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, 28 Jul 2021 19:37:47 -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 e46032c7255f82de2671076cbfac6fd3 Where Tiger and Free-Range Moms Agree for 07/22/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/07/21/where-tiger-and-free-range-moms-agree Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Fun fact: The second edition of my book, "Free-Range Kids," just came out and guess who wrote a blurb for the cover?</p> <p>Amy Chua. Yes. The "Tiger Mom."<p>Updated: Thu Jul 22, 2021</p> 5d964930aae04b82669bd7cda09346a6 Age Limits on Childhood Don't Make Sense for 07/15/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/07/21/age-limits-on-childhood-dont-make-sense Thu, 15 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A few years back, after the first "Free Range Parenting" law passed in Utah &#8212; a great day for childhood independence &#8212; my nonprofit received a query from a lawmaker. Inspired, he wanted his state to pass a similar law that allowed parents to grant their kids some freedom to play outside, stay home alone, walk to school, etc., and it would not be mistaken for neglect. And so, he said, he'd drafted a bill:</p> <p><i> Parents are not to be investigated or accused of neglect simply for letting their children, age 10 and up, engage in independent childhood activities. </i><p>Updated: Thu Jul 15, 2021</p> 4a593f3081172a6c9cd063d81bda29c1 When Child Abuse Pediatricians Get It Wrong for 07/08/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/07/21/when-child-abuse-pediatricians-get-it-wrong Thu, 08 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Patti Krueger is a stay-at-home mom in Decatur, Illinois. Her husband is a house painter. The couple's second son, Wyatt, was born in 2017 with severe breathing difficulties.</p> <p>"He was blue," says Krueger.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 08, 2021</p> 775a1477119adf881c697ab427418000 It's So Nice Out -- Stay Inside! for 07/01/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/07/21/its-so-nice-out-stay-inside Thu, 01 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Hundreds of thousands of people are weighing in on the factors keeping kids &#8212; and especially teens &#8212; on social media instead of meeting up in real life.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">The tweet that ignited this particular conversation said that when older people ask: "Why don't kids go outside anymore?" the answer could be, ironically, because of the outside those older people built.</span> And it shows a photo of a four-lane highway lined with business and chockablock with traffic. In the middle, you can make out what looks to be a teen on a bike. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 01, 2021</p> 2c4aa91f2b6978efeace5d3734f641d3 Don't Worry Kids About Calories for 06/24/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/06/21/dont-worry-kids-about-calories Thu, 24 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Organic? Whole-grain? Quinoa-crammed? Who cares?</p> <p>A lot of us. But maybe we shouldn't. Or, at least, maybe we shouldn't burden our kids with all our nutritional correctness.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 24, 2021</p> 6f822313dfc56a2373aa7fc54be07c64 Taps for the Tap? for 06/17/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/06/21/taps-for-the-tap Thu, 17 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>'Tis the season for reminders to hydrate.</p> <p>As if nature had never invented a way to keep us from shriveling into human raisins &#8212; and not even the plump, juicy ones. Hard, dry, olive-pit-like raisins that insert themselves into your molars and make themselves so at home, no water flosser dares dislodge them.</p> <p>A teacher once told me that parents had started asking her to remind her students, throughout the day, to sip, sip, sip.<span class="column--highlighted-text"> "Have I lost it completely in thinking that learning to drink when you're thirsty is one of the key parts of growing up?"</span> she asked me. "While water is obviously important, it doesn't seem to kill kids to be without it for a couple of hours. A shocking number of parents act like it's insulin for their diabetic children. Am I crazy?"<p>Updated: Thu Jun 17, 2021</p> 503e964973f7f302e5a32e0ab32bb811 Too Many Parents Second-Guessing Themselves for 06/10/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/06/21/too-many-parents-second-guessing-themselves Thu, 10 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Obviously, a poll on Twitter is nowhere near scientific, and that is even more obviously true when it's a poll of folks following one person or idea &#8212; in this case, me, and my idea that kids deserve some unstructured, unsupervised time. </p> <p>Nonetheless, recently I asked:</p> <p>"Have you ever wanted to give your kids some independence &#8212; to walk outside, stay home alone, play at the park, etc. &#8212; but decided not to because you worried that someone might call 911?"<p>Updated: Thu Jun 10, 2021</p> d535186f7f8120fd540dd16eefc7def3 The Risk of No Risk for 06/03/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/06/21/the-risk-of-no-risk Thu, 03 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We humans get risk wrong. We focus on what's top of mind or top of the fear chart &#8212; not what's a top killer.</p> <p>That's as true for COVID-19 as it is for anything else.