January 18, 2019

Family

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"While on vacation in New Zealand, a family with “approximately 12” but maybe as many as 15 members spent nearly a month terrorizing the nation before the government gave them an official deportation notice."

"When I speak to parents’ groups about kids who are addicted to Fortnite and other video games, I tell them that it is the parents’ job to limit, govern and guide their kids’ use of video games..."

"Don’t worry, people told her, it’ll be easier now that you know what you’re doing. The older one will help take care of the younger one. Plus, kids need a sibling."

"If an autistic child is behaving in a way that makes a teacher uncomfortable, it is the teacher's job to learn how to best meet the child's needs, not the child's job to do the impossible — that is, to become neurotypical."

"Today, tons of adults in their 20s and 30s — around 53 percent, according to one study — still linger on the same cellphone plans they’ve been on since high school or middle school, the ones their parents signed up for in the 2000s..."

"When it comes to exercise, it’s never too late, and it can change the dynamics of getting older. Paul Biegler reports. Research under way in Melbourne is showing that exercise can, literally, make your body younger."

"The secret ingredient for the Danes’ happiness is their obsession with “hygge.” Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah) roughly translates to a sense of coziness, togetherness, and well-being. It is warmth, comfort, slowness, intimacy, rusticity, and simplicity"

"There is a leisure gap in America: The average man has about five and a half hours of free time a day, according to government data. The average woman has a minute shy of five."

"Motherhood is the biggest, most complex topic I have ever reported on... And yet it has been treated as small, niche and unimportant, and covering it has changed how I am treated by my colleagues."

"We became a cars-on-blocks house when I was eight years old. My mom and I lived at the bottom of a hill, in a trailer, on five acres of mostly-wooded land outside of Snohomish, Washington. We owned ten cars."

A new essay from David Sedaris tackles the topic of aging. "I can’t predict what’s waiting for us, lurking on the other side of our late middle age, but I know it can’t be good."

The Talmud says that pairing couples is as difficult for G-d as splitting the sea. It also says that G-d pairs us with our soulmates while we are still in the womb. Which is it?

"It’s been thirty years since John Norcross and Dominic Vangarelli conducted a study of what happens to all that New Year’s resolution-making and discovered—surprise, surprise! —that most of us are abject failures at it."

"In the 21st century, both men and women are needed in the workplace and the nursery. Because when the male hand also rocks the cradle, the world wins."

"The way American parents think about chores is bizarre. Children naturally want to help at a very early age—but many families wait to conscript them until that desire has faded."

"Parenthood in the United States has become much more demanding than it used to be. Over just a couple of generations, parents have greatly increased the amount of time, attention and money they put into raising children."

"In just over a month, the boys will start a new school year at three middle schools. As they become tweens, they are reaching a point in their development when peers tend to matter more than parents and pecking orders shift."

"Elf on the Shelf conditions your kids to accept the surveillance state. "I watch and report on all that you do!" the elf says in its eponymous book, warning children "the word will get out if you broke a rule.""

"Is Barbie topping your daughter’s Christmas list? If so, do you say no, because she traditionally represents the worst of stereotypical femininity? Or do you give the kid what she wants?"

"More teens are vaping than ever before, according to the government’s annual drug use survey. It’s a “dramatic increase” in use rates over the last year."

"I could try to find out where my ancestors may have come from, but that is never going to show me what I’ve actually inherited."

" unlike job-related burnout, parental burnout has relatively little to do with external situational pressures on parents and much more to do with the characteristics of parents themselves."

"There is no shortage of songs, movies and television shows depicting the difficulties of breakups with a romantic partner. But when it comes to navigating the end of friendships, it can feel like we’re on our own."

"Amid America’s reckoning with sexual harassment and violence, gender inequity, and discrimination, sex education is as fraught as it’s ever been."

"Santa is nothing but stress for families who don’t believe in him. Trying to keep other kids from finding out the truth can cause a holiday-season-long headache."

"That night, I got up the nerve to ask Paulina if I could follow her on Instagram. Miraculously, she said yes, shrugging as she walked up the stairs to her room. I grabbed my phone, and suddenly, there it was: Paulina’s life. "

"Since the publication of her first book, “Mating in Captivity,” in 2006, she has travelled the world, speaking to audiences about love, sex, intimacy and infidelity: the nuts and bolts of romantic life."

"The presence was so disruptive, she added, that some children had a hard time when their parents left. Others were disappointed that their parents did not come for lunch."

"The trio of films involve A-list actors – Steve Carell, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts – as stressed-out parents dealing with troubled sons."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."

"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"

"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."

"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."

"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"