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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

America the Unhappy

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Americans -- "particularly those under 30 -- have become drastically less happy in recent years," The New York Times reported this week.

Graphs from the latest World Happiness Report -- a real thing, put out by Oxford, Gallup and the U.N. -- show American kids' happiness drifting down like a deflated balloon. The surgeon general, already ...Read more

'The Anxious Generation' Has the Worst of Both Worlds

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

In a blockbuster Atlantic piece, "The Terrible Costs of a Phone-Based Childhood," my Let Grow co-founder Jonathan Haidt says our culture is getting it all wrong when it comes to kids: We "underprotect" them in the virtual world and overprotect them in the real one.

That's the worst of both worlds if we want to raise healthy, happy kids.

The ...Read more

Not All Adults at the Park Are Predators

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

I'm trying not to obsess about child overprotection, but ... obsess I do. Here's the latest object of my ire: the playground signs in my berg, New York City, that say, "Playground rules prohibit adults except in the company of children."

Apparently, any adult who simply wants to sit on a bench and watch kids at play could be a creep, so we ...Read more

The NY Times Says Intensive Parenting Is Best, But...

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

"Parents Are Highly Involved in their Adult Children's Lives and Fine With It," declared the front page of The New York Times. Added the subhead: "New surveys show that today's intensive parenting has benefits, not just risks, and most young adults seem happy with it, too."

Is that true? "Intensive parenting" is best, and kids love it, even ...Read more

Playing Is Always Unsafe

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

The following note was passed along to us by a dad whose kids attend a public school in Texas. It says (emphasis mine):

Parents we need your help in keeping our children (SET BOLD) safe (END BOLD) at the playground after hours and on the weekends.

It is important that children are (SET BOLD) supervised at all times. (END BOLD)

We have had ...Read more

Walmart and Abduction: America's Favorite Things!

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Sometimes I can't tell if I'm overly trusting or if the world is the opposite, and here's a perfect example:

At the end of December, a 64-year-old man shopping with his wife at a Florida Walmart grabbed a 4-year-old's wrist and, according to the media and local law enforcement, attempted to kidnap him.

If you Google "Daily Mail Walmart ...Read more

Safetyism Eclipses Common Sense

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

School's out on April 8 for many kids in the U.S. and Canada. On that date, a full solar eclipse will be visible from Texas to Ontario, and "There are risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse," several Toronto-area school boards announced.

Those schools moved their May 17 kid-free professional development day to April 8 "to ensure that ...Read more

We Made Kids So Safe That It's Hurting Them

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Kids need to climb trees, jump off things and ride their bikes fast. That's what the Canadian Paediatric Society is recommending in a white paper out today: "Healthy childhood development through outdoor risky play."

If that sounds positively radical -- and also commonsensical -- you're right. Mariana Brussoni, a developmental psychologist at ...Read more



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