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On Parenting
Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 10/29/2012

Frankenstorm worthy reads

We’re expecting to be shuttered indoors for a few days, so what better time to catch up on reading?

Below is a purely personal list of recent pieces that I’m calling Frankenstorm Parenting Reads.

Make sure to add your own picks below (and let’s print them out) before the power goes…

1) Just in time for Halloween and the appallingly mature tween costumes, here comes Sarah Gervais on a Psychology Today blog with ”Why Do Grade Schoolers Want To Be Sexy?

In it, the PhD explains why girls prefer dolls with more revealing clothing and makeup over old-school dolls. (Hint: girls don’t think these dolls are more fun to play with. They think the sexy dolls are destined to be more popular.)

2) The weather has you fantasizing about a vacation? Before you book one to Disney, read the Matt Novaks’ recent examination of the Epcot Center’s purpose on the Smithsonian blog PaleoFuture. “Revisiting Epcot Center on its 30th Birthday.” (Yes, Epcot’s 30. They grow up so fast.)

Sample bit: “With kids competently pushing pixels on their parents’ iPhones before they can even speak, what kind of role does Epcot play in the education of the American family? … Does Epcot offer the latest in technological wonders that it promised when it opened in 1982? What kind of tone does Epcot set for science education in this country? And am I overthinking what is supposed to be an entertaining experience for people?”

3) Annie Murphy Pauls’s recent take on how social comfort can affect intelligence and how the phenomenon affects children’s school performance is not technically a read, it’s podcast for the New America Foundation. Still, it’s worth the listen.

4) “The Worst Years of Our Lives” on Slate has Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen discussing why we collectively allow our kids to suffer through middle school and what can make these years better.

Sample: “Unfortunately, when it comes to our national conversation about what makes great schools, middle schools (which can serve any configuration of grades five through nine) and junior highs (usually grades seven, eight, and nine) are often like the overlooked middle child.”

5) Some Work-Life Balance ideas from overseas:

Two British scientists, Nathalie Pettorelli and Seirian Sumner, offer some work-life balance ideas from a different point of view — professionally and geographically — in a “Perspective” piece on MySciNet:

6) “I didn’t leave the door open during the hurricane, I swear.”

Your child is not the only pint-sized liar. All kids lie, as do all adults. It may be a good and natural instinct according to a new book reviewed by Oren Harman in “Does Biology Make us Liars?” in the New Republic.

Sample: “Trick yourself to trick another: what better way to conceal the truth? Self-deception is not a defensive measure meant only to make us feel better; it is a weapon instilled in us by natural selection to help deceive others for our own good.”

7) Finally, every compilation needs a tear-jerker. Huffington Post blogger Allison Tate has one in “The Mom Stays in the Picture.” She writes about the consequences of the mundane fact that mothers usually offer to take photos, or jump out of a frame because they don’t look their best. It leaves them out of family memories, their own child’s memory. “Someday I won’t be here — and I don’t know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now — but I want them to have pictures of me. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother.”

What are you reading these days? Share here.

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By  |  01:00 PM ET, 10/29/2012

 
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