Simplifying Science

Will Screen Advice Ever Be Clear?

So screens are everywhere in our lives, but our kids are not supposed to be on them. Until a certain age, that is. Or unless they are using very specific apps. But not before bed. Unless it’s at least a couple of hours before bed. But not at family dinner. Even though some adult is taking a call or checking an email or… READ MORE

A Dynamo to Know

Vanessa Bennett is the ultimate Dynamo Girl. She’s mom to four kids and the founder of an organization dedicated to building equal parts physical strength and deep emotional confidence among school-aged girls. Vanessa runs workshops for both girls and their families in NY, and in May she’s coming to LA to give west coasters a dose of her insight. Check out the latest Dynamo Girl blog post and, if you are in So Cal on May 11, come experience Vanessa in action!

If you ask a girl about making a mistake, she will tell you, almost verbatim: “It is good to make mistakes because we learn from making mistakes.” That is what she has always been told and we, as adults, pat ourselves on the back that she can tell us the value of making a mistake. However, ask a girl what it FEELS like to make a mistake, and her answer will stop you in your tracks.


Measles and Me

I’ve never had the measles. But my husband has. And my daughter could have. So this massive flurry of measles news strikes close to home for me.

For the record, my husband got sick in 1989 at the start of what would become a measles epidemic… READ MORE

Riot Boys

One of the luxuries of working on a book manuscript for the better part of a year is the treasure trove of reading that comes along with research. It’s hard to say how many days were lost to reading archived articles and ancient — but digitized — textbooks. This piece by Malcolm Gladwell is more than three years old. I completely missed it when it first appeared in print. And it’s not one of those pieces that floats back into the public realm when related issues arise… which is crazy because there have been how many school shootings between October 2015 and now and this has never come back around, at least not in my newsfeed. Which is why I am sharing it here. Gladwell takes two seemingly disconnected ideals — school shootings and riots — and connects them profoundly. The piece is long and hard and I am not sure I agree with all of it. But it’s premise is amazing. The same phenomenon that sits at the heart of riots may very well instigate the epidemic of school shootings we see today.

On the evening of April 29th last year, in the southern Minnesota town of Waseca, a woman was doing the dishes when she looked out her kitchen window and saw a young man walking through her back yard. He was wearing a backpack and carrying a fast-food bag and was headed in the direction of the MiniMax Storage facility next to her house. Something about him didn’t seem right. Why was he going through her yard instead of using the sidewalk? He walked through puddles, not around them. He fiddled with the lock of Unit 129 as if he were trying to break in. She called the police. READ MORE

Period. Exclamation Point!


Okay, full nepotism disclosure here. When I first heard about the documentary film Period. End of Sentence I was psyched to see menstruation in the movie mainstream — a documentary short promoted all over Netflix. But it was only after I watched that I learned how many people close to me made it possible for this film…READ MORE

Vape Update--I’m Fuming

For the past couple of years, the FDA has been threatening to swing hard at e-cigarette companies that manufacture and market products designed to lure kids. Threatened being the operative word. FDA commissioner Scott Gottleib has promised for months to come down hard on these companies, recognizing the toxic combination of high-dose nicotine in a product aimed squarely at kids. Like many other pediatricians, I have ranted about the egregiousness of the vape manufacturers, especially Juul, and sung Gottleib’s praises. But instead of cracking down, Gottleib is packing up. He recently announced his impending departure from the agency, and just this week he outlined how things will go as he transitions out. I have not been shy in my praise of this guy, and now I won’t be shy about my disappointment: the plans are weak and toothless, with little promise of making a dent in this growing health epidemic. So, what’s the solution? Turn to the kids, of course.

Teen vaping is on the rise, and schools are searching for solutions, with some taking disciplinary action or installing vape detectors in bathrooms.

Still, the problem has continued to swell. The US Food and Drug Administration announced in November that vaping had increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since the year before. The resignation announcement of the agency's commissioner -- Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who vowed to crack down on what he described as an...READ MORE

What's the Goal?


The recent college admissions scandal has rocked the parenting world – not to mention the education world – with good reason. But as the story unfolds and its scope widens, I am left asking a question I have repeated over and over to myself many times along this parenting journey, beginning well before any of this latest news broke: Really, what’s the goal?READ MORE