December 12, 2018

How to Bring Organization into Parenting

“The end of the summer always gives me a mild case of the blues. I enjoy the more relaxed schedule when school is on hiatus, even though I work year-round. But this year, more than ever before, September landed on my doorstep with a miserable thud. As my two kids have gotten older, they have gotten busier — scouting, marching band, multiple sports, homework, social activities. Welcome to parenting a Gen Z tween.

We have a color-coded command center on the wall in the kitchen. We have a homework station. We have all of the apps and alerts to let us know when there are changes in the soccer schedule or band practice. Yet we were spending too much time each week trying to figure out how to get Kid 1 to Point A and Kid 2 to Points B and C, while still getting dinner on the table and keeping the house running and holding down two full-time jobs.

In the midst of this chaos, Julie Morgenstern’s new book, “Time to Parent,” showed up in my mailbox at work. I hungrily dived in, looking for something — anything — that could help me rein in our over-scheduled existence (and yes, this is self-inflicted and avoidable — a topic for another day). The book’s aim, according to the blurb on the jacket, is to help people find “a healthy balance between raising a human and being a human.””

Read more

JJ Best Of The Web

"Like many Western analyses of the Middle East, they reduce Iraq’s complex internal conflicts to catchall explainers of ‘sectarianism’ and ‘tribalism’ – presuming that some groups of people are intrinsically primed for antagonism."

" he's a loser in the precise sense that his singular accomplishment in American public life has been to lose a Senate race to the stupendously unpopular Republican Ted Cruz."

"While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity."

A look at the networks that churn out nonstop, formulaic Christmas movies; the actors who star in all of them; and the fans who can't stop watching.

"The Department of Homeland Security wants to use credit scores to determine immigration cases. That sets a dangerous precedent."

"Traffic. Congestion. Pollution. Hours-long commutes. What if you could leave it all behind and trade it in for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient personal copter—all without a pilot’s license?"

"“But Qutb saw something else. The dancers in front of him were tragic lost souls. They believed they were free, but in reality they were trapped by their own selfish and greedy desires.”"

Cliches can be used as a political tool. "Prefabricated language helps everybody from prime ministers to CEOs disguise what they really want to say."

"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."

"Umami is hard to describe in words. In the New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield defines it as “that deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms..."

"The designer babies have thus been called the “future-we-should-not-want” for each new reproductive technology or intervention. But the babies never came and are nowhere close. I am not surprised."

"Thousands of secular Israelis became newly observant and joined Haredi communities in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, their children and grandchildren are searching for a place of their own."