That tricky second child |


Hi again parents,

The year is drawing to a close and I hope you're gathering your family around and spending some time with them, marking the passing of time and celebrating. When my children were young, my mother would make calendars with photos of their activities that year. These days, they are an amazing reminder of each year. It got to be too much for her, so with the help of technology, I have taken over the task. Now I realize that it's actually quite a lot of work, so thanks Mum. (Not a misspelling. She's English.) The newsletter is going to be on hiatus for a few weeks, so I can spend some time with my family (including Mum) in a foreign land. See you in mid-January!

As ever, you can reach me at or @luscombeland on Twitter.

P.S. If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to a friend. And if you got it from a friend, sign up here for email delivery each Friday. You know, more or less.

First the good news: Teens aren't smoking and drinking as much. Second, the bad news: more than a third of a high schools have vaped. Vaping, which I have raved on about ever since it was invented (especially the evil and poorly spelled juul pen), delivers an extremely high hit of nicotine.  Why are teens drinking less? The answer has to do with technology. TIME

Speaking of vaping, the surgeon general has issued a rare advisory against it.The advisory calls out juul by name. Yes! TIME

How much screen time should we allow kids? Here's the honest truth:nobody really knows. It may not be the same for all kids. It may not be the same for all ages. But a new study has found that more than four hours a day is linked with poor sleep. And poor sleep has a bunch of other negative effects. Science Direct

When we had our first child, we estimated that he took up 75% of the available time we had after working and sleeping. When we had our second child, we joked that it wasn't twice as much, it just took up whatever time you had left after the first child, and a bit more. A new study out of Australia sheds some interesting light light on the way that labor plays out. The Conversation

Loved this piece on boys, boyhood and that moment just as they pull away from their families and have to face a host of pressures on what men are supposed to be like. Washington Post

If you're looking for a good way to take stock of 2018 with your child, you could do worse than this journey through the year in photos put together by Time for Kids. It's a nice way to take a moment, see how your memories align and mark the passage of time on their way to adulthood. Time for Kids

PFFT: Parenting from Famous Types

Rachel McAdams, actor mother of one and fashion breastmilk pumper,

“I’m having more fun being a mum than I’ve ever had. Everything about it is interesting and exciting and inspiring to me. Even the tough days — there’s something delightful about them.”

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