Any engaged, active parent will tell you that children and teens go through stages we aren't ready for. I'm not talking about childhood milestones - losing their baby teeth, learning to walk, mastering the ability to read - landmarks which are fairly universal and...read more
American parenting tells us to bully our children – but it’s not worth it and you don’t have to do it
Today on social media a lovely article, about a year old, is making the rounds: "'What's the magic word?' The routine shaming of children" on parentallies.org. It's a concise article, scratching the surface and making some excellent points. I appreciated the read....read more
Content warning: homophobia, transphobia. Recently on social media I watched as former classmates of mine blasted parents who support their trans children; that is, parents who allow their children to transition and who actively support them through the process. These...read more
I met Ralph when we were seventeen, in a church. At a word from my mother I shifted and looked back to see him at the head of the aisle; his head was turned. He had a long lean body and tousled red hair and thrillingly alternative sideburns and he was easily handsome. He had expressive hands; he was a drummer. It’s rather incredible I can remember this to the day, how I felt.read more
Apologies have not come easy to me because growing up, the adults in my life did not apologize to me (or, as far as I could tell, to anyone else). They sometimes behaved remorsefully, but that is not the same at all. In fact, the remorseful parental behavior is rather damaging: because as a child, your parents’ distress and weakness (feeling sorry for themselves or embarrassed when they erred) will often precipitate a strong sense of your own culpability, and that is hard to recover from. If you are someone who had a childhood like this, my heart is with you. It’s a very difficult experience and it is hard to overcome.read more
I believe I hurt someone’s feelings a little while back, when they were asking me for parenting advice. I said,
“Stop thinking of your baby as being ‘good’. Stop showing off the baby. She’s a person, not a pet. The sooner you abandon these practices the better it will be for you – and your kid.”
I’ve said this before. And if I was a bit direct – well first, I was being asked to be direct. Second: it’s nothing I didn’t learn the hard way.
I did every one of these things and lived to repent, and change my attitude. And I’ve left my own early parenting writings online – you can go back and see I made these mistakes.
Parents do these things, because we’re told to. It’s modeled to us. It’s conflated with “good” parenting.read more
Here's The ProblemWhen my young children were in an organized playgroup there was a portion of the afternoon's activities where toys were distributed to the little ones for a play session. The adults handing out the toys would march this toy basket past each child and...read more
[Ed note on terminology: Let us not pretend I oppose the existence of institutions of learning that employ knowledgable instructors providing course material either voluntarily or for a wage. This is absurd. What I mean by "school" for all my alt education writings is...read more
It's that time of year - my social media stream is full of parents and teachers making jokes (?) at the expense of children. Teachers groan about having to return to their jobs. Parents are glad they get a break - finally! We're all in agreement: caring for children...read more
Last night, with Nels, watching "The Adventures of TinTin". We typically don't get five minutes in before I'm sleepy. He loves the show; I find it quite clever and sweet. *** So it's been a minute since I wrote about parenting issues here; I do get asked for advice...read more