Tag: columns

Think you’re ready to become a theater parent? Ask yourself these 11 questions first.

This post is written in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures When our partner, THE HOUSE (Will Ferrell! Amy Poehler! Can you wait until June 30?) asked me if I had any stories to share about the lengths we parents sometimes go to help support our kids dreams, just like the parents do in the new movie — well, yes. Yes I do. Because my daughter’s dream is to be an actress. And oh man, am I in trouble. Thalia performing “Trailer Trash” from Cowgirls with perfect pitch, which she definitely did not inherit from me | At top: Sage and...

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Speaking up is hard to do: The N-word, the culture of complicity, and why we have to say, that’s not okay.

This weekend, Senator Ben Sasse issued a response to address the (rightful) outrage around his Friday night appearance with Bill Maher. He stated that he should have spoken up when Maher unacceptably used the N-word. He tweeted that “just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.” (Whether or not he looked to be cringing is up for debate, but I’ll take his word for it that he was cringing on the inside.) Only a few weeks before, Billy Bush finally broke his silence about the infamous Access Hollywood tape on which the president bragged about sexually assaulting women. Bush told The Hollywood Reporter,  “if a moment like that rose...

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America’s top misspelled words by state. Can Mississippi spell Mississippi?

Being a data nerd (as Spawned podcast listeners well know), every so often I find myself down the rabbit hole of Google Trends, a super interesting — if somewhat frightening — look at just what the world is searching for day to day. And with this being National Spelling Bee week (whoo!) Google provided this dandy — if somewhat frightening — list ofAmerica’s top misspelled words by state. Did I mention I’m also a word nerd? Now at first glance I think okay, I get Georgia’s top search; it’s hard to know if it’s grey or gray. (Answer: both are acceptable, though gray is...

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You won’t believe that an 11 year old wrote this Memorial Day poem

When a dear friend of mine published this poem for Memorial Day, I gasped when I realized it was written by her 11-year-old son (and nephew of our own associate editor Christina) who I’ve known since he was a baby. Lucas has always been a sweet, remarkable kid — and yes, I’m biased — but I think you’ll agree his writing is extraordinary, so I’m thrilled I have permission to republish it here. This poem would be an exquisite tribute to our fallen troops from any poet of any age, but the fact that Lucas wrote this in a competition for his sixth grade ELA teachers…well, wow....

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The danger of fidget spinners: Miniature death traps! Or…not.

THE DANGER OF FIDGET SPINNERS is appearing all over our newsfeeds and splashing across subject lines flooding our inboxes. Hm, why are we not shocked? It was inevitable that the number of articles about the fidget spinner craze (hey, our kids are fans too), would be followed by an equal number of fidget spinner backlash articles. It started with all the reasons the toys could be distracting in classrooms (wait, a toy can be distracting?) and now we’ve moved onto full-on imminent danger. In case you’re starting to panic about the danger of fidget spinners,  I’ve put together what I think are some common sense suggestions as to how...

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The best and worst states for working moms: A whole lot of surprises | Thinking: Parent

Reading the results of today’s WalletHub study on the best and worst states for working moms, well let’s just say that this working mom’s eyes are wide open: 70% of moms with children under 18 are employed, so this is info that really impacts our country as a whole. There’s some great news in the study…and then some states that make me want to storm the governors’ offices and state legislatures, and go all Gloria Steinem on them. The WalletHub methodology is pretty fascinating, at least for a data nerd like me. (And for these purposes, let’s just establish that “working mom” means...

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A law to force parents to RSVP to kids’ parties: We’re in!

Who among us hasn’t sat around thinking, if I ran the world… Well, our newest partner, STARZ, asked me to do just that, and took me, oh, about a minute to decide what I would do if I assumed the throne. Don’t miss a fun giveaway below! Now of course I’d want to devote billions of dollars or pounds or yen or rupees toward ensuring my citizens were safe, healthy and prosperous. That should go without saying. But my very first act: Legislating timely RSVPs for children’s parties. (What? I’m a queen! I can totally make that a law. And if you’re a parent I know you support...

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Lunch-shaming stories from children who can’t afford school lunch will disgust you.

Yes, lunch shaming is a thing, as I just learned from this New York Times article from Bettina Elias Siegel that is so disturbing, I had to stop physically shaking after reading it before I could come here and write this. Evidently in a number of states, children in need are being publically humiliated and emotionally abused — by administrators — if they can’t afford to pay for school lunch or are behind on payments. One Alabama third-grader came home with an “I Need Lunch Money” stamp on his arm, with a happy face on it to presumably soften the blow. How kind of the...

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40 pregnant women in one prison forced to give birth in shackles and leg irons. Horrifying.

A new lawsuit, as reported by the Associated Press, alleges that more than 40 women have been forced to give birth in shackles in the Milwaukee County Jail over just the past six years. And the details are just horrifying. The plaintiff of this civil class action case was admitted for a 7-month sentence while pregnant. She was forced to endure all of her prepartum care in shackles, then give birth to her newborn baby while wearing a restraint called a belly chain, keeping her wrists tied to her waist, while her legs were attached with irons. Even as her own doctors and OBs demanded the...

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When words aren’t enough: A goodbye to Amy Krouse Rosenthal

It’s always a strange and complex feeling to feel the loss of someone you’ve never actually met, but that’s just what I feel right now, learning of today’s passing of author and mom of three, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This is one woman who definitely left us way too soon. F*ck cancer is right. While a lot of you may have learned her name recently, as the author of the unforgettable You May Want to Marry My Husband Modern Love column in the NY Times, we’ve known her for years as a remarkable children’s author who has filled our kids’ bookshelves with the kinds of titles you...

