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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

Enough With the Suspicion Already!

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

A recent story on the site Medium is by a dad whose 2-year-old wanted to take a walk in the rain with him, stomp in some puddles and be "dangled" by him -- which sounds like sort of hanging onto his hand while he pulls her along, not actually being dragged across the pavement.

Nonetheless, a passing van saw the two, and, reports the dad:

"I ...Read more

Kids Under Surveillance

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Students at 11 Chinese schools (so far) are required to wear "smart" uniforms that track their every move.

Thanks to chips sewn into the uniforms' shoulders, the school can record the exact time a child enters and leaves the school.

If the kid skips a class, his parents and teachers are notified. If he leaves the class without permission, ...Read more

We Live in a Fantasy World of Crime

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it probably is a duck. But if it looks like a rose and smells like a rose, maybe it's sex trafficking?

That was the conclusion reached by police officers contacted by a manager at the Walmart in Coshocton, Ohio, who saw some people putting roses on the windshields of cars in the store's parking lot...Read more

A Reversal of Fortune for Motel 6 Mom

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Shaina Bell, the 24-year-old Ohio mom arrested for leaving her kids in a Motel 6 room while she worked her evening shift at a Little Caesars, has something much better than a pizza to deliver now: a home for her kids, made possible by the $165,000 raised for her family in a GoFundMe campaign.

"A lot of people are saying hurtful things, but a ...Read more

Quit Criminalizing Poverty

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

An Ohio mom has been arrested for leaving her kids, a 10-year-old and a 2-year-old, in a motel room while she worked her shift at a pizza shop.

A tip to the police led officers to a Motel Six in Youngstown at about 6:15 p.m. on Thursday night. The 10-year-old explained that her mom was working and would be home at 10 p.m.

The officers went to ...Read more

Future-Proofing the Next Generation

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

When engineers build something expensive and important, they try to "future-proof" it. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, future-proofing means "to design software, a computer, etc. so that it can still be used in the future, even when technology changes." In other words, something that's future-proof is able to adapt as the world changes.

...Read more

Stranger danger and other child safety myths

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

It goes without saying that no one wants a child to be hurt, ever.

Sometimes, though, it seems as if we believe that with enough child-surveillance, parent-surveillance, blaming, shaming, investigating and arresting, we can achieve perfect childhood safety: Just make sure kids are watched 24/7 -- and hound the parents who don't do that.

That's...Read more

Proof that no one wants to carjack your kids

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Yet another guy screamed at a mom for letting her kid wait in the car while she ran in to get a gallon of milk -- but with a twist: He was a carjacker who'd just stolen her car.

The second he noticed the kid in the back seat, he sped back to the parking lot and yelled at the mom to take the boy out. She did -- and he drove off again.

More ...Read more

It's nice out! Stay inside, kids!

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

The students were evacuated to the football field as hazmat teams rushed to the scene. The local prosecutor was alerted, as were the police. Responders entered the building and went room by room. What calamity beset Haddon Township High School in New Jersey's Camden County last week? A bomb threat? A gas leak? Anthrax?

Worse. Dinnerware.

...Read more



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