Parenting FailsTraditions & Celebrations

Skipping Scary Santa

Imagine you heard about a culture where once a year parents forced very young children to do something terrifying and upsetting. Then, imagine that when this experience caused those young children to scream and cry, rather than stop the experience, the parents enjoyed watching their children be scared, so much that they took pictures of …

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Child in snowman dress and sparkly shoes dangling from monkeybars.
FeminismIdentityPlay

The Casual Privilege of Conforming to Expectations

I first started thinking about conforming as a form of privilege when I was writing The Importance of Not Defining Normal for Other Children and realized how much easier it is, in many ways, to have a child who doesn’t push gender boundaries. In very specific circles, having kids who buck …

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Girl in superhero outfit with text: Stereotypes limit thinking; No Gender November - Stereotypes have no place under my christmas tree"
FeminismPlay

Why I’m On the Fence About “No Gender December”.

Maybe it’s just my Facebook peeps, but for the past couple of days, I’ve been seeing a reasonably steady stream of info about “No Gender December“, an initiative by an Australian group called Play Unlimited. The stated goal is focused – rightly in my book – on gender-specific toy marketing and seems …

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Ages 10-12 (Tween)Ages 13-17 (Teen)Ages 6-9AtheismReligion

Raising the Atheist Child

I’ve been an atheist since I can remember.  Some people think I’m kidding when I say this, but I can clearly remember my Lutheran kindergarten, when the teacher was going on about Jesus and I was giving all the other kids the side-eye: You’re not really buying this? Dr. Skull, …

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IdentityPoliticsRace, Ethnicity & Culture

What a Kid Wears? Not Our Business

My sons started showing style preferences when they were about 18 months old. I started out offering them a choice between two items of clothing. Because they weren’t quite verbal yet, they grabbed the one they want to wear, and flipped out if I insisted on the one they didn’t. Now that they …

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Kid Drawing
Ages 13-17 (Teen)HouseholdHow ToWork

Make Her a Damn Burrito: Raising the Young Artist

Here at chez delagar, we’re all working artists.  Dr. Skull is a poet and a musician; I write science fiction.  The kid runs a web comic which has (literally) hundreds of dedicated fans and (now) a spin-off comic of its own. This is exactly the sort of life I always …

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Babies

Things I Didn’t Know I Needed Before Becoming a Parent

I’m a planner. I like to map everything out and be prepared for most situations. (Not quite the level of a Doomsday Prepper–I’m more optimistic than that.) So before I had my daughter, I went shopping like crazy. I got plenty of things that I didn’t need (damn you, Travel …

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Black and white image of police with arrested suspect
Ages 10-12 (Tween)Ages 13-17 (Teen)Discipline

Talking To Your Kids About The Police

More than once – and most recently during the fall-out from Adrian Peterson beating his four-year old bloody – I’ve heard some parents claim that they have to beat their kids, because (as they put it) either they beat their kids or the police do. The thesis here, as I …

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How ToParenting Styles

Parenting for Kindness and Compassion

Recently our local newspaper reran a Washington Post article entitle “Five ways to raise kids to be kind”. The article reports on research led by Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist with the graduate school of education, which shows that more parents are concerned with their kids’ academic achievement than their …

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IdentityRace, Ethnicity & CultureReligion

A Very Atheist Rosh Hashanah

I am an atheist Jew. Or an agnostic Jew. Or an agnostic atheist Jew. Eh, whatever. Unlike Judaism, atheism is not a core part of my identity. I guess I’ve just been Jewish longer than I’ve been a non-believer. Since I’ve always been a member of Reform or Reconstructionist synagogues, I’ve felt pretty …

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