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The top parenting-hysteria stories of 2020

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Yes, we're a few weeks into 2021 -- a few BIG weeks -- but before we get too comfy, let's pause to promise this year will not be as nuts! Because for kids and parents, 2020 was strange and crazy in ways big and literally microscopic. As in, virus-size. The craziest helicopter-parenting moments?

No. 1: Pointing Fingers

A 6-year-old with Down ...Read more

Twitter engages in half-baked hating on Bean Dad

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

If you saw the thread that was burning up Twitter these last few days (at least before a certain meetup in Washington, D.C.), you read a story almost as long as the six-hour ordeal the dad describes, which began when his daughter wanted some baked beans and the father, John Roderick -- aka "Bean Dad" -- told her to open a can and heat some up.

...Read more

Sledding down the slippery slope

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

A friend who was just noodling around the AccuWeather site found a blog post called "Why Have Midwestern Cities Banned a Beloved Winter Pastime?"

The piece, which seems like it might just sit in a slush pile on AccuWeather's news desk and await recycling every snow season, discusses a few horrible sledding injury lawsuits that drained the ...Read more

Voltaire was right (about elementary school pickup procedures)

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

You may recall the saga of the South Carolina mom who granted her kids -- 9, 10 and 11 -- permission to walk the mile home from school together, without her.

School officials refused to release them to do this, on the grounds that a nearby intersection (with walk/don't walk signals) is too dangerous. This particular mom's kids happen to cross ...Read more

Reading is fundamental, but reading logs are not

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Readers: Please read this newspaper for 20 minutes every night until you have finished the entire issue. You may read longer, of course, but 20 minutes is the minimum.

Use a timer. Record the date and number of articles you read each day, and the reporter. Please also indicate the topic of the article and its genre: opinion, news, feature story...Read more

Movie Night for Shut-Ins

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Right now, it's getting dark so early you've got to come up with something to do. Something fun and silly that'll keep you amused, especially since you can't go to a friend's place or out to dinner or to the mall or anywhere other than down the hall, to the bathroom and back. Or so it feels.

My short-term solution is to dream up the titles of ...Read more

Is it a crime to trust your kids?

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

The South Carolina mom who wants her kids' elementary school to allow them to walk home alone could find herself facing an investigation. Ominously, at the end of an ABC News4 story about her quest, the anchorwoman said, "Social Services could be called if the children are left to walk home on their own."

"Left" to walk home. As if the mom is ...Read more

Lonely and Losing It

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Attention readers: Lenore Skenazy is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by Bob Goldman.

It was a close call.

For a moment there, it looked like our COVID-19 crisis was clearing up and you would soon be going back to work at your actual workplace. It was a transition that would bring you many advantages, none of which you ...Read more

Principal versus mom: Who decides how kids get home?

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Jessie Thompson's kids, ages 9, 10 and 11, would like to walk home together, but Spann Elementary School in Summerville, South Carolina, won't let them leave without an adult.

When Thompson asked if she could sign some sort of waiver, the school said no. If an adult does not pick the kids up, they must take the bus -- even though it takes ...Read more

Why is it so hard to stop overprotecting kids?

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Why are today's kids allowed to do only a fraction of the things their parents did -- and loved? Less than 10% walk to school. Tree forts seem few. A 2018 study (albeit British) found kids play outside just half the time their parents did. What gives, and what is this doing to them?

Those are the mysteries examined in a documentary debuting Nov...Read more

Don't swallow this new Halloween fear

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Want your brain sucked out by zombies? Yahoo is happy to oblige. Its homepage today screams: "Beware of marijuana edibles in your kids' Halloween stash, police warn: 'Not everything is as it seems.'"

"Not everything" includes Yahoo parenting stories based on nothing more than fear and clickbait.

Do parents really have to worry about edibles in...Read more

Would you label this man a sex offender?

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Carol Nesteikis' son Adam is 33. He is developmentally disabled and lives in Illinois with Carol and her husband, both retired, who still have to remind him to brush his teeth and shower. He stopped wetting his bed at age 16. About 10 years ago, when a neighbor (who'd been molesting him) told him to pull down his pants in front of a girl, Adam ...Read more



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