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I’ll Have Consequences

Not too many years ago, I knew a little boy who was prone to temper tantrums that included yelling, kicking, and hitting. He wasn’t entirely to blame for this, having had a rough start in life. Nevertheless, that sort of behavior couldn’t just be excused, and, of course, if uncorrected it would . . . . Continue Reading »

The Parenting Problems of Age Segregation

It has been more than a half-century since James Coleman and his team surveyed students in ten high schools to determine their values and interests and attitudes toward learning. The conclusion was that a new social formation was upon us: the adolescent society. That was the title of the book . . . . Continue Reading »

Kids Today

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids edited by meghan daum picador, 288 pages, $26 The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the Worst Job You’ll Ever Love edited by jonathan v. last templeton, 192 pages, $24.95 These days it is widely assumed that a . . . . Continue Reading »

Maury's Silent Majority

Maury’s struggling to stay in character. Normally he’s the picture of paternal stability: amused but not belittling, hortatory but not pedantic, firm but not overbearing. This is why they seek him out in their most difficult moments, this parade of wounded people from cash-poor neighborhoods across the country. They flock to his sound stage in Stamford, Connecticut hoping to find the sort of judge, the sort of social worker, the sort of counselor—and yes, the sort of father—that they haven’t encountered elsewhere. Maury Povich gives a fair hearing. But even Maury is occasionally worn thin by the monotony of human weakness, and today is one such day. Continue Reading »

The Myth of Vampire Children

My university experience, like that of so many others, was rich. I was a college athlete and editor of a campus paper. I had discovered a love for philosophy, and I was thinking seriously about going to graduate school. Life was great, an ocean of potential. And then I got the phone call that . . . . Continue Reading »

Parenthood’s Happy Middle

Now drifting into its sixth and final season, NBC’s Parenthood has spent its run alternately pegged for cancellation and heralded as the saving grace of the network’s Thursday-night lineup. Rejecting both courses, it has remained just good enough to get by, just bad enough to remain tolerable. Sometimes better, sometimes worse—but always along the gradient of mediocrity. Continue Reading »

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