Is your family looking for an inclusive alternative to the Boy Scouts of America? Lance Finney posts a rundown
on the Skepchick parenting blog Grounded Parents
. The list is based on research he did when working to start a group with families from the Ethical Society of St. Louis that was “fully inclusive of religious belief, ethnic background, sexual orientation, and gender.” [more inside]
posted by audi alteram partem
on Jan 10, 2014 -
A remarkably non-sensational report on polyamorous families
. Bookended by 50 Shades of Grey
, this 20/20 "special report" on Sierra, Martin, Molly, David, Aaron, Romy, Mark, and J provides a lovely counterpoint to the usual moralizing hand-wringing one finds in media coverage of open relationships.
posted by smammy
on Dec 26, 2012 -
Recent research on children. (1) Brothers and sisters who argue a lot can improve their language, social skills and outcomes: Guardian article
; paper on part of the research
(pdf). (2) First findings from Understanding Society
. Conclusions include: the unhappiness of children’s mothers with their partners affect children’s happiness, but this is not the case if children’s fathers are unhappy in their relationships; having older brothers or sisters doesn’t appear to affect children’s happiness, but having younger brothers or sisters is associated with less happiness; not living with both natural parents has a greater negative impact on a young person’s life satisfaction than their material situation. (3) A longitudinal study on people now in their forties has found that for these people reading is linked to career success, though not necessarily to better pay, whilst playing computer games and doing no other activities was associated with less likelihood of going to university. In particular, those who owned a ZX Spectrum or Commodore C64 were less likely to go to university. thinq interview with researcher
. Guardian article
. Telegraph article
. (4) Poll about children’s attitudes to losing in sport. Press release
. Data from children’s survey
. Data from parents’ survey
. (All three are PDFs.)
posted by paduasoy
on Apr 9, 2011 -
"Regardless of political stance,
no one can deny the joy felt upon seeing your loved ones return home safely -- WelcomeHomeBlog.com
is a site celebrating that amazing feeling. Visit daily for heartwarming stories, videos and pictures of members of our courageous armed forces returning home to their families and friends..."
posted by zizzle
on Dec 1, 2010 -
A Year at War:
One Battalion's Wrenching Deployment to Afghanistan
: "Some 30,000 American soldiers are taking part in the Afghanistan surge. Here are the stories of the men and women of First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division" out of Fort Drum, NY., based in Kunduz Province
, Afghanistan. Over the next year, The New York Times will follow their journey, chronicling the battalion’s part in the surge in northern Afghanistan and the impact of war on individual soldiers and their families back home. (First link is an interactive feature containing images and autoplaying video, and requires flash. Second link is a standard-style article.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 21, 2010 -
More women in the developed world are choosing not to have children.
'So why do friends, family, colleagues and even strangers think it's OK to question their decision?' 'A woman's fertility status is still very much considered public property. There are still assumptions about women's role in society, about families and about family size."''US Census Bureau says 36% of American women have no children.''Once this was considered insane or unnatural. Even today, it is viewed with suspicion - women with no desire to procreate say they sometimes face awkward questions and disapproval.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Jul 29, 2010 -
is an experiment in family democracy, where all family members are equally worthy of respect and participate equally in every decision. "When your child is unwilling to share her toy, instead of forcing, choose to listen and understand her point of view. Facilitate her need for playing with that toy, while helping the other child find something just as interesting. When your child skips dinner but is hungry before bed, instead of being frustrated, you can choose to share a quiet bowl of cereal and chat about the day. In each situation and the other unlimited examples out there, you always have the ability to choose joy and connection." Some are
posted by Xurando
on May 13, 2009 -
The Case Against Homework. Does assigning fifty math problems accomplish any more than assigning five? Is memorizing word lists the best way to increase vocabulary—especially when it takes away from reading time? And what is the real purpose behind those devilish dioramas?
