Parenting Articles

Play Makes Us Human

Have you ever noticed how we, as a society, use agricultural metaphors to talk about parenting and education? We speak of raising children, just as we speak of raising tomatoes or chickens. We speak of training children, just as...

School ADD Isn't Homeschool ADD

I hesitated at the heavy glass doors of my son’s school. I’d cheerfully walked through these doors many times. I’d volunteered here, served on the PTA board, joked with the principal and teachers, and even helped start an annual ...

Please, Thank You, I'm Sorry...

“Say please.” “Say thank you.” “Say you’re sorry.” “Say hello.” “Say goodbye.” We can instruct our young children or insist that they parrot our words, but if we want them to develop true kindness, if we want them to develop social graces and true...

Be My Guest

By Harnessing Intrinsic Motivation, Unschooling Reflects Current Cognitive Research.As I wrote recently in Life Learning Magazine, unschooling is the way of the future, for all ages. So I’m always surprised that so many people...

A Message from our Editor, Issue #50 - A Day in the Summer

If there is one pearl of wisdom I could share with young parents it would be John Lennon’s words: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” My husband and I birthed six children at home. We created a successful business. We...

Fears and the Fathering Paradigm

The Choices We Make, the Fears We HaveWe all have choices in life. To be sure, some of us have more choices than others. Some choices are easier for certain people than they are for others. And some people refuse to see, or are unable to...

Jorey’s Journey

When I saw Jorey for the first time, I wanted to know everything about this sweet little 5-month-old. I learned that he was born via a scheduled C-section. His mother, Deon, explained that for the past five days Jorey had been having 8 to 12...

Don't Stand Me Up

An infant sits stiffly on the floor, unable to move his legs or extend his arms without losing his balance. A toddler steps off a platform and takes a tumble. Another toddler climbs the bars to the top of a wooden structure, then panics and cries...

Messing with Mother Nature

I can speak honestly about my own learning curve as a typical, caring father who wants his kids to reach their full potential—intellectually, spiritually, and physically. Surely, this is basic instinct. When we become dads for the first t...

Let Them Go Barefoot: On Why Our Toddler Doesn't Wear Shoes

Disclaimer: This isn’t an article suggesting everyone and every child should be barefoot. We are not telling anyone how to live or what to do. We are sharing information and giving another perspective on footwear and barefoot living. I get many...

Our Fear of Freedom

Like many of you, at the core of my childhood experiences was the belief that using control and force with children is necessary. We still live in a culture that primarily operates from this belief. We grew up under the control of adults and...

10 Homesteading Skills Every Child Should Learn

When we offer our children the freedom to participate, they learn life skills.When kids learn basic homesteading skills, they get a number of really important advantages in life. Here’s a short list of what they gain:

Flowing with the Stresses of Kids (Or Anyone Else)

Parenting can be stressful. That’s probably one of my bigger understatements, but as the father of six kids, I’ve learned a little about handling these stresses so that it’s not such a big deal anymore. Kids throw tantrums, demand to have their...

My Father Is a Great Man

He is a man. He is 44 years old. He has black hair and sparkling blue eyes. He is my father. He is by far the person of whom I am most proud. Taking care of his children and relatives is his top priority. Everyone that knows him sees him as a...

Beyond Babywearing

Do you wear your baby? Nurse your toddler? Sleep in a family bed? If you do, chances are you’ve been influenced by an obscure little book penned more than four decades ago. Many of today’s Attachment Parenting principles were first brought to the...

I Became a Mother and Died to Live

So I was hanging out the other day with a friend who has a newborn. A freaking gorgeous newborn boy, to be exact. He is her first baby. She has recently become a mother. You know, when we hear those words we hear them like it’s no big...

What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a Mother

From joy and attachment to anxiety and protectiveness, mothering behavior begins with biochemical reactions.The artist Sarah Walker once told me that becoming a mother is like discovering the existence of a strange new room in the house...

Risky Play

Why Children Love It and Need It. To protect our children we must allow them to play and learn without adult supervision. Fear, you would think, is a negative experience, to be avoided whenever possible. Yet...

A Powerful Trust

What if you’re disempowering your children when you think you’re doing what’s best for them? As a mother of three daughters who are now young adults, I’ve had a rather unusual experience compared to most ...

Beautiful Consequences

A broken clock highlights the value of non-punitive parenting. I knew it was a mistake. He didn’t mean to break the clock.