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Are you paying your babysitter enough? 9 surprising stats about childcare.

One of the questions parents are always asking each other is, “how much should I be spending on my babysitter or nanny?” The answer is so tough. The last thing I want to do is underpay someone with the important job of taking care of my kids, but I know that rates depends on the experience of the sitter, whether it’s a part-time high school student or an experience, trained full-time nanny, and of course, where we live. Related: 21 inspired ideas when you’ve only got a two-hour date night So I talked to the folks at UrbanSitter who recently conducted a national...

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A sweet 7 year old stripped of his bowling medal for the craziest reason. What is going on?

While I am not a fan of the “everyone gets a medal” school of thinking, I do believe in earned accolades. So I was startled to read a story about 7-year-old Canadian student Grayson Powell, a little bowling wunderkind who actually earned a trophy at a Canadian Youth Bowl tournament the old fashioned way — by kicking some pre-adolescent bowling booty in the lanes three times in a row. It wasn’t until the medals ceremony that he was stripped of his win. For a wardrobe violation. And no, he wasn’t wearing an OLD BOWLERS NEVER DIE [blah blah blah] BALLS t-shirt;...

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The one scene in Hidden Figures that every parent should be talking about | Thinking: Parent

Hi, nice to meet you. I’m one of the many parents who tries desperately to squeeze in a few last-minute Oscar nominated movie screenings just before the actual ceremony each year so I have at least a moderate shot at the family Oscar pool. You too? At the very top of my list was Hidden Figures, which I waited to see until my own girls could join me. Yay for February break! And while there are so many moments that will stay with me for a long time, there’s one scene in particular that doesn’t seem to get a lot of analysis, but to me, perfectly embodied why the story of...

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How children can write letters to the president: An American tradition

Children writing to our president and the First Family has always been a wonderful and important tradition. And with the inauguration of a new White House resident today, this is a great time to get kids thinking about their own hopes, their concerns, the issues that are on their minds, and letting them write to the president about them. In our weekly link roundup post this week, we linked to an NPR article about the number of letters from children that President Obama will continue to answer, even after today. Some favorite letters I’ve seen: The girl who wanted advice about getting a nose...

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Meet the cool dogs of Cool Mom Picks and the stories of what they’ve done for our families.

Update: This post was originally created on behalf of a brand that regretfully no longer aligns with our core values, and that we have removed from the content here. But we love the stories that our writers have shared, here and we hope you enjoy them too.   If you’ve ever had a dog in your life, you know they can be like your other child. They’ve taught us love, they’ve taught us responsibility, they’ve taught us that we may never need to sweep up around the dining table again. (Ha.) Clearly having a special dog in the house brings a special kind...

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Onward.

Kristen and I have never run this as a partisan or a political site, but that’s not to say that our values aren’t pretty clearly reflected on these pages. Our long-time readers know we are, and have always been, about inclusivity. Positivity. Diversity. Honoring our differences and seeking out what unites us. Providing support for all kinds of loving families, and seeking out more opportunities for all kinds of kids. None of that changed today. We’re still here. You’re still here, the hundreds of thousands of you who share these ideals. We started this site ten years ago in part to lift up those who need lifting up, whether...

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My 9/11 birthday

Adapted from a post originally published on Mom-101.com   Hello. Today is my birthday. Which means your knee-jerk response is probably something like, oh, happy birthday, Liz! But as I’ve come to learn, a few seconds later, a certain realization will strike and you’ll add: Oh wait, today? Oh. Ohhhhhhhh….wow. Wow. Okay. Wow. I’ve had 15 years to get used to it and I’m still not used to it. I don’t know if I ever will be. When you have a 9/11 birthday, especially in New York City, there is no chance of escaping discussion about The Day and what...

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The silver lining of the Mylan EpiPen price hike news, from a mom of a child with food allergies

When we first discovered my oldest daughter was allergic to peanuts and could have an anaphylactic reaction, our allergist told us that keeping EpiPens with her at all times could mean the difference between life and death. Think about that as a parent. Death. Of your child. You can bet that since that day, she has never gone anywhere without her EpiPens. And since that day, we have had a huge additional annual expense that definitely puts a a strain on our budget. But, that’s what you do to keep your kids safe. So you can imagine that we’ve been all ears when it comes...

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The 9 worst children’s TV shows that made my life a living hell: 2002–2009 Edition

We’re happy to welcome guest columnist, Wendi Aarons. She’s funny. When I was pregnant with my first son, way back in 2001, I had no intention of ever letting him watch television. Expose my precious baby’s developing brain to the mindless crap that spewed from the idiot box? Not I! Instead, I would spend all day, every day lovingly teaching him to calculate sums with the wood abacus I’d handcrafted out of the olive tree in our yard. The olive tree that was nourished by my buried placenta, of course. That grand notion didn’t last long. In fact, it...

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10 simple ways to be a great friend to a new mom (who could probably really use one right now)

The other night, I went to a birthday dinner with four of my nearest and dearest mom friends. We’ve been a mom squad ever since our now 8-year-olds were in an infant playgroup together. Truthfully, back then, I found being a new mom totally isolating. I didn’t have my own mom friends prior to giving birth and my playgroup crew became my go-to besties for advice, sanity checks, humor, and good company. But it wasn’t until I had a serious bout of postpartum depression after my second child was born, that I really thought about how truly important it is to...

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