Examining the most common words in a parenting book can offer insights into the book’s values.

Included in the 100 most common words in ‘What the Bible Says About Parenting’ are OBEDIENCE, OBEY, SIN, DUTY, EVIL, FEAR, AUTHORITY, DISCIPLINE, COMMAND, COMMANDMENT, SUBMIT, and LAW—many of them variations on the theme of obedience. 

Not one of those authoritarian words appears in the top 100 for the nonreligious parenting book ‘Parenting Beyond Belief.’

Don’t teach kids to obey without thinking. They just might.

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.