The NRA is a mighty thing. But as mighty as it is, it is no match for the political power of the “parent lobby” in this country. If we parents ever decided to take a stand between our children and the gun lobby, we would perhaps be shielding thousands of our kids from the deadly bullets yet to come.
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Dr. Harvey Karp, the subject of a profile in the September Atlantic, rose to fame as the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. In his sequel, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, Karp shares techniques for defusing temper tantrums. One of the most unusual is a caveman-like dialect called “toddler-ese.” In these scenes from his Happiest Toddler DVD, Karp shows parents how to talk back to their enraged young children.
A request: Can somebody loop 1:25 to 1:28?
[Image: American Academy of Pediatrics]
Best Pair: Rick and Lynn Raisman
Child: Aly Raisman, Team Captain of the gold medal-winning U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team, Olympic Gold Medalist on the Floor Exercise, Olympic Bronze Medalist on the Balance Beam
Why? Rick and Lynn are the breakout stars of this Olympic games…But even before all that wincing and grimacing turned them into America’s greatest Olympic heroes, the Raismans, who hail from Needham, Massachusetts have been behind their daughter every step of the way. ”It’s exciting, it’s nerve-racking, anytime you watch your kids doing something you want good things for them,” Lynn explained to NESN.com about Aly’s long journey to qualify for the Olympics. “We know how long and how hard she’s worked, literally everyday for the past 15 years,” Rick added in an interview with The Today Show. And in response to their viral fame (the video was picked up by Gawker, The Daily Beast, and Buzzfeed): “I’m a little horrified right now,” Rick said after watching the video during an interview with USA Today. And of course, their New England accents make them even more adorable.
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While our friends worry about the quality of middle schools, our parental duties include bringing our son to the ER to get stitches after he puts his head through a window, then arranging for a window replacement and for a special treatment for all the glass in our house so it won’t shatter — at a pretty penny. Other friends declare, “I couldn’t do what you do.” If I am to conform to their expectations, I’m not sure what I am supposed to do: Beat my son? Kill myself? (Sadly, parents with kids like my son have done exactly that.)
Maybe it’s my Buddhist outlook, but I’m not consumed with worry and frenzy and despair like I’m “supposed” to be. I don’t enjoy that my 12-year-old son is still in diapers and sometimes purposely makes a mess in the bathroom. Or that he dumped his Thanksgiving dinner on my sister-in-law’s pregnant belly. Or that he screams in the parking lot of Whole Foods until people call the cops on us. On the other hand, he is my son, and he is what I have. And he has a nice smile.
When I look at friends and acquaintances, many with perfectly beautiful children and wonderful lives, and see how desperately unhappy or stressed they are about balancing work and family, I think to myself that the solution to many problems is deceptively obvious. We are chasing the wrong things, asking ourselves the wrong questions. It is not, “Can we have it all?” — with “all” being some kind of undefined marker that shall forever be moved upwards out of reach just a little bit with each new blessing. We should ask instead, “Do we have enough?”
Read more. [Image: The author on a walk with her son. Credit: Karl H. Jacoby]
…parenting should thrive in an age of austerity, says Bryan Caplan, an economics professor at George Mason University, and author of the new book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think.
The secret joy of being a parent, Caplan argues, comes from understanding the limited liability of parenting. Studies have found that child-rearing is, if you can believe it, a little overrated. In surveys of twins raised together and apart, behavioral scientists consistently found that nature overpowered nurture in almost all categories, from character and intelligence to happiness and health. Once you accept that bad parenting won’t always keep your kids from being great (and good parenting might not make a difference!), it’s easier to relax and enjoy the state of being a parent.
If the seeds of a good person are sown in a child’s DNA, it follows that parents are probably paying too much to improve their children. Caplan suggests that parenting doesn’t have to be so expensive. Kids don’t need the latest gizmos or the ceaseless, and expensive, attention we provide them. You can easily raise a great kid on a modest budget.
Caplan suggests marginal improvements in four areas — sleep, discipline, activities, and supervision - would ease the emotional and financial costs of parenting. Parents typically lose “three years of sleep per child,” Caplan says.
Read the rest of the story at The Atlantic.