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Questions About Gone With The Wind From A Ten Year Old

Fiona and I just watched the first hour of Gone With The Wind, right up until Ashley (Ashley!) goes back to the war after his Christmas leave. Fiona hasn’t watched a lot of old movies. An “old” movie to Fiona is Home Alone or Back To The Future. I knew she’d have questions. I didn’t […]

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Parenting With Game Theory: Reciprocity (Or How Not To Let Things Spiral Out Of Control)

My daughter has a weird quirk that she totally got from me: She doesn’t like to let things go. Ever. She will bring something up minutes, hours, days, or years after it happened, when most everyone else in the world had forgotten about it and moved on. And since I’m just as stubborn as she […]

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Catch Me On The Meredith Vieira Show Tomorrow!

This morning I showered and got dressed in something other than sweats and headed to 30 Rock (I love saying that, as if I run into Liz Lemon every time I’m in the building), otherwise known as 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Otherwise known as the home of some of the best TV shows in history. After […]

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What A Nine Year Old Can Do

  On Tuesday, my friend Anna sent me this poll, because she knows how I feel about kids being able to have some independence. The headline of the article was, “68 Percent of Americans Don’t Think 9-Year-Olds Should Play at the Park Unsupervised.” I wasn’t really surprised by what the poll had to say. If […]

Playworld Systems

How Free Play Changes Kids’ Brains

[The following post is sponsored by Playworld Systems.] I really loved writing about the benefits of free play last month. Playworld Systems makes the kind of playground equipment that helps free play thrive, letting kids take risks and figuring things out for themselves. When they pointed me in the direction of this NPR piece on […]

What My Kids Give Me, Besides The Obvious

I think it’s a given that my kids give me love and affection and joy and exhaustion and the occasional cold and near heart attack. All that kid-related stuff. But they also give me structure. With both of them off at camp I’m finding my life completely devoid of structure, and I don’t really like […]

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Why Funding The Arts In Schools Matters

The other night I was sitting in the auditorium at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens. Actually, technically, I was sitting in the Tony Bennett Concert Hall. And Tony Bennett himself was also sitting in the Tony Bennett Concert Hall, with his wife, Susan Benedetto. The two of them had founded the […]

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Saving Play

[The following post is sponsored by Playworld Systems.] When I was growing up I had a lot of freedom to play on my own. I could roam around my neighborhood, play with other children, put on talent shows, have adventures, make new friends, scrape my knees, get into arguments, make up, invent games, and discover […]

Child Neglect

It’s A Miracle That All Sensible Parents Aren’t In Jail

I have a little quiz for you. The biggest problem facing children in the United States of America today is: A) Strangers roaming the streets and parks, poised to snatch your children the moment you turn your back OR B) A complete lack of independence leading to obesity, boredom, and children who reach adulthood without […]

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Tears, Cookies, And The Violent Femmes

At this point, I can’t be coy about loving the weeks when my daughter is at sleepaway camp – I’ve been too outspoken to attempt any kind of sentimentally about it. Perhaps this year she sensed it more, or was just being extra emotional about going, but a few days ago she sat down at […]