally, but they have little to do with Sally. They are about you reinventing parenting and allowing Sally to teach you. This comment is so true. I never thought when I first gave birth that the little new life I held in my arms would so profoundly change me. Not simply change my life, but actually really truly change who I am as a person. Sally has spurred me to … [Read more...]


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