</p> <p>Consider this David Leonhardt piece in The New York Times titled, "What Do You Do When the Kids Are Still Unvaccinated?" Here's what it concludes:<p>Updated: Thu Jun 03, 2021</p> 13db7286dd9b6975e1eedb187c1af3e8 Texas Goes Free-Range! for 05/20/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/05/21/texas-goes-free-range Thu, 20 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Hats off to Texas: Over the weekend, it became the third U.S. state, after Utah and Oklahoma, to make reasonable childhood independence the law of the land. Now parents who live there cannot be investigated for neglect simply for giving their kids some old-fashioned freedom.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">When it goes into effect in September, more than one-tenth of all Americans will live under laws passed with the help of Let Grow, the nonprofit that grew out of Free-Range Kids that insists our kids are smarter and safer than our cowering culture gives them credit for.</span></p> <p>House Bill 567 enjoyed bipartisan support, sailing through the Texas Senate unopposed and winning the House with a vote of 143 to 5.<p>Updated: Thu May 20, 2021</p> 339e715379e2f198a608455fd28f9eef A Very Shaky Accusation for 05/13/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/05/21/a-very-shaky-accusation Thu, 13 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A Georgia mom and dad convicted of murdering their days-old baby daughter have had all charges dismissed &#8212; after they each spent almost 13 years in prison. The district attorney apologized to them for not getting a fair trial.</p> <p>"Too often, we would rather believe that good people did a bad thing for no reason than believe that a bad thing happened to good people for no reason," said one of the appeals attorneys involved, Andrew Fleischman of Ross & Pines in Atlanta. It explains what happened in this case and what happens too often in America:</p> <p>Late in May of 2008, just a day after Ashley and Albert Debelbot brought their seemingly healthy baby girl, McKenzy, home, a bump was discovered on her forehead. The Debelbots brought her to Martin Army Hospital in Fort Benning. She died a day later.<p>Updated: Thu May 13, 2021</p> 06fda79b711a2abbfdf7328993307285 Aren't You Glad You Aren't a Kid Today? for 05/06/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/05/21/arent-you-glad-you-arent-a-kid-today Thu, 06 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A survey of almost 2,000 parents of kids ages 5 to 11 in Britain found that most parents aren't letting their kids play outside, unsupervised, until age 11, The Guardian reports. This is despite the fact that when the parents were growing up, they headed out to play at around age 9.</p> <p>Tim Gill, author of "Urban Playground: How Child-Friendly Planning and Design Can Save Cities" and longtime champion of more freedom for kids, said the study shows "that British children have been subject to a gradual, creeping lockdown over at least a generation." He added, "Thanks to the pandemic, we all know what lockdown feels like."</p> <p>So, why are we doing this to our kids?<p>Updated: Thu May 06, 2021</p> ca1cc8ba09fd2580e5b65d186b71bc21 Can Johnny Come Out and Play -- Legally? for 04/29/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/04/21/can-johnny-come-out-and-play-legally Thu, 29 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We've all heard stories of parents getting investigated or even arrested for letting their kids do something as simple as walk to the park on their own. <span class="column--highlighted-text">But on Wednesday, Oklahoma and Texas both passed "Reasonable Childhood Independence" bills ensuring parents that they can let their kids play outside, stay home alone a bit and engage in other normal childhood activities without being accused of abuse or neglect. </span></p> <p>Hallelujah! </p> <p>These bills just await their governors' signatures.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 29, 2021</p> a24cf123a7191175fa704b98ed8aa950 Panic-Porn's Impact on Parents for 04/22/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/04/21/panic-porns-impact-on-parents Thu, 22 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A mom in a recent Wall Street Journal piece explained that she doesn't feel safe having her fully vaccinated parents visit her unvaccinated kids, ages 3 and 6. Let's think about this decision in light of so many other decisions parents must make, every day, about their kids' safety. </p> <p>"The people who are parenting now grew up in the Etan Patz/Adam Walsh era," says David Ropeik, author of "How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts." Etan was stolen from a Manhattan bus stop in 1979; Adam was kidnapped outside a Florida Sears a few years later. Etan was one of the first missing kids on a milk carton, followed by countless others who were runaways and NOT kidnapped by a stranger &#8212; a fact never announced to the milk-drinking public. So that generation grew up with dread "getting baked in," says Ropeik, "and that reflects itself back in the culture."</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Ropeik doesn't believe that this generation of parents is more irrational or fearful than others, just that it has been more relentlessly exposed to and warned about every possible threat.</span> "Risk perception goes up or down in direct relation to how prominent the risk is in the news," he says.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 22, 2021</p> 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>