Categorized as: Parenting Children

Redshirting in the Age of Academic Kindergarten

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Every September, the incoming group of kindergarteners becomes ever so slightly older.  When I had my daughter almost twenty years ago, I remember a friend of mine exclaiming, “Oh, you’re so lucky, she’s birthday-blessed!” The term referred to her fall birth date, and the fact that she would automatically be one of the oldest students in her class. But in this high-octane world of parenting, we are seeing an increasing wave of academic “redshirt” decisions, especially for “Summer Birthday Boys,” in an effort to give them an academic, social, and athletic advantage by orchestrating their position among oldest and biggest in their grade. Read more… 

Listen to my radio interview on this topic here.

When Children Die and It’s Incomprehensible, How We Move Forward as a Society

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Almost twenty years ago, in February of 1993, my daughter was a toddler and sometimes hard to keep track of in stores if I took my eyes off her for a second, as all parents occasionally do. Around that time I lost her in Gymboree at the mall for perhaps 10 minutes because she was playing hide-and-seek in the circular turnstiles of clothing and not responding to my increasingly frantic calls. But she eventually came out laughing and I had the moment many parents have when they are angry and deeply relieved, and I hugged her and admonished her at the same time. Read more…


Middle School Survival Kit: The Role of Technology in Parenting a Middle Schooler

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During some interviews with grandparents, I found the
universal sentiment that raising children “is harder today” for
their children than it had been for the grandparents. Asked
why, most of them commented on the role of technology,
and when I interviewed current middle school parents, the
majority of their worries were in some way related to just that. Read more…

Biting Among Toddlers and Preschoolers

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The memory is still fresh: I take my daughter to her pediatrician for her 18-month-old checkup and he asks me, “Any hitting, kicking or biting?”  Just like that!  I thought, this man is a genius! A mind reader! How did he know I was about to bring that up?? What followed was a discussion about how toddlers her age, up through preschoolers, frequently talk not through words, but through physicality. If another child grabs your child’s toy, he or she is just as likely to reach out and hit, slap, bite, kick or scratch as to say, “Excuse me? I was using that. May I please have it back?” Read more…