Spanking Tears

I've written a lot about spanking in the past, but one thing that is difficult is that, for my family, it's not really the past. I am the oldest in a family of over a dozen; many of my siblings are still minors, living at home. My parents still spank. This can make visiting home painful. I keep trying to write about this but I'm having trouble doing it it in my normal fashion. So instead, I give you a series of vignettes---short scenes or conversations from recent visits … [Read more...]


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“The Rod Is a Tool To Stay Connected.” Say What?

I recently got a rather odd comment on a post in which I discussed Michael and Debi Pearl and their child training methods: You are taking the book out of context. The point they continued to emphasize was that you need to keep in communion with your children and the rod is a tool to stay connected. Look, the book is now online, so it's not like people can't read it for themselves and see whether or not I'm not taking it out of context (I'm not). But the thing is, it is true that the Pearls … [Read more...]


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When “I’m Sorry” Means “Please Don’t Hit Me”

Yesterday I finally brought a Christmas mug I was given a couple months ago home from the office. Sally was playing with it in the car, and when I opened the car door it fell out onto the pavement and broke."Oh, I'm sorry, mommy!"Sally was heartfelt and genuine, and that took me aback, because I realized something in that moment. I realized something that hit me in the gut.When I was a child, "I'm sorry" meant "please don't hit me."Reeling from this realization, I queried Sally about … [Read more...]


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Homeschooling under the Influence

After I wrote my posts on academics and socialization, I realized that there is another way homeschooling affected my life---and it's no less significant. In fact, it's a whole lot more significant. Quite simply, homeschooling affected my life because it changed my parents. When I was born, my parents were fairly ordinary evangelical Christians. That didn't last. Their involvement in the homeschool movement introduced them to new ideas they had not before been exposed to---ideas put forward by … [Read more...]


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“Little Bundles of Sin”: Evangelical Child Rearing

I recently ran across a truly excellent article on the politics of the conservative family (seriously, go read the whole thing). I found the section on children and child rearing especially pertinent to my own experiences and a helpful overview of a lot of the particularities of evangelical and fundamentalist views toward children and child rearing. I'm going to quote from this section, pausing every couple of paragraphs for some commentary. ...Drawing in part on their belief in original sin … [Read more...]


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Sarah’s Spanking Project

Sarah at Who I Am Without You is doing a project on spanking. This week I got a bright idea. I want to compile a collection of stories from victims of spanking. I want young parents to be able to see the issue from words that could someday belong to their child. People who want to participate can write a short post, about 100-300 words in regards to the issue of spanking, and I will post them one at a time into an album on my blog. She offers a number of different formats: … [Read more...]


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Spanking, Fear, and Privileging Obedience

This is part of a series in which I am re-posting a number of posts I've written in the past on issues involving parenting and Michael and Debi Pearl. I think these posts may be of interest to new readers, and if you're a reader who has been around with me since the beginning, they may be worth a re-read. This post was originally published here.   Growing up on Michael Pearl’s discipline teachings, James Dobson always seemed mild in comparison. My impression was always that Pearl was about ab … [Read more...]


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