Parenting the Gender Spectrum: Paint the Rainbow

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Gender is a spectrum of personal identity and expression and not the binary boxes into which children are pressured to conform. We are free to be our true selves and reach our happiness potential when we are granted access to that full spectrum of human experience. Communication Gender socialization has been proven to begin in the womb when we talk a lot more to our babies if we are told they are girls. Why should we limit our verbal interaction with our babies just because they are male? As they age, we say we don’t talk with boys as much […]

A Day in the Life

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Homeschooling

I’m sometimes asked what a typical day looks like for us. Things vary wildly from day to day, which is part of what I love about homeschooling. We have the freedom to take advantage of any opportunity for life learning through adventure. So I made some mental notes and took a few pictures the other day just so I could give you a snapshot of our lives. 9:00 Wake up under the weight of my 3 year old cosleeping nursling’s cuddles. Peacefully soak in that bliss for about a half hour until hubs kisses us goodbye for work. 9:30 6 year […]

Potty Training: Tarzan Pees

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Potty Learning “Wanna come over for a playdate? Cool, cool, um … hey just a head’s up, my kid will be naked and peeing in the backyard. It’s potty awareness season at the Rainbolts!” I am the biggest advocate of allowing children to develop and mature on their own timeline. I think the piece that is missing from the potty training coversation is that what we are really doing nowadays is undiapering – undoing the daiper training we have already done. We spend the first year(s) of our babies’ lives training them to urinate and defecate into a receptacle that […]

Is Santa Real?

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Holidays are probably the topic about which I get asked most when people realize that we raise our children secularly. “But Christmas! How do you celebrate Christmas if you don’t believe in CHRIST?!” How do you celebrate Christ on the Pagan holiday of Winter Solstice? Historical fact, it’s what’s for dinner. Most holidays are celebrated culturally, not religiously. We put up an evergreen tree, decorate our house like a magical winter wonderland, and celebrate the spirit of giving, which the religious don’t own (just ask a conservative republican about welfare). Our Easter tradition is to spend the day at the […]

My Children Are Heathens

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Secular Parenting Defined Atheist: A person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods. I am atheist, which only serves to tell you what I am NOT, as in I am not a member of the God Squad. “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” -Stephen Roberts Secular Humanist: A comprehensive, nonreligious lifestance incorporating a naturalistic philosophy, a cosmic outlook rooted in science, and a consequentialist ethical system. I […]

We Have a Runner

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  Meet West. He is two years old. He has the hair of a Greek god with the adventurous spirit and gleaming smile to match. He converses with anyone who will listen, has deeply empathetic connections with others, is the youngest of our hearty three-boy superhero squad, is as tall as a four year old, and happens to be the runningest runner who ever lived. He has never been restrained in a container against his will (strapped into a stroller). He has never been walked on a leash like a dog. He has never been forced to hold my hand […]

Sleep Trainer Translator

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Baby

So often the verbiage used in the world of sleep training is confusing and misleading to tired parents just trying to do right by their babies. So I have created here for you a Sleep Trainer Translator, to take the phrases often prescribed to new parents by sleep trainers and turn them into accurate and accessible translations. But be warned, this translator is dripping with snark and will likely offend, so saddle up your defensiveness and wrangle your face of righteous indignation. Teach your baby to self-soothe. Do not respond to Baby so that he stops communicating his needs. Note: Babies […]

Life on the Street

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Parenting

Street crossing seems to be the daily event most associated with parents throwing their parenting philosophies and ideals out the window. It’s a time when parents tend to abandon respectful parenting based on gentle guidance and learning in favor of physical boundaries imposed against a chid’s will. After all, “What good is a trusting relationship if my child is dead!?” The problem is, strategies based on authority imposed restraint don’t teach your child how to make safe choices. They make you the enemy and leave your child feeling powerless with a strong drive to reclaim that autonomy through rebellion (translation: running […]

5 Tips for Dining Out Dominance

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1. Use the bathroom right after you order. It never fails. Your child will have to pee urgently the moment that hot plate of food touches the tabletop. So after you are seated (remember to be considerate with seating arrangements, as they are far more important to a child than most adults realize and if you do not anticipate this, you may very well have tantrums on your hands), focus on the task of deciding what each person would like to eat. Once that is decided, order your drinks and food, and go to the restroom. It does not matter if you went […]

The Breast Season

Posted Posted in Baby

You’re all too willing to spend hours cuddled up nursing in the mornings, preparing for the drought of distraction the day brings. I sense that you feel it too, as the milk seems to taste that much more sweet to you, and these moments that much more precious. Like a small thorn in the bands of love that bind us, my bliss is pricked by the thought that this will end. Your small hand resting lovingly on my chest is no longer a passive receptacle for my loving touch. It now creeps across me with its own priorities that amuse […]

