My Mother Wears Combat Boots -- kick-ass punk-parenting book

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62 Responses to “My Mother Wears Combat Boots -- kick-ass punk-parenting book”

  1. Ryan says:

    The biggest, harshest criticism seems to be coming from people who A.) Haven’t read the book, and B.) are looking for a way to express the same superiority they are accusing Mills of.

    I read the book; her methods are not for everyone, but I think her philosophy of parenting is something that anyone can take a piece of.

    She is not really militant about any of it; for the most part the tone of her book is “this is what I believe and how I transfer it to childrearing; take from it what you will.”

  2. Jeff says:

    C.D., you mentioned a while back that you were wondering about what to learn next. I’m willing to bet that you will get an education in developmental psychology if you would like to. If I can be so bold as to recommend a book that you might find interesting: Ken Wilber’s The Atman Project. It seems like something you would like; it’s a good source for writing about humans or AI, especially while watching an actual human go through some very interesting stages. If you buy the book and don’t like I’ll put money in your “bad-tip” jar.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I LOVED this book! As a new parent, I was tired of all the books like Great Expectations or What to Expect–not written for people like me.

    If you want advice about anarcho-parenting in an eco-friendly, anti-capitalist manner–READ THIS BOOK!

    If you like buying new stuff every chance you get probably not for you.

    And if you review books without reading them, you can rot in hell. =)

  4. mindysan33 says:

    This seems like an interesting book, but Neener’s review gives me pause. I don’t like the whole “your not raising your kids like I am, so your wrong” nonsense.

    I agree with Zour here, too. A busy body is a busy body. I don’t want anyone telling me how to raise my kid…

    Ugly Canuk- that is why I’ve been interested in doing the history of the punk scene. I don’t known about culture going slower? I think it is getting recycled quite a bit. I swear going to my campus is like walking into a John Hughes movie… I have some ideas about culture and counter-culture, and where it is now… maybe I’ll write about it one day…

  5. jasonL says:

    “Seems to me that the job of a parent is to raise an independent, free-thinking offspring”

    Actually, that’s exactly what this book is about (and what anarchism is about too). Awesome book — can’t recommend it highly enough.

  6. Bloo says:

    “parenting without punishment”

    I can see how someone could parent without CORPORAL punishment, or without HARSH punishment, but without punishment entirely? That sounds too much like no negative feedback or no negative consequences (NB: I haven’t read the book, I’m generalizing).

    Negative consequences in life teach us about some things quickly (thorns on roses hurt, stoves are hot, buying a $7000USD plasma TV on minimum wage is gonna wack your credit limit, etc.).

    Heinlein once said (through Lazarus Long maybe?) that engineers will tell you that you cannot control a system solely through positive feedback, it will oscillate out of control.

    That said – I can envision negative consequences without “punishment” by some people’s definitions.

  7. Cory Doctorow says:

    Neener@3: I can’t disagree more. She tells you why she breast feeds and uses cloth diapers, and so forth — and then tells you to make up your own mind (indeed, on the subject of cloth diapers, she makes the very compelling quote that of all the things we could green, disposable diapers are something that improves the quality of life for millions of women, and washable ones would undermine that quality of life, and it says something about our social values that the pressure to give up your disposables is so much firmer than the pressure to give up, say, your car).

    Zour@4: Did you read the book? Or did you call it “shit” without having read a single solitary word of it? I think I can hear your knee jerking. It’s an ugly sound.

  8. DogStarMan says:

    Parenting = Common Sense

    You either have it or you don’t. If you don’t, then by all means, buy a parenting book. If you do, don’t bother because it will tell you everything you’ve already figured out yourself.

  9. danegeld says:

    “your mother wears combat slippers.” was a favourite insult at school.

  10. Neener says:

    #28- spoken like a non-parent with no experience. Oh how I long for the days when I had no kids and all the answers, but soon you’ll have kids and no answers.

  11. nanner says:

    #6 jesscott98 : what have you got against silversmiths?

  12. Keneke says:

    Okay, I see that’s a saxophone on the cover, but for a second I thought it was some Matrix-like feeding tube and she was about to put her baby into a vat of warm pink goo and attach cables to its spine.

  13. Takuan says:

    poverty breeds confidence. The luxury of choice can undermine it. Think some working class immigrant mother with a handful of kids has time to second guess herself?

