Home & Leisure

Ode to a COVID Independence Day

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Things you can do on the Fourth of July

If you're worried 'bout COVID and don't want to die:

You can throw a nice burger on top of your grill

Then eat it alone. Yep. Sit there and chill.

You can get out the chips and the dips and the guac,

And no one will care if they drip on your sock,

'Cause you're in your lounger, not out on the street,...Read more

Who put the dad in dad jokes?

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Sundays are kind of sad. But the day before is a sadder day.

Yup. It's time to talk about dad jokes. Specifically, when and why did dumb puns become synonymous with fatherhood? When I was a kid, knock-knock jokes were clearly kid jokes, but so were the silly one-liners:

-- Why did the moron tiptoe past the medicine cabinet? He didn't want to ...Read more

And you thought Swiss clocks were cuckoo

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Hans up! A Swiss 8-year-old was investigated by the police for asking if he could use play money to make a purchase in a village shop.

Note that that kid wasn't even trying to palm the cash off as real -- which would have been pretty tough considering it was a euro printed on plain paper decorated with blue Chinese characters. No doubt, this ...Read more

Nuts About Squirrels

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

This is not a column about antibodies, cops, COVID-19, killer wasps, missing bees, vaccines, ventilators, The New York Times, politics, protests, deer ticks, flour shortages, meat shortages, yeast shortages or shortening bread shortages (which, as far as I know, don't exist).

It's a column about squirrels.

Because sometimes, you just got to ...Read more

The cat in the lap who's on Zoom in a room

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

The sun, it did shine

All that nice, nice spring day.

But we sat there inside

For a work-at-home day.

I sat there with Sally,

And Shawna and Lou

And Wayne from accounting

(Was he in the loo?)

And I said, "How I wish

I was sniffing some glue."

We could not go out.

We could not convene.

We sat there on Zoom,

And we stared at the ...Read more

So, you're bored, kids?

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

"I'm not letting anyone in this house give a haircut yet, but that day may come."

So says Vanessa Elias, a parenting coach (and founder of parent coaching business Thrive With a Guide), a mom of three girls ages 18, 16 and 11, and a free play advocate in her town of Wilton, Connecticut. Frankly, she's also my friend.

Vanessa came up with the ...Read more

Pomp and (very weird) circumstance

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

As most of America's college seniors won't be having an in-person graduation this year, we are providing them with the guest speech by a semifamous alum or semigenerous donor you probably would have heard. Graduates, just fill in the blanks, and you'll feel like you're there (bored and boiling):

Greetings, students, parents, deans, ...Read more

COVID-19 fears inspire a bizarre revenge plot

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

What's a parent to do? It was early in March, COVID-19 fears were on the rise, and two Kentucky parents who were new to the state needed to open up a bank account. Seeing no other option, they took their young kids into the bank with them.

By the time they returned home from their errand, a child protective services caseworker and a law ...Read more

Kids deserve pandemic playtime without their parents getting arrested

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

As if parents don't have enough to worry about in the midst of a pandemic, last week, I got a terribly upsetting email from a dad who wrote to say that Child Protective Services, or CPS, had come to investigate him.

Not because his kids weren't social distancing. Not because of any beatings or starvation or deliberate exposure to dangerous ...Read more

Kids Coming Into Their Own

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

Nobody is saying hooray for the pandemic. But at Let Grow, we are witnessing an amazing phenomenon that is going underreported -- perhaps even unnoticed.

The uncoddling of the American kid.

Children have always been far more competent than our culture gave them credit for. They never needed all those trophies. They needed responsibility, ...Read more


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