The benefits of risky play for kids

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(Credit: Shutterstock/Salon/Benjamin Wheelock)


Children in the Northern Hemisphere will be going back to school this month but many of those in Western countries won’t be walking there or taking the bus on their own. Instead they will be driven by parents.

Over the years, the distance children are allowed to roam has been shrinking. This map paints a striking picture of this shrinking freedom over four generations: the great-grandfather, at age eight, was allowed to walk six miles on his own to go fishing, the grandfather at the same age, only about one mile into the woods, the mother, half a mile to the swimming pool, and the son only 300 yards to the end of his street.  

“Stranger danger” - or the fear that their child will be abducted - is the reason many parents give for keeping their kids close. However,… click here to read whole article and make comments



‘No nudity, bullying, alcohol, drugs…’

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When our oldest daughter graduated with her 40-person class from eighth grade in parochial school, all the girls hugged each other and cried. She's entering public high school in a few days, and it's totally uncharted territory. None of her parochial school friends will be with her, she won't be wearing her trusty plaid uniform, and the sprawling high school building with its 1,000+ students seems as vast as the Museum of Natural History.

Even the routine high school paperwork foreshadowed ominous threats ahead. The technology policy advised repeatedly that sexting and pornography are not acceptable on school grounds. Neither is bullying, defined as acting or speaking in such a way to make another feel afraid of physical harm. Skimming the four pages of legalese, I summarized to my daughter: "No nudity, no bullying, no nudity, don't be mean." She raised a quizzical eyebrow, but let it… click here to read whole article and make comments



Hilton hotels clean up their room service

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In an age of Wi-Fi and portable screens it may not mean a lot in practice, but Hilton Worldwide’s decision to stop providing porn to guests through its video-on-demand service is an important symbolic move. The hotel chain announced recently:

We are making immediate changes to our global brand standards to eliminate adult video-on-demand entertainment in all our hotels worldwide. While the vast majority of our properties already do not offer this content today, this content will be phased out of all other hotels subject to the terms of their contracts.  We believe in offering our guests a high degree of choice and control during their stays with us, including Wi-Fi on personal devices.  However, we have listened carefully to our customers and have determined that adult video-on-demand entertainment is not in keeping with our company’s vision and goals moving forward.

The decision has been welcomed by America’s National… click here to read whole article and make comments



Paying for college: when do parents help most?

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The News Story: 3 Important College Funding Questions to Answer During a Divorce 

It’s back-to-school time, and most parents with children in college are already wondering how to pay the bills. For single parents, the picture is likely even more complicated.

U.S. News and World Report offers those going through a divorce some tips on college-related finances. First, the story advises, think about who will “‘own’ the 529 plan.” One advisor recommends that the noncustodial parent take ownership of these college-savings assets, as that parent’s finances are typically not required for financial-aid determinations. Similar questions are which parent claims the child for tax purposes, and which gets custody. For custodial parents considering remarriage, the story advises that the new spouse’s finances will also be taken into account for financial-aid purposes.

But research reveals that such tips, though perhaps helpful, can do little to address the underlying… click here to read whole article and make comments



Silicon Valley ups the stakes for parental leave

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This month, Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer, Tawni Cranz announced that the company is introducing an unlimited parental leave policy that allows new moms and dads to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.

“We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances,” said Cranz.

In the days following, other tech companies including Microsoft and Adobe followed suit with announcements of their own expanded parental leave policies. Google already offers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. Facebook gives four months. Twitter, 20 weeks.

It seems this move points to a realization that generous leave policies are beneficial for both employees and the companies they work for.

In highly competitive Silicon Valley, employers are in a constant… click here to read whole article and make comments



Want a lasting marriage?

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Even Miss Piggy and Kermit are calling it quits.    

The good news is Will and Jada are staying together. The bad news is Kermit and Miss Piggy are splitting up.

It’s been a summer of ups and downs for the folks who care about celebrity marriages. We may have breathed a sigh of relief when Will Smith posted on Facebook a few days ago: “So, in the interest of redundant, repetitious, over & over-again-ness… Jada and I are…NOT GETTING A DIVORCE!!!!!!!!!!!!! : -)” But Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale are done. So are Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. (The nanny, Ben? Talk about a cliché.) Not to mention Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock and Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. For Americans short on time and attention span, the question remains: Why does it seem like… click here to read whole article and make comments



Cosmo cover helps feed porn addiction

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Pop star Demi Lovato is challenging those who think her cover shoot for Cosmopolitan is too racy for newsstands, reports Entertainment Tonight and a host of others.

According to the story, “The National Center on Sexual Exploitation launched a ‘Cosmo Harms Minors’ campaign asking for supermarkets to have a protective overlay on the women’s magazine so as not to show their risque covers. . . . This past week, Rite Aid and Food Lion obliged this request and started shielding the magazines.” Lovato fired back on Instagram, “What these individuals who are protesting don’t understand is that for the first time in a long time I feel incredibly EMPOWERED and the MOST BEAUTIFUL I’ve ever felt on this magazine. . . . It’s so liberating to be able to show the world how confident a woman can be once she learns to love herself.”

Entertainment Tonight, like most other sources, gave Ms. Lovato plenty… click here to read whole article and make comments



More screening, or more married parents?

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The News Story: New Recommendations for Depression Screening in Primary Care 

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is considering a new standard recommending that all adults be routinely screened for depression during visits to their primary care provider, according to a story released by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

According to the AAFP, the need for such routine screening is severe, as “one out of about every dozen people age 12 or older has experienced symptoms of depression in the past two weeks.” Detecting and treating depression early, the story continues, are obvious public health goals. But in spite of what one might suppose from the recommendation that all adults be regularly screened, all adults are not equally at risk for becoming depressed. Groups of concern are “women, younger and middle-aged adults, and nonwhite individuals,” as well as “people who are undereducated,… click here to read whole article and make comments



The fight against filth

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We've all been there, standing in line at the store, waiting patiently to purchase our groceries while scantily-clad, heavily-Photoshopped women stare longingly at us from the glossy covers of the surrounding magazines in the check-out aisle. As if there were any doubts as to the sort of material within these publications, the cover lines shout out such phrases as “His #1 Sex Fantasy,” “Bad Girl Sex,” “12 Kinky Quickies,” or “21 Mind Blowing Sex Moves.”

It's likely most of us have come to accept the presence of these scandalous publications as a fact of life. We don't like them, but there's not much we can do about the situation besides trying to divert our children's attention to the innocuous candy bar and Tic Tac section of the aisle.

Several years back, Megan Reusz decided that she'd had enough of all this and resolved to take a more active approach. She and… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 31 JULY 2015

A letter to engaged couples of the future

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Dear future-engaged-person,

Next time you hear from me on Family Edge, I’ll be a married woman. With only 15 days to go, I wish I had written a day-by-day journal of the ups and downs, the discoveries and lessons, and the raw beauty of the whole process of being engaged. So I’d like to take this last chance to reflect on being almost-married.

There is so much I want to share. I want to tell you all about the overwhelming joy of saying “yes” and looking forward to the future, and about the peace that comes from knowing that I've chosen the right man for me.

I want you to know that I thought I’d spend the months before preparing with the perfect work-out routine (is it too late to start now?), but that my preparation was more of the mental and spiritual variety – learning more about marriage so that I could… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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