  14. martha_macarthur says:

    @#4

    My fav was when one of my son’s preschool friends came into play group with a Sid Vicious T-shirt on. I asked the Dad flat out why he wanted to associate his daughter with a person who stabbed his girlfriend to death and then ODed on heroin. He stared at me blankly. We never saw the shirt again. I really don’t think he knew who Sid Vicious was but thought it would be hip or something.

  15. Peter says:

    I was always prepared if someone ever insulted me with “Your mother wears combat boots”. I’d respond with “Only during field training.”

    Sadly, it never came up, and I’ve never actually heard the insult other than on TV, and I suppose sooner or later it’s going to go the way of the dodo.

    Ah well, at least I had fun telling my friends my mom had to bite the head off live rats in survival training.

    Untrue, but fun.

  16. mgfarrelly says:

    @Artbot:

    Punk parenting? Yeah, right.

    Is that the title of your book?

    I’m not a parent, but your little rant manages to simplify one of the most nuanced aspects of the human experience to a laundry list. Not unlike the most odious parenting books.

    (contrary to punk/hippie beliefs, kids need structure)

    Structure and domination by fear of punishment are two very different things. If your kid only does the right thing out of fear of getting punished, what happens when they realize they might be able to get away with it?

    Short answer: Enron.

  17. Agit says:

    Good to see an AK Press title highlighted on BB.

    I bought this for a friend for Christmas, so she would have a little time to read it before her son was born in June.

    She said there were a lot of ideas that she did agree with and there were things she didn’t really jive with. Overall she said it was a pretty good book, and it allowed her to get a better idea of what to expect. I think need to borrow this from her to see how it is.

    Also no need to make attacks on people that are into or support the punk ethos over the age of 25 being irresponsible. Hell most of the ideals espoused in punk now are taking responsibility for your actions.

    I’m 35, have no debt, pay my bills on time and do all of that other “grown up” crap. I get out a lot, go see shows, read probably more than I should, support local artists/labels/zines all while working a 40 hour a week job at a major US tech company.

  18. zour says:

    @10 / C.D.-

    If you read the substance of the comment, it was fairly obviously directed at the overall trend of ‘alternative’ parenting, or rather, the continuation of such with a facelift from hippies to punks/hipsters.

    The actual content of the book was not discussed as I obviously have not read it, but from the description you provided, it lined up quite well with what is typical of the trend I deride as shit, which is why I addressed that in my comment. Reading the rest of today’s comments, it seems most others agree with me. “Alternative” parenting is by and large narcissistic garbage. Dressing your children in “alternative” gear is just the flipside of spending obscene amounts of money on designer baby clothes. Exercises in vanity.

  19. Jack says:

    This book seems more geared towards aging punk parents who are too afraid to grow up in any way and who want to still keep whatever thread of their “ethos” alive.

    Please, just read a non-trend based parenting book and share/explore experiences with parents of all types.

    The idea of anyone from Maximum Rock’n’Roll telling anyone how to raise a child is sad and hilarious.

    PS: Don’t force your music tastes on kids either. Be truly open-minded and deal with it if they think punk bores them.

  20. MollyMaguire says:

    See, “horn player in several punk bands”, that’s your problem right there.

  21. V says:

    RE: #28

    Ha – that’s pretty much point-by-point how my girlfriend is raising her children.

    Results: Two cool, independent thinking, creative kids.

  22. Cefeida says:

    Granted, this is just a review and not the book, but the suggestion that your kid’s desire to wear a frilly pink dress is a failure in parenting makes me think someone’s misunderstood gender-coding veeery badly.

    When I become a parent I hope I have the sense to let my kids be as punk or as square as they please.

  23. anthony says:

    I have not read the book, but I do agree that kids need structure. A red flag popped up when I saw that non-authoritarian quote. All the good stuff about punk had to do with rejecting established rules and expectations, but when you are a five year old you need those expectations to be clear (and fair), not non-existent. I have seen this kind of rule-free parenting lead to disaster (“we’ve tried nothing and we’re all out of ideas”). As one other poster mentioned, you can wind up with a real bully which I’m sure is not the intended outcome. The other choices mentioned sound good to me; cloth diapers, breast feeding.
    What’s worked for us so far is encourage our kid’s interests, love of learning, support and love her, and keep her active in the real world. Lots of play, lots of exposure to art, music, nature. And she gets in trouble sometimes.

