Sand in the Gears

Archive for the ‘The Art of Parenting’ Category

Barring the doors

Thursday, March 11th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting, Theology | 11 Comments »

In Colorado, a Catholic school has refused readmission to the children of two lesbian parents. "Parents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment," ...

You are what you might have eaten

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 4 Comments »

The best part of this story about the drastic increase in the average American child's diet as a consequence of snacking (168 more calories per child a day than kids thirty years ago) is the disclaimer at the end: "The surveys ...

Own it

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 3 Comments »

Jim Taylor on instilling self-esteem in children: "Parents were told to love and praise and reinforce and reward and encourage their children no matter what they did. Unfortunately, this approach created children who were selfish, spoiled, and entitled. . . without ...

The going rate

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 2 Comments »

"Four M&M's if I poop," Isaiah explained. This is how we finally got him potty-trained, you see. With bribery. He was getting M&M's for peeing as well, but then he started doling it out in little dribs and drabs in ...

My sweet isn’t as tooth as you think I am

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 1 Comment »

I always suspected as much, given that my children behave like angry drunks when they can't have a Hershey bar.

Intent

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 2 Comments »

On the one hand, I can appreciate the fear that nefarious people will spirit away Haitian children for wicked ends. On the other hand, I doubt this class of people includes Baptists from Idaho. And there is the sticky question ...

Because

Friday, January 29th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 8 Comments »

This is why I write to you, boys with me, girl who is gone. I write to you because when I am with you, when I look into your soft brown eyes, I do not have the words. They come ...

Bad faith makes bad medicine, and so does bad math

Friday, January 29th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 7 Comments »

The doctor who claimed a link between child vaccinations and autism has been rebuked by British medical authorities for irresponsible and unethical conduct. The folk theory will continue for generations, unfortunately, because autism tends to emerge around the time children ...

Perhaps draw a random name from the phone book?

Monday, January 25th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | 2 Comments »

I recently saw a news clip about a mother who ordered her son to kill his pet as punishment for bad grades (the son's, not the gerbil's). An investigator says the woman was raised by a good family. Maybe so. When ...

The deceptive average

Monday, January 18th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 2 Comments »

A new study suggests parenting reduces blood pressure. Keep in mind that they're only looking at averages, which means that when you spike after watching your two-year old do a back flip off the bed, and then collapse into a ...

Criminalize this

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | 9 Comments »

Perhaps most disturbing about Robin West's attack on homeschooling is that it's published in a scholarly journal, even if it does come out of the University of Maryland. One might expect more thoughtfulness, even from a second-rate scholar. But instead we ...

On leading your children

Sunday, January 10th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on On leading your children

Joanna Moorhead offers another example of surprisingly good advice flowing from disastrously poor premises. Among her flawed bits of wisdom: "Our children are entirely different from us. . ."; and ". . . the more you hold things to be ...

The myth of the myth

Saturday, January 9th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting, Theology | 5 Comments »

Leslie Fields muddles about in Calvinism and Darwinism before arriving at good advice for every Christian parent, which is to pray your child toward Heaven. I think "the perfect parent myth," however, is itself a myth. None of us envisions ...

This just in: children aren’t so bad after all

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on This just in: children aren’t so bad after all

Some of you might recall research floating about suggesting that having children reduces happiness. My own point of view has been that immediate happiness is not the point of a fulfilling life, at least not for the Christian. Now I've ...

Marionette parenting

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on Marionette parenting

Judith Woods reminds us that there's a difference between good parental involvement and hovering overkill (i.e., "helicopter parenting"). We ought to dispense with calling it helicopter parenting, in fact, and call it marionette parenting. Parents should be in the helicopter, ...

Four out of five drug companies, er, doctors, agree

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 4 Comments »

Fewer and fewer people favor spanking children, but increasing numbers of us are fine with abusing them via prescription.

When is it legal for them to mix me a drink?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 1 Comment »

I suppose it's helpful to hear some expert advice on when my children can have sleepovers and get their own mobile phones, but there's some other milestones I have in mind, like the age when they can operate a chainsaw, ...

He who spares the rod . . .

Monday, January 4th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 3 Comments »

. . . hates his child. Didn't know that was in the Bible, did you? And now a new study suggests that children who are spanked as youngsters go on to be happier and more successful. I'm sure even now ...

What my kids call theirs are just fine, thank you

Monday, January 4th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | 4 Comments »

I don't know which is creepier, the fact that U.K. public schools are going to start teaching five year-olds the names of private body parts, or the fact that the U.K. has a "Children's Secretary." And given the aberrant practices ...

Monster parents

Monday, December 28th, 2009 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 19 Comments »

A woman and her boyfriend beat her two-month old baby to death on Christmas Eve in Detroit, and the Wayne County Prosecutor suggests parenting classes might help stem the tide of such abuse. While we lose the traditions and practices ...

On the narrow path

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting, The Sermons | 32 Comments »

He sees her as we circle the parking lot a second time, an aimless, wandering circle, a time-killing circle while we wait for their mother to finish a bit of shopping. I have already seen the woman -- a girl, ...

He didn’t always give presents

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 Posted in Snapshots of Life, The Art of Parenting | 2 Comments »

Stephen Caleb is now our willing accomplice in perpetuating the Santa myth. Some of you might recall my last year's Wall Street Journal piece arguing that there's something to be said for encouraging, for a time, your child's belief in ...

Zombies, vampires, and childhood

Thursday, December 17th, 2009 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 5 Comments »

(I really did intend just to write about zombies and vampires. Somehow this became something else, which long-time readers, as well as my therapist, know happens with me. ) I don't know why I prefer vampire movies to zombie movies, but ...

The forever yearning

Thursday, November 19th, 2009 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | 9 Comments »

Yesterday morning Isaiah came to our bedroom, enacting his self-appointed role as Mr. Rise and Shine. He stepped on our knees and ankles and flopped about with sharp elbows until he staked a position between us. Isaac followed. Wife rose ...

The lies parents tell

Thursday, November 12th, 2009 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 15 Comments »

So, what do you do when the Tooth Fairy forgets to visit? This happened recently to Eli, and I had to explain that it was because he forgot to leave the tooth on his bedside table, opting to tie the ...

Kill your television before it gets you

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 15 Comments »

The average child between the ages of two and five in the U.S. watches over 32 hours of television per week, according to the latest Nielsen numbers. Nearly five hours a day, in other words. Given the greater sleep needs ...

Etched in flesh

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 5 Comments »

I must confess that my first reaction, upon hearing about the thug who had his seven year-old tattooed with his gang's symbol, was that the solution seemed pretty straightforward: a bullet under the chin of the sperm-donor, along with a ...

Parent, heal thyself

Friday, September 25th, 2009 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 4 Comments »

The problem with too many modern commentators on parenting, I think, is their inability to distinguish love from acceptance. This confusion is apparent in Alfie Kohn's New York Times essay, where he writes: "In 2004, two Israeli researchers, Avi Assor and ...

Could have been anyone

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | 13 Comments »

The Columbine killers, a new book says, weren't twisted little psychopaths who intended to kill dozens. They were one twisted little psychopath and his pathetic sidekick, and they hoped to kill hundreds. But otherwise they were regular kids. USA Today reports this ...

I can’t hear you, I have a banana in my ear

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 6 Comments »

We have this plague in our house that bounces about from person to person, lingering mostly in the lungs, with occasional forays to the intestines. I'm thinking that if it stays with us much longer I can claim it as ...