Thursday, November 14th, 2013
The blogosphere has lit up over the writings of a South Dakota mom whose blog went from 8 followers to more than 750,000 hits after she wrote a post advocating that boys should be allowed to play with guns, said kids who are being bullied should “toughen up,” and lamented a culture of over-protective parents. More from ABC News:
Stephanie Metz’s maternal outburst has the provocative title, “Why My Kids Are NOT The Center Of My World.”
“I think a lot of people have kids and raising kids is never easy,” Metz, 29, of Rapid City, S.D., told ABC News. “There are many viewpoints, but I think a lot of people agreed with what I said and they just want to share my post.”
Metz was inspired to write her post on Oct. 25 after her son Hendrix, 4, (she has another son Jameson, 2) decided to bring a different object to show and tell, after he told his mother his initial choice may resemble a weapon. That original toy, which is pictured below, may get him in trouble, he told his mother.
This, she writes, is what infuriates her. “How long will it be before their typical boy-ish behavior gets them suspended from school?” she worries.
“The mentality of our society in 2013 is nauseating to me, friends,” Metz writes in her blog.
Metz warns parents that constantly sheltering their children and protecting them from all things “evil” sets a child up for failure.
“Kids are being raised to never have to deal with adversity,” Metz told ABC News. “I don’t think we are raising a generation that will be able to function in the real world.”
“Society is constantly coddling your kids,” Metz said. For example, she says, kids are awarded with trophies even if they didn’t win.
Some of her blog examines the topic of bullying, for which Metz said she has received the most backlash about.
“Understand I am not condoning kids to be cruel to each other, but I think kids need to toughen up when kids are not nice to them,” Metz said.
Read one reaction to Metz’s post here, in which the writer argues that the culture of protection and reaction against all forms of bullying is “more reaction than cause.”
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Monday, January 21st, 2013
Deborah Mitchell, a Texas mom who is raising her two teenagers without religious faith, has sparked a national online conversation in which parents are vehemently defending their views that children should be raised with religion, without it, or with whatever works best for any individual family. Mitchell’s blog, and a recent online article, elevated the debate at a time when one in five Americans is unaffiliated with a religious tradition. More from CNN:
This week, she gained a whole new audience and the reassurance that she’s not alone. Her essay on CNN iReport, “Why I Raise My Children Without God,” drew 650,000 page views, the second highest for an iReport, and the most comments of any submission on the citizen journalism platform.
“When my son was around 3 years old, he used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.
For over a year, I lied to him and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.”
Mitchell posted the essay detailing her seven reasons for raising her children without God on CNN iReport because she felt there wasn’t anyone else speaking for women or moms like her. As she sees it, children should learn to do the right things because they will feel better about themselves, not because God is watching. She asks questions like: If there was a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God, why would he allow murders, child abuse and torture?
Lots of people disagreed with her. Tons. They flagged her iReport as inappropriate and criticized CNN for linking to her essay on the CNN.com homepage. But there were plenty of others who wrote thoughtful rebuttals, respectfully disagreeing with Mitchell while not foisting their own beliefs on her. Take, for instance, a Methodist dad, who said faith can be hard to nail down, but “not to avail ourselves of the power of something we don’t completely understand is silly.”
Others said Mitchell presented a simplistic view of religion.
“Presentations such as these seem to ignore a substantial percentage of believers – well-educated, compassionate, liberal folk, Christian and non-Christian alike – who, I feel, are able to worship without being blind to the realities of the world, or without lying to their children about their understanding of these complexities,” wrote commenter RMooradian. “I’ll be raising my children with God, but I understand those who cannot!”
But Mitchell’s essay also struck a chord with hundreds of like-minded parents raising children in a world where lack of belief puts them in the minority, often even in their own family.
“Thank you for writing this. I agree with everything you say, but I’m not brave enough to tell everyone I know this is how I feel,” a woman who called herself an “agnostic mommy of two in Alabama” posted in the comments. “Thank you for your bravery and letting me know I’m not alone.”
Image: Woman typing, via Shutterstock
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Monday, January 14th, 2013
Parents’ annual blog awards are in full swing! Here’s how you can nominate your favorite parenting blog – one you write yourself, or any blog that helps guide and support your parenting life:
- Visit the Parents Blog Awards page on Facebook between now and January 27.
- Nominate your favorite blog in one of these six categories:
- Most likely to make you laugh
- Most likely to inspire you to change the world
- Most likely to make life as CHO (Chief Household Officer) easier
- Most likely to wow you with photos or videos
- Most likely to help you achieve a personal goal
Five finalists will be chosen by Parents editors for each category, and then you’ll get a chance to vote on the winner between February 6 and 24.
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Thursday, October 11th, 2012
A 14-year-old Pakistani girl had surgery Tuesday night after she was shot by the Taliban, reportedly for writing blog posts that are critical of life in her home the war-torn Swat Valley. According to MSNBC.com, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban militants who assaulted her at her school. As of Wednesday, Yousafzai was in critical condition after undergoing surgery to remove the bullet from her body, where it was causing dangerous swelling in her brain and neck.
Yousafzai has been blogging since age 11, and last year she was nominated for an International Children’s Peace Prize for her work. She has won a National Peace Prize in Pakistan, and she had a school named after her.
From NBC News:
In her blog, Malala chronicled life in the Swat Valley under the brutal and oppressive rule of the local faction of the Pakistani Taliban, who carried out public floggings, hung dead bodies in the streets, and banned education for girls.
In early 2011, the militants had added Malala to their hit list.
Nosheen Abbas, of BBC Urdu, told NBC News that Malala was “very passionate about education, and she spoke about that a lot to me.”
“It angered her deeply when girls’ schools were closed, and she was affected, and her class fellows were affected. She would talk about (hiding school bags),” she said.
“She was so open about what they were doing to her city, and she was so vocal about it — that is what made her so threatening,” she added.
Abbas tried to explain why the Taliban had reacted so strongly.
“When it’s coming from a child, it’s innocent, it’s honest, it’s open, and I think that’s what was so threatening,” she said of the blog.
“I think that code of honor that used to exist where women and children, they weren’t attacked, they were honored in a way never touched. I think that no longer exists, I think that is what it shows,” she added.
Image: Child’s hands on computer keyboard, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, June 21st, 2012
A new study has found that new mothers who either read or write blogs report feeling less lonely, isolated, and stressed than mothers who don’t. The study, performed by researchers at Penn State University and Brigham Young University, found that the emotional support mothers get from blogging benefits them in many areas of life.
“It looks like blogging might be helping these women as they transition into motherhood because they may begin to feel more connected to their extended family and friends, which leads them to feel more supported,” said Brandon T. McDaniel, graduate student in human development and family studies at Penn State in a statement “That potentially is going to spill out into other aspects of their well being, including their marital relationship with their partner, the ways that they’re feeling about their parenting stress, and eventually into their levels of depression.”
Social networking, including Facebook, did not appear to have the same benefits as blogging, the study found. And blogging, though, helpful, was not an antidote to the stress of new motherhood.
“We’re not saying that those who end up feeling more supported all of a sudden no longer have stresses, they’re still going to have those stressful moments you have as a parent,” said McDaniel. “But because they’re feeling more supported, their thoughts and their feelings about that stress might change, and they begin to feel less stressed about those things.”
Image: Woman at a computer, via Shutterstock.
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