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12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children

Animals have always played an important role in many people’s lives, since time immemorial. Dogs are the most common animals to have stood by man and have become one of the most beloved household pets, up to the modern day. They have been valued not only as companions but also as family members who have significantly impacted the quality of life of both the parents and children. continue reading

Spanking As a Prejudice Against Children

It's been said that kids benefit from a good spanking. Some people justify this practice by claiming that today's kids' are getting out of control, and need to be punished more severely. Some folks might be surprised to learn that this generational view has been expressed throughout our history with regard to a number of specific populations of people within our society. continue reading

Maybe It’s Okay to Wait for School

Written by Krista Eger. Not a lot of people know this, but we put our kids in public school for the first time this year. I haven’t been very open about it because it’s not what we originally wanted and the circumstances that drove us to this decision were very difficult. One of my personality traits is that I always feel like I need to explain myself (even though logically I know I don’t have to) and I know if I was open about it, I would compulsively want to explain why to everyone and the thought of that exhausts me. But the first term ended this week and I attended my first parent teacher conference and am feeling more confident that this was the right decision for our family at this point in our life. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how grateful I am that we didn’t put Nate in school any earlier than we did (he’s in 3rd grade). He has been diagnosed with ADHD and also mildly spectrum, but has grown out of a lot of his more difficult and frustrating behaviors. He is the reason I was so motivated to learn about peaceful parenting and find alternatives to the traditional discipline styles our culture thinks are best. He never responded to things the way I expected him to and I had to find something different that would work. I could go on for twenty paragraphs about how much I feel like applying Parent Effectiveness Training principles has paid off with him especially (I struggle more with my daughter because she doesn’t think as black and white as Nate), but I’d be going off topic. I work at a pediatric clinic and have read countless charts of kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Kids younger than Nate that act EXACTLY like he used to. They’re put on all sorts of stimulants and struggle significantly with behavior at school (and at home). Nate went to preschool and his teacher used to complain to me all the time that he was different and there was something wrong with him (which is why I took him to a children’s behavioral clinic where he was diagnosed with ADHD in the first place). Yet there I sat with his teacher at parent teacher conference in awe as she told me she had no concerns about his behavior. I don’t necessarily think that every kid with ADHD wouldn’t have issues if they were enrolled in school at an older age. Actually the two most common things kids with ADHD have are lack of good sleep habits, and broken families or traumatic childhoods. But I think there definitely is something to say about how the school environment doesn’t fit these kids’ brain types and waiting until they’re older could make a huge difference. But I’m not here to pass judgments because I don’t know everyone’s story and family situation. I am just grateful that things are working out for him and... continue reading

Spencerian Parenting

Editor’s Pick. Written by Dan Sanchez. We wonder why, after years of allowing them very few decisions, our children end up such poor decision-makers. We give them little responsibility and wonder why, as young men and women, they are so irresponsible. We endeavor to inculcate strict obedience to every parental dictate, and wonder why every generation is so servile and submissive to the state. But if unchecked by parental authority, will not a child yield to his impulses, to the detriment of his socialization, education, and even physical safety? How can the child mature, if there are no consequences for misbehavior? Read the rest here. continue reading

No Hitting! – Full Book

No Hitting! A Short Guide on Why Spanking is Unnecessary by Skyler J. Collins, Published 2015 Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Paperback ($6) and other digital formats found here. Preface Here it is, my third published work and second written entirely by myself. Everything Voluntary: From Politics to Parenting was an anthology I edited and self-published in May of 2012(1), as a primer to the philosophy of voluntaryism. Toward a Free Society: A Short Guide on Building a Culture of Liberty I wrote between December 2014 and January 2015 as a series of columns at Everything-Voluntary.com and published soon thereafter in booklet form(2). The present work likewise began life as a series of columns at Everything-Voluntary.com. My hope with this booklet is to change your family life for the better. I want you to have the best relationship with your children as you possibly can. Like me, you may have had them for this reason: to enrich your life now and later. I am firmly opposed to the idea that punitive- or violence-based parenting is compatible with these goals. This booklet begins the exploration on why, but to really get the most it has to offer, pay attention to the footnotes and Further Reading at the end. If I had to recommend two books to give you the tools necessary to raise your children right, those would be Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon(3)  and Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Laura Markham.(4) I would like to thank my friend Chris Brown for introducing me to Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn, who likewise has my sincerest gratitude. And were it not for my loving wife, Julieta, I would not have the amazing children that I do, nor would I have had the support I needed to change from a violent and punitive father toward someone my children deserve. (1) Available in several formats at https://skyler.link/evcbook1(2) Available in several formats at https://skyler.link/evcbook2(3) Available in several formats at http://skyler.link/amznpet(4) Available in several formats at http://skyler.link/amznpphk Chapter 1 – Introduction The practice of spanking children in particular, and child punishment in general, was abandoned in my family in August of 2011.(5)  We’ve never looked back. Sure my children have had their difficult moments, but I’ve managed to find better ways to help them through than with spanking or time-outs. In every case, I found and dealt with the unmet need that caused the problem, or failing that, got them through their trouble with empathy, compassion, and humor. I am now completely unconvinced that spanking, or any punishment of children, is ever necessary. So I thought I’d write this booklet examining the reasons people give for these archaic practices, with emphasis on the worst form of child punishment, spanking. Reasons for Spanking Many are the reasons caretakers give for spanking their children. They were likely spanked themselves and believe they “turned out just fine,” so they’ve decided to continue the practice. Their parenting tool box contains just a few tools for dealing with... continue reading

