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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

Escape-Room Escapades

Parents Prove Useless in Puzzling Through Adventure Game

Starshine and family, saving the world one Dark Wizard at a time.

We’re almost out of time — but I think we’re gonna make it. We’ve got five minutes left to unlock the chest that holds the ingredients to the potion that will defeat the Dark Wizard.

And then maybe grab some Yogurtland on the way home.

My husband, our sons, and I are in an escape room, and the clock is ticking. There are thousands of these adventure games all over the world now: a room or series of rooms intricately appointed with inconspicuous clues and puzzles, each one leading to another. You must solve them all within one hour to accomplish the goal: “Lift the curse!” “Steal the jewels!” “Defuse the bomb!” Each room has a unique story and aesthetic, from pirate’s treasure to haunted house.

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Uber for Junior?

Ride-Hailing Companies Recognize Parents’ Need for Kid-Hauling Help

Here’s a little secret no one tells you about raising children but so help me it’s true: The job is 23 percent parenting and 77 percent schlepping.

From lugging the buggers around in utero to hauling them here and there in Bjorns, slings, wraps, bassinets, and strollers-that-ought-to-have-turn-signals to driving them back and forth to playdates, school, lessons, sporting events, camps, medical appointments, and emergency trips to In-N-Out Burger — being a modern mom or dad is less about shepherding your kids toward adulthood than shuttling them to activities.

Sure, the most terrifying automobile ride you’ll ever take is the one home from the hospital with your firstborn child. It seems the entire world outside of your vehicle is both designed and determined to wreak calamity on the fragile human you’ve just labored to create.

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‘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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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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