  24. colonel gentleman says:

    Grimshaw @27 –

    Fair enough. I’ve enjoyed my share (Jello Biafra still has a hold on a share of my iPod and I scratched my head when Henry Rollins started showing up in Charlie Sheen movies).

    It’s just that when folks of a certain vintage start talking about punk rock and it’s “ethos” all I hear is Dennis Hopper.

    “I was there, maaannn….”

    It could just be me.

    Have a good one.

  25. vespabelle says:

    The books I recommend to people who are about to become parents are: The Kid by Dan Savage and Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott.

    Pick your parenting style and then pick the parenting book. And don’t take these things personally. (and for goodness sake, avoid all Livejournal parenting groups!)

  26. grimshaw says:

    @ # 39 – what do you mean “too afraid to grow up in any way”? I’m honestly curious to know what you mean. I don’t want to respond to your comment without fully understanding what you mean, but from having read the book the author and her partner seem pretty “grown up” to me.

  27. Jeff says:

    #53 said, “Parenting without dogma,” sounds like a parenting book I’d like to read.”

    We all have dogma. It’s good to question it from time to time, but you can’t live without it. There are just some things you aren’t going to question with regard to right or wrong. You will never leave a baby alone in a bathtub. You will never question that bit of dogma. Here’s one of my dogmatic rules: if you give a child too much stuff, you can spoil them. Spoiled rotten children can grow up to be spoiled rotten adults. And so on and so forth.

  28. Avram says:

    Neener @3, I’m pretty sure the policy on cloth diapers in your city is not a matter of the physical constraints of the universe, but a mere law or private policy. If it matters to you, you might be able to get it changed.

    Jesscott98 @6, you’ve posted a total of three comments on BoingBoing, and two of them have been grumpy, content-free, pissing-in-the-punchbowl comments. Nobody really cares if you don’t like something. They might care if you were able to express your dislike in a substantive or at least entertaining fashion, but cranky one-liners don’t do anybody any good.

  29. Jack says:

    #41 POSTED BY GRIMSHAW:
    This can only end badly, but most everyone I know who espouses a punk ethos past the age of 25 has serious responsibility issues. And tend to be petit fascists who espouse freedom when they are really asserting controlling. True there are some people out there who like a punk lifestyle and have become adults, but most don’t and it’s simply an excuse to avoid responsibility. When mixed with child rearing… Oy vey!

    Also I don’t buy the conceit that this book is the author simply presenting their views and then you are left to make your own choice.

    Isn’t that what bible thumpers say?

    Read the bible and make your own choice… And if your choice is disagreement with the bible then just read it again or get ready to be lectured about the flaws in your “choices”.

    Sorry but parenting without dogma is the way to go. There are tons of options out there that aren’t marketed towards the Maximum Rock’n’Roll aesthetic/ethos.

  30. lgagnon says:

    #23, #28, you both seem to have not studied child psychology; I wouldn’t talk about who needs to see a psychologist if I were you. Your “tough love” methods that aren’t supposed to produce “wimpy” children have actually been shown to produce more withdrawn individuals who lack spontaneity and conscience. If anyone’s likely to produce a messed up kid with their methods, it’d be you two.

  31. ill lich says:

    Some of the comments here remind me of that quip that Zappa got from one of the senator’s wives during the PMRC hearings in the early 80′s, something along the lines “Boy I’d love to see what kind of toys your kids play with!”, and Frank replies “C’mon over the house sometime and I’ll show you.”

    Dweezil and Moon unit seem like pretty well-adjusted adults to me.

  32. Daemon says:

    First item on the agenda: Replace all Disney works in child’s life with the works of Studio Ghibli – ESPECIALLY if said child is female.

  33. Jack says:

    @#44 POSTED BY ILL LICH , SEPTEMBER 8, 2008 1:09 PM

    Dweezil and Moon unit seem like pretty well-adjusted adults to me.

    Sure they are; and I say that with no irony or sarcasm. But do you factor the fact that they come from wealth & fame having anything to do with that? I know there are examples of children of stars falling into a craphole, but let’s face facts: If you have a wad of cash and a connected network behind you you can prosteletize any philosophy and make a convincing argument.

    Also, this discussion has degraded into polarized discussions of punk versus not-punk. You know what? I respect the punk ethos. But I also see flaws in it. In fact many of the same flaws can be seen in conservative parenting as well.