Sara Bennett wants to stop homework
. Here she explains why
posted by lunit
on Apr 9, 2009 -
The novlist Julie Myerson has written a book, The Lost Child, about her son's addiction to cannabis, the violent behaviour she says this caused and her tough love policy. Extract
. Her son is angry
that she's published it, and says his parents over-reacted: "I wasn't doing anything that most other teenagers do, but such was their naive terror of drugs they were acting like six-year-olds". It comes out through MumsNet
that Julie Myerson was the anonymous author of a Guardian column, "Living with Teenagers," which described her children's behaviour candidly without their knowledge. Extract
. Myerson first denied this
. The Guardian discusses whether it was right to publish the columns
. Myerson is interviewed
about whether she was right to publish The Lost Child. Her partner, and son's father, Jonathan Myerson supports her: This is an emergency
. Her son says she's addicted to writing
. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy
on Mar 15, 2009 -
Labor of Love
: when a married couple wanted to start a family and the wife was unable to conceive or carry because of previous surgeries, her husband, who is transgendered and legally male, stopped taking his testosterone and was inseminated.
posted by FunkyHelix
on Mar 20, 2008 -
Washington Initiative Requires Proof of Procreation From Married Couples
-- in response to a ruling made by the Washington Supreme Court last year stating gay and lesbian couples could be prevented from marrying by the state because Washington has a legitimate interest in preserving marriage for couples who can procreate.
It's been accepted by their Secy of State, and only needs signatures now to get on the ballot. Press release here
, which adds: The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine. If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who can not or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage.
posted by amberglow
on Feb 4, 2007 -
Won't somebody please think of the children?
Oh, don't fool yourselves! Americans under the age of 12 now spend or influence the spending of $565 billion a year - up from $2.2 billion in 1968, and kid-spending has roughly doubled every ten years for the past three decades, tripling in the 1990s. Which means someone
thinking of the children. The American Association of Pediatrics
(pdf) cites this bludgeoning of kidvertising as creating in children "a fever for shopping and spending, swollen expectations about material needs, decreasing immunity to the assaults of advertisers, self-concepts defined by brands of clothing, and a rash of of debt by the time they leave college". [more...]
posted by taz
on Sep 19, 2005 -
Blowing Up Gotti.
A weekly series from
The Smoking Gun featuring prison videotapes of John Gotti behind plexiglass talking to his kids and grandkids. Check out
Episode One: Grandpa Blows a Gasket (Quicktime required). Makes you think twice about your baseball career. (Via
posted by adrober
on Aug 18, 2004 -
California bill to ease "move aways" by custodial parents pulled.
Until a recent CA Supreme Court decision, it was easy for custodial parents to move themselves and their children far from their ex-spouse. The Court reversed the old rule and held that the move could be blocked if the non-custodial parent could show that it would interfere with his/her relationship with the kids. Legislation to reimpose the old permissive standard passed through the State Senate, but has now been pulled off the legislative calendar after an outcry by father's rights groups.
posted by MattD
on Aug 18, 2004 -
The Drama Triangle Here's an example. Dad comes home from work to find mom coming down hard on Junior with, "Clean up your room or else" threats. He immediately comes to the rescue,"Mom" he might say,"give the boy a break". Any one of several possibilities might occur next. Perhaps Mom, feeling victimized by dad, turns on him, automatically moving him into a victim position. They might do a few quick trips around the triangle with Junior on the sidelines. Or maybe Junior joins dad in a persecutory "Let's gang up on mom" approach, and they could play it from that angle. Or Junior could turn-coat on dad, rescuing mom, with; "Mind your own business, dad . . . I don't need your help!" So it goes, with endless variations perhaps, but nonetheless, round and round the triangle. For many families, it's the only way they know how to communicate.
posted by SpaceCadet
on Apr 4, 2004 -
More children now than ever are being born from cesarean sections
. It's known that giving birth this way can leave psychological damage to the mother, but what effect is it having on the children?
