It's October. That means, at least here in Pittsburgh, everyone is beginning to talk about how to commemorate the terrible thing that happened here last October 27, when some guy from the suburbs drove into our Squirrel Hill neighborhood, went into the Tree of Life synagogue, murdered 11 people, injured others, and traumatized many more. … Continue reading Relighting the Tree of Life
Three weeks ago, a man drove into my neighborhood, stormed into a synagogue, murdered eleven people, and shot and wounded several others. Well, that's old news. Why I am I still talking about it now, after there's already been a mass shooting of twelve people elsewhere in America? Because NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL, none … Continue reading The Tree of Life in the City of Steel
Tonight I attended a meeting at my son's school (grades K-8) about the decision to hire a full-time security guard and get a metal detector. I meant to do some research before the meeting on the extent to which schools with metal detectors have experienced shooting rampages, compared to schools without. I ended up not … Continue reading Do metal detectors prevent school shootings?
Are you the parent struggling to leave your child's school each day as he clings to your legs, screaming and crying? Is every morning a struggle to get yourself ready for work and your kid ready for childcare, while she delays in every way imaginable until you're shrieking in frustration, and then she looks at … Continue reading Coping with a Clingy Child
I'm nervous posting this because of the freakout when Lenore Skenazy let her 9-year-old ride public transit alone. I don't want to be the next "America's Worst Mom"! But I think it's important to talk about how to approach children's independence safely and gradually so that they learn the skills they'll need as adults. Nicholas is … Continue reading Why My 12-year-old Is Riding Public Transit Alone
This is a story I've been wanting to tell since it happened, but it almost doesn't sound real. This really did happen, though, and it was an important encouragement just when I needed one, and now I'm at a point where I really need encouragement again. I'm kind of writing this for myself to read, … Continue reading EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL RIGHT.
Grandma meant so much to me that I can't cram it all into one article. Here is just one story that I hope will show you a little bit of what she was like and how she shaped me.
This article from The New York Times was reprinted in my local newspaper. In Afghanistan, a mullah who raped a 10-year-old girl in the mosque was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Most Americans would agree that anybody who rapes a child is a horrific criminal for whom 20 years is a light sentence, would … Continue reading One Brave Girl
Welcome to the September 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Safe This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and tips about protecting our families. Please read to the end to find a list of … Continue reading Gradually Expanding Range for a Child Walking Alone
If you have any opinions at all about the appropriate methods of disciplining children, and if you are ever anywhere near any families with different opinions, someday you will find yourself in this situation: Your child sees another parent respond to a child's behavior in a way that your child recognizes as different, which may … Continue reading What to Do When Your Child Witnesses Bad Discipline
I used to wear makeup. From age 12 to 16, I added more types of makeup to my daily routine each year, and I went through that daily routine even if I wasn't planning to leave the house. I continued for a while into college before I realized that the insanely stressful life I was … Continue reading I don’t wear makeup.
Although I am discussing my work here, the point of view is my own, and this is not an official statement of the Pittsburgh Youth Study. As the data manager of a long-term research study, I recently helped to write this academic paper: Bullying Perpetration and Victimization as Predictors of Delinquency and Depression in the … Continue reading Bullying: an article I wrote, and three I don’t have to write
This is a strategy for crossing the street safely in situations where vehicular traffic is reluctant to yield to pedestrians. A friend of my brother's explained it to me years ago. It is based on a simple principle: Nobody will risk crashing a car into a moose. Hitting a moose obviously would damage the car … Continue reading The Power of Moose
For years now, I've been meaning to write something about how The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff relates to our parenting style and a lot of my life experiences. It's a big idea, and I have a lot of scattered notes stashed in a draft post, but so far I haven't even gotten around to … Continue reading 7 Continuum Concept Experiences
This week, Works-for-Me Wednesday is a backwards edition: Contributors are asked to post a question about something that isn't working, and readers can then comment on what works for them. Here's an issue that's been perplexing me: Too often, especially when talking to my family (partner Daniel and five-year-old son Nicholas), I realize that a … Continue reading How can I ask for what I need?
Find a penny, pick it up; All the day you'll have good luck. I've enjoyed this superstition since I was a child and taught it to my child, but I never seriously believed it was true. The real reason I pick up coins I find on the ground is that they're money, and I figure … Continue reading The Value of Eleven Cents
...in his last month as a four-year-old. 1. He packed his own bag. He did this for our Thanksgiving trip with some coaching, but even more impressive was in October when we were packing to go visit his grandparents. While I was choosing my own clothes for the trip, Nicholas was hanging around saying, "Where … Continue reading 7 Neat Things My Kid Has Done
It's been one week since Pittsburgh hosted the G-20 economic summit. The demonstrations against it and the police reactions to those demonstrations were a lot milder than they have been at previous summits in other cities, but there was some violent conflict and questionable conduct on both sides--check out the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or Pittsburgh City … Continue reading Explaining the G-20 Protests to a Preschooler
I wanted to be an architect. From the moment I first learned what architects do, when I was about ten years old, I knew that's what I wanted to be: a person who designs buildings that make people comfortable and happy. Right away, I started reading architecture books and magazines. I was fascinated by floorplans … Continue reading The Path at the End of the Road
When I was about 12 years old, I became quite a stickler about shutting off unnecessary lights. Suddenly all the adult nagging and public-service announcements I'd ever heard got through to me (I can't recall why) and I began to see how amazingly wasteful it is to leave a bunch of extra lights on, just … Continue reading Tips from The Lightbulb Ninja