News/Blog

Simplifying Science

Concussion Confusion

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Concussions seem to happen all the time. I mean, they are absurdly frequent. I remember one, maybe two kids having concussions when I was growing up. These days they are a dime a dozen. 

Some of this is a function of the fact that we have redefined the word concussion. Any head bonk, it seems, can qualify. Back in the 70s and 80s, concussion...READ MORE

The Stress Mess

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Funny story: When Lisa Damour published Untangled in 2017, I heard her speak and then met her for coffee. I wanted her to be less impressive in person, but no luck. I was sure that her winning combo of deep insight and wit wouldn’t pan out over a cup of coffee one rainy late afternoon — wrong again. And then I just wanted to hate her for being so awesome, but she’s completely unhateable. She’s the real deal, which is why everything she writes in that authentic voice, rich with life experience, resonates so loudly. Okay, so here’s the funny story: that day over coffee, as if we had known each other for more than the 45 minutes we had, I tried to convince Lisa to write a boy book. Untangled for guys. Parents would eat it up. Lisa laughed at me and said: I have a new book that I am working on… Read More...

How to Get More Sleep

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Your kids need anywhere from 9 - 12 hours of sleep each night, depending on how old they are; you need 8 -9. If sleep is one of the most important health strategies in life, how can we get enough for our kids? And how about for ourselves?! (Spoiler alert: these tips apply to kids and parents alike.)

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Social Media in the Flesh

Last year, the venerable Dolly Klock and I had the good fortune of getting to know Gail Dines. Dolly and I took turns speaking alongside Gail — actually, it was more like in advance of Gail, since we viewed our task as one of introducing Gail’s massive subject matter, porn, by framing it in child development. During one advance phone call, Gail wanted to pick our brains on the intersection of her field and ours. Almost simultaneously, Dolly and I both went haywire about porn on social media. It was a tirade, and Gail heard us loud and clear. She proceeded to wrap the information into her talk and, over the past several months, Gail has taken a deep dive into this issue. Now she’s got a diatribe of her own... and answers for parents about how to handle the new porn-meets-social-media frontier.

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Pornography today is not your father’s Playboy. Instead of reaching under the mattress to score a magazine of naked women with coy smiles, teenagers are just a few phone swipes away from hard-core videos in which women are sexually abused and humiliated. Porn is now more affordable, accessible, and violent than ever before, and many boys are watching it as early as age 11 or 12. As one teen told researchers writing a report on kids and porn for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in England, “Basically, porn is everywhere.”… READ MORE

Consent as a Life Skill

Teach consent as a life skill, not a sex skill. What fabulous advice! Because when we stop and think about it, consent has everything to do with sex and also nothing at all. Consent can impact every interaction you have throughout the day — it’s about respecting someone else’s space not to mention their wishes; it impacts power dynamics and autonomy. Consent, in its purest form, plays out everywhere from the blacktop at recess to the office workplace to, yes, the bedroom. I had never thought about consent in this broader way before reading this piece... and now I will never revert to my very narrow, physical definition. Ed Week, this is, indeed, a BIG IDEA worth sharing.

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In education, we try to play the long game. We lay the foundations for college math in middle school and job skills in kindergarten. But when it comes to teaching kids about consent, we do way too little, way too late. And evidence suggests that what we are doing doesn't give students the skills they need to navigate adulthood.

The last few years have been a wake-up call about the need to start laying that foundation for consent early. I have two…READ MORE

From the TED Stage

I was thrilled to share my thoughts – and preview my new book – at TEDx Crossroads

We live in a world where we are incredibly sensitive to the needs of our young girls as they enter puberty. Tween and teen girls have found their voice, and the culture hands them a microphone. Meanwhile, our boys tend to go the opposite way, growing quiet as they physically transform. Our focus on the needs and issues of tween and teen girls (a great thing!) has left our boys neglected. In a preview of her forthcoming book, New York Times best-selling author and pediatrician Cara Natterson explains why this must change…WATCH THE VIDEO

Cautionary Tale

This is one child’s story, a cautionary tale. I usually post studies or articles about studies, but sometimes the trajectory of one person speaks louder than statistics about hundreds or even thousands. Or at the very least it speaks in a different tone. And so I am sharing with you, and I think this is one to pass along to your teen and tween kids, too...

Luka Kinard knew his vaping habit was out of control when it started costing him $150 a week.

“I was selling my clothes,” Kinard, a 15-year-old high school sophomore, said. “I would get shoes, sell them, go out get cheap shoes, sell them. I was doing anything and everything to get money.”

His parents noticed when his grades started plummeting. READ MORE