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Would You Buy a "Mud Pie Maker"? For $40?

Hey kids! It's summer! Time to get outside, play in the mud and -- wait! You're doing it all wrong! You need to make PERFECT pies using the newest toy from Little Tykes: The Makin' Mud Pies Kitchen Set. And to think it's only $40! Here -- check ...

Can Kids Play by Themselves at the Park?

Yes, yes, it's my idea: "Take Our Kids to the Park...And Leave Them There Day." Some people think it's crazy -- usually because they think I'm suggesting leaving kids there all day (I actually say even 10 minutes is a good start), and also because ...

Would You Let Your 8-Year-Old Play at the Park Without You?

Boo boos. Bathrooms. Predators. Those are the three big objections that keep coming up -- though not necessarily in that order -- when I mention that this coming Saturday, May 22, is, "Take Our Children to the Park...And Leave Them There Day."...

How Your Son Could End Up on the Sex Offender List

Let's say your son turns 18. He gets a job at the local carnival, running the ride where the kids lie face down and spin around till they shriek with delight (or puke). Before each ride he has to buckle the kids in so they don't fly out. But then -...

A Cub Scout Badge for Video Games?!

A Cub Scout badge for video games? What next? Troop hikes to GameStop? Wienie roasts on the Wii? "On my honor I will try ... to blow away more virtual grunts"? "We are not encouraging them to go out and buy Halo," says Renee Fairrer, spokes...

How 'CSI' Changed Parenting

Ever wonder why your parents let you play outside and maybe even walk to piano lessons, but now those things seem incredibly scary? The answer could be "CSI." Well, not just "CSI," but the fact is: when we watch scary shows like it, and "Law &am...

Is It Wrong to Make Your Kid Hug a Relative?

"Child Predators Love Polite Kids." That's the title of this tip sheet for parents, and it's also something you hear a lot: Don't make your kid kiss grandma, or hug Uncle Fester, because when you do the child gets the message, "I must submit to any...

Baby Formula is Not Rat Poison

Do you think we could maybe take a break from beating up non-breastfeeders? Formula is not rat poison. The moms who use it are not Simlac abusers. In fact, they are the majority of us: Only 14 percent of American women are exclusively breastfeeding...

Are Parents To Blame When A Kid Gets Molested?

Should parents be blamed -- or even prosecuted -- if they allow their child to go on an overnight where he ends up molested? Yes, says the head of the Boy Scouts council for Portland, Oregon. No, says me. No more than parents should be blamed if...

Can a Mom Leave Her Kid Alone at the Library for Three Minutes?

The mother was at the library with her 5-year-old, the library where they go every week, in Rochester, New York. So why did this Terrible Parenting Moment have to happen? They had only a few minutes before they had to leave to pick up Daughter #...

Is Any Baby Product Safe Enough?

Grab your babies out of their Gracos! The Consumer Product Safety Commission has just declared Graco's Harmony high chair a hideous hazard to humanity. How hideous? Of the 1.2 million units sold, the Commission has received -- sit down (and try ...

New Study: Parents Stink

Another day, another article on how we parents can screw up our kids with our very best intentions. I'm getting sick of these things. Right now, a bunch of people are sending me this piece from the New Scientist because they think I'll love i...

Hot Diggity Death!

If you give a mouse a cookie, you get a cute little book. If you give a kid a hot dog, you could be booked for attempted manslaughter. That's what it's starting to sound like, anyway. Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report o...

Bake Sales: Let Them Eat Junk!

What is it about bake sales that is making them the focal point of more acrimony than national health care? My God -- can't we sell the kids a couple of cupcakes, pocket enough quarters to buy the school a field trip, and let the kids ingest an iot...

If You Don't Have Kids, Can You Give Parents Advice?

After a long day at Disneyland, Ann's brother and sister-in-law put their 5- and 6-year-olds to bed and let their "very, very cranky 8-year-old hang out and torture us with his crankiness," recalls Ann (not her real name, for reasons that will beco...

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