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 Sat, 19 Sep 2020 22:05:12 -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 56b1a2606413b6021aa74413d73bd588 Pod Regulations to Stop Parents in their Tracks for 09/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/09/20/pod-regulations-to-stop-parents-in-their-tracks Thu, 17 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Pennsylvania parents thinking of starting a learning pod for their children should prepare to jump through some hoops. Then jump some more. And keep jumping.</p> <p>The state Department of Human Services' Office of Child Development and Early Learning announced on Aug. 26 &#8212; the day some schools were set to begin &#8212; that families with kids attending public school cannot form a learning pod of six or more unrelated students unless the parents do all of the following:<p>Updated: Thu Sep 17, 2020</p> a1cacdd0ea584e22f4d60ef44de84ae2 Lazy Cops Entrap Guys Online Instead of Finding Actual Child Rapists for 09/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/09/20/lazy-cops-entrap-guys-online-instead-of-finding-actual-child-rapists Thu, 10 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Want to save kids from rape and molestation? Me, too. Unfortunately, instead of going after actual sexual predators, some police officers have discovered that it's easier to just trick people. These cops go on adult dating sites, pose as grown women, find lonely guys, flirt and then claim they are actually underage. But the photos they send of "themselves" depict real women in their 20s. When the mark arranges a date, the cops arrest him as a predator.</p> <p>These stings are the subject of a remarkable piece in The New York Times Magazine by Michael Winerip. I highly recommend reading the whole thing. But here's a synopsis:</p> <p>Winerip begins by profiling 20-year-old Jace Hambrick, a young man living at home, working in construction and doing a lot of gaming in Vancouver, Washington. When Hambrick found "Gamer Gurl" on Craigslist (which requires users to be 18), he couldn't believe his luck: A woman who professed to love gaming and was looking for a boyfriend. They chatted for a while, and then "Gamer Gurl" said she was actually 13.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 10, 2020</p> 2d75dce1ec8af749e4a7dd86e446b22d Halloween and Congress for 09/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/09/20/halloween-and-congress Thu, 03 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On the one holiday of the year it's traditional to wear masks, Congress is nonetheless asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for coronavirus-era guidelines.</p> <p>A bipartisan group of 30 lawmakers wonder what protocols mini ghosts, goblins, Trumps and Bidens should adhere to when &#8212; and if &#8212; they trick or treat. As The Hill reports:<p>Updated: Thu Sep 03, 2020</p> 201fdb4da861b1dca42349721f58f789 It Should Not Be Standard Operating Procedure to Strip-Search Little Kids for 08/27/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/08/20/it-should-not-be-standard-operating-procedure-to-strip-search-little-kids Thu, 27 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Good news, parents: If you let your kids wait in the car for less than 10 minutes on a cool day &#8212; doors locked and fan on &#8212; a caseworker and sheriff are actually not allowed to come to your home, threaten to take your children away and strip-search the kids.</p> <p>These very basic rights were just vindicated the hard way: by a Kentucky mom in federal court. Holly Curry sued the cop and the caseworker, insisting that, the day she was investigated for child abuse, the two authorities so wildly overstepped their bounds that they should not be afforded qualified immunity. In other words, their behavior was so egregious they had to take responsibility for it. The judge agreed.</p> <p>You may recall the case. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Back in March of 2017, Curry was driving her kids to karate when she stopped to get them some muffins. She was in the cafe for just a few minutes. When she came out, two cops rebuked her for leaving the kids.</span><p>Updated: Thu Aug 27, 2020</p> c428d158902a453dc12b4c3f5ba75791 Do You Want a Bureaucrat, Age 20, Judging Your Parenting? for 08/20/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/08/20/do-you-want-a-bureaucrat-age-20-judging-your-parenting Thu, 20 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A week ago, Tennessee's Department of Education announced it was going to start conducting monthly "child well-being" assessments of every single kid under age 18 in the state. These could be by phone, email or a knock on the door. On home visits, the so-called well-being liaison would be allowed to interview the children privately.</p> <p>Did the state set any standards for what sort of person would be given that kind of access and responsibility? Well, the liaisons had to be at least 20 years old, and they had to pass a background check.</p> <p>That's it.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 20, 2020</p> 5504730a271aa9eb98953d4672bca996 When a Blackout Provides Light for 08/13/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/08/20/when-a-blackout-provides-light Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>What happens when you've got a power outage on top of a pandemic on top of marching in the streets, cancel culture, a crazy election and a boiling August when everyone seems ready to jump out of their skin &#8212; and down your throat?</p> <p>Some unexpected joy. </p> <p>When Tropical Storm Isaias toppled trees across the Northeast last week, plunging 1.7 million people into a blackout (including yours truly), the chaos provided a surprising balm for the soul. Sharing candles, ice and hurry-before-the-meat-goes-bad barbecues gave us all an excuse to work together and make things better. It's a feeling we'd been longing for. