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Good alternatives for an ethical secular family

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 - 22 comments

The pizza is aggressive.

It's the Jimmy Neutron Happy Family Happy Hour! [slyt; nsfl]
posted by Rory Marinich on Oct 30, 2013 - 9 comments

They’d fed Aunt Susan to a horse in Central Park when she was only fifty

The Tribal Rite of the Strombergs (SLNewYorker)
posted by Lexica on Sep 1, 2013 - 16 comments

The Opt-Out Revolution, Revisited

In 2003, the New York Times published a lengthy article by Lisa Belkin about women who were choosing to leave the workforce to be stay-at-home moms: The Opt-Out Generation. In the the last ten years, the article's conclusions regarding upper-middle-class women's choices about work and motherhood have been debated, studied, rediscovered, denied, lamented, and defended. It's been noted by many that "most mothers have to work to make ends meet but the press writes mostly about the elite few who don’t." Ms. Belkin's piece also never mentioned what what a disaster divorce or the death of a spouse can create for dependent women in such situations. After a decade, the Times is revisiting the topic: The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In.
posted by zarq on Aug 7, 2013 - 64 comments

The True Cost of Living Here

This Atlantic article about the EPI Family Budget Calculator tries to calculate the required income to live a comfortable yet modest lifestyle in various parts of the US.
posted by COD on Jul 13, 2013 - 45 comments

The politics of empathy

Having Daughters Rather Than Sons Makes You More Liberal In remarkable research, the sociologist Rebecca Warner and the economist Ebonya Washington have shown that the gender of a person's children seems to influence the attitudes and actions of the parent.
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jun 19, 2013 - 100 comments

The feet of a four year old should not be so rough

Pictures from South Sudan by a UNHCR aid worker (MeFi's Own™ tarvuz)
posted by elgilito on May 25, 2013 - 14 comments

Sesame Street outreach

Over the past month, the Sesame Street workshop has focused on illuminating the experience of military families, and providing resources to help them cope with their extraordinary lives.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 30, 2013 - 4 comments

“I have a tremendous amount of love and support in my life”

A remarkably non-sensational report on polyamorous families. Bookended by 50 Shades of Grey and Gigolos, 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 - 14 comments

“Commitment vows are very powerful, even in a cynical era when people aren't afraid of getting divorced,”

Families in Flux:"As household arrangements take new directions, scientists attempt to sort out the social effects" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 6, 2012 - 7 comments

Still voting on other people's rights

A preacher rebukes North Carolina media over asking the wrong questions about marriage. North Carolina votes today on Amendment 1, which states that, "Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." Here are some of the people who would be affected.
posted by klangklangston on May 8, 2012 - 183 comments

The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System

Shattered Families, a new report from the Applied Research Center, has found that there are at least 5,100 children currently living in foster care who are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents. Executive Summary(PDF) and Full Report(PDF) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 26, 2011 - 19 comments

Cheap Internet for Low-Income American Familes

"Internet Essentials" is a $10/month internet plan available to any family with one child eligible for free lunches at American public schools. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Sep 20, 2011 - 108 comments

Recent research related to children

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 - 30 comments

Welcome Home, Soldier

"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 - 5 comments

A Year At War

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 - 28 comments

Reflections on Judging Mothering

(pdf) Chris Gottlieb writes in the "Baltimore Law Review" about judging parents. The article discusses instances of racism and classicism in the family court systems. An adaptation of the "Baltimore Review" article appears in the New York Times. [more inside]
posted by zizzle on Aug 26, 2010 - 56 comments

The women who choose not to be mothers.

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 - 301 comments

Should Your Family Try This?

Consensual Living 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 not impressed.
posted by Xurando on May 13, 2009 - 161 comments

The Case Against Homework.

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 (pdf).
posted by lunit on Apr 9, 2009 - 180 comments

"this chattering-class version of Heat magazine"

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 - 160 comments

to take brass and fire into his mouth

Army reports highest rate of soldier suicides for three decades in 2008. [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Jan 29, 2009 - 20 comments

Mr. Mom

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 - 118 comments

... add the phrase, “who are capable of having children with one another” to the legal definition of marriage...

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 - 152 comments

family at war

family at war an excellent documentary of a family who lost their son in iraq - particularly moving is the soldiers determined, soft-spoken mother who is examining the reasons for her loss.
posted by specialk420 on Nov 14, 2005 - 8 comments

Thinking of the (obese, cavity-ridden, materialistic, insecure, grasping, nagging) Children... for fun and profit!

