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In pods they trust

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

"It's a big mess," says Hollie Gesaman, a mother of two young children in Streetsboro, Ohio.

She was talking about the upcoming school year, of course. Her local school has drawn up "potential plans," she said, "but the bottom line is that there's really not a 100% good choice." Send the kids to school? There's a health risk. Keep them home, ...Read more

A new modern definition of camp

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

What's up with camp this summer? For hiking, substitute sitting. For a campfire, substitute a chat box. And for fun, substitute -- well, here's the thing: Some kids don't like the online camps COVID-19 has foisted upon them. But plenty are having a good enough time, and some kids are loving their virtual camps. And if kids are busy and happy ...Read more

Dad Can't Be Penalized for Raising Competent Kids

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

A Canadian dad has won the right to let his kids ride the city bus on their own.

Vancouver techie Adrian Crook allowed his four oldest children, then aged 7-11, to ride the city buses to and from school in 2017. It was going fine until someone called child protective services to report unsupervised kids on public transit.

The Ministry of Child...Read more

Summer songs never die

Parents / Lenore Skanazy /

There's something about a summer song that means every time you hear it -- 10, 20, even (ahem) many more years later -- it all comes flooding back. The sun. The sprinklers. The bikinis (yours or someone else's). Often there's a camp in the background, or a beach, or a car -- and with any luck, the top is down.

Basically, you can take the year ...Read more

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



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