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 13, 2020</p> 336ba759d92295dbaeae191419d0008a Back to School-Pocalypse Shopping for 08/06/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/08/20/back-to-school-pocalypse-shopping Thu, 06 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If you look at Target's back-to-school ads, you might not notice anything different in the chipper array of Post-its, backpacks and pencils, except for one new item in the lineup: face masks. Still, the whole thing looks like business as usual.</p> <p>The parents shopping for those supplies are anything but.</p> <p>"My 11-year-old just asked me, 'Can I please get a new backpack?' And I just looked at her like, 'What's the point?'" says Vanessa Elias, a parent coach in Wilton, Connecticut. "I think they'll be back (at school) for a very short amount of time." Her district has stated it will only stay open if the local COVID-19 case rate is less than 25 per 100,000. (If it's 10-25 per 100,000, the schools will be open on a hybrid schedule).<p>Updated: Thu Aug 06, 2020</p> 2d21d62ac7a20eae4ab67860a24a2712 In Pods They Trust for 07/30/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/07/20/in-pods-they-trust Thu, 30 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"It's a big mess," says Hollie Gesaman, a mother of two young children in Streetsboro, Ohio. </p> <p>She was talking about the upcoming school year, of course. Her local school has drawn up "potential plans," she said, "but the bottom line is that there's really not a 100% good choice." Send the kids to school? There's a health risk. Keep them home, and what about socialization? Home school? Unschool? Let them watch cartoons and learn the entire Acme product line? "There's a negative consequence for each possibility," Gesaman sighs. "Just pick a punch in the face."</p> <p>The punch suddenly getting the most play is the "pandemic pod." <p>Updated: Thu Jul 30, 2020</p> 911ac82355f6dedc7654eb8c8c10c34c S'More Screen Time for 07/23/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/07/20/smore-screen-time Thu, 23 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>What's up with camp this summer? For hiking, substitute sitting. For a campfire, substitute a chat box. And for fun, substitute &#8212; well, here's the thing: Some kids don't like the online camps COVID-19 has foisted upon them. But plenty are having a good enough time, and some kids are loving their virtual camps. And if kids are busy and happy even for a short (blessed!) portion of the day, their parents are happy campers, too.</p> <p>The American Camp Association doesn't have an exact number of camps that have gone online for the summer, but they know of at least 230. That's out of the 3,000 camps that are members. It's possible that many hundreds more are giving it a try without notifying the association.</p> <p>Elina Furman, an author and digital marketer in Connecticut, has her 7-year-old son attending one. By the time Furman realized that some in-person camps were going to be open this summer, most of the slots had been filled. She managed to secure a place for her older son, but for her younger son, she found an online "toy-inventor" camp. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 23, 2020</p> 8400b935ba9fa57884bad504a71c1a83 Dad Can't Be Penalized for Raising Competent Kids for 07/16/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/07/20/dad-cant-be-penalized-for-raising-competent-kids Thu, 16 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A Canadian dad has won the right to let his kids ride the city bus on their own.</p> <p>Vancouver techie Adrian Crook allowed his four oldest children, then aged 7-11, to ride the city buses to and from school in 2017. It was going fine until someone called child protective services to report unsupervised kids on public transit. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 17, 2020</p> 46f12811fc4557c8eafb407829482453 Summer Songs Never Die for 07/09/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/07/20/summer-songs-never-die Thu, 09 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>There's something about a summer song that means every time you hear it &#8212; 10, 20, even (ahem) many more years later &#8212; it all comes flooding back. The sun. The sprinklers. The bikinis (yours or someone else's). Often there's a camp in the background, or a beach, or a car &#8212; and with any luck, the top is down. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Basically, you can take the year you were born and fast-forward 12-18 years, and that's the summer your special song came out. </span></p> <p>When I asked people on Facebook to tell me the song that always means summer to them, I yelped when a few folks voted for "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry. Yes! That song is more powerful than a whiff of Coppertone! If you don't know it (because you're not about 97 years old), go directly to YouTube, and start grooving out: "In the summertime, when the weather is hot, / You can stretch right up and touch the sky." (Reading it now, I realize IT DOESN'T EVEN RHYME! What a lazy writer!)<p>Updated: Thu Jul 09, 2020</p> c9e5ad82c1ff2d61f2e48b031274da68 Ode to a Covid Independence Day for 06/25/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/06/20/ode-to-a-covid-independence-day Thu, 25 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Things you can do on the Fourth of July</p> <p>If you're worried 'bout COVID and don't want to die:<p>Updated: Thu Jun 25, 2020</p> 186a38b9f8872a124befb2aa19d87f0e Who Put the Dad in Dad Jokes? for 06/18/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/06/20/who-put-the-dad-in-dad-jokes Thu, 18 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Sundays are kind of sad. But the day before is a sadder day.