When I started out on the adventure of parenting, I assumed that I was too smart and enlightened to have war play in my family. Two boys and many years later, I have quite a different perspective. I’m certainly more humble, but I’m no longer satisfied with the old question of how to prevent childhood practice for war. I’ve found questions that seem bigger and deeper. Where do we experience violence in our homes? How does conflict fit into power dynamics and sex-role training? How can we actively engage with the emotional needs of children engaged in...

When I started out on the adventure of parenting, I assumed that I was too smart and enlightened to have war play in my family. Two boys and many years later, I have quite a different perspective. I’m certainly more humble, but I’m no longer satisfied with the old question of how to prevent childhood practice for war. I’ve found questions that seem bigger and deeper. Where do we experience violence in our homes? How does conflict fit into power dynamics and sex-role training? How can we actively engage with the emotional needs of children engaged in...

When I started out on the adventure of parenting, I assumed that I was too smart and enlightened to have war play in my family. Two boys and many years later, I have quite a different perspective. I’m certainly more humble, but I’m no longer satisfied with the old question of how to prevent childhood practice for war. I’ve found questions that seem bigger and deeper. Where do we experience violence in our homes? How does conflict fit into power dynamics and sex-role training? How can we actively engage with the emotional needs of children engaged in...

When I started out on the adventure of parenting, I assumed that I was too smart and enlightened to have war play in my family. Two boys and many years later, I have quite a different perspective. I’m certainly more humble, but I’m no longer satisfied with the old question of how to prevent childhood practice for war. I’ve found questions that seem bigger and deeper. Where do we experience violence in our homes? How does conflict fit into power dynamics and sex-role training? How can we actively engage with the emotional needs of children engaged in...

Children, War, Play, Violence (and Barbies)

When I started out on the adventure of parenting, I assumed that I was too smart and enlightened to have war play in my family. Two boys and many years later, I have quite a different perspective. I’m certainly more humble, but I’m no longer satisfied with the old question of how to prevent childhood practice for war. I’ve found questions that seem bigger and deeper. Where do we experience violence in our homes? How does conflict fit into power dynamics and sex-role training? How can we actively engage with the emotional needs of children engaged in...

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Pamela Haines is a member of Central Philadelphia (Pa.) Meeting. She raised two children from birth, acquired two more along the way, and runs a family center with her husband—along with her paid work of building leadership and advocacy among childcare workers. Her writing also appears at http://www.pamelascolumn.blogspot.com.

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