Should Santa bring baby an educational DVD?

Ho ho hokum. Those are my seasons greetings to Baby Einstein and the rest of the infant educational complex. If you’re wondering what to buy baby that’ll guarantee ’em a good time, a bright future and possible admission to a college that Obama went to, so-called “educational” videos are not the way to go. Here’s […]

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Do kids really need school shooting drills?

A school district in Massachusetts is weighing whether to go ahead and teach students as young as 10 how to fight back against terrorists and Columbine-type shooters. I guess officials there have not read the statistics. A child’s chances of being killed at school are .00003% (not counting the ones who die of boredom). So […]

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Stunting Our Kids With “Safety”

Why do we treat our tweens like toddlers? Because the rules say we have to. The other day my son had to leave middle school early for the big day: Getting his braces. I planned to meet him at the orthodontist near our home and wrote a note asking for him to be excused at […]

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Thanksgiving with Dr. Phil

You know you need Dr. Phil if you’re watching him on Thanksgiving. But if indeed you do tune in, you’ll see a rerun of “Extreme Moms.” One of them is me. Extreme? I’m on the show as the mom who let her 9-year-old take the subway alone, a fact that will be chiseled on my […]

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Can you babyproof the world?

In one of the parenting magazines  I was just flipping through (all right – looking for crazy stuff to poke fun at) here’s a “tip” I found: “I fill a bag with shoelaces and outlet covers, then throw it in my purse.” Why? Because if this mom ever, God forbid, finds herself someplace that has […]

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Obama’s childhood

As we contemplate Obama’s win, let’s think about his childhood for a sec. Far from being watched over every second by hovering parents, his dad split when he was still toddling and, for a while, his mom was absent, too. That’s when he was 10 and she sent him to live with his grandparents in Hawaii. […]

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Vote for the Free Range candidate!

Vote for the Free Range candidate!

Not for president. For book cover! Yes, I’m now writing “Free Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Enjoyed Without Going Nuts With Worry,”due out this spring from  Wiley. Yay Wiley! The folks there have come up with two potential covers. They wanted to do some test marketing so – here goes. Please let us know which one you […]

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Let Them Eat That Unwrapped Candy!

   I’m so old I remember back when Halloween was supposed to scare the kids. Now it’s got a lot of parents shaking in their schlocky costumes, terrified that if they let their kids go trick or treating those kids may meet a fate far worse than too many Mary Janes. (“The candy everyone wishes […]

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Serial Killers and You: A Match Made In Fiction

By Leonard Cassuto Note to readers: Cassuto is an English professor at Fordham University and Author of the just released, “Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories.”   Today’s hyper-vigilant parenting is haunted by a figure behind the curtain: the serial killer.  He’s the boogeyman that slinks through every parent’s nightmares, the predator on […]

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WORD OF THE YEAR!

So in England a woman named Susie Dent publishes a book, “Words of the Year,” every, well, year. The latest edition just came out and in addition to winners like “boytox” (Botox for men) and “momnesia,” defined as “a mother’s forgetfulness in the first year after a child’s birth,” (which isn’t nearly long enough), you […]

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