January 19, 2019

Family

"As sperm donation becomes more common, some parents are now starting to introduce kids to their genetic relatives at an early age."

"Gender reveals, post-wedding receptions, divorce parties, promposals—young Americans now have more and more public festivities for milestones that used to be privately celebrated."

"No one is immune to products with shiny packaging, newfangled features, and high list prices—even when you’re paid to be a skeptical reviewer of these things."

"Toy makers, who are experts at capitalizing on children’s weird interests, have now figured out how to make a toy that replicates what kids like about unboxing videos."

"The modern generation was specifically taught to give up on love and to focus on themselves and their careers instead. It's not like this is a secret. The evidence is all around."

"What could be so bad about the playground, you ask? Number one is boredom. You’re not supposed to admit that you find time with your child mind-numbing, but there it is."

"In an attempt to dig at the true depths of parental deception, I asked people to break down the weirdest lies their parents ever told them. I heard about pregnant dads, snot monsters and how a person's limbs can just randomly fall off."

"A conversation with the sociologist Mary Robertson on how some queer youth are pleasantly surprised with the lack of family drama the news causes."

"The enduring appeal of toys that need to be fed, changed, and rocked like human babies may be rooted in children’s desire to act like grown-ups."

"Thanksgiving is the perfect time for you to give it a try. Before the big day, practice discussing a couple of difficult topics with Angry Uncle Bot, a chat program created to help teach you the techniques."

"“And just like that” or “in the blink of an eye” are familiar captions on parenting milestone photos. But for me, while the days were long, not even one year flew by."

"E-cigarettes may help tobacco smokers quit. But the alluring devices can swiftly induce a nicotine habit in teenagers who never smoked. This is the tale of one person’s struggle."

"In the past five or so years, hosting a Thanksgiving meal among friends a week before the actual holiday has become a standard part of the celebration for many young adults."

"People whose mothers have been married multiple times or have lived with multiple romantic partners are more likely to do so themselves... The longer people are exposed to their mother’s cohabitation, the more sexual partners they tend to have."

"I accepted that sex would not necessarily lead to a relationship (though it sometimes did). It was almost better not to get attached — less risk of getting hurt. Operating like a man felt like liberation. But it required I suppress my feelings."

"It’s an all too common story. Each Veterans Day, Americans recognize our active-duty military and veterans. We should also recognize their spouses."

"Whatever you do for your children, no matter how hard you push or how much you spend or how many advantages you give them, it won’t make a difference."

"A stressed-out and traumatized father can leave scars in his children. New research suggests this happens because sperm “learn” paternal experiences via a mysterious mode of intercellular communication..."

"Despite the fact that so many users are looking for love, actually acknowledging that you’ve found it—by tagging your significant other in your Twitter bio—is a divisive move."

"Your children’s smartphone games may be selling them stuff behind your back. Some 95% of downloaded apps for kids ages 5 and under use at least one type of advertising tactic..."

"...this folk belief (with its source in the Talmud, no less) escorts the male basherter and female basherte to the marriage canopy under which they establish a new unit of the Jewish people."

"American names are shrinking. The two most popular names in the US for baby boys in 2017 were Liam and Noah; for girls, Emma and Ava were two of the three most popular. That’s a dramatic shift from just a few decades ago."

"'Pregnancy has every element of an alien invasion,' I read on the NPR website. 'The human placenta is one of the most invasive placentas.'"

"With my wife gone, the refrigerator was mostly things in tin foil and rice. There were reserves in the freezer, but those would have required thawing and heating."

"Even as we grew up, Halloween was still for the young, with pre-teens and even a few teenagers getting into the spirit of the holiday as the adults looked on from the sidelines."

"Yes, Millennials have killed yet another thing. In this case, it’s something so fundamental that it may have seemed unkillable, but apparently isn’t: knowing how to be an adult."

Devastating news stories like that of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh pose a challenge to parents. How do you discuss the tragedy with children who have questions?

"I’m a baby boomer. Our parents spoiled us by building a better world than they had. Somewhere down the road, we stopped promising our own children the same."

"...not all of us need or want to be overachievers who send emails time-stamped at 5:14 am. For some, the real aspiration is to be a well-rested person who finally has time to watch Killing Eve."

A legal arrangement? A party? A spiritual union? A celebration of love? After she proposes to her girlfriend, Amy Deneson rethinks what it means to wed.

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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"