Hot news! I have a new book coming out late in 2016. Co-authored with Dr. Ellen O’Donnell, it is called Spare the Rod: A How-To for Progressive Christian Parenting.
I write the books I write because I need them myself, and can’t find them in the marketplace. When I became a mom, a well-meaning parishioner from my church gave me a giant parenting tome from Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson. I was so panicked about babies, I actually read it, along with about 1,000 other books. I wanted to glean wisdom from it, but its obvious chauvinism and covert authoritarian approach to discipline masquerading as “structure” put me off. That wasn’t how my husband and I wanted to parent. But I needed wisdom and guidance!
Enter Ellen. Ellen, her husband Eric, and their new baby Luke. They were one of the first new families to come to our church as it entered its renewal phase. Ellen was a Harvard-trained, psychologist and a feminist. Our boys were in day care together, and during kid handoffs, for those exhausting, heady early years of childrearing and for many years afterward, we would draw on the wisdom from each other’s disciplines: child development and progressive theology. One of us would be in tears, anxious and worried, and the other would ground her out by reminding her of what she already knew, and giving her a little extra something-something she maybe didn’t already know.
The book is the synthesis of what we have learned, from our training, our work with families in the church and the hospital in healthy times and hard times, and from our own trial and error as parents. We cover issues like authoritative versus authoritarian parenting, teaching kids about money, race, sex and death, fighting and forgiveness, and what to do if your child has a health issue, a neuropsych diagnosis or comes out as gay or trans.
We also offer a number of easy ways, whether or not you go to church, that you can foster your entire family’s spiritual development and nurture them and yourself with in-home spiritual practices for holy days and everyday.
Look for the book from Pilgrim Press around Christmastime! Will also be available on Amazon!
Your fellow recovering neurotic parent,