The Art of Parenting – Fragments Against Ruin http://tonywoodlief.com Sat, 20 May 2017 00:31:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 A more perfect union http://tonywoodlief.com/2016/10/10/a-more-perfect-union/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2016/10/10/a-more-perfect-union/#comments Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:06:36 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4711 “So, Dad, did you know Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are having a debate tonight?” “Yep.” “Are we watching it?” “Nope.” “Why not?” “For the same reasons we don’t watch German porn, or videos about how to treat gangrene.” “Dad.” “Also because I rented Jungle Book.” “Dad.” “Trust me—it’s the new one, with the digital …

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Listing http://tonywoodlief.com/2015/05/22/listing-2/ Fri, 22 May 2015 13:39:29 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4611 Here’s an excerpt from my latest Image essay if you’re interested: Isaiah returned to the scene of the crime to survey his work. It was a damned atrocity. Paint ran haphazardly against the grain, tacky pools of it collected on the surface, and thick rivulets had crawled down the sides and hardened. “Look at it,” …

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Letters to camp http://tonywoodlief.com/2015/05/18/letters-to-camp/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2015/05/18/letters-to-camp/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 14:24:17 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4602 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 …

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The beast without http://tonywoodlief.com/2015/02/20/the-beast-without/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2015/02/20/the-beast-without/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:50:58 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4584 “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 …

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Children and pornography http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/02/24/children-and-pornography/ Mon, 24 Feb 2014 22:56:35 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4302 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 started reading my little missives. I’d like to think I’m angry about more important things …

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The ministering parent http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/23/the-ministering-parent/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/23/the-ministering-parent/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 18:43:45 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3794 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 as a realist, not an enthusiast. You need a platform to sell your wares. …

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The Cost of Calling: The Answer http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/09/the-cost-of-calling-the-answer/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/09/the-cost-of-calling-the-answer/#comments Thu, 09 Jan 2014 19:29:53 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3782 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, one of the demoniac boys asked if she believed in God, and when she …

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The Cost of Calling: Compromises http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/02/the-cost-of-calling-compromises/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/02/the-cost-of-calling-compromises/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 17:38:30 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3776 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 calling. The world is filled with parents and plumbers, after all, who don’t do their …

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The Cost of Calling http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/26/the-cost-of-calling/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/26/the-cost-of-calling/#comments Thu, 26 Dec 2013 20:34:42 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3764 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 for their happiness. Our heart-dwelling hope is that they will be good and true, that …

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The professor in the home http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/17/the-professor-in-the-home/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/17/the-professor-in-the-home/#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 03:25:36 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3753 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 mark of a good parent to worry over where—and whether—his child will go to college, …

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