Sand in the Gears

Archive for the ‘The Art of Parenting’ Category

Children and pornography

Monday, February 24th, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | No Comments »

Some of you might appreciate my latest essay for Good Letters. Others of you may not like it at all. Maybe it's proof that I'm no less angry today than I was ten years ago, when some of you first ...

The ministering parent

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 16 Comments »

Do you ever look on your children, and wish they had better than you? Back when we were shopping my embarrassingly confessional first book, my agent at the time told me I needed a ministry to accompany it. She said this ...

The Cost of Calling: The Answer

Thursday, January 9th, 2014 Posted in The Art of Parenting, The Sermons | 18 Comments »

I come now to the question in my heart when I began: what can my sons say to a deceived and soul-sickened world? You might remember the story of a girl murdered that awful day in Columbine. As this story goes, ...

The Cost of Calling: Compromises

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 Posted in The Art of Parenting, The Sermons | 16 Comments »

What is the cost of a calling? You can be called to be a parent; you can be called to be a plumber. But having a child, or picking up a pipe wrench, is not—in and of itself—to pursue a ...

The Cost of Calling

Thursday, December 26th, 2013 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 12 Comments »

Many parents carry within our hearts—sometimes in a cramped and even despairing corner—a vision of what we hope our children will become. This vision lives deeper than our wish that they be doctors or NFL quarterbacks, deeper even than our desire ...

The professor in the home

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 48 Comments »

Every month, money flies from my checking account to the education savings accounts of my children, because I don't want them to become hobos. This is one way I allay my fear the world will eat them up. It's a ...

Crafted

Monday, December 9th, 2013 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | 49 Comments »

My mother died while I was at the beach and so while my children spent their days on the shore, I spoke by phone with the many professionals who position themselves between the living and the dead. My thirteen year-old wanted ...

Imagination destruction

Monday, September 23rd, 2013 Posted in The Art of Parenting | Comments Off

The latest Conversations on Philanthropy is hot off the presses, and if you subscribe you'll soon have a copy in the mail. If not, however, and you're just dying to read my review of Anthony Esolen's Ten Ways to Destroy ...

Good guy or bad guy?

Friday, September 20th, 2013 Posted in The Art of Parenting, The Sermons | 15 Comments »

One of my sons asked about an historical figure, or maybe it was some living politician whom history will soon forget. My son wanted to know whether this man was a good guy, or a bad guy. This is our most ...

Sheep and wolves

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | 10 Comments »

Because I am a father I think about the parents of that boy torn to pieces, of his sister whose leg was taken. I think about those parents in Newtown, whose biggest Christmas purchases were coffins for their sons and ...

On the imperative of baby swaddling

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 6 Comments »

Hey you, with the crying baby. I understand that this little person is, in deeply emotional, psychological, physiological, theological senses of the term, an extension of your person. Please recognize, however, that this is not literally the case. In other words, the ...

Abandoning children

Friday, September 21st, 2012 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 13 Comments »

The intellectual consensus seems to be that having children is miserable business. This consensus is built on shoddy thinking and shoddier statistics. The latest example is brought to us by Why Have Kids? author Jessica Valenti, who notes that in the ...

An Apple in time

Friday, August 24th, 2012 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 3 Comments »

Another working road trip. My colleague needs a piece of equipment from the Apple store, which is in a mall. The Apple store is swarming with people, but in less than 30 seconds, a salesman comes alongside to take us ...

A pox on this house

Monday, August 20th, 2012 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | 3 Comments »

The last fortnight was chicken pox time for the Woodlief boys. I have acquaintances who are apostles of all things scientific and modern, and who are therefore appalled that my boys never received the chicken pox vaccine. It seemed like ...

Words

Friday, August 17th, 2012 Posted in The Art of Parenting | Comments Off

Some of you might like my recent essay at Image's Good Letters channel. Here's an excerpt: "The vicissitudes of life may chink or scorch or even crack that die, but if your child doesn’t come with the self-restraint app, for example, ...

Homecoming

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 Posted in The Art of Parenting | Comments Off

Some of you may like my latest essay at Image Journal's section of Patheos, "Coming Home to Fatherhood." Here's an excerpt: "Or perhaps it’s closer to truth to say that nearly everything we do, so long as we love our children, ...

Imagination destruction

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 Posted in The Art of Parenting | Comments Off

From my review of Anthony Esolen's Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child: "And the Mordor of our time, one gathers from Esolen, is a utilitarian educational culture administered by small-minded bureaucrats in thrall to materialism, scientism, and social ...

More than bread

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off

When we don't think we can control some things we take charge of what we can. This is why the functionary fastidiously maintains a constant distance between his stapler and his tape dispenser, and why the abused child has a ...

Father’s Day

Sunday, June 19th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | 1 Comment »

There's certainly no distinction to breeding, and so Father's Day must be intended to celebrate something other than one's ability to procreate. It began in tragedy, which is maybe the truth of too many things, the world's way of daring ...

Possibility

Friday, January 28th, 2011 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 7 Comments »

My work with non-profits over the years has given me the opportunity to sit down with a number of philanthropists. I'm just now flying home from visiting Tucson, Arizona, where I met with several people who have led very different ...

On Tiger Mamas, bad art, and the heart of a child

Monday, January 24th, 2011 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 13 Comments »

My first thought, upon hearing of Amy Chua's now famous (or infamous) essay about the superiority of Chinese mothers, is that it's irrelevant to me. The odds that I will go out and father a child with a Chinese woman are ...

Throwing apples back at the trees

Sunday, November 14th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 1 Comment »

The Iowa Supreme Court agrees that city officials in Davenport are within their authority to penalize parents of juvenile criminals. I'm not sure if the reason parents raise rotten kids is simply because there's no penalty for doing otherwise, but ...

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my phone a text to beep

Monday, November 1st, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 1 Comment »

When your teenagers go to bed, are they unplugged for the night? A new study finds that teenagers receive an average 34 texts after bedtime, and are awakened once a night on average by a text. Girls were more likely ...

Halloween safety

Saturday, October 30th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | Comments Off

Regarding my previous post on the safety of Halloween, Motherlode points out the real Halloween danger to children.

Halloween: safe as kittens

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 3 Comments »

Parents from my generation probably remember Halloween II, also known as "Michael Myers and the Future of Socialized Medicine." There's a scene towards the beginning, in which an anguished parent walks her son into the emergency room because he's bitten ...

Test overkill?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 1 Comment »

One parent's experience with schooling in a test-heavy, No Child Left Behind environment: "Then third grade--an absolute disaster. Worksheet after worksheet after worksheet. My smart little boy was slowly disappearing. I am totally against medicating a child to concentrate - but ...

Watchful eye

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | Comments Off

From Big Brother to Big Mama/Papa, new Japanese technology promises to let parents track everything their children see, as well as their heart rates in response to stimuli: "Parents can find out if their kid’s eyes waver from the blackboard, and ...

Preparation

Friday, October 22nd, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 1 Comment »

Does it strike anyone else as odd that a man can write no less than four books about God, yet be unprepared to answer his five year-old when she asks him whether God listens when she prays? "In my panic, I ...

On the confessional parent

Monday, October 18th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | Comments Off

Susan Stiffelman writes at ParentDish about the indignation some readers of mamapundit felt upon learning that, in the midst of writing about parenting, she was privately coping with a teenaged son's drug addiction, which recently took his life: "The shame of ...

The brokenness of homes

Monday, October 18th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | Comments Off

A new study finds that children of divorced or never-married parents are considerably more likely to have behavioral problems than children in natural-parent homes. Those displeased with the results are calling for . . . . . . wait for it ...