About the Author

Table of Contents Previous – Further Reading About the Author Skyler J. Collins lives with his beautiful wife and three wonderful children in Salt Lake City, Utah. He’s a voluntaryist and radical unschooler. He enjoys reading, writing, and podcasting about anything on liberty, economics, philosophy, religion, science, health, and childhood development. He and his wife are committed to raising their children in peace and love, exploring the world with them, and showing them how to deal with others respectfully, and enjoy their freedom responsibly. He is the founder of Everything-Voluntary.com. His websites also include skylerjcollins.com, LibertySearch.info, and LargePrintLiberty.com. continue reading

Further Reading

Table of Contents Previous – Chapter 6, Divine Mandate Further Reading Connection Parenting, Pam Leo Free Range Kids, Lenore Skenazy Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg Parenting a Free Child, Rue Kream Parenting Effectiveness Training, Thomas Gordon Parenting for a Peaceful World, Robin Grille Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, Laura Markham Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings, Laura Markham Playful Parenting, Lawrence Cohen Siblings without Rivalry, A. Faber & E. Mazlish The 5 Love Languages of Children, Gary Chapman The Gentle Parent, L. R. Knost The Natural Child, Jan Hunt Two Thousand Kisses a Day, L. R. Knost Unconditional Parenting, by Alfie Kohn Next – About the Author continue reading

Chapter 6 – Divine Mandate

Table of ContentsPrevious – Chapter 5, Respect and Obedience Chapter 6 – Divine Mandate Many religious people, Christian and not, consider the practice of spanking to be divinely mandated. They’ll quote scriptures or religious leaders in the attempt to support that belief. If you believe without a doubt that spanking is required by your god, then you likely won’t care what I have to say. That’s fine; feel free to skip to the end. For everyone else, perhaps we can shed some perspective on things. Perspective In December 2000, Lisa Haddock wrote of her responses from several religious leaders in the New Jersey area to the question, “According to your religious tradition, under what circumstances can a parent strike a child? How far can a parent go when correcting a child’s behavior?” She received the following (abbreviated) responses:(26) Rev. Steven R. McClelland, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, “He who spares his rod hates his son” was never meant as an endorsement of corporal punishment. The rod mentioned in Proverbs is the same rod mentioned in Psalm 23, “Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” This rod was the round end of a shepherd’s staff used to keep a sheep from wandering off in the wrong direction and getting hurt. It is analogous to a concrete divider on a highway separating the right and left lanes in order to prevent collisions. In this day and age there is no theological or psychological need to use corporal punishment. When parents hit children, they show that they have lost control of their tempers. As a result, their children are filled with fear. He goes on to recommend time-outs instead of spanking, but it is my position that even time-outs are as unnecessary and counter-productive as spanking.(27)  His interpretation of the rod is shared by Samuel Martin who wrote an entire book examining the original meaning of these passages from the Bible, titled Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me.(28) The Rev. Kobutsu Malone, Buddhist priest, Engaged Zen Foundation, I can only speak from the perspective of a simple Buddhist priest. Working over the years with my own children, students, prisoners, and my fellow human beings, I have learned that any form of punishment, be it corporal or psychological, is counterproductive. It is uncivilized and serves no purpose other than to perpetuate oppression. The practice of punishment involves the deliberate infliction of physical or emotional pain by one person who has power over the other. It instills fear, creates trauma, and damages the punished as well as the punisher. The net result is humiliation and degradation for the giver and the receiver. Each time we are punished, we are taught that punishment is acceptable. Out of fear, we modify our behavior in the presence of our oppressor. When our punisher is no longer present, we feel resentment. In time, these feelings can turn into hatred for ourselves and others and lead to depression and alienation. When these feelings are directed outwardly, we oppress... continue reading