"Are you the default parent? If you have to think about it, you're not. You'd know. Trust me."
Bill De Blasio blamed the lack of racial diversity in New York City's top high schools, such as Stuyvesant, on the standardized admissions test, and campaigned on ending it. The New York Times has written pieces reminding of it. But the parent of a biracial son attending Stuyvesant has a different argument: that the problem is not with the test, but with the substandard education system that dominates much of New York City.
"By having these pathetic SHSAT results publicized year after year, it shines a light on just what an awful job inner city schools are doing educating those students who can’t afford to buy their way out of a broken system, either through private schools or private tutoring centers. If the specialized high schools’ racial balances were “fixed,” we might be tempted to consider the problems they expose 'fixed,' too."
The Big Father Essay. Some readers may find sections disturbing.
'Loss is difficult at any time of life. It can be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are still navigating their way, sometimes clumsily, toward adulthood. They know they need help, but are sometimes reluctant to ask for it. And often, because of their youth, their loss may be the first death they have ever known.' For a year, a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer sat in on meetings of a grief group at Archbishop Moeller high school, for boys who had lost a parent... and learned The Rules of Grieving.
Private Ceremonies. "Most women don’t talk about their abortions and miscarriages. Virtually none go through the experience with a loved one at their side. The greatest gift an abortion counselor can give is to bear witness, to be with a woman as she goes through this private journey, to witness her strength and weakness, her grief, her relief, her pain." A first person essay from a former abortion counselor.
Laws Concerning Food and Drink; Household Principles; Lamentations of the Father [single-link Atlantic]
"Older parenthood will upend American society." "Is waiting to have kids a big mistake?" "Why do women believe they can delay children for so long?" "Older men are more likely than young ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia, because of random mutations that become more numerous with advancing paternal age."
"Premature babies born at the edge of viability force us to debate the most difficult questions in medicine and in life. After just 23 weeks of pregnancy, Kelley Benham found herself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with a daughter born so early neonatologist doctors would call her a "micro preemie." New technologies can sometimes keep micro preemies alive, but many end up disabled, some catastrophically so. Whether to provide care to these infants is one of the fundamental controversies in neonatology. This is the story of how Benham and her husband, Tom French, made the difficult choice: Fight for the life of their micro preemie baby or let her go?" [more inside]
The most recent cover of Time magazine is causing a lot of controversy. The issue explores attachment parenting and its rise in popularity. Some see attachment parents as selfish, while others swear by it. Either way, attachment parenting and extreme breastfeeding are now part of the national conversation.
I am the population problem. "Both local and broad scale environmental problems often are linked to population growth, which in turn tends to get blamed on other people [...] But actually the population problem is all about me: white, middle-class, American me. " The Feminist Breeder responds: Mother Earth Doesn’t Want Kids?
"There are no national standards or regulations regarding forensic pathology and practices vary widely from place to place."
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
Not satisfied with merely screwing up their kids, helicopter parents are swooping in, kicking ass and taking names. Having defeated such scourges as stickball, skipping, treehouses and the dreaded interwebz, they have turned their sights elsewhere. The next front in the War on Childhood? The Best Friend
Deep Grief: Creating Meaning From Mourning (Article from NPR.) How some parents have channeled their grief over the loss of their children into memorial efforts that provide for others. [more inside]
War Dances: “I wanted to call my father and tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful”. Sherman Alexie doing his thing in The New Yorker, excerpted from his upcoming book (early review; interview 1, 2.)
A gay penguin couple, after trying to steal eggs from other penguins, have become the best parents in the zoo to their newly adopted babies.
A teeny-tiny bloggie about itty bitty kitties. A foster parent of (usually) motherless kittens at the Tacoma Humane Society, Laurie Cinotto's blog IBKC has developed a following among ailurophiles through occasional shout-outs from Cute Overload. [more inside]
The old and the new Japan in one frame. The delicate relationship of Oyako, parent and child. In 1982 American photographer Bruce Osborn began what has become his lifelong work. For the last 25 years he took pictures of one parent with one child in a white studio setting.
Celebrity Baby Blog explains Babywearing, how to do it and what could be the best way to do it for you and your baby. "Wearing your baby is one of the best things you can do to promote healthy bonding and attachment between you and your little one. Did you know that babies that are worn cry less and are easier to soothe? There are four main types of soft baby carriers: wraps, mei tais, slings and pouches. All are excellent for different types of carries and or different aged children."
A concerned Vermont parent wrote an interesting letter to the editor regarding the gay rights conflict.