Gentleness is Not Weakness

March 30, 2020

If you are like me, and are rather disheartened by parenting these days and its results, and (also like me) you tend to be suspicious of the many popular parenting books and philosophies rooted in modern psychology, then it’s likely you have developed a sort of aversion to the word gentleness in conjunction with parenting. To be fair, I have seen plenty of parenting philosophies that utilize this term which think it is somehow unkind or unfair to require obedience from a child, or to issue consequences of any kind, or to even talk sternly. But the truth is that letting a child walk all over you is not gentleness, it is weakness, and really it is not a kindness to the child at all. And so we discover that really very few parents on either side of the parenting spectrum are being truly gentle with their children because both sides share the same misunderstanding of the term. But gentleness is not weakness; gentleness is restrained strength.

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Mother Guilt and the Dissolution of Standards

June 01, 2017

Mothering in the current epoch feels a lot like making your way along a narrow ledge with the sheer face of a cliff on the one hand and a steep precipice on the other. The cliff is our society’s obsession with risk-elimination and man’s scientific self-perfection; far from the threat of war and subsistence living, we’re free to obsess about minute chemicals, self-esteem and self-actualization. We’ll secure a perfect future for our child (and thus all of humanity) through perfect parenting. The scramble up the side is the impossible hubris of the tower of Babel.

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May 11, 2017

Blessed Eastertide! What a glorious, springy Easter we had this year! It reminded me of photos we took when I was a child, in our Easter dresses by the daffodils and crocuses in our front yard. I grew up in a church that didn't make much of Easter, but since becoming an Anglican it's become more and more meaningful to me every year. Everyone always seems to be trying to find new ways to experience things like Easter in a meaningful way, but we don't need to reinvent the wheel. The work has already been done for us; it's all there in the liturgy and the church calendar, the great tradition of two millennia of faith. We just need to step into the river and get caught in the current.

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