Category: Parenting

Parents are people

It’s been a stressful time for us. My father in law had been battling leukemia for over a year, when he suddenly took a turn for the worse. FIL’s illness lasted a few more weeks, and he finally passed away. This has affected the family in a number of ways; most importantly for this post, it resulted in a complicated set of travel plans.

“Fathers do not mother”

Kaimi put up a sidebar link to a NYT piece on parenting. It had an interesting quote: “Fathers tend to do things differently, Dr. Kyle Pruett said, but not in ways that are worse for the children. Fathers do not mother, they father.”

Diapers, Dishes, and Dusting

Yesterday, a Mormon Times article began with this opener: “For Finnish music star Mervi Hiltunen-Multamäki, trading in exotic concert locales, a prime-time TV show and platinum records for diapers, dishes and dusting was an easy decision. Maybe that’s because following the prophet has never been hard for her.”

Selfishness Pays (Off)

So, what with Utah’s poor Iowa Test scores, I’ve had a few people asking me how I turned all my children into such voracious little readers. “Did you read to them every day when they were little?” friends query. “Why, no. Of course not,” I respond. “I’m much too selfish for that.”


I’ll be attending a wedding later today. The couple will be married in the church, and a new baby will be joining them somewhat sooner than later. For a faithful LDS family, this is difficult.

M Gets a Joke

A while back our household sat down to watch an episode of Monk. We like Monk because not only is it funny, it’s also sad and tender and offers good – sometimes very good – cultural satire. As I fed M she kept turning her head to look at the TV, watching whatever it is she sees when she’s watching something. We’re not sure what that is because doctors have sent mixed messages about her eyesight. But she does see.

Parenting Tips from the Life of Warren Buffett

“The deal that Buffett made with [son] Howie concerning the rent for Howie’s farm was … linked with weight; the amount rose and fell with Howie’s poundage. Warren thought his son should weigh 182.5 pounds. When Howie was over the limit, he had to pay twenty-six percent of the farm’s gross receipts to his father. When he was under, he paid twenty-two percent. … Buffett couldn’t lose on this deal either. He got either more money or a thinner son.” Sharecrop your way to health and wealth.

Called to leave

My grandmother, mother, and I all served missions, so I was delighted when my firstborn announced her intention to serve, submitted her papers, received her call. Little did I know.

How Much Should We Advantage Our Kids Over Others?

When asked why they aren’t more generous with their time or money, many people answer that if they gave more, it would be at the expense of their own children. Sure, the argument goes, it would be great if I could pay an extra $100 to provide immunizations for kids in Africa, but my first duty is to my family, and giving that $100 for immunizations would prevent me from taking my kids to the water park.


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 make matters worse for you. After you read this post, it will self-destruct in sixty seconds. (I wish, but then again, some records must stand.) Did I mention this post runs long? Okay then, here we go. In 1992 I gave birth to a daughter, Mattea. An in utero infection of a predatory organism called cytomegalovirus (CMV) destroyed nearly half her…

We Did It

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.

The Cheerio Incident

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 it would be time to dash up the stairs, grab the baby, and put aside my work for another day.

On Spiritual Education

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.

Can a Good Mormon be a Meritocrat?

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.

Ethics for Three-Year-Olds

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.