plus, Thanksgiving safe subjects |


Welcome to your weekly childrearing bulletin Hello Parents,

This will be my last newsletter before Thanksgiving, so I hope you will all have a wonderful family-filled time and that all your disagreements will be handled with the minimum possible damage to everybody’s feelings. Here are some topics that could be problematic: politics, gender, Hollywood, sports, colleges, the weather, religion, the news. Apart from that, you’re good to go. Here's a small tip: winning an argument is always fun. Demonstrating how to intelligently disagree is much less fun, but a better life skill to teach the younglings.

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.

Tomorrow is National Adoption Day. Here’s a history of how adoption has changed over the years. Some data suggest America’s peak adoption year was 1970, when, as one expert put it:  “at least a significant number of young people were feeling expansive and hopeful about the future, which might have led some of them to consider adoption.” TIME

Are you at your wits' end trying to keep your kid learning a musical instrument? Here’s some news that may give you the extra oomph you need. Musicians apparently have better working memories than non-musicians, even as adults. Now, go do your scales.  PSMAG

Is there a link between teen suicide and social media? Psychology professor Jean Twenge certainly thinks so and she has some data to support her claim. She looked at surveys given to half a million teenagers and uncovered some worrying trends among extremely high users. “Teens’ use of electronic devices including smartphones for at least five hours daily more than doubled, from 8% in 2009 to 19% in 2015. These teens were 70% more likely to have suicidal thoughts or actions than those who reported one hour of daily use,” the study found. Other experts are more dubious, pointing out that teenage suicide can rarely be traced to just one thing. TIME

Imagine growing up with a dad who was distant but ideal. He comes to your graduation. Gives you away at your wedding. And then you find out, on the internet many years later, that he was not your dad at all, but a guy your mother paid to act like your dad. Well, here’s that guy, only he hasn't been found out yet. Turns out he’s not sure he’s done the right thing. The Atlantic.

Whatever you do, do not be afraid to be extravagantly affectionate to your child. You cannot spoil a small child with emotional availability. And the request for hugs, tragically, will diminish. (I'm told it returns, but never with the urgency of that sad infant/toddler. Sigh)  Gottman Institute 

Here's a subject that you can talk about this Thanksgiving that won't offend anyone, no matter their feelings about taking a knee or taking on the swamp: how to acknowledge Native Americans role in the celebration. TIME

PFFT: Parenting from Famous Types

Fergie, singer, dancer and mother of one

“The men can have all the career in the world and still have children, but if you’re a mom and you have a career, it’s the mommy shaming. 'You can’t do that anymore, you’re a mom!' What am I supposed to do? I love singing and dancing. It’s who I am as a human.”

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