What a year for parenting. Between Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, there was no shortage of avenues for crazy ideas. Laptop-shooting dads, public shamings on Facebook, and negative and anti-kid “pins” were all the rage this year.
As I went through my stats for the year to get this post together, I realized that once again my most read pieces were those that responded to these popular trends. I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, it makes sense…. these are things that people are thinking about, and talking about, and are just generally in the public’s consciousness. On the other, it bothers me. Bothers me because they’re also the posts that garner me the most negative attention, the most “Why don’t you stop judging everyone else and worry about your own family” kind of comments. It was not too long ago that I was told I should stop picking on everyone.
That’s not who I am, and it’s not what this blog is.
Still, there were things that I think needed to be said, and with few exceptions I don’t regret saying them. I do imagine the blog going in a bit of a different direction in 2013, both as a conscious decision and just because I’ve gone in a different direction. As an authentic extension of myself, this space is a growing, changing, fluid organism. And thank God for that.
Here are my most read posts for the year, in order of most to least views:
Not My Idea of a Hero: My response to Tommy Jordan, the man who gained his 15 minutes of fame when the video of him shooting bullets through his daughter’s laptop went viral on YouTube. I took a lot of flack on this one… for “judging” him, and for not respecting him and his decisions as a parent. But the man took a gun, shot it through his daughter’s property, and used fear, intimidation, and public ridicule as a way to discipline. I stand by this one.
I stole your stuff. Now I’m holding it for ransom: My take on the popular Pinterest idea of collecting your kids’ things that were left lying around, putting them in a big bin, and then having them do chores to earn them back. A lot of negative responses to this too (people hold very tightly to their treasured pins ), especially to my use of the word, “steal.” But in my house, my childrens’ things are their own, and taking something that doesn’t belong to you is stealing. I stand by this one too.
Dear Chick Fil A, I Love You But: Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick Fil A, made a public statement about gay marriage and what he called traditional family values. People boycotted, people supported him, and everyone went crazy. The brouhaha on both sides of this issue was just too much to ignore, so I had to say my piece. My only regret on this one? That I wasn’t brave enough to say how I really felt about homosexuality. That I hid behind hypotheticals and political correctness and the same “traditional family values” that had started the whole thing. What I didn’t do was come right out and say that yes, I’m a Christian who absolutely loves God and loves Jesus…. and doesn’t happen to think that homosexuality is a sin. I didn’t say that I think that the way homosexuals have been treated in the name of Christianity is absolutely abhorrent, and I didn’t say that I think something needs to change in a HUGE way in this country (and that that change should not involve denying gay individuals the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts.) I didn’t share that I too was once an adamant “It’s a sin, but…” Christian, or the journey that it took for me to feel otherwise, or the years of researching on my own, trying to find out what the Bible actually did and did not say, or my gratitude for people like John Shore, and other Christians who were brave enough to question the status quo – and write about it – long before me. So there it is. And in 2013, I won’t shy away from talking about it anymore.
Mom’s Rules and Is it Okay to Let Your Child Cry? and The Problem with Facebook Parenting: I don’t want to keep repeating myself, so I’ll comment on these all together. Some things are worth taking a stand about. The way children are treated is one of them.
Unschooling, Christianity & Other Misconceptions and The Five Rs for New Homeschoolers and Unschooling: Don’t You Worry That They’ll Miss Something? I’m glad these made the list. I’m in a season right now of not wanting to really talk about unschooling so much as just LIVE it. I know that people are still out there looking for information and reassurance though, and I’d love to think that they’re able to find some of that in some of my past posts…. if nothing else, as a jumping off point for further research.
The Boy Named Johnny: About an awesome, energetic, different kid in Everett’s cub scout troop. I’m glad this made the list too, especially in light of the Connecticut school shootings, and the attention being paid to the fact that the shooter had Asperger’s. I think it’s an important conversation to be had.
And a bonus number 11:
When is it Okay to Judge?: When I saw this was in the number 11 spot, I knew I had to include it. Please read it, especially if any of the above posts make you want to call me judgmental.
Love you all, and I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings.