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What is a SkepParent?

A SkepParent (by my definition) is a parent who:

  • Wants to avoid the “woo” related to pregnancy, birth and parenting
  • Looks to raise critical thinkers
  • Wants their kids to understand science — and wants to understand it themselves!
  • Wrestles with questions like “Do we do Santa Claus? Can a 3 year old understand sarcasm and a winking nod?” (Answer: No, they can’t, but they sure can deliver on both, somehow)
  • Understands that when teachers say your special snowflake did something wrong, they probably did
  • Will accept additional definitions as we hear about them

I’m a 33 year old new mother of a boy.  According to his doctor, she can already tell he’s brilliant. I’ll remain skeptical until he actually invents the internet (unless he did it *before* he was concieved. Hmmmm.) Get in touch with me at coberdin – at –

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 1:01 pm

    I love the idea. Sounds like the philosophy espoused by the book “Bringing up Geeks. ” Albeit, I have not actually read this book, but from what Kate has told me, it sounds similar.

    One question – what is “woo?”

    Incidentally, Kate and I have had the “Do we do Santa Claus?” discussion (for the record, the answer is temporarily “yes”).

    • July 29, 2009 1:18 pm

      I haven’t heard of that book, but I plan to put it on my reading list. I’d pretty much like AJ to be a huge honking geek (his mom was, if you recall, a huge geek in high school).

      Woo is basically any idea that is pseudo or anti scientific. Like when my friend Fran was told if she lifted her arms above her head while pregnant, the cord would wrap around the baby’s neck. (Skeptico has a pretty good definition too).

      We’ll probably do Santa Claus too, but I plan on answering questions like (“How does Santa get into our front room when the chimmney goes to the basement?” with “What do you think?”). While raising a critical thinker is good, I still think you need to encourage whimsy and imagination. Plus, you have the advantage of having met my mom , and you know she’d do it anyway. 😉

  2. shellssells permalink
    July 29, 2009 1:53 pm

    As you’ve mentioned, some of those choices are taken away from you anyhow. Daycare alerted Bug to the “fact” of Santa. But, AJ may end up like Bug in which case you won’t really have to deal with it. Bug does NOT like Santa, does not like the thought of a strange man in her house, and so she doesn’t WANT Santa to come to her house. Each Christmas we have the discussion about Santa and she will say “But Mom, I don’t like Santa and I don’t want him to come to our house, he won’t, will he?” And I say “Nope, not if you don’t want him to.” And she will then ask if she still gets gifts, to which I say of course, I will give you your gifts.

    • July 29, 2009 2:09 pm

      That’s funny re: Bug & Santa, but I can see her point. It *is* sort of creepy. Then again, I joke that I figured it out when I realized no one *else* had to leave a ham sandwhich and a beer for Santa…

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