    The idea to parent based on punk ethos makes as much sense as making eggs the way a right winger would. Or dancing about architecture.

  34. nom_de_grr says:

    …and it’s got a super-stylish cover by Cristy Roads!

    http://www.croadcore.org/

  35. Beanolini says:

    If you do want your child to turn out just like you (and who doesn’t?), why not ask your mother how she did it?

    If you’re lucky, she’ll even travel half-way across the country to do your babysitting for free.

    Alternatively, ask your father, and then do the exact opposite of everything he suggests.

  36. LB says:

    Anyone who thinks they can control what their kids like – such as Disney cartoons and frilly pink dresses – is delusional. No matter how hard you try, all the things you want your kids to be into are probably not what they’re going to be into. So just embrace Disney and Spongebob and Dora and years later, you and your kids will just have a good laugh over the whole thing anyway. “I used to like Thomas the Tank Engine? Seriously?”

  37. colonel gentleman says:

    Talking about about punk rock now is as annoying as going on about the 60′s was 10 years ago.

  38. grimshaw says:

    @ # 42 – Jack, thanks for responding – with regards to your first point, I understand what you mean, and I think it depends on one’s interpretation of what a punk lifestyle is, as for some it’s all about responsibility (personal, local, international, etc. and isn’t related to being a slacker in any way). The petit fascits are a pain, though, I’ll give you that, and worse when that’s something they don’t grow out of. But anyways, I think the generalization you’ve made can be laid on lots of people in terms of lacking responsibility.

    I would agree with your second point as I found that despite the authors claims that everyone should make their own parenting choices, she does write in a style that makes it feel that she is telling you that this is the right way to do things, which I found aggavating.

  39. Svenski says:

    #11 – Right On!

    “…trying to raise a baby without “gender-coding,” punishment, or authoritarianism”

    Ah, sounds like a young bully-in-training. Methinks she’ll be needing to budget for a few dozen trips to the child psychologist in a few years. Yet another “alternative” wimp in the making who thinks they are above it all because they’ve never had any boundaries.

    I’ve got a 16 year old niece who was raised the exact same way by the same type of mom. Needless to say, she’s a wreck already.

    #16 – Right On again!

    I can’t tell you how many “alternative” parents I’ve had to deal with while raising my son. Most of them are “too cool for school” types and their kids are F’ing brats.

  40. mortis says:

    I always secretly hope that these people’s children grow up to be Frat-boy/Sorority girl Republicans.

    also, #21 & 22: couldn’t agree more!

    ANARCHY – The T-Shirt Movement

  41. Bugs says:

    The best piece of advice on parenting and pregnancy books I’ve ever heard is this:

    “Always remember that your child hasn’t read the book”.

    If you do choose to read a parenting book(s), don’t be surprised or worried when your kid completely blindsides you.

  42. codesuidae says:

    I thought the book sounded interesting until that line about failure being a kid that wants to wear frilly pink dresses.

    Seems odd to me that something associated with ‘punk’ ideals would be critical of what one chooses to wear, or whether one chooses to wear things based on what one’s peers wear.

    Oh well. Like any other work, it is up to the consumer to consider all the parts of the work, integrate those that have personal merit and discard those that do not.

  43. jackie31337 says:

    @#50 Bloo: “I can see how someone could parent without CORPORAL punishment, or without HARSH punishment, but without punishment entirely? That sounds too much like no negative feedback or no negative consequences (NB: I haven’t read the book, I’m generalizing).

    Negative consequences in life teach us about some things quickly (thorns on roses hurt, stoves are hot, buying a $7000USD plasma TV on minimum wage is gonna wack your credit limit, etc.).”

    The negative consequences are how you can parent without punishment. Grabbing a rose and getting pricked by the thorns is a much more effective way to learn not to grab a rose than being told not to do it and threatened with being put in timeout for disobeying. Letting the consequences of an action happen is not the same thing as punishment: it is learning.

  44. grimshaw says:

    @ 22 – In your opinion I suppose, but it all depends on what you’re talking about. If you consider punk to have “died” in the late 70′s coupled with a lack of interest in the musical and cultural genre, then yes, one might be right to say that talking about it is “annoying”. If however you are interested in the either the musical and cultural genre of the mid to late 70′s, or if you consider punk to be very much alive as an nti-authoritarian musical and social movement, as does Mills’ then you probably won’t find talking about punk annoying.

