Home & Leisure

The Terrible Toys of 2021

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

In the face of the supply chain crunch, some parents are making do with the only toys left on the shelves. These include:

Chutes and Lepers: The game is the same. The graphics are ... disturbing.

Skanky: A Slinky that stays out all night and stumbles down the stairs.

Supersize Fidget Spinner: Pizza-size version of the popular gadget.

Hangry,...Read more

Maybe Therapy Got it Backwards

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

In her new book, Everyday Vitality, psychiatrist Samantha Boardman recalls a patient early in her career who walked in one day and announced:

"I hate coming to our weekly sessions. All we do is talk about the bad stuff in my life ... Even if I'm having a good day, coming here makes me think about all the negative things." And with that, the ...Read more

We Must Stop the FDA from Terrifying Us About Hand Sanitizer!

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Last week the government issued a press release sure to shake up anyone about to sanitize their hands:

"FDA warns that getting alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the eyes can cause serious injury."

Oh my God -- "serious injury"? Everyone I know carries that stuff! Is hand sanitizer blinding an entire generation?

Well, not quite. It seems that, ...Read more

Let's Hear it for Risky Playgrounds

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Germany is adding MORE RISK to its playgrounds. Some of its climbing structures are now three stories high. And who is requesting this?

Insurance companies!

They want kids to grow up "risk competent." Ironically, "safety" culture is stunting kids' risk assessing abilities.

"This is fantastic progress in understanding childhood as the right ...Read more

Oh No! I Have a New Car!

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

You really CAN Google anything. So when you type in, "Afraid to drive my new car," you find many people have already pondered this condition.

Because the fear is real. As a New York City dweller, I've managed to avoid buying a new car my entire life. But when our old car -- our $2000 Honda from "The Land Before Time" -- recently gave up the ...Read more

No One Is Giving Ecstasy to Trick or Treaters!

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Dear Police: Can you please stop telling parents to check their kids' Halloween candy for drugs?

Urging tens of millions of Americans to look for something that isn't there is like urging tens of millions of Americans take off their shoes to look for something.

Hmm. Well maybe officially worrying about outrageously unlikely crimes -- while ...Read more

Trusting a Child is Not Neglect

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

"My son isn't allowed to stay home alone till he's 12, even if I just have to run to the corner store for five minutes," my neighbor was explaining to me. "That's why I always take him with me, or I just don't go. That is the law."

But, in fact, that is not the law. What's disheartening is that my neighbor is just one of many people -- perhaps ...Read more

Worst-First Thinking Is Making Us Dumb

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Side hugs. Hugs that you do sort of hip-to-hip with an arm around the huggee's shoulder, as if you're doing the can-can. Counselors are allowed to give those hugs at the day camp my friend's kids went to. But "frontal" hugs were outlawed in 2010. Why?

Isn't it obvious? They're perverse! They could involve genital contact! Why, they're ...Read more

Addicted to Safety

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

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 Skenazy /

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 Skenazy /

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



Darrin Bell Gary Markstein Jeff Koterba Joel Pett Ginger Meggs Joey Weatherford