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Category archive for: Parenting

Charting the puzzles and peeves of kid-herding — from Huggies to homework, Pilates to pinatas.
Published bi-weekly, twice a month

‘My Parents Are Stupid’

When Kids Refuse to Be Properly Indoctrinated

If I had any doubts that Gen Y and Gen Z possess the savvy and the huevos they’ll need to lead this country out of its current muddle, those doubts were squelched last week. First, 18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger testified before the Senate about why he went and got himself vaccinated after growing up with a staunch anti-vaxxer mom.

“My parents are kind of stupid,” began Ethan’s Reddit post back in November asking for advice on where and how to get the shots as an adult. He told the Senate that as he “began to think critically for myself, I saw that the information in defense of vaccines outweighed the concerns heavily.” Can I get an “amen” for Ethan?

Then journalist Eli Saslow, author of Rising Out of Hatred, came to UCSB Arts & Lectures to talk about the miraculous transformation of Derek Black. The godson of KKK grand wizard David Duke and actual son of another grand wizard (how is that actually a grown man’s title?), Black was a prominent white supremacist in his own right until he went to college and met people who defied the stereotypes he’d been spoon-fed his whole life. They challenged him to learn more about other races and religions, which — as education is wont to do — convinced him that racism was a big steaming pile of hooey. Now, much to Daddy’s dismay, he’s an outspoken critic of the white nationalist movement.

Imagine the courage, conviction, and capability of these young men! There’s something about a kid rebelling against his lunatic parents that fills me with hope. But I was surprised to find that these stories also filled me with something else. Something less flattering: panic. If this dramatic rejection of family values can happen to deranged and misguided parents, what’s to stop it from happening to outrageously rational and astoundingly wise parents — you know, parents like me?

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How Not to Raise a Sexual Assaulter

You Never Really Know If You’re Raising Good Kids
… Until You’re Long Done

The political pandemonium of the past two years has left me extremely confused about a lot of things. But of one thing I’m now certain: It’s an assaulty world out there, ladies.

Since #MeToo erupted, the number of women who’ve come forward with accounts of handsy, tonguey, thrusty dates, bosses, strangers, and celebs is shocking. We saw our favorite sitcom dad and pudding peddler sent to jail over such accusations, and a volatile frat boy sent to the Supreme Court despite them.

So I wasn’t surprised when, in response to these reports, parents began expressing dire concern about the world their kids will inherit. However — I was surprised it was their sons they were worried about.

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Secrets of a Very Catholic Daughter

‘Hiding Out’ Author Talks Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives

He used to leap around naked in front of thousands of people weekly while touring the nation in Hair, a rock musical about sex, drugs, and draft-dodging. On my first day of 9th grade at a snooty prep school, my 70-year-old history teacher proclaimed to the class that my father had sat naked on her lap during a matinee in Baltimore. I never quite recovered.

But then I met Tina Alexis Allen and discovered I had it easy. Really easy.

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Raising a First-Person Shooter

‘Fortnite’ Video Game Blowing Holes in My Anti-Gun Policy

The hypocrisy of my life is corroding my insides, and confession is the only cure. Outwardly — in dinner conversations, on social media, at girls’ nights — I go all frothy-mouthed about gun control, all soapbox-y on the nefarious NRA, all high-horsey over our nation’s sick obsession with firearms.

But in a dimly lit corner of my home, probably even as you read this, my sweet 12-year-old son who still orders off the kids’ menu is entertaining himself by assassinating animated strangers with a digital assault rifle — the very weapon now dominating public debate.

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Theater Kids Save the World

Drama Class Prepares Students to Lead a Revolution

Everyone who’s been to high school knows it: Jocks top the student hierarchy. They earn the yearbook’s Most Popular designations and dictate, by their mere arrival, where the coolest after-prom parties are.

But when a group of outspoken, articulate, enraged students galvanized the nation after last month’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it wasn’t a pack of athletes. It was a ragtag troupe of theater kids.

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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