plus, more on screens and sleep |


Greetings, raisers of younglings,

Hope your week was magnificent, you felt loved and appreciated, and you made everybody you encountered better for the experience. But if you just had a normal week like I did, then congratulations on surviving. Were the kids more or less fed and housed? Do they still have a majority of their digits? This is a triumph, in its way. Read on for the parenting news of the week. And if you send me your fun unusual (funusual?) holiday traditions, I'll put together a list of next week. Our main one is that we always buy our tree from outside the local pharmacy, walk it home and then decorate it according to a rule. So one year the tree was all gold ornaments. Another year it was just wood. Another year you could only have a certain shape. One year we chose a texture; man was that tree a dud.

I’m at or @luscombeland on Twitter. Feel free to follow me, but not necessarily my parenting philosophy. 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.

Scientists can now tell conclusively whether a kid will be left- or right-handed before he or she is born. This doesn't sound like that big a deal except that their methods may also help predict depression, schizophrenia and autism, "because hand preference is dictated by the dominance of one of the brain’s hemispheres over the other,"the story says. "The conditions that they expect to be able to predict are also associated with similar cerebral asymmetry.” TIME

It may look like fun to be Scarlett Johansson and all, but she is done with having people gawk at her family photos. In an op-ed, she writes that the constant paparazzi presence is threatening her family's mental health.  Motto

It's becoming ever more clear that screen time just before bed is linked to lack of sleep, especially in kids. And lack of sleep is linked to a higher Body Mass Index, one of the precursors to obesity. Here's a new study from Penn State.

How do you raise sons who will grow up to be sweet in such a divisive era? One mom has some suggestions. "Sweet boys learn early on that they can defend themselves against loneliness by reaching out and asking for support rather than turning into people who, literally, grab for power," she says. TIME

The Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, is a federally funded program that ensures that kids whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to buy insurance on the open market, still get the healthcare they need. It's about to expire and states have been picking up the slack. Both sides of the political aisle support the program, but its re-approval has been slow. The Christian Science Monitor explains what this means.

If you're up for a slightly longer read, this is a remarkable story of a woman who grew up with the knowledge that her parents had not kept another girl they adopted before her. That girl was black and she was white. Many years later, she found the daughter she had replaced. Her response to the story was not what the white woman expected. New York Times.

PFFT: Parenting from Famous Types

Armie Hammer, actor and father of two

“I made this film [on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg] for my daughter. I want her to have stories of strong women who changed the world from their own ironclad will. I don’t think there are enough of these out there.”

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