    I’ve read the book. I don’t self identify as a punk, but it’s something I’m into, musically and in terms of the political side. I think she does a good job on the autobiographical side of things, but in terms of the book being a parent guide, I found that the parts that are intended to be informational, and thus objective in my mind, were unsupported and biased. So I don’t think I’d recommend this as a parenting guide, per se.

  45. artbot says:

    Punk parenting? Yeah, right.

    Here’s all the parenting advice you need to vastly increase your odds of raising a valuable addition to society: Get rid of your f**king cable tv, spend more time reading to them and with them, create & enforce rules consistently (contrary to punk/hippie beliefs, kids need structure), don’t keep crappy food (stuff with sugar and HFCS) in the house for them to eat, nap-train them, stop coddling the shit out of them.

    Thank me later.

  46. knotslaning says:

    I have actually read this book and I would have to say that it is a refreshing look at how to raise children. Mills is not judgmental in anyway nor does she try to force her ideas onto the reader. She has chosen to raise her daughter with an anti-authoritarian philosophy that makes a lot of sense if you think about it.

    Despite what many commenters think, her daughter gets to make choices about her life and isn’t being forced into living the life her mother and father chose.

    Allowing your children to experiment, discover who they are and what they like on their own terms (with you as a guider not an enforcer) is the point of the book and I think can be very threatening to traditional style parenting.

  47. Bionicrat2 says:

    #3 Neener: It sounds as though you object to saying cloth diapers ARE NOT a better choice since many daycares won’t take them? That seems like an odd stance to take. And the daycares that don’t allow cloth can’t stop parents from using cloth the other 16 hours hours of the day. I know plenty of people that do this option.

    Regarding, breastfeeding you have to keep in mind how anti-breastfeeding American culture is. So when someone lays out the “why you should” facts she’s got to make a case to 90% of people that are simply deciding whether to breastfeed or not.

  48. ZippySpincycle says:

    Svenski @ 23 says “Yet another “alternative” wimp in the making who thinks they are above it all because they’ve never had any boundaries.”

    One of my biggest challenges with my 11-year old is explaining that while generalizations come naturally to humans, they can also be pretty harmful. And so I find myself explaining that, for instance, while I don’t much like John McCain, that doesn’t mean that I think he’s a complete idiot. Oh dear–I’m teaching my kid about nuance. Must make me an alternative wimp with no boundaries.

    On another topic, the “pink frilly dresses” bit is a line from Nancy White’s brilliant song “Daughters of Feminists”. The appropriate tone is bemusement, not bullying.

  49. Nelson.C says:

    Apropos of nothing really, I’m reminded of the exchange in the series The Young Ones that goes something like:

    Rik: “Yeah? Well… your mother wears army boots!”

    Viv: “Yes, she does. I didn’t know you knew her.”

  50. Gary61 says:

    “Vegetable rights and peace!”

  51. beerzie says:

    More like Poser Parenting if you ask me. As a parent with three kids ages 6 – 13, good luck with treating being a parent like another style choice.

  52. mgfarrelly says:

    @11:
    “Common-sense” ain’t so common. Many people didn’t grow up in large families or around infant/toddler siblings. They’re supposed to learn the vicissitudes of parenting via osmosis? Babies are weird little creatures and having a good, practical and well-written guide to some of the funny things they do (like when the belly-button thingee falls off, or their poop is neon or how to handle teething/tantrums and such)is invaluable.

    That said, you know what librarians call the “Parenting Section” of the library?

    The dust factory.

    Most parenting books are so cloying, so pedantic and so god-awfully designed (glowing angelic white children and perfect aryan parents are the dominant species in the dust factory) they sit there unloved and unmourned.

    This sounds like a book I’d actually read and recommend to younger/hipper parents. Maybe they’ll disagree with some of it, but if you agree with everything in a parenting manual you likely wrote it.

  53. Neener says:

    We looked at this over the weekend, but sadly, really sadly, the author is probably MORE judgmental than your average baby book. Let’s get one thing on the table, many many women, at least 10-20% of the mom’s we know, had medical problems that preclude effectively breastfeeding their children. My wife, was in fact one of those women when we had our first baby. Anyone trying to paint a conspiracy about formula manufacturers in the 1950s had reason to do so, but in 2008 trying to suggest that everyone can do it is anti-science.

