Home & Leisure

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

Of Kickball, Cops and Child Abuse

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

What happens on a summer's eve when a couple dozen kids and parents spill into the street for a neighborhood game of kickball?

On a well-manicured street in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last week, according to an amazingly thorough and blood-pressure-raising piece in the Colorado Springs Indy, this occasioned three cop cars, eight officers and a...Read more

The Safety Device Making Us Nervous

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

"You take the family to the food court. Your wife and Pete head for tacos. You and Danny want Chinese. You look up at the menu. You look down to see what Danny wants. But you don't see Danny. Every parent knows that feeling. Imagine if he were actually abducted..."

This ad remains my favorite example of rank, dank fear masquerading as ...Read more

Shaken Baby Is a Shaky Diagnosis

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

A woman who pleaded guilty to shaking a baby 35 years ago has been charged with his murder upon his recent death at age 37.

Terry McKirchy, now 59 and living in Texas, was babysitting five-month-old Benjamin Dowling in Florida in 1984. The parents came home to find the baby turning blue. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with shaken baby ...Read more



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