Parenting Porcupines is an effort by some South Carolina-based Libertarian moms. That’s big-L Libertarians as in registered to vote that way, volunteers on the county and state committees, and fierce proponents of the Libertarian Party in the United States.
The first time I saw a Libertarian Party porcupine I was a little worried about what I had gotten myself into. I knew the duopoly parties were elephants and mules. Slow. Stubborn. I knew those images were used frequently in political cartoons and I wondered what a porcupine might do in that mix.
Why a porcupine? According to this blog:
- The porcupine was chosen because the porcupine is a defensive animal.
- It does not shoot its quills (contrary to myth), so it does not harm anyone who respects its boundaries, analogous to the non-aggression principle.
- They’re cute and cuddly.
Parenting blogs often have animal associations. Koalas and other marsupials are popular for the nurture and protection they invoke. Think Mama Bear (Brave anyone?) or Kanga from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons and you’ll see how moms have been portrayed in animation.
Libertarians adopted porcupines for being defensive but also independent. How can moms raise defensive but cuddly, independent but respectful, playful but cautious kids? We think we have a few suggestions:
- Cooperation, not coercion
- Truth and transparency
- Teach them how to think, not what to think
- Share your own fragilities, insecurities, and uncertainties.
Moms are not infallible as any mommy blogger will tell you. We’re mostly making it up as we go. And if moms are parenting from their principles — be they faith-based, socially-minded, or family-tradition — then they are creating little disciples of their own doctrines.
Are we indoctrinating our children? In a thousand ways, yes. And in even more ways, no.
So we’re starting this show where we take on momming-issues: the way you communicate with your kid, the way you show love and pride and influence, the way you hope they’ll be better than you were even as you’re trying to be better than your own mom (bless her heart). We’re talking this through. One episode (one blog post) at a time.
We’re glad you’re here.