    And then there’s the whole cloth diapers thing. Well, genius, my wife has an advanced degree and wants to keep her career and publish new research. Feminist choice, right? Well doing so PRECLUDES the ability to use cloth diapers, which are not allowed in certified daycare centers in our city. Get off your high horse about disposable diapers.

    If you treat Maximum RocknRoll with a level of disdain then you will quickly realize WHAT KIND of MRR author the author is. I have about 50 issues sitting in my room at my parents’ house. I know MRR and sadly this book straddles the tightrope between, wow, this is awesome and “Oh for gosh sakes it Berkeley REALLY that judgmental? Why don’t these people get a life.”

  54. ZippySpincycle says:

    Parenting is nicely summed up by this old application of Murphy’s Law to the lab: “Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables the organism will do as it damn well pleases.”

  55. Diluted says:

    Thanks for writing the review of this book. I am a friend of the author and her daughter plays at my house frequently. (The thing about having a pool is kids always want to come to your house!)

    to #28, her kids have plenty of structure. If you haven’t read the book, don’t assume punk/hippie means structureless.

    The author’s children are extremely well behaved and very cool. I don’t agree with everything in her book, but she is very together and a lot of her ideas can be applied even if you don’t agree with all of them.

  56. zour says:

    Anyone else find this shit just as bad as the ultra-right wing, “I home school so my kids won’t have to hear about the liberal conspiracies of evolution and global warming” school of parenting?

    Seems to me that the job of a parent is to raise an independent, free-thinking offspring, not just mold them as your mini-me. If they don’t come to their belief systems on their own, it is just indoctrination.

    To me, anyone who has to self-identify through a parenting book is thinking way too much about themselves and not enough on their child. It is like putting a baby in a Misfits onesie. What is the point?

  57. byronba says:

    LGAGNON @43:

    I haven’t studied child psychology yet my two children were raised along the lines proposed by Artbot@28 and Svenski@23.

    Both of my kids turned out OK. My daughter is now a reporter with a southern California newspaper and my son is currently attending school in pursuit of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Neither one has every exhibited a lack of spontaneity and/or conscience.

    Before we all run off and start a “my kid is better than your kid” type of argument lets remember:
    “There are ten thousand ways to sing the lays and every one of them is correct”
    (Can’t remember where I read that…)

  58. Ugly Canuck says:

    Ah, punk. It’s been around since ’74. I was there.
    Temporally speaking, punk is to now, like the zoot-suiters were to the early seventies.
    Is it just me or has the speed of cultural change become much slower since the election of R. Reagan?

  59. ill lich says:

    There is a family in my neighborhood where the father and mother are tattooed anarchist punks, and I got a laugh when I saw them at a yard sale and their daughter (wearing a frilly pink dress if I remember correctly), asked to buy a Monopoly game. Ahhh, the mysteries of life.

    Some people might like to insist that any of the various new methods of child rearing will produce a child that needs a “few dozen trips to the child psychologist”, but old-fashioned “traditional” child-rearing produced plenty of rapists, thieves, murderers and dictators, to say nothing of average adults who need “a few dozen trips to the psychologist.” Just do your best and try not to cause harm.

  60. wolfiesma says:

    “Parenting without dogma,” sounds like a parenting book I’d like to read. I get so depressed when my friends over-identify with a particular philosophy and think it is the one way to go. Why are we so gung-ho to line up in our little camps and wave our little flags with our little labels on them? It makes me very, very tired.

  61. Jack says:

    #47 POSTED BY GRIMSHAW:
    Since I said pessimistically “This can only end badly…” I’d like to say I’m happy to be proven wrong by your response. You’re good!

  62. Jack says:

    @#59 POSTED BY KNOTSLANING:

    …her daughter gets to make choices about her life and isn’t being forced into living the life her mother and father chose.

    And you know this how? Via the book itself? Not saying this pessimistically, but perhaps when her kids grow up and can truly express their own opinions some might be shocked.

    Allowing your children to experiment, discover who they are and what they like on their own terms (with you as a guider not an enforcer) is the point of the book and I think can be very threatening to traditional style parenting.

    You’re presuming that traditional parenting doesn’t allow for individuality at all and this form of “punk” parenting breaks the “shackles”. Give us all a break and stop creating these faux polarizations.

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