Lenore Skenazy from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 21 Apr 2021 05:07:06 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Lenore Skenazy from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/lenore-skenazy-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy c2c32fd2a71635066fae5dbd9c8eef4b The Case of the Missing Childhood for 04/15/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/04/21/the-case-of-the-missing-childhood Thu, 15 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Harriet the Spy. Encyclopedia Brown. Meg and brother Charles Wallace, Ramona, Beezus, Pippi and that "My Side of the Mountain" kid (what WAS his name?). They all shared something other than spunk.</p> <p>Freedom.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 15, 2021</p> 6dc3ff17595740e83de8d5c614e0e5ac Why I'm a Pollyanna Pollyanna for 04/08/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/04/21/why-im-a-pollyanna-pollyanna Thu, 08 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Everyone thinks Pollyanna was an annoying goody-two-shoes. Even Mary Pickford, the silent movie star who bought the rights to the 1913 bestseller about a sunny orphan, was said to secretly hate the girl and her tale. That's according to John Tierney and Roy Baumeister, whose book, "The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It," highlights the million ways our brains &#8212; and the media &#8212; focus on the bad and discount the good.</p> <p>And yet Eleanor H. Porter's "Pollyanna" was such a phenom that Pickford gritted her teeth, cast herself as the 11-year-old heroine (when she was 27) and earned herself both a defining role and a gross of over $1 million in 1920. That's a happy ending! When Hayley Mills played Pollyanna in the 1960 Disney remake, she and Walt also laughed all the way to the bank.</p> <p>Pollyanna movies have been made and remade around the globe, despite the fact that her name became shorthand for gratingly grateful. What I would call the "at least Anne Frank got a book deal!" outlook Pollyanna calls the "Glad Game," a technique she was taught by her missionary dad when she was desperately hoping for a doll and received instead a pair of crutches. But at least she didn't need the crutches, so &#8212; hooray!<p>Updated: Thu Apr 08, 2021</p> 395a2b6863067d24aeda76e3e9f1156b Shall I Compare Thee To a Prison Yard? for 04/01/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/04/21/shall-i-compare-thee-to-a-prison-yard Thu, 01 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In an effort to eliminate bullying, a school in England has replaced breaktime playground games with poetry recitations, choir and quizzes. Said Charlotte Whelan, the Hackney New School head teacher (the British equivalent of a principal): "A school without bullying sounds like a utopia, but it is achievable."</p> <p>Whether or not reciting Percy Shelley during recess is your idea of utopia, a BBC piece on the school quotes Whelan saying: "It's long been my belief that we could be doing more for pupils while they are on their breaks. So often you see them aimlessly wandering the playground. We want every second at school to count."<p>Updated: Thu Apr 01, 2021</p> b683f19ac02d2d1911cf2e4fc24ff3c3 Mom Investigated for Being 7 Minutes Late to Pick Up Her Son for 03/25/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/03/21/mom-investigated-for-being-7-minutes-late-to-pick-up-her-son Thu, 25 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When 10-year-old Braylin Harvey was picked up seven minutes late from his Chicago public school, the school called the Department of Child and Family Services to report a case of neglect.</p> <p>Two days later, Harvey was pulled out of class and interrogated by a caseworker. The next day, a caseworker showed up at his home to investigate his mom, JaNay Dodson, a Chicago public school teacher for 19 years. The investigator asked her to provide contact information for people who might reassure the department that she's a good mother.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Now Mom is fighting back.</span><p>Updated: Thu Mar 25, 2021</p> 5aad56e07fdab6a85cb620ab754a09b8 Enough With the Suspicion Already! for 03/18/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/03/21/enough-with-the-suspicion-already Thu, 18 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A recent story on the site Medium is by a dad whose 2-year-old wanted to take a walk in the rain with him, stomp in some puddles and be "dangled" by him &#8212; which sounds like sort of hanging onto his hand while he pulls her along, not actually being dragged across the pavement.</p> <p>Nonetheless, a passing van saw the two, and, reports the dad:</p> <p>"I hear a man's voice behind me calling, 'Sir, sir, stop right there, I've called the police.'"<p>Updated: Thu Mar 18, 2021</p> c4ebde9ef8cc265e7fa76d01d583682d Kids Under Surveillance for 03/11/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/03/21/kids-under-surveillance Thu, 11 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Students at 11 Chinese schools (so far) are required to wear "smart" uniforms that track their every move. </p> <p>Thanks to chips sewn into the uniforms' shoulders, the school can record the exact time a child enters and leaves the school. </p> <p>If the kid skips a class, his parents and teachers are notified. If he leaves the class without permission, ditto. And if he happens to doze off, they're notified of that, too &#8212; even as some sort of alarm goes off to stun the kid back to consciousness.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 11, 2021</p> 036ee72a434ed96c219b3eff628f1849 We Live in a Fantasy World of Crime for 03/04/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/03/21/we-live-in-a-fantasy-world-of-crime Thu, 04 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it probably is a duck. But if it looks like a rose and smells like a rose, maybe it's sex trafficking?