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Fear Erupts Over America

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Sometimes a gal's gotta rant (again), so here goes.

Shootings are devastating. Obviously! But I also wonder about the value of LUMPING shootings together and reporting them as such. My Yahoo newsfeed on Monday screamed, "GUN VIOLENCE ERUPTS OVER FATHER'S DAY WEEKEND."

Then, in a country of 333 million, it told of three shootings in three ...Read more

Making Recess Fun -- for Bureaucrats

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

A mom who wished to remain anonymous recently went to her daughter's Maryland elementary school to ask why the kids aren't allowed to play tag, or even close their eyes, at recess.

"We'd recently transferred from another district, and my daughter was taken aback by how many rules there were," said the mom.

There are indeed a lot of rules at ...Read more

What '70s Kids Did That Today's Kids Don't

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Louise Bates Ames is one of the psychologists who popularized the idea of child development milestones. In the late '70s, she wrote a series of books outlining what kids are capable of at different ages.

The one you may have heard about is "Your Six-Year-Old: Loving and Defiant." That's thanks to Chicago blogger Christie Whitley, who ...Read more

To Get Kids Off Phones, Open the Door!

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Sorry -- another rant. Or maybe it's more of a revelation. It's this:

Giving kids phones makes possible the impossible demands on parents, that they supervise, assist, drive and chaperone their kids everywhere, every day -- usually while holding down another job.

It's only because we can hand kids their electronic devices that we can get this ...Read more

How to Become a Clue on 'Jeopardy!'

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

"Wow!!!!" "Congrats!" "Next step: New York Times crossword puzzle!"

The texts started coming thick and fast on Friday after I achieved the modern-day equivalent of immortality: I became a clue on "Jeopardy!"

The category was "Points of View," and the clue was this:

"Lenore Skenazy, who wrote of letting her 9-year-old ride the NYC subway alone...Read more

The Stealth Reason College Kids Are So Miserable

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

The Wall Street Journal reports that today's college students are so lonely, sad and socially anxious that they grab their dining hall food to go -- preferring to eat in their rooms.

Time spent in dining halls is down 40%, according to Degree Analytics, a company measuring students' time spent where on campus. Attendance at sporting events, ...Read more

The College Essay of Finn Fox, R.I.P.

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Today I devote my column to the college essay of Finn Fox. His parents, John and Erica, are sharing it in the hope that it encourages more parents to nurture their children's exploration and independence.

"Tragically and still unfathomably," they write, "our beloved Finn was diagnosed with brain cancer in January 2023 and died in September, ...Read more

What Ever Happened to the Jolly Green Giant?

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Recently, I tracked down some of the most iconic spokescreatures in the advertising world.

What had become of Morris the Cat? Charlie the Tuna?

Well, even in this era of social media, it was hard to track down everyone. But I did manage to meet up with a few. Alas, life has not been kind to all our old favorites, including:

The Jolly Green ...Read more

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Toddlers

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Face it: a head start is a head start.

Parents know this -- and so do their toddlers. Underage overachievers can't afford to wait till kindergarten. They need to grab the cat by the tail. Savvy publishers, awakening to this huge (if pre-literate) market are busy preparing the very first self-help books for preschoolers. Some bestsellers in the ...Read more

WE Are the Reason Kids Are on Screens

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

A rant. Sorry. But this culture is driving me nuts!

It is BLIND to the idea that kids CAN and in recent history HAVE done some things, on their own, no parents involved, and this was GOOD. Even HEALTHY.

But one "screen-time specialist" just emailed me with this "helpful" tip on how to get kids off their phones: Have families come up with "non-...Read more

The Odds of Your Kid Getting Kidnapped

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Kidnapping remains one of the top three fears of American parents despite its (thank God!) rarity.

One way to fight that outsized fear is to consider the actual odds of your child being kidnapped by a stranger. To gain some perspective, I gathered a whole lot of stats.

Note: It is hard to find stats that exactly match up with each other. One ...Read more

 

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