An Oath for us All

FIRST, DO NO HARM An interesting case, it looks like one of us. There is limited functionality yet it is quite advanced, perhaps it is in a state of transition. Clearly, there is a plan for this thing, a destiny, or failing that,...

Most Parenting Books . . .

 . . . teach the existing system, the system of total parental control. In previous decades, or in old-time religious communities, and still in many homes generally, total parental control was or is achieved by outright force and violence, and the...

They Can’t Understand Most of What We Say, Part #1

It doesn’t matter that they’re babies, toddlers, or what, that they don’t understand what you’re saying; they will still understand the fact that you’re talking to them, and that’s important. Also, that is what teaching is, it’s when you tell someone...

Talk, Talk, Talk

                Talk, talk, talk. That is the right thing to do. Talking is how we teach, it’s how anyone learns anything when we’re too young to read. It’s how we teach when we’re not trying to also teach power dynamics and some version of ‘might is...

The Good Stuff, Part #2

                The good stuff in many parenting books is very good indeed, especially in parenting books that advocate, as I do, for no punishment of children at all, and some of them are full of real evidence resulting from real scientific research....

Our end of the Deal

I said somewhere that the police are never going to stamp out crime, not in any disrespect to them, they are fighting it all day long, they are really trying. They are on the front line, with little time and resources for anything but putting out...

The Good Stuff, Part #1

               If you own any of the popular parenting books, get that. If you don’t, go buy one, don’t borrow it. Now, reading the book by some parenting guru, some best-selling authority (the one we had when our kids were young was “kids are worth...

A Messy Oasis

                While I think there are some parents who don’t love to visit our house due to the constant mess, there are also many who tell us our place is a peaceful oasis, a zone free of parent-child stress and strife. When the girls were young,...

Two Mindsets – and all Authoritarian

                I think there are two sorts of mindsets, one that sees things, life, as a process, or a vast bunch of interactive processes where things are all in motion. Things change, interact, and adapt with other things and the environment;...

It's Getting Better all the Time

                In terms of what is punishment and what is abuse, the line has been drawn in a number of places through the years and across cultures. Of course it’s not so simple, but can be useful to say that there has been a progression towards...

A Seductive Idea

                I’ve been thinking about this subject for twenty years as of this writing, sporadically writing about it, reading and blogging, and talking to and observing other parents . . . it was about that same twenty years ago when I realized...

Make friends with your kids!

Whoever tells us that 'no matter what you do, teenagers are Hell' lie. My teenagers have been a breeze. Thing is, if you make an enemy of your child, your life gets worse as they grow in knowledge and power. Powerful enemies are a bad thing indeed. ...

Maya, the World of Illusion

                It is my view that past and current attempts to create or define a gentler method of bringing up our children are failing us in a myriad of ways, and that is because these ideas are only half measures, providing no real change at all....

The Third Problem with "Positive Parenting"

                Next, this is what the “new punishers” call offering choices: “Which do you want to do first—brush your teeth or take a bath?” This is a word game too, I’m afraid. I understand this is designed to include the child in the decision...

The Second Problem with "Positive Parenting"

                Secondly, the concept is prone to changes in language only.                  “ . . . by the promise of rewards rather than by threats of punishment.” is the first one in the article that stands out. I see no difference between “If...

The First Problem with "Positive Parenting"

First of all, I want to say I commend the work of people like Elizabeth Gershoff, Joan Durrant, etc., that have been producing this sort of information for parents and say that these ideas are a huge step forward in child-rearing information and...