</p> <p>That was the conclusion reached by police officers contacted by a manager at the Walmart in Coshocton, Ohio, who saw some people putting roses on the windshields of cars in the store's parking lot. The manager called the cops, and soon, an investigation was underway, according to local news.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">"Was this something heinous, or was it something of a lesser nature? Was it completely harmless?" Deputy Chris Johnson asked.</span><p>Updated: Thu Mar 04, 2021</p> f82d93ce58d5a92c0f3e66d1ca2710fc A Reversal of Fortune for Motel 6 Mom for 02/25/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/02/21/a-reversal-of-fortune-for-motel-6-mom Thu, 25 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Shaina Bell, the 24-year-old Ohio mom arrested for leaving her kids in a Motel 6 room while she worked her evening shift at a Little Caesars, has something much better than a pizza to deliver now: a home for her kids, made possible by the $165,000 raised for her family in a GoFundMe campaign.</p> <p>"A lot of people are saying hurtful things, but a lot of people are also being there for me and showing great support," Bell said in an interview with WKBN. As for the funds, "I'm just overappreciative to what's going on."<p>Updated: Thu Feb 25, 2021</p> 682aad360b2d7480758af93c50614136 Quit Criminalizing Poverty for 02/18/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/02/21/quit-criminalizing-poverty Thu, 18 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>An Ohio mom has been arrested for leaving her kids, a 10-year-old and a 2-year-old, in a motel room while she worked her shift at a pizza shop.</p> <p>A tip to the police led officers to a Motel Six in Youngstown at about 6:15 p.m. on Thursday night. The 10-year-old explained that her mom was working and would be home at 10 p.m.</p> <p>The officers went to the pizza shop where the mom, Shaina Bell, 24, told them she usually has someone look in on the kids every hour. She was booked into jail on two counts of child endangerment, and the kids were sent to their father. She got out on bail.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 18, 2021</p> 2d6ae748129977f1bfb0c481b05b7be7 Future-Proofing the Next Generation for 02/11/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/02/21/future-proofing-the-next-generation Thu, 11 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>When engineers build something expensive and important, they try to "future-proof" it. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, future-proofing means "to design software, a computer, etc. so that it can still be used in the future, even when technology changes." In other words, something that's future-proof is able to adapt as the world changes.</p> <p>Isn't that what we want for our kids? Wouldn't it be great if we could future-proof them? </p> <p>We sort of can &#8212; but it requires a cultural mindset shift. What kids need from parents and teachers is the chance to become resourceful and resilient enough so that when jobs change &#8212; or evaporate &#8212; they can land on their feet. This means they need some practice dealing with disappointment, risk and pivoting.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 11, 2021</p> 445042bbede5044bb6d690aef4f6d058 Stranger Danger and Other Child Safety Myths for 02/04/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/02/21/stranger-danger-and-other-child-safety-myths Thu, 04 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>It goes without saying that no one wants a child to be hurt, ever.</p> <p>Sometimes, though, it seems as if we believe that with enough child-surveillance, parent-surveillance, blaming, shaming, investigating and arresting, we can achieve perfect childhood safety: Just make sure kids are watched 24/7 &#8212; and hound the parents who don't do that.</p> <p>That's why we really have to think about actual safety and not just the knee-jerk response: "Never let them out of our sight till they're 18!"<p>Updated: Thu Feb 04, 2021</p> c206f8ac9765efbe10de59b341719828 Proof that No One Wants to Carjack Your Kids for 01/28/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/01/21/proof-that-no-one-wants-to-carjack-your-kids Thu, 28 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Yet another guy screamed at a mom for letting her kid wait in the car while she ran in to get a gallon of milk &#8212; but with a twist: He was a carjacker who'd just stolen her car.</p> <p>The second he noticed the kid in the back seat, he sped back to the parking lot and yelled at the mom to take the boy out. She did &#8212; and he drove off again.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">More proof that almost no one, even a thief, wants your kid. </span><p>Updated: Thu Jan 28, 2021</p> a091173ee645ce8142d64dcefd07309e It's Nice Out! Stay Inside, Kids! for 01/21/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/01/21/its-nice-out-stay-inside-kids-1349a Thu, 21 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The students were evacuated to the football field as hazmat teams rushed to the scene. The local prosecutor was alerted, as were the police. Responders entered the building and went room by room. What calamity beset Haddon Township High School in New Jersey's Camden County last week? A bomb threat? A gas leak? Anthrax?</p> <p>Worse. Dinnerware.</p> <p>Specifically, fiestaware, the colorful plates that took the U.S. by storm during the Great Depression. A sophomore had brought a quarter-size piece to his science class, because some of the plates were originally glazed with a red color that contained uranium oxide (at least until our war effort required uranium for the atom bomb, at which point the government confiscated fiestaware's stash). The student had received a Geiger counter for Christmas and was going to do a little experiment in class.