Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Effects of Bullying Last Into Adulthood. You Don't Say!

Apparently the Effects of Bullying Last Into Adulthood, Study Finds.

That sounds like an understatement. My personal experiences being bullied were likely not the most extreme, and I would say that besides being the direct reason for me dropping out of high school, the effects of bullying practically defines my adulthood.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Is There A Secret To Having Happy Family Meals?

On The Leonard Lopate Show Bruce Feiler talks about The Secrets Of Happy Families. One of the things he discusses is the diificulties in those family meals so many of us insist on. He points out that research shows there's only 10 minutes of meaningful conversation during family meals. Obviously this is an average. And his conclusion is that, rather than wasting everybody's time reminding our kids to take their elbows off the table, we can just replace them with one meal during the weekends.

But I think that level of analysis seems somewhat superficial.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Your Kid's Diet And You

In 'Will You Pass Your Junk Food Addictions On?' KJ Dell'Antonia writes about our emotional connection to food and preventing our children from developing the associations we have with certain foods. She asks "What is your junk food weakness? And do you try to keep your children from picking up your worst eating habits? How?"

I've already written about how I've tried to get my kids to eat healthy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Are Parents Too Neurotic?

In 'My Mother Gives Me Parenting Advice From Nazis' Jessica Grose wrote about how her mother thinks "we’re too concerned about breast-feeding, and too worried about buying the right strollers, bottles and swaddles for optimal infant development" and how "they drank through [their] pregnancies, let us sleep on our stomachs, and mostly formula fed us, and we turned out pretty much fine, didn’t we?"

She quotes Ann Hulbert, the author of “Raising America: Experts, Parents and a Century of Advice About Children,” who says “with every generation (over the past century at least), parenting norms have become more obsessive and anxiety inducing.”

Switching Gears: Profound Bicycle Memories of My Youth

Listening to a rebroadcast episode of Talk of the Nation about "The Dangerous Underworld Of Vanished Bicycles" brought back a lot of memories of my own experiences. For years in my twenties I used to take my bike straight from work in Williamsburg Brooklyn over the 59th street bridge to Central Park and do laps. I listened to music, or audio books (on cassette), even though I know you're not supposed to. I would ride until it got dark, then I would ride back home in Williamsburg and go to bed. This was my existence, and I found a lot of pleasure in it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Liberty Science Center

On my day off I took the kids to the Liberty Science Center with some friends.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Royal Hanneford Circus

We took the kids to the Royal Hanneford Circus at The Westchester County Center with some friends. Every year the show seemed to get worse. This year was pretty good, especially the first half, but the last half was too short and anti-climactic.

More pictures below:

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Marriage Last-Name Dilemma

The Brian Lehrer Show asked How Did You Solve the Marriage Last-Name Dilemma?

You can read about how we solved out "Marriage Last-Name Dilemma" here.

And here are their favorite responses:

On Dining With ‘Well-Behaved Kids’

In "Discounting a Meal for ‘Well-Behaved Kids’" KJ Dell'Antonia asks "Would a universal “well-behaved kid” discount encourage more parents to properly train their little terrors...?"

I wish we had restaurants doing this when our kids were young.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sledding With Eason

We went sledding at Maple Moor Golf Course with a bunch of friends.

It was a blast. We all got to go down the hills a bunch of times. One of the hills had a sand pit and we went air-born a few times. I think one of the rides popped our tube.

On the other hill we got very close to sledding into the Hutchinson River.

Check out the video below:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gender Stereotypes In Movies & School

I've always made a conscious attempt to avoid imparting gender stereotypes on my kids, but just like trying to avoid sweets, not exposing them yourself doesn't mean they won't be constantly bombarded wherever they go. Whether it's family, friends, or media, these messages are all around. Some obvious, and some subtle.

It was easy to avoid movies like The Little Mermaid, but we watched Beauty And the Beast many time before it's insidious message was driven home in shocking fashion.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Audi's Superbowl Sexual Insidiousness

Insidious ads like this are even more harmful than the obviously gratuitous ones, as they subtly reinforce the idea that it's okay for men to objectify women, and that women should like it.

I fully agree with geekmom Corrina Lawson's writeup: Audi SuperBowl Commercial Fail: Sexual Assault is Good!

On How We Need To Address The Reasons That Boys Are Being Left Behind In Educational Advancement

In The Great Divide: The Boys at the Back Christina Hoff Sommers wrote about how we need to address the reasons that boys are being left behind in educational advancement. Siting the results of a new study, she says "If boys are restless and unfocused, why not look for ways to help them do better? As a nation, can we afford not to?"

At this point it sounds like she's saying 'boys will be boys' and we can't blame them, so we need to cater to their limitations. It reminds me of when, at a meeting to learn about school curriculum, one mom suggested that since kids were always bombarded with fast action media, educational methods should adopt themselves in a way to be equally engaging.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

On Guidelines For When It's Acceptable To Brag About Your Children

In Time for a Truce in the Bragging Wars Bruce Feiler wrote guidelines for when it’s acceptable, or not, to brag about your children. I thought I might be guilty of every one of these violations, but I have to settle for 9 out of 10.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail

In The Atlantic's Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail Jessica Lahey writes about some stuff I've been saying for a long time, though she's far more eloquent:

"The stories these days reveal a whole new level of overprotectiveness: parents who raise their children in a state of helplessness and powerlessness, children destined to an anxious adulthood, lacking the emotional resources they will need to cope..." -
I remember when Eason failed a test at his dojo. I asked him if he had practiced, and he hadn't, and I explained to him that it was good that he failed. Now he knows his tests are not gifts, but something he has to earn.

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