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, 11 Jul 2020 08:56:38 -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 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> 421399b2cd640b509648dcd0a1014449 Kids Coming Into Their Own for 04/16/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/04/20/kids-coming-into-their-own Thu, 16 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Nobody is saying hooray for the pandemic. But at Let Grow, we are witnessing an amazing phenomenon that is going underreported &#8212; perhaps even unnoticed. </p> <p>The uncoddling of the American kid.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 16, 2020</p> 772ea50a29356c19d4aeec6526683f4f Post-Traumatic Surprise for 04/02/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/04/20/post-traumatic-surprise Thu, 02 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>So, here's something you might not have heard of: post-traumatic growth. I promise I am not making this up just to cheer anybody up. But I hope it does cheer you up, because it's real.</p> <p>"We are far more resilient than we give each other credit for," says Dr. Samantha Boardman, founder of the website Positive Prescription and assistant attending psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. And the research proves it. </p> <p>Beginning in the '90s, some psychologists finally started turning their focus away from dysfunction to study its good-twin opposite: how people cope. By some estimates, at least half the population has gone through some kind of real trauma. (And let's assume by September or so, that could be a lot more of us.) And yet, writes John Tierney, co-author of the new book, "The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It," 4 out of 5 trauma victims did not suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. "And in the long run, they typically emerged stronger. Instead of being permanently scarred, they underwent post-traumatic growth." <p>Updated: Thu Apr 02, 2020</p> 61d7c56884372476b23c41b77af7ec15 'Freaky Friday': Coronavirus Edition for 03/26/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/03/20/freaky-friday-coronavirus-edition Thu, 26 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Everyone's noticing that the roles are reversed at the moment: Those over 50 or so are being hectored by their protective progeny to stop going out to have lunch with friends or play cards or stroll the neighborhood. "Wash all the clothes you went out in today &#8212; including Daddy's jeans ... Bring Clorox wipes ... Use baggies for gloves ... "</p> <p>And, frankly, I'm fine with that. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Hectoring is where it's at these days. Hector on! But it does feel just the tiniest bit like Freaky Free-Range Friday.</span><p>Updated: Thu Mar 26, 2020</p> 78d9e7d7c73ac19ca8da9805762e5bb0 Video Games are Distance Learning, Too for 03/19/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/03/20/video-games-are-distance-learning-too Thu, 19 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Seven days in a row, 19 hours a day &#8212; not counting time for meals, Snapchat and that online math assignment.</p> <p>That could be how long your kids have been playing Fortnite since the quarantine began &#8212; and that is perfectly fine. In fact, maybe it's time for you to join them. </p> <p>Seriously, there are a couple of bigger things to worry about now, aren't there, than whether video games are the optimal form of child enrichment. The good news &#8212; no, not the totally good news we're all waiting for from science &#8212; is not only that they don't make kids violent and dumb but also that they are a force for social, educational and emotional good &#8212; even when the kids are blowing things, and each other, up. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 19, 2020</p> 87bb184942c39bdb185a4c6b51e7a739 A Coronavirus Conversation with the Kids for 03/12/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/03/20/a-coronavirus-conversation-with-the-kids Thu, 12 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>How should you talk to your kids about the coronavirus?</p> <p>Ironically, CNN actually recommends to "resist the urge to bombard them with every possible headline or piece of information about the outbreak." Twenty-four-hour news channel: Heal thyself!</p> <p>But you can't expect a media outlet not to offer tips at a time like this. It has become part of the modern crisis package: Assume parents are desperately in need of someone they don't know telling them how to talk to their own kids.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 12, 2020</p> aa8574e5ac43e81385eba98202ce7c5a A Wabi-Sabi Birthday for 03/05/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/03/20/a-wabi-sabi-birthday Thu, 05 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The online parenting world can be a strange place filled with strange concerns, but surely this is one of the strangest: A mom wrote to a mommy blog that she would like to literally change the date of her son's birthday &#8212; or at least lie to him about the date he was born &#8212; so they wouldn't have to celebrate on the day after Christmas, which is a holiday in England called Boxing Day.