16 Responses to Nursing in Public Idiocy

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Baby

While discrimination against breastfeeding in public is completely without merit, there are a few ignorant arguments that have been repeated so often they warrant addressing. So let’s get a few things straight: 1. If you can expose your breasts in public, then can I expose my penis in public? Breasts are not sexual organs. Breasts are not part of the female reproductive system. Breasts are not comparable to a penis. Unless you’re ready to accept dildos as freely and openly in public as a bottle, don’t make this comparison. Exposing a vulva in public would be an appropriate comparison to exposing […]

Put Cry-It-Out to Bed

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 Sleep Training: Sleep is not learned. There are a lot of sleep trainers out there who will begin by espousing the importance of sleep for your baby’s health and then explain that it is your responsibility to teach (force) them to sleep. Sleep is not a learned behavior. A learned behavior is something we are not born knowing how to do. Babies know how to sleep just fine. Sleeping like an adult is learned—over the course of an entire childhood as the needs of your baby’s brain and body mature. Babies are capable of and content with doing the things evolution […]

Sex Talk: Your Vulva is Not Lord Voldemort

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Many parents mistakenly believe that parenting sexuality is a singular conversation that occurs during puberty. “The birds and the bees,” or “the sex talk,” is a conversation parents dread and teens must uncomfortably squirm through as an almost rite of passage after an entire childhood vacant of honestly answered questions. I was raised by a religious mother with a wall of, “You’re not old enough to have that question answered,” off which to bounce all my questions. For the record, this is a terrible answer. If your child is old enough to ask a question, they are old enough to […]

Ectopic Pregnancy

Posted Posted in Parenting

A friend of mine went through the experience of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. After searching online for information and coming up yearning for support, I encouraged her to share her story for your benefit. She wishes to remain anonymous, but if you would like to be put in touch, just email me (SageParenting@gmail.com) as she is willing to connect. Walnut My husband and I found out that we were expecting on December 17th, 2013. After having used up a couple of pregnancy tests before that date because I could not bare the excitement, the third stick finally validated my feeling. We were both […]

The Top 5 Homeschooling Expenses

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1. Curricula This is probably the most obvious of all of the homeschooling expenses. The textbooks and workbooks that directly aid teaching cost money (shocker). There is a vast world of curricula from which to choose so you can factor your budget into your curriculum selections along with your child’s learning style. Try to get your non-consumables (books that can be used repeatedly) from libraries and/or other homeschooling families. Our homeschool charter has a resource library to lend non-consumables and provides each child with a set amount of EUs (educational units) that are dollars to spend on the consumable curricular […]

Pediatricians are not Gods

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Your pediatrician is not a god. S/he works for you. Remember that. I am so grateful for the access to medical support and expertise I am afforded and I gratefully utilize my pediatrician in times when I decide their medical knowledge and access to medication would be advantageous for my child. This is not a piece speaking out against pediatricians. This is written to empower you within the relationship with your pediatrician. There seems to be some confusion wherein parents walk into the exam room offering their baby at the feet of the omniscient pediatric deity. Unquestioning acceptance of every […]

Homeschooling Curriculum Favorites

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Mystery Science Balance Benders (Critical Thinking Company) Explode the Code Handwriting Without Tears Keyboarding Without Tears Khan Academy Michael Clay Thomas (MCT) Mind Benders (Critical Thinking Company) Singapore Math Story of the World Sassafras Science Adventures Staples Journaling Daily Reading Nature Journaling Websites ABC Ya Dance Mat Typing Disney DIY Duolingo Eco Kids Fold N Fly Fun Brain Nasa Kids Club National Geographic Khan Academy Make Me Genius PBS Go Pottermore Salsa Spelling City Starfall Wonderopolis ABC Mouse Curiosityville Disney Junior Magic Tree House PBS Kids iPad Apps   [This post contains links to products I find useful. These are […]

Nursing in Public Discrimination

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My Journey Synopsis In a weekly, private meeting with our homeschool teacher through the Poway Unified School District (PUSD), I began breastfeeding my baby when the teacher told me that it was inappropriate. I educated her as to the law in CA, which states that a woman may breastfeed her baby anywhere she and her baby are allowed to be. I then received a phone call informing me that the official position the district would be taking is that because of my breastfeeding status, my 7 year old son would be excluded from the monthly group presentation class, and would […]

Stranger Danger?

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  “Don’t talk to strangers.” “Just Say No.” “Abstinence only.” These were all programs designed to keep our kids healthy and safe that have been undeniably and quantitatively proven failures. Most of us were told not to talk to strangers by our parents, teachers, and the media. Teaching your children not to talk to strangers was a simple strategy parents loved and kids easily understood, but it was based on an erroneous assessment of danger and deprived children of the skills they need to interact safely with others. Instead, parents need to guide their children through the sea of complex […]

Sex After Baby

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How Mama Gets Her Groove Back It is not uncommon to experience a dramatic reduction in sexual interest after having a baby. As you can imagine, if you did not anticipate this evolution in the lifespan of your marital relationship, it can lead to secondary problems such as feelings of guilt and abandonment. So let’s lay it all out on the table, look at all the factors at play in the sex life of a new mama, and reconstruct a sexual relationship that incorporates the new you and your new life. Nature I want to start off by saying that […]