A School Devises A Drastic Solution

We’ve already heard about teachers no longer being able to comfort their students for fear of being accused of child molesting. Even pre-school teachers are not immune: A hug is a grope until proven otherwise. But here is a new level of hyper-worry: After a child got injured, a school in Connecticut has banned ALL […]

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Babyproofing Hysteria

Each week I get an email blast called “Connect with Kids” that veers between helpful and crazy-making. Today it’s the latter. (http://www.connectwithkids.com/tipsheet/2009/430_mar25/thisweek/090325_house.shtml) In a little article about babyproofing, it quotes an “expert” who casts her eyes around a new parent’s home and, “immediately spots something she doesn’t like in the kitchen. Plastic trash bags.” Continues […]

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The Child Molester as Sales Tool

 Here’s a little excerpt from a very positive review of the book, “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned” in today’s New York Times: “….In the other stories the danger may be less operatic, but it’s no less alarming: a child molester lures a 7-year-old boy into a portable bathroom at a carnival; a tattooed stranger tries to abduct a teenage […]

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The Natasha Effect on Parents

The death of Natasha Richardson is the definition of tragedy – sad, senseless, shocking. It’s just horrible and a lot of us are haunted by it. In fact, as parents, we maybe a little too haunted by it. How so?  “It’s a wake-up call,” announced a mom friend of mine on a field trip last […]

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A Mom Lets Her Son Walk to Soccer…And The Police Come Calling

My 10-year-old son wanted the chance to walk from our house to soccer practice behind an elementary school about 1/3 mile from our house. He had walked in our neighborhood a number of times with the family and we have driven the route to practice who knows how many times. It was broad daylight – […]

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Raw Cookie Dough: Death On a Spoon?

At last, the video age is upon us. Click on this if you’re wondering if you can let your kids eat raw cookie dough (one of the many parental fears I examine in “Free-Range Kids” — the book): [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8kiMKtixAo]

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Hey Scholastic: Don’t Sell Our Kids Product Tie-In Dreck

Here’s a campaign it’s easy to get behind, “Tell Scholastic: Put the Book Back in Book Clubs.” It’s sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood http://www.commercialexploitation.org/ , which noticed that a whole lot of the items for sale through those little Scholastic book club flyers were either NOT books, or were books that come with […]

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Let’s Not Worry Quite So Much About What Our Kids Eat

Organic? Whole wheat? Whole Foods? Who cares? A lot of us. But maybe we shouldn’t. Or at least, maybe we shouldn’t burden our kids with all our nutritional correctness.  When my older son (now12) was in kindergarten, he came home with a keen interest in cans. Not to build towers with, or roll down the […]

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Is the Obama Girls’ Playset Good for America? (Really!)

Go outside and play!   Michelle gets to say that now, because as of yesterday afternoon, the Obama girls have a place to go: Their own backyard playset, not much different from a whole lot of other backyard playsets in America…except that when you’re on the swings you can wave to that guy in the […]

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