</p> <p>Yeah. That's her real worry. (And yeah, that's a real holiday. Apparently, it's not the day that all the relatives who have been holding themselves together for the sake of Christmas finally start slugging one another. It has to do with giving the servants a box after Christmas, containing some money and maybe some leftover food. Woo hoo! Old gravy! I'd be ready to box someone, too.) </p> <p>As for the mom and her inconveniently born kid: The big problem seems to be that this is a bummer of a day. There's no way to have a party &#8212; other kids are off with their families &#8212; and the boy is basically stuck inside with her and her in-laws (which, if you read between the lines, sounds like it might be a rather large chunk of the issue). So, the boy stays home, cooped up with the extended family. Presumably, he gorged on presents the day before; he has probably eaten some fruitcake (this never bodes well); and along comes the terrible, awful, no-good, very bad birthday. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 05, 2020</p> e5c7c622ded6f20658286734fe43c663 A Modern Dinner Party for 02/27/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/02/20/a-modern-dinner-party Thu, 27 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Are you free for supper</p> <p>Next Sunday night at 9?</p> <p>We're having some folks over<p>Updated: Thu Feb 27, 2020</p> 568a57173ca869230d134ef0219b4983 America's Favorite Story for 02/20/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/02/20/americas-favorite-story Thu, 20 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>A Springfield, Ohio, man spotted a van &#8212; guess what color &#8212; that he thought was trying to kidnap a girl, and he ran off to chase it in the most modern of ways: livestreaming the whole thing on Facebook. The van got away, but the man posted the video, which went locally viral.</p> <p>Here we must commend Springfield's WHIO TV 7 for checking to see if, indeed, there had been any substantiated reports of actual or near-kidnappings. Police lieutenant Lou Turner told reporter Katy Andersen that the cops had received not a single complaint. Let's hear it for a reality check!</p> <p>The two-minute story is a great piece of paranoia-puncturing &#8212; until the very end, when Anderson says, "Anyone who sees something suspicious or is a victim to a crime like this is urged to call police immediately to report it."<p>Updated: Thu Feb 20, 2020</p> df59c74a8e7d6ff1585a228a5cbc64de Making It Legal to Let Kids Play Outside for 02/14/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/02/20/making-it-legal-to-let-kids-play-outside Fri, 14 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>America may be divided along partisan lines when it comes to everything from walls to wars, but in Colorado, two state representatives &#8212; one Democrat, one Republican &#8212; are co-sponsoring their first bill together. It guarantees that kids can enjoy some independence &#8212; walk to school, play outside, etc. &#8212; without it being mistaken for neglect.</p> <p>The bill was inspired by Utah's "free-range parenting" law, passed in 2018, and should come to the floor of the House in a week or two. What a relief it would represent for Colorado parents &#8212; and what joy for kids!</p> <p>Reps. Janet Buckner, D-Colo., and Kim Ransom, R-Colo., have been friends for years. They always wanted to work on some piece of legislation together, but nothing fit the bill &#8212; as it were &#8212; till this "reasonable childhood independence" act. As they wrote in the Colorado Sun, they were motivated in part by "outrage at some of the stories we've heard from friends and constituents, moms and dads who simply took their eyes off their kids for a few minutes and ended up investigated for neglect. And frankly, we both remember some of the hoops we've jumped through as moms ourselves just to make sure no one mistook us for bad parents."<p>Updated: Fri Feb 14, 2020</p> 384e45ed8da8e619009bba0a3272fb03 From Distrust to Dystopia for 02/06/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/lenore-skenazy/02/20/from-distrust-to-dystopia Thu, 06 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>"Do we really need this?"</p> <p>That's what a mom from Idaho wrote to me, forwarding a note from her local school district about a new security system it's installing: Raptor Technologies' visitor management system.</p> <p>The note featured a video of how the system (basically a government ID scanner) works. It shows a mom arriving at her kid's school. She enters with a big grin and goes to the office where she exclaims, "Hi, Maureen!" and receives an equally enthusiastic, "Hi, Cindy!"<p>Updated: Thu Feb 06, 2020</p>