Without a doubt, parenting is hard. But hard doesn’t have to mean grueling or joyless. And often that is what parents feel under the weight of the responsibility and the intense scrutiny parents are placed under to live up to different cultural stories about parenting. We can’t completely turn off these cultural stories. But we can be aware of them and not let them dictate our lives.
Thinspiration — images created and used to inspire its consumers to be thin — is now plastered all over every social media website. It isn’t confined to the realm of eating disorders anymore. It’s mainstream. And yet we’re not talking to consumers about it. But how do we talk to our friends, children, and students about it without being at war with them? Here’s a place to start.
Infertility is not a battle of the worst off or a race to the bottom of despair. Whether men or women hurt more is irrelevant. But men have a cultural narrative that says kids are fun but optional, and “real men” have aggressive, uber-sperm so potent it makes babies from across the room. And this makes infertility issues a place where men find little support. It’s time we change the narrative.
Steubenville is a horrific example of the bystander effect. But what if your kid is a bystander to teasing, to name calling, to social ostracizing – behaviors that some refer to as “kids being kids?” Have you addressed that? Are you sure you’ve modeled the proper way not to stand by? Let’s look at some ways parents might inadvertently be supporting bystanders.
I want my kids to learn: 1) that they can identify their emotions and self-regulate their behavior, 2) that I love them regardless of their behavior, and 3) that living in a family means finding ways to meet everyone’s needs. The goal is not to suppress the behavior in the moment but to teach the child how to deal with their feelings now and in the future.
Children have needs, and so do parents. And both of our needs matter. Mainstream parenting usually negates the needs of the child. If they acknowledge the needs at all, they are considered wrong, to be changed through training. But parenting is, above all else, a relationship between two people: the parent and the child. Here’s an easy tool you can start using today to keep that relationship balanced.
Not feminist parenting as in “I’m a feminist and a parent”, but more in the actionable, skill-based philosophy of parenting through feminism. What if you didn’t use power over your kids but instead shared power with them? What if you nurtured socially conscious adults ready to challenge patriarchy? Let’s explore a fresh look at parenting rooted in feminist ideals of respect, equality, and social justice.
With the repeated images of real life violence, including the Boston marathon tragedy, children’s (and adults’) emotional health are being affected. An easy response is “turn off the TV!” However, simply not allowing children to watch television is not enough to help them cope with violence. We need better approaches to help this generation of youth cope with and resist a culture of violence.
When I hear people discussing the Stay-at-Home Mom/Work-Out-of-Home Mom dichotomy, I feel incredibly disjointed from the conversation. I divide up my priorities between paying the bills, quality learning, and loving time with my son and that is my self-actualization. For me, parenting as a feminist is doing what is best based on your values, regardless of adversity or public opinion.
We believe parents can start educating children about consent and empowerment as early as 1 year old and continuing into the college years. It is our sincere hope that this education can help us raise empowered young adults who have empathy for others and a clear understanding of healthy consent. There are three sections, based upon children’s ages, preschool, grade school, and teens and young adults.