posted by atom128
on Nov 24, 2003 -
There's One In Every Family:
You know that uncle whose name can't be mentioned at table, without loud swallowing, dark looks and deathly silence ensuing? The shady New Orleans grandmother whose photographs have been hastily removed from the family album, though the red stain from one of her garters remains? Call them black sheep or family skeletons, the Internet keeps making it easier
to dig them up and out. Outing your forebears
and close family members has become an up and coming thing. In other words: I'll show you my black sheep if you show me yours.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Feb 23, 2003 -
Abigail and Brittany Hensel
are in the 6th grade and continue to defy the odds. After the initial struggle with the personal pronoun (her? their?), one is left with both curiosity and sympathy. The greater issue is how to assimilate the truly miraculous.
posted by kablam
on Nov 11, 2002 -
A family's yearly self-portrait
from 1976 to 2002 is both uplifting and unsettling; a bit like human life itself. How does one separate the morbid fascination with aging from the spiritual joy of growth? Not to mention the element of voyeurism... [From ZoneZero, via Eclectica
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Oct 14, 2002 -
White couple gets black twins, sue IVF clinic.
Experts say a mistake could have occurred in one of three ways.The wrong sperm could have been used to fertilise the right egg, the right sperm could have been used to fertilise the wrong egg, or the embryo implanted in the woman may have been another couple's altogether. Although it is not clear whether another couple has laid claim to the children, legal experts say the judge will be expected to make a modern-day judgment of Solomon on who should be considered the babies' legal parents. This is unploughed legal ground. Is there a fair way to sort this out?
posted by Mack Twain
on Jul 17, 2002 -
Mother jailed for girls' truancy
A question for our British gang, is truancy such a problem in the UK now that this is really necessary? When I went to school in England, lo those mumblemumble
years ago, I don't remember it being this bad. For the rest of the world, do you think truancy in your country would justify locking up the primary caregiver or is this punishing the wrong person? Can parents be held responsible for everything a child does? And better said, should they? When should we grant children the priviledges and penalties of their own autonomous actions?
posted by dejah420
on May 13, 2002 -
Was MIT or her parents to blame for a suicide?
Challenging NYTimes article on the suicide of Elizabeth Shin, an over-acheiving college student. With the increasing focus on student achievement from earlier and earlier ages, it's clear that children can be deeply affected. How do we, as a society, raise children to standards that we expect without pressure-cooking them to damage or worse?
posted by gen
on Apr 27, 2002 -
Damned if you do, damned if you're dead. If families don't purchase an expensive urn for cremated remains, require them to purchase a $45 temporary container. But be sure to stamp it "Temporary Container" on all four sides, advises one industry newsletter.
The funeral industry may not be making any friends, but they're making a boatload of money. The Funeral Consumers Alliance
would like to help them make a little less.
posted by headspace
on Mar 19, 2002 -
Widow of Sept. 11 Hero Gives Birth.
"Lisa Beamer, the widow of the man who cried, 'Let's roll!' as passengers aboard one of the doomed Sept. 11 flights prepared to confront their hijackers, has given birth to a healthy girl." How bittersweet; a part of him lives on, but I'm sure there is sadness because the husband couldn't be there for the birth.
Also, the Beamers have started a memorial foundation
for children who lost parents in the 9/11 attacks.
posted by jennak
on Jan 11, 2002 -
say the government isn't giving them enough money. Some say the government is giving them too much, and any honest libertarian will tell you that the government shouldn't be giving them anything. What do you think?
posted by insomnyuk
on Jan 7, 2002 -
FBI Declines to Release Hijack Flight Cockpit Tape
"While we empathize with the grieving families, we do not believe that the horror captured on the cockpit voice recording will console them in any way,'' [an FBI spokesman] said. While the FBI claims they need to keep the information secret due to a criminal investigation, partial transcripts of the tape have shown up in Newsweek
. If the FBI can leak to Newsweek, surely they could get the family members to sign a confidentiality agreement and let them in on the secret too, no?
posted by hitsman
on Dec 21, 2001 -