</p> <p>Yup. It's time to talk about dad jokes. Specifically, when and why did dumb puns become synonymous with fatherhood? When I was a kid, knock-knock jokes were clearly kid jokes, but so were the silly one-liners: </p> <p>&#8212; Why did the moron tiptoe past the medicine cabinet? He didn't want to wake the sleeping pills.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 18, 2020</p> cb6d301293e05af266bde1a8374123ff Bait and Swiss for 06/11/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/06/20/bait-and-swiss Thu, 11 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Hans up! A Swiss 8-year-old was investigated by the police for asking if he could use play money to make a purchase in a village shop.</p> <p>Note that that kid wasn't even trying to palm the cash off as real &#8212; which would have been pretty tough considering it was a euro printed on plain paper decorated with blue Chinese characters. No doubt, this may be a reality someday in Europe. But that day has not yet come.</p> <p>The fake money was given out at a recent carnival in the town of Sissach, Switzerland. There's a Chinese tradition where family members burn paper versions of everything from mansions to money to Marlboros so that their ancestors will enjoy them in the afterlife. That's what these "euros" were. And, for the record, euros aren't even the currency in the northern Basel-Landschaft region where this occurred. That area uses Swiss francs.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 11, 2020</p> fc7e1da316fd20e47da3318807b0ac32 Nuts About Squirrels for 06/04/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/06/20/nuts-about-squirrels Thu, 04 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This is not a column about antibodies, cops, COVID-19, killer wasps, missing bees, vaccines, ventilators, The New York Times, politics, protests, deer ticks, flour shortages, meat shortages, yeast shortages or shortening bread shortages (which, as far as I know, don't exist).</p> <p>It's a column about squirrels.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 04, 2020</p> 02563fd6f9fc7d367dc10a4e33d6c314 The Cat in the Lap Who's on Zoom in a Room for 05/28/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/05/20/the-cat-in-the-lap-whos-on-zoom-in-a-room Thu, 28 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The sun, it did shine</p> <p>All that nice, nice spring day.</p> <p>But we sat there inside<p>Updated: Thu May 28, 2020</p> b40c69df9b6d27b3ed17108479e1a85f So, You're Bored, Kids? for 05/15/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/05/20/so-youre-bored-kids Fri, 15 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"I'm not letting anyone in this house give a haircut yet, but that day may come."</p> <p>So says Vanessa Elias, a parenting coach (and founder of parent coaching business Thrive With a Guide), a mom of three girls ages 18, 16 and 11, and a free play advocate in her town of Wilton, Connecticut. Frankly, she's also my friend. </p> <p>Vanessa came up with the list below, inspired, in part, by Let Grow, the nonprofit I run that promotes childhood independence and resilience. She was also inspired by looking around at all the childhood changes happening thanks to the pandemic. "I thought about the new things that my kids were doing, or that others in our community had done," says Vanessa. "And I thought of things that I'd LIKE my kids to do."<p>Updated: Fri May 15, 2020</p> ad5c1a0e635dd8ea194abc56c5a1a083 Pomp and (Very Weird) Circumstance for 05/08/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/05/20/pomp-and-very-weird-circumstance Fri, 08 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i>As most of America's college seniors won't be having an in-person graduation this year, we are providing them with the guest speech by a semifamous alum or semigenerous donor you probably would have heard. Graduates, just fill in the blanks, and you'll feel like you're there (bored and boiling):</i></p> <p>Greetings, students, parents, deans, professors and, especially, our esteemed mascot, (name of fish), who so aptly represents our student body &#8212; and with whom I have a date later tonight. I just hope that's not a costume! <p>Updated: Fri May 08, 2020</p> 3d23a2d7b036dc7339d50db02be55e5b COVID-19 Fears Inspire a Bizarre Revenge Plot for 04/30/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/04/20/covid-19-fears-inspire-a-bizarre-revenge-plot Thu, 30 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What's a parent to do? It was early in March, COVID-19 fears were on the rise, and two Kentucky parents who were new to the state needed to open up a bank account. Seeing no other option, they took their young kids into the bank with them. </p> <p>By the time they returned home from their errand, a child protective services caseworker and a law enforcement officer were waiting at the door to investigate them for child abuse.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 30, 2020</p> 3560453b9dd617ec6d5c174f86f297ba Kids Deserve Pandemic Playtime Without Their Parents Getting Arrested for 04/23/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/04/20/kids-deserve-pandemic-playtime-without-their-parents-getting-arrested Thu, 23 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As if parents don't have enough to worry about in the midst of a pandemic, last week, I got a terribly upsetting email from a dad who wrote to say that Child Protective Services, or CPS, had come to investigate him.</p> <p>Not because his kids weren't social distancing. Not because of any beatings or starvation or deliberate exposure to dangerous germs. He was being investigated for allowing his kids, ages 6 and 3, to play on their own front lawn. </p> <p>Even in the midst of a bio-calamity, it seems that the mere sight of kids outside on their own strikes some as irresponsible. A call is made. But then, instead of allocating stretched state resources toward families in actual distress due to COVID-19, CPS and police are still treating children's outdoor play as a crime.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 23, 2020</p>