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 21, 2021</p> b925c22fdb94aceac7ed2eedd3aee35c The Top Parenting-Hysteria Stories of 2020 for 01/14/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/01/21/the-top-parenting-hysteria-stories-of-2020 Thu, 14 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Yes, we're a few weeks into 2021 &#8212; a few BIG weeks &#8212; but before we get too comfy, let's pause to promise this year will not be as nuts! <span class="column--highlighted-text">Because for kids and parents, 2020 was strange and crazy in ways big and literally microscopic. As in, virus-size. </span>The craziest helicopter-parenting moments? </p> <p>No. 1: Pointing Fingers</p> <p>A 6-year-old with Down syndrome made a finger-gun gesture at her teacher and said, "I shoot you." That was enough to get the school to call the cops in Tredyffrin, Pennsylvania, because district policy mandates "safety threat assessments." Apparently, even when there's no actual safety threat. <p>Updated: Thu Jan 14, 2021</p> ec941df6ceef7992f27a2861436a56ff Half-Baked Hating On Bean Dad for 01/07/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/01/21/half-baked-hating-on-bean-dad Thu, 07 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you saw the thread that was burning up Twitter these last few days (at least before a certain meetup in Washington, D.C.), you read a story almost as long as the six-hour ordeal the dad describes, which began when his daughter wanted some baked beans and the father, John Roderick &#8212; aka "Bean Dad" &#8212; told her to open a can and heat some up.</p> <p>The problem?<p>Updated: Thu Jan 07, 2021</p> 6f1612084e105fb486e8bd79fcf6ba64 Sledding Down the Slippery Slope for 12/31/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/12/20/sledding-down-the-slippery-slope Thu, 31 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>A friend who was just noodling around the AccuWeather site found a blog post called "Why Have Midwestern Cities Banned a Beloved Winter Pastime?"</p> <p>The piece, which seems like it might just sit in a slush pile on AccuWeather's news desk and await recycling every snow season, discusses a few horrible sledding injury lawsuits that drained the coffers of Omaha, Nebraska, and Sioux City, Iowa. Then it adds: "According to a study from The Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at Nationwide Children's Hospital, more than 20,000 Americans younger than age 19 receive treatment for sledding-related injuries each year."</p> <p>It goes on to offer tips from the National Safety Council: "To ensure safety, the group suggests that parents ensure all sledding equipment is in good condition, with no cracks or sharp edges.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 31, 2020</p> 509746b574b970945839e0bf0d9f9bcc Voltaire Was Right (About Elementary School Pickup Procedures) for 12/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/12/20/voltaire-was-right-about-elementary-school-pickup-procedures Thu, 17 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>You may recall the saga of the South Carolina mom who granted her kids &#8212; 9, 10 and 11 &#8212; permission to walk the mile home from school together, without her.</p> <p>School officials refused to release them to do this, on the grounds that a nearby intersection (with walk/don't walk signals) is too dangerous. This particular mom's kids happen to cross it at other times, unaccompanied, on their way to and from extracurriculars.</p> <p>And has the school never heard of crossing guards?<p>Updated: Thu Dec 17, 2020</p> b8f78be5bf0b1237b8463dd6733ffe20 How to Help Kids Hate Reading for 12/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/12/20/how-to-help-kids-hate-reading Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Readers: Please read this newspaper for 20 minutes every night until you have finished the entire issue. You may read longer, of course, but 20 minutes is the minimum.</p> <p>Use a timer. Record the date and number of articles you read each day, and the reporter. Please also indicate the topic of the article and its genre: opinion, news, feature story, etc.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 10, 2020</p> c1b72953b6606db5c60573ee254fa175 Movie Night for Shut-Ins for 12/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/12/20/movie-night-for-shut-ins Thu, 03 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Right now, it's getting dark so early you've got to come up with something to do. Something fun and silly that'll keep you amused, especially since you can't go to a friend's place or out to dinner or to the mall or anywhere other than down the hall, to the bathroom and back. Or so it feels.</p> <p>My short-term solution is to dream up the titles of terrible movies by changing just one letter (or, on occasion, two &#8212; it's not like there's a law). You may have some fun with this new pastime. Here's how I spent last night: </p> <p>"Aging Bull."<p>Updated: Thu Dec 03, 2020</p> 2f276e702ff6e9570fd691009a15ebcf Is It a Crime to Trust Your Kids? for 11/26/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/11/20/is-it-a-crime-to-trust-your-kids Thu, 26 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The South Carolina mom who wants her kids' elementary school to allow them to walk home alone could find herself facing an investigation. Ominously, at the end of an ABC News4 story about her quest, the anchorwoman said, "Social Services could be called if the children are left to walk home on their own."</p> <p>"Left" to walk home. As if the mom is abandoning her kids rather than trusting them. </p> <p>The story, which I chronicled earlier this month on Reason, involves Jessie Thompson, a mom of three children ages 9, 10 and 11, who attend Spann Elementary School in Summerville, South Carolina. They already walk alone in that neighborhood &#8212; and look both ways before crossing &#8212; on their way to their extracurriculars. But the principal has said they can't without an adult &#8212; too dangerous. Thompson must come pick up the kids, or the school will put them on the bus.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 26, 2020</p>