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Taps for the Tap?

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

'Tis the season for reminders to hydrate.

As if nature had never invented a way to keep us from shriveling into human raisins -- and not even the plump, juicy ones. Hard, dry, olive-pit-like raisins that insert themselves into your molars and make themselves so at home, no water flosser dares dislodge them.

A teacher once told me that parents ...Read more

Too Many Parents Second-Guessing Themselves

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Obviously, a poll on Twitter is nowhere near scientific, and that is even more obviously true when it's a poll of folks following one person or idea -- in this case, me, and my idea that kids deserve some unstructured, unsupervised time.

Nonetheless, recently I asked:

"Have you ever wanted to give your kids some independence -- to walk outside...Read more

The Risk of No Risk

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

We humans get risk wrong. We focus on what's top of mind or top of the fear chart -- not what's a top killer.

That's as true for COVID-19 as it is for anything else.

Consider this David Leonhardt piece in The New York Times titled, "What Do You Do When the Kids Are Still Unvaccinated?" Here's what it concludes:

"A cautious approach may be ...Read more

Texas Goes Free-Range!

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Hats off to Texas: Over the weekend, it became the third U.S. state, after Utah and Oklahoma, to make reasonable childhood independence the law of the land. Now parents who live there cannot be investigated for neglect simply for giving their kids some old-fashioned freedom.

When it goes into effect in September, more than one-tenth of all ...Read more

A Very Shaky Accusation

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

A Georgia mom and dad convicted of murdering their days-old baby daughter have had all charges dismissed -- after they each spent almost 13 years in prison. The district attorney apologized to them for not getting a fair trial.

"Too often, we would rather believe that good people did a bad thing for no reason than believe that a bad thing ...Read more

Aren't You Glad You Aren't a Kid Today?

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

A survey of almost 2,000 parents of kids ages 5 to 11 in Britain found that most parents aren't letting their kids play outside, unsupervised, until age 11, The Guardian reports. This is despite the fact that when the parents were growing up, they headed out to play at around age 9.

Tim Gill, author of "Urban Playground: How Child-Friendly ...Read more

Panic-Porn's Impact on Parents

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

A mom in a recent Wall Street Journal piece explained that she doesn't feel safe having her fully vaccinated parents visit her unvaccinated kids, ages 3 and 6. Let's think about this decision in light of so many other decisions parents must make, every day, about their kids' safety.

"The people who are parenting now grew up in the Etan Patz/...Read more

The Case of the Missing Childhood

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Harriet the Spy. Encyclopedia Brown. Meg and brother Charles Wallace, Ramona, Beezus, Pippi and that "My Side of the Mountain" kid (what WAS his name?). They all shared something other than spunk.


Freedom of movement was a given in midcentury children's literature. Of course, the kids starring in books did more than most of their ...Read more

Why I'm a Pollyanna Pollyanna

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Everyone thinks Pollyanna was an annoying goody-two-shoes. Even Mary Pickford, the silent movie star who bought the rights to the 1913 bestseller about a sunny orphan, was said to secretly hate the girl and her tale. That's according to John Tierney and Roy Baumeister, whose book, "The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We ...Read more

Shall I Compare Thee To a Prison Yard?

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

In an effort to eliminate bullying, a school in England has replaced breaktime playground games with poetry recitations, choir and quizzes. Said Charlotte Whelan, the Hackney New School head teacher (the British equivalent of a principal): "A school without bullying sounds like a utopia, but it is achievable."

Whether or not reciting Percy ...Read more

Mom Investigated for Being 7 Minutes Late to Pick Up Her Son

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

When 10-year-old Braylin Harvey was picked up seven minutes late from his Chicago public school, the school called the Department of Child and Family Services to report a case of neglect.

Two days later, Harvey was pulled out of class and interrogated by a caseworker. The next day, a caseworker showed up at his home to investigate his mom, ...Read more



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