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 is always 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 - 55 comments

Why stop at 14?

Serious Breeders. The Duggars' slogan: "Always pregnant"
posted by growabrain on Jul 2, 2005 - 146 comments

Oh Baby Baby

Britney's Smear. Staff at Hot 89.9 Morning Hot Tub team spent two weeks touting what they claim is the First Response home pregnancy test Britney Spears used to determine she was carrying husband Kevin Federline's baby. GoldenPalace.com, an online casino known for its aggressive marketing, beat out 800 other hopefuls with a bid of $5,001.
posted by fandango_matt on May 4, 2005 - 15 comments

Close to Home

Close to Home: An American Album. 'This exhibition is devoted to American family photographs that were separated from their owners and then rediscovered by artists, writers, collectors, and museum curators. ' Highlights and site visitors' submissions.
Site of related interest :- BBC Family History; and Third Generation: Family Photographs and Memories of Nazi Germany.
posted by plep on Feb 26, 2005 - 2 comments

Grandpa Gotti Gets Grouchy

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 Gawker).
posted by adrober on Aug 18, 2004 - 19 comments

California bill to ease move aways by custodial parents pulled.

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 - 17 comments

Triangular relationships

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 - 11 comments

Okay, so who volunteers to name their kid "Mefi?"

A real Gucci bag out of your reach? Don´t worry, just compensate by naming your kid Gucci! Or Lexus, Evian, Enternity.... more brand baby names here.
posted by jennak on Dec 27, 2003 - 30 comments

C Section generation

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 - 39 comments

When health takes a back seat to ... taste?

We already knew that frequent masturbation might cut prostate cancer risk. But it turns out that this is not a message fit for American families. The details of the Lewinsky episode splattered across front pages of the US and abroad come to mind, but also Nancy Reagan pleading for stem research.
posted by magullo on Sep 8, 2003 - 90 comments

Genealogy, Family Skeletons and Black Sheep

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 and 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 - 31 comments

The Story About The Baby

"The Story About The Baby" - this consistently funny and entertaining website is well suited to anyone who has ever thought about having kids, has kids or anyone else. An endearing yet fantastically cynical take on the first year of raising a child has just wrapped up and in its completion is a great antidote to the overbearing cutesy-wootsy baby web pages that proliferate the internet. With entry titles such as: The Unbearable Grossness of Being, Dawn of the Neglectomatic and The Use Of Skinnerian Conditioning To Mold My Child's Brain, well how could you go wrong?
posted by BrodieShadeTree on Feb 21, 2003 - 34 comments

Peaceful Tomorrows Movement

The peace movement that marches this day includes the extraordinary people of Peaceful Tomorrows, "an advocacy organization founded by family members of September Eleventh victims. Its mission is to seek effective nonviolent responses to terrorism, and identify a commonality with all people similarly affected by violence throughout the world. By conscientiously exploring peaceful options in our search for justice, we choose to spare additional innocent families the suffering that we have already experienced—as well as to break the endless cycle of violence and retaliation engendered by war."
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Feb 15, 2003 - 26 comments

Abigail and Brittany Hensel

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 - 22 comments

Facing Time:

Facing Time: 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 - 30 comments

"It's up to us, and I think we can do it,"

"It's up to us, and I think we can do it," she said. "It's up to us to bankrupt the terrorists and those who finance them so they will never again have the resources to commit such atrocities against the American people as we experienced on September 11."
posted by jcterminal on Aug 15, 2002 - 45 comments

White couple gets black twins, sue IVF clinic.

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 - 34 comments

Billy Jean's not my lover.

Billy Jean's not my lover. Should non-fathers pay child support to someone else's children? More states are saying "no."
posted by kablam on Jun 18, 2002 - 29 comments

Mother jailed for girls' truancy

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 - 27 comments

Was MIT or her parents to blame for a suicide?

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 - 54 comments

Damned if you do, damned if you're dead.

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 - 14 comments

Widow of Sept. 11 Hero Gives Birth.

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 - 9 comments

WTC Victims

WTC Victims 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 - 48 comments

FBI Declines to Release Hijack Flight Cockpit Tape

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 - 76 comments

Victims' families of Sept. 11 attack to get average of $1.5 million.

Victims' families of Sept. 11 attack to get average of $1.5 million. Will this include the families of those who are still listed as missing instead of dead? Is the compensation structure fair? Should the families have to give up most of their rights to sue (and who would they be able to sue)?
posted by bakiwop on Dec 21, 2001 - 19 comments

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