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Addicted to Safety

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

If you're wondering where our culture is headed, take a look at this Modern Love column in The New York Times, "A Marriage Stressed by Obsessions and Compulsions." Nicole Comforto, a novelist in Seattle, writes about the first time her husband seemed to freak out about a non-danger. He'd spotted a red spot on their four-month-old's lip and ...Read more

Loo and Behold: A First Amendment Toilet!

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Frederick "Hank" Robar just turned 80, and he's a happy man. The toilet gardens he erected around his hometown of Potsdam were declared protected by the First Amendment this spring.

Robar created his art -- fields of toilets with plastic flowers "growing" out of them -- to express his feelings about the local authorities.

The first seeds of ...Read more

What Happened to the Great Ad Icons of Yesteryear

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Ever wonder what happened to the great ad icons of yesteryear?

We caught up with some of the advertising world's most-beloved spokesmen/women, animals/talking-food to find out how they'd been faring not only during COVID-19 but also during the long decades since the peak of their popularity.

For a while, they'd all meet up once a year for ...Read more

Of Kickball, Cops and Child Abuse

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

What happens on a summer's eve when a couple dozen kids and parents spill into the street for a neighborhood game of kickball?

On a well-manicured street in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last week, according to an amazingly thorough and blood-pressure-raising piece in the Colorado Springs Indy, this occasioned three cop cars, eight officers and a...Read more

The Safety Device Making Us Nervous

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

"You take the family to the food court. Your wife and Pete head for tacos. You and Danny want Chinese. You look up at the menu. You look down to see what Danny wants. But you don't see Danny. Every parent knows that feeling. Imagine if he were actually abducted..."

This ad remains my favorite example of rank, dank fear masquerading as ...Read more

Shaken Baby Is a Shaky Diagnosis

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

A woman who pleaded guilty to shaking a baby 35 years ago has been charged with his murder upon his recent death at age 37.

Terry McKirchy, now 59 and living in Texas, was babysitting five-month-old Benjamin Dowling in Florida in 1984. The parents came home to find the baby turning blue. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with shaken baby ...Read more

Where Tiger and Free-Range Moms Agree

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Fun fact: The second edition of my book, "Free-Range Kids," just came out and guess who wrote a blurb for the cover?

Amy Chua. Yes. The "Tiger Mom."

"Weirdly, I love this book!" she wrote. Weird indeed. When Chua's parenting book first came out, my inbox was full with folks practically shouting: "Did you hear about that new 'Battle Hymn of the...Read more

Age Limits on Childhood Don't Make Sense

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

A few years back, after the first "Free Range Parenting" law passed in Utah -- a great day for childhood independence -- my nonprofit received a query from a lawmaker. Inspired, he wanted his state to pass a similar law that allowed parents to grant their kids some freedom to play outside, stay home alone, walk to school, etc., and it would not ...Read more

When Child Abuse Pediatricians Get It Wrong

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Patti Krueger is a stay-at-home mom in Decatur, Illinois. Her husband is a house painter. The couple's second son, Wyatt, was born in 2017 with severe breathing difficulties.

"He was blue," says Krueger.

Wyatt spent nine days in neonatal intensive care. Over the next two years, his breathing problems necessitated oxygen treatments, tubes in ...Read more

It's So Nice Out -- Stay Inside!

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Hundreds of thousands of people are weighing in on the factors keeping kids -- and especially teens -- on social media instead of meeting up in real life.

The tweet that ignited this particular conversation said that when older people ask: "Why don't kids go outside anymore?" the answer could be, ironically, because of the outside those older ...Read more

Don't Worry Kids About Calories

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Organic? Whole-grain? Quinoa-crammed? Who cares?

A lot of us. But maybe we shouldn't. Or, at least, maybe we shouldn't burden our kids with all our nutritional correctness.

When my older son was in kindergarten, he came home with a keen interest in cans. Not to build towers with or roll down the stairs. He wanted to read the labels because his...Read more



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