Home & Leisure

The Dunkin' Donuts Case

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

It was Super Bowl Sunday in February 2019. Cynthia Rivers and her husband decided that their kids, 7 and 9, deserved a long-promised treat for cleaning their rooms: the chance to walk to Dunkin' Donuts, a mile away, by themselves. (I changed her name to protect the family's anonymity.)

This was in a suburban town in western Connecticut. The ...Read more

It's Not Just You

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

It is hard to stay sane in this crazy world! Luckily, many of the conditions plaguing Americans today are mild and temporary. Including:

Hairanoia: The suspicion that everybody is just saying they love your new haircut.

Kinsomnia: The inability to fall asleep once one starts thinking about one's family.

Rexhibitionism: Childhood ...Read more

Letting Kids Play Outside is Not Neglect

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Each year, the nonprofit I helm, Let Grow, works with local advocacy groups, parents and sometimes even kids to get states to pass the "Reasonable Childhood Independence" law. This law says that "child neglect" is when you put your kid in serious, obvious and likely danger -- not anytime you take your eyes off them.

Want your kids to play ...Read more

More Stuff for Parents to Buy

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

"Walking Wings" aren't wings. The product is a vest that goes around your baby with long straps on the top that you can yank to pull them upright, like a marionette. According to its marketing materials, this vest ensures your kid will "take fewer tumbles, which will help to build his confidence." As if kids don't build confidence from learning ...Read more

Talking to Strangers

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

What a fantastic study: Research just published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that when people are prompted to talk to a stranger, surprising things happen:

They start to feel less awkward after doing it a few times.

They feel less likely to be rejected.

They are more willing to do it in the future.

They consider ...Read more

Safety Gone Overboard

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

What happens when society get so concerned about child safety that it starts imagining danger EVERYWHERE, and punishes anyone remaining rational? Here are the child-safety follies of 2022:


Last year around this time, Heather Wallace asked her son Aidan, 8, to get out and walk the half...Read more

Stanford's 'Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative' is the Rare Exception Which I'll Argue is the New Rule!

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Recently a committee at Stanford University published a 13-page list of politically incorrect words to be avoided. The "Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative" lists the harmful word, then suggests a less hurtful alternative, then explains why the offending word (and perhaps you!) must go.

Most of us don't want to use words that hurt or ...Read more

Carols for 2022

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

It's the time of year for caroling cheer. Need a fun song? Look down, sing along:

'LET IT RAIN!' (To 'Let It Snow!')

Oh, the weather outside is warming / And consensus, it is forming

We'll sing Greta T's refrain: / Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

The polar ice caps are shrinking / And the polar bears are sinking

It's 80 degrees in ...Read more

How Can Parents Not Fear the Worst?

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Sorrow and anger rage in our hearts. A child has been murdered.

Athena Strand, 7, was abducted and murdered last week in her Texas town of Paradise. (The irony hurts, too.) Our hearts go out to everyone who knew and loved her.

A FedEx deliveryman has been apprehended. But his swift capture does little to calm parents contemplating the big fear...Read more

A Mom in Handcuffs for What?!?

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Perhaps you have already heard about Heather Wallace, a Texas mom of three, arrested for having her son walk home half a mile after he was bothering his younger brothers in the car.

You can read my story about it here. Basically, someone called 911 when they saw her son outside, alone. That's all it took. Cops swooped in, even though the boy ...Read more

Ants Misbehavin'

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Actually, the ants go marching quadrillions by quadrillions, according to the latest ant census. And they don't just march. They carve trails. They make food. They build homes 12 feet deep, antiseptic as an operating room. And some nights they fight so ferociously you can see seven or eight million dismembered and decapitated ants after a battle...Read more



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