Posts Tagged ‘parents’

Two articles in The Guardian today which bear some thinking about.

1. A study has been conducted which seems to suggest that if a child is abused, that child will do better in the long term if sie is removed from hir family and not returned.

That may well be what the study found. And the result certainly has the force of logic behind it: if a child is abused in a particular environment, the child will be better off not being in that environment.

However, (more…)

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Shorter Amy Alkon: I didn’t get to scream in public when I was a child, so neither should anyone else.


Of course, Ms Alkon is basing this on her recollection. I’m sure that, like most people, she doesn’t remember very much before the ages of 4 or 5, probably not daily events even after those ages, and I’d be fairly surprised if she didn’t do her share of screaming in public at age approximately 2. But even if she’s right and she never did, she clearly doesn’t understand the concepts of “community” and “family” and “parents having a life even when they have small children”.

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I’m not sure if I have enough of a readership to get a decent number of comments on this thread, but I’m going to try, as I think that this post is one that will benefit far more from comments than from whatever I might post.

My mother – who is pretty good about not sending forwards – sent me a forward with the text below.

I’m an atheist, and I was a bit irritated by the title and the first four questions. I don’t like the idea that questions like this reinforce the story that a god made people. Although that only really matters if this question & answer set up is real – I always doubt these things.

However, I left in the irritating title & first four questions for the sake of completeness, and also because I actually quite like the idea of people made out of string! But maybe that’s just me?

I’ll let you read it before I subject you to any more of my own thoughts (the emphasis is all mine, though):


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Are you, or have you ever been, a mother academic?

There’s a call for papers out for a collection of both narratives & articles about academic motherhood. (That takes you to a pdf, so if you don’t like those, try the general page here – the “Being a Mother Academic” link takes you to the same pdf link as above).

They are calling for both theory AND the “lived experience” – my reading of that is that papers can be either/or (that is, it seems to me that you are welcome to write a narrative piece about your experience, even if it’s not your theoretical area and you don’t want to include the theory).

They are also calling for people from across a range of disciplines.

Wouldn’t it be nice if they got so much Antipodean material that they decided they needed to put a separate Antipodean collection together?

[Link found at Feminist Law Professors]

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I’ve been thinking about parenting in various ways lately, kicked off by various posts. I’ve even written a couple of posts. These have mostly been to do with the roles of mothers and fathers, the societal pressures to stick to reasonably traditional roles (ie mother as primary childcarer and homemaker, father as breadwinner).

I want to partly continue with that theme, but mix in something a bit different.


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What gets me, what really gets me, is that all the discussion about child-raising and stay-at-home parenting and “downsizing to one salary” assumes that it is always the mother’s responsibility, the mother’s decision, to choose to stay home with kids or not to stay home.

In articles like this, that is particularly clear. And it’s not as if the article is the only example of this sort of pressure.

On the one hand, I like the fact that the article acknowledges that the stay-at-home mother for whom children are the primary responsibility is a fairly modern invention.

On the other hand, it utterly frustrates me that there is no discussion of fathers-as-parents (stay-at-home or not).


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Women don’t WHAT?!?!?!

Not only is this another misplaced article, in the Relationships sub-section of the Life&Style part of the Sydney Morning Herald, even though it’s clearly about work, (but hey, it includes comments about a report by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, so it’s about women, so it’s clearly not “real news”), but … but … but …


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Do children really “grow up more quickly” than they used to? I don’t know. To some extent, I don’t care: I didn’t have an unhappy childhood, but I was desperate to become a grown-up, and I would be surprised if many people felt all that differently.

And while I feel a bit sickened about the mani-pedi parties that have been written about recently, I don’t know that the survey commented on by the children’s author, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, is evidence of anything. In the first place, how can it say anything about “how children are losing their childhood compared to days of yore” unless we know what the quantitative evidence is from “days of yore”, rather than relying on the memories of the people making the claims?

But anyway. Let’s have a look at some of those results: (more…)

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