The Art of Parenting

Letters to camp

My youngest boys, Isaac and Isaiah (10 and 7), depart today for a week-long summer camp, which is a cause for excitement on their part, and quiet trepidation on mine. “Keep your money in a stinky sock,” I advise them. “If somebody picks on you, that’s the opportunity to forgive and turn the other cheek.” I …

The beast without

“Isaac’s being a jerk,” my seven year-old, Isaiah, says about his older brother. They have been sledding over new-fallen snow. “Why do you say that?” “Because he keeps knocking me off my sled.” “Why do you think he did that?” I ask. I’ve been trying to help my children consider how sometimes they incite one another. “Because …

Abandoning children

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 wake of Nebraska’s “safe haven” law allowing parents and caregivers to abandon children without prosecution, …

Words

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, the twin-studies data suggest you’re not going to build it into him. So don’t …

Homecoming

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, keeps us moving closer to the full heart-knittedness that we yearn for with anyone …

GIGO

Husbands, for the sake of your wives’ self-esteem, stop taking your kids to the park. That’s one conclusion we can draw from this study. A possible flaw in its design: could it be that many fathers who pick up more slack than their counterparts are doing so in response to actual shortcomings in the care …