Parenting

Why Haven’t You Adopted an Orphan Child?

August 8, 2007 | 126 comments
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Why Haven’t You Adopted an Orphan Child?

For years I’ve been torn by the knowledge that there are thousands of orphaned or abandoned children desperate to be welcomed into a family like mine and our reasons for “passing by on the other side” when we see the “least of these.” Read more »

Quality

August 6, 2007 | 40 comments
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Warning: To write this post, I’ve had to get personal. I apologize in advance for that, but some points I make require grounding in my observations about personal experiences, many of which are highly charged. The stories and observations I report here in no way represent everything I think about these matters. More importantly, they don’t represent everything I will think; I’m not through turning over these events and ideas to see what else is there. If you’ve come to this post already feeling overwhelmed or bothered about something, you might want to skip reading this, because it might... Read more »

We Did It

August 14, 2006 | 20 comments
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We’ve finally read the entire Book of Mormon as a family, all of us (those that can read, anyway) taking turns verse by verse. It only took us four and a half years, and we’re ready to do it again. Read more »

Book Review: The Parenting Breakthrough

August 19, 2005 | 37 comments
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Book Review:  The Parenting Breakthrough

You just gotta love any book that has a picture of a seven-year-old boy cleaning a toilet on the cover. Read more »

The Cheerio Incident

May 7, 2005 | 7 comments
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Seven years ago, when my oldest son was just a baby, I decided that I would use his naptimes to work on a book. I planned on turning my thesis into something relevant for an LDS audience and writing additional chapters about the other women’s stories in Mark’s Gospel. So each day, after putting down the baby for his nap, I’d drag out all of my books and papers and notes and try to focus. And it seemed that every day, just as soon as I got into the groove of what I was doing, I’d hear “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” and... Read more »

Teaching Modesty to Children

April 6, 2005 | 113 comments
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I posted the following you-know-where: I don’t have girl children, but I don’t let my boys wear tank tops or shorts above the knee. Read more »

On Spiritual Education

November 12, 2004 | 29 comments
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About 10 minutes after my first positive pregnancy test, I was at the bookstore, perusing the shelves of parenting titles, a pastime I’ve continued with some regularity for nearly a decade now. One of my favorite of these books is called 10 Principles of Spiritual Parenting. Read more »

Bowdlerizing the Book of Mormon

November 11, 2004 | 22 comments
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This afternoon at lunch, my angelic three-year-old daughter said causally to her quesadilla, “I’m going to kill you by plunging my spoon into your heart.” Read more »

Can a Good Mormon be a Meritocrat?

November 4, 2004 | 41 comments
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I’m not a big fan of much of David Brooks’s writings, as he is often too Manichean to be useful (here’s a good parody). But in the opening pages of Bobos in Paradise, Brooks does a nice job of describing the shift in American culture from a class structure based on lineage or money to one based on education and achievement. Read more »

Ethics for Three-Year-Olds

August 6, 2004 | 43 comments
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So we checked out a retelling of The Little Red Hen from the library. For those of you not up on your kiddie lit, the aforementioned hen asks her friends to help with every step of the process of breadmaking (planting the seeds, tending the wheat, cutting and grinding the wheat, and baking the bread) but they always refuse to help. At the end, she refuses to share the bread with them. Read more »

Do Children Need to Be Protected From Religion?

June 25, 2004 | 12 comments
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So suggests this somewhat disturbing column in the Christian Science Monitor. (Link via ecitsuJ, which also has some interesting follow-up commentary). Read more »

LDS Education Theory

April 27, 2004 | 85 comments
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Because I plan on homeschooling my children through high school, I have spent a lot of time thinking about educational theory (I also have a teaching certificate and I taught briefly in public schools in California.). Is there such a thing as an LDS-based educational theory? Could there be? What would it look like? Do we need one? Read more »

All Night Long

April 21, 2004 | 12 comments
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Two nights ago, I stayed up all night finishing a draft of my paper for a conference this Friday. At 2 a.m., one of my eight-year-old twins emerged from his bedroom and was wondering whether he could have breakfast. I sent him to bed, but he was back an hour later. Of course, I was in no mood to debate, and I sent him to bed again. The next morning, my wife reminded me that he had been sick and had not eaten well for a couple of days prior. Arrrgghh!! Guilt … welcome to my life as a... Read more »

Lessons in Representation

April 7, 2004 | 10 comments
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Today I was talking with an editor in my group about why she wouldn’t be in the office this afternoon. She was taking her two children to see the Wiggles. Now I admit that even though I’ve watched a bit of television in the past couple of years with my grandchildren, I’ve missed the Wiggles. Robin had been telling her daughter (I think her daughter is about four) that they were going to see the Wiggles. The little girl was excited and wanted to know whether the Wiggles would be on a big screen. Robin had to explain that... Read more »

“Mommy, I was wishing that!”

March 19, 2004 | 5 comments
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Last night I attended the Pinewood Derby races for my sons’ cub scout troop. My wife loves woodworking of all sorts, so I have never made a Pinewood Derby car. At our first Pinewood Derby, now many years ago, my oldest son thought that the highest numbers on the electronic scoreboard were best, so he was excited whenever his car came in sixth out of six. My wife quickly learned the tricks of the trade, and he won the next year. Read more »

Appropriate Language

March 15, 2004 | 39 comments
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Between teaching Seminary and raising five children, I have plenty of opportunities to consider the topic of appropriate language. The other day, for example, one teenager referred to another as a “brown noser.” I asked, “Do you have any idea what that means?” Blank stare. Another piped up, “Yeah, it means that he sucks.” Arggh! Read more »

Mormon Baby Names

March 6, 2004 | 32 comments
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Is this an archetypal thing for a new father to be doing on a Saturday night, sneaking a post while/whenever the kid is asleep? We just went through a nerve-wracking and overly self-conscious process to coming up with 1) lists of baby names, 2) baby naming approaches, and 3) ways to avoid blundering into some naming meta-trend we weren’t aware of. Ultimately, we named our daughter Ada Catherine, inspired by my wife’s great great-grandmother, Ada Philena. Of course, both double names and great grandmother-era names are both trends in themselves. So, is it a particularly Mormon trend? What is/are... Read more »

Lying to Our Children

March 3, 2004 | 8 comments
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When I arrived home from work yesterday, my wife calmly informed me that she had just lied to our son. Sullivan, our oldest, has many quirky preferences (like a lot of other children, I believe) and he can be quite stubborn (gee, I wonder who he inherits that from?). One of his quirky preferences is that his sandwiches be made with grape jelly, not any other flavor, and especially not strawberry. I consider this preference to be quirky because Sullivan can’t really tell the difference once the sandwich is made. Yesterday we had a household crisis — we were... Read more »