If you’re ever at a loss for how to piss a lot of people off in one fell swoop, criticize parents for spanking. That will do it every time. I don’t exactly understand it, but there are a lot of people who are really, really attached to the idea that spanking is a good thing and no amount of research, data or reasoning will convince them otherwise. Because “I was spanked and I turned out OK!”* I should say upfront that I’m not an anti-spanking purist. I have swatted a child on
My husband is completely convinced that there are Jews somewhere in my Polish lineage. Because three of my great joys in life are being thrifty, complaining and arguing. I tell him that this must mean that there are Jews somewhere in his Irish lineage. The Irish filtered out the cheap part, I explained. But he thinks it must come from somewhere around Ethiopia on his African side. Which would explain his reluctance to embrace the fine stereo-typically Jewish trait of thrift,
We have a seating problem in our home. Well, two of them actually. The first is that our chairs don’t match and the folding chairs have all lost their stuffing. It’s not very Martha Stewart-ish. Or comfortable. The second is that I have 3 girls under the age of 8. Who all have very strong opinions about where they ought to sit at dinner. And those opinions change nightly. (Yes, yes, I know – each person should have their own seat that they sit in every night. Please, feel fre
I once knew a family that didn’t do Santa Claus with their kids at Christmas. The reason they didn’t do Santa Claus was because they felt it might lead their children to doubt the existence of God. You see, Santa is basically an old man living far away at the top of the world. He gives you what you want because he loves you. But nobody ever gets to see him. And many children think of God as an old man living far away in heaven who answers our prayers (gives you what you want)
Seriously. Try it. It’s a long term strategy, but it works. And it’s much, much, much easier than continually forcing your will on another human being who is clearly lacking in judgment. I know it’s hard to believe, but kids are capable of learning on their own. They do think about things. And it’s much easier for them to admit when they are wrong when they don’t have someone standing over them demanding that they do so. If there’s one mistake I made as a mother, it’s that I
What I’m about to say flies in the face of nearly everything you’ve ever heard on the subject of how to handle disagreements between parents. But it’s my blog and my life and I can do that when I see fit, right? And on the topic of how parents should handle disagreements between them, I have no problem saying that the standard advice is horrid and wrong. So, no doubt you have heard many times that while you and your partner may have disagreements when it comes to parenting, i
How about I start passing on random thoughts to chew over during your lunch break? It’s OK, you’ll like it. Sometimes I tell my 14 year old two things:
1. You’re acting like a 14 year old.
2. You’re allowed to act like a 14 year old. Pass It On! Tweet Email More Print Share on Tumblr WhatsApp #beingmom #kids #parenting #thoughts
Let’s say that you take your young child to a friend’s house and while she is there, she breaks a toy. Would you prefer that she: A. Bring you the toy, ask for help fixing it and apologize for breaking the toy. Or B. Hide the toy so no one will know that she broke it? Let me give you a minute to think about this one . . . . OK, I’m psychic so I already know that your answer is A. You’d rather have a kid who admits her error, apologizes, tries to correct her error and will ask
One of these days, I’ll have to tell you about my oldest son Noah. He was really something. Even my mom didn’t want to watch him. And she had 9 kids. But that’s a kind of long story for another day. Suffice it to say he was challenging. One of the things which made Noah particularly difficult is that he simply wasn’t responsive to punishment. He wasn’t vulnerable to any sort of trickery. “Flattery will get you no where” may well have been his first complete sentence. Time out
Yesterday, I wrote about how the changing role and nature of authority in our lives demands that we change the way we parent our kids. Which is why my first rule of parenting is to raise good men and women, not good children. Of course, as the existence of our prison system and the IRS demonstrate, authority still exists. Our kids do need to know how to submit to some authority other than their own. Even when they disagree with it. So it’s not that I’ve give up all authority
“Totally without hope one cannot live. To live without hope is to cease to live. Hell is hopelessness. It is no accident that above the entrance to Dante’s hell is the inscription: ‘Leave behind all hope, you who enter here.'” Jurgen Moltmann I’ve wrestled a lot with hope in the last few years. Mostly to try and send it away. “Hope deferred makes a heart sick.” I’ve had enough of being sick. But allowing oneself to venture into hell is a dangerous thing as well. I know – I’ve
I’m having some trouble writing at the moment, so in honor of my daughter Olivia’s 3rd birthday, here’s a repeat which ends with the story of how Olivia came to be – aside from the obvious, of course. (At the time this was written, my husband and I were separated. We’re back together now. For those of you following along at home.) Each of my children has a story we tell them about some way in which their lives have mattered. I believe that it’s one thing to tell a kid they a
We have a seating problem in our home. Well, two of them actually. The first is that our chairs don’t match and the folding chairs have all lost their stuffing. It’s not very Martha Stewart-ish. Or comfortable. The second is that I have 3 children under the age of 8. Who all have very strong opinions about where they ought to sit at dinner. And those opinions change nightly. (Yes, yes, I know – each person should have their own seat that they sit in every night. Please, feel
“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Luke 18:17 When ever I have hear this verse taught the point is pretty much the same: we should have a child like trust. What does that even mean? It gives me a vision of children sitting around gazing up at us with trusting goo-goo eye all day. As if. Obedience? Ever known any real-live children? Become like little children. Perhaps Jesus meant this comment more lit
I can’t begin to imagine where they got it from – probably their father’s side – but I have some rather dramatic children. We still laugh about the time we told 5 year old Noah to put a book away and he contorted his face into a picture of agony, lifted the book above his head and bellowed, “noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!” like a super-hero villain whose plans had been thwarted again. Just last week, my 4 year old was telling me all about how he wasn’t going to do what I sai
Now, just let me say that I’m not some anti-spanking purist. I wish I could say that I’ve never so much as swatted my children on the heinie (although the rare swat is the extent of my version of spanking). In a more ideal world I would never hit one of my kids. But my children just aren’t that good (ha!). However, there is little that sets me off more reliably than people who think that kids wind up in prison because their lives lacked corporal punishment or a proper fear of
Dear Bertha*, I am writing to let you know that my daughter mentioned to me today that on several occasions now your daughter Suzi-Q has made derogatory comments to her regarding her half-black heritage. The poor thing even tried claiming that you had told her that you didn’t like black people too. I knew you would want to know about this right away so you can talk to Suzi-Q about not repeating every ridiculous thing she hears some ill-bred child on the playground saying. And
Wasn't Noah Cute? I clipped this essay out of the local paper 10 years ago and don’t know who the original author is, but wanted to share: For all parents and grandparents . . .
The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140. This does not touch college tuition.
For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies about all the money we could have banked if not for (insert child’s name here). For others, that numb
Collin is learning to be a really funny, crabby 45 year old man. Unfortunately he’s stuck being 12 at the moment. Want to do something amazing for your relationship with your kids? Engage in this thought exercise: Think of a good friend; someone you genuinely like and care about. (Don’t use your spouse – too many in-law issues!) What sort of parent would you want for that friend? If you were somehow able to go back and parent your friend yourself, how would you do it? I ha
Trotter children are immediately identifiable by their curly hair Each of my children has a story we tell them about some way in which their lives have mattered. I believe that it’s one thing to tell a kid they are important and that they matter, but it’s something of a gift to them to be able to tell them how they have mattered. Then they’re not just a lowly child floating out in the world with no real base or purpose to start with. It grounds the message that they have v