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Katie van Schaijik

Over-protection cripples children

Feb. 20 at 6:03am

I'm reading a book about a young woman's escape from the Jehovah's Witnesses when she was 18. Her mother had been a fanatical devotee for ten years, blighting her youth with excessive control. It's not a very good book; I don't recommend it. But it has its insights. I'm thinking about this one today:

My parents had failed to follow through on the most important obligation they had as parents. They had failed to create autonomy in me by letting me experience life— good and bad— providing guidance and emotional support when I needed it.

I think there's a lot to this, though, speaking as a parent (soon to be grandparent!), living in a society aggressively hostile to the values I most

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Kate Whittaker Cousino

Parenting Persons

Dec. 13, 2013, at 10:03am

I’ve been a mother for almost 9 years, and I’ve been discussing motherhood and parenting for longer still. When you’re a mother, parenting is both the easiest and most perilous topic to broach. Easy, because parenting can create a common bond between people who otherwise would have nothing in common—and if you’re as inept at small talk as I am, it is always a relief to have a common interest to discuss! Perilous, because parenting decisions are inevitably personal and often emotionally charged.

This vulnerability drives people to seek out those with similar approaches to parenting—with similar parenting philosophies—simplified by identification with particular parenting experts, writers,

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Michael Healy

Parents, Share Your Faults with Your Kids. They Love It!

Sep. 28, 2012, at 10:14pm

Maria and I had 5 kids who are now in their 20’s and 30’s (and another five now in heaven, lost to miscarriages). When our kids were little, about the age of our current 4 grandkids (10 and under), they wanted me to tell them stories before they went to sleep.  This, of course, is a very common and clever way for little ones to eek out another 20-30 minutes of wakefulness before slumber becomes mandatory.  Many possibilities are available for these bedtime stories.  For instance, my son-in-law tells imaginary stories that build on each other with a thread of connection each night.  However, by happenstance, one night I stumbled upon a wonderful topic for children’s stories: things I had

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