Tag: Parenting

Some Women Fear Giorgia Meloni’s Far-Right Agenda Will Set Italy Back

ROME — Being a woman, and mother, has been central to the political pitch of Giorgia Meloni, the hard-right politician who is likely to become Italy’s prime minister after elections on Sunday. She once ran for mayor seven months pregnant because she said powerful men had told her she couldn’t. Her most famous speech includes […]

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Public Schools Will Be on the Ballot in November

Nearly every parent I spoke to acknowledged, unprompted, how privileged they were to be able to move their children to a new situation, and lamented that this wasn’t an option for all families. Most described themselves as Democrats, supportive of public schools in general and supportive of teachers in particular. Some described their own experiences […]

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We’re Losing the Luxury of a Summer Spent Outdoors

On Labor Day, my husband and I stood at the sliding glass door to our hotel room balcony, staring out at smoky skies. We were at Lake Chelan in Washington, on our first big post-pandemic vacation, with our 3-year-old and 6-week-old baby. Overnight, the wind had brought wildfire smoke from fires in Idaho and Montana. […]

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Their Dad Was Like a Brother. Now Pacman Jones Is Family.

AMELIA, Ohio — Adam Jones’s days begin early. The alarms in his Cincinnati-area home blare for the brood of six kids at 6 a.m. on weekdays. And Jones, who is known as Pacman, and his wife, Tishana, alternate chauffeuring them to school and day care. To see Jones as a busy, car-pooling father is a […]

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The Enduring Wisdom of ‘Goodnight Moon’

The first 25 times I read “Goodnight Moon,” I cried. Not in a dainty, tear-dabbing way; I’m talking Niagara waterworks, heaving sobs and a red nose. My firstborn daughter was only a few days old, swaddled in a blanket printed with baleful teddy bears, when we made our first foray into the iconic picture book […]

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Our Assumptions About the Maternal Instinct

To the Editor: Re “The Pernicious Myth of Maternal Instinct,” by Chelsea Conaboy (Opinion guest essay, Aug. 28): My husband and I are two dads who raised a boy and a girl from birth to adulthood in small-town America. As gay dads, we got to pull back the curtain of the assumptions about maternal instinct. […]

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在中国“鸡娃”,到了美国继续“鸡”?

欢迎阅读本期“海外华人札记”,每周四我们邀请常驻美国的资深中文媒体人撰稿,一起从华人视角解读、探讨新闻热点、品析时报精华文章。本期的作者是现居休斯敦的撰稿人詹涓。欢迎点击这里订阅,或推荐给朋友。 新学期伊始,我女儿升入了休斯敦郊区一所专门录取资优特长生(Gifted and Talented)的初中。去开新学年家长会时,每门主课老师仿佛都在念“紧箍咒”,我于是发了个朋友圈吐槽:“竞赛数学老师说,如果学生原地踏步,第一学期结束后可能没法再留在竞赛队里。西班牙语老师说,这门课算高中学分,所以请天天打卡练习。生物老师说,学好这门课对高中时AP(大学先修课程)生物非常关键。”在中国的朋友们纷纷评论打趣“你们去的是美国还是海淀?” 不光是老师严格,许多家长提出的问题也充满了熟悉的“鸡娃”风味。有家长高高举起手,询问能否了解孩子每门课的具体排名;有家长毛遂自荐,称自己曾是奥数队成员,又在本地知名大学执教,可以帮助学生们备战数学团体竞赛;有几个家长表示,孩子中文、西班牙语甚至拉丁文已经相当流利,想要了解怎么能提前把这些课的AP给先考了,为提高高中成绩做好准备;还有家长提要求,说孩子需要频繁出州或者出国参加体育赛事,学校能否提供额外的网课;只有少数家长提问说,孩子每天做作业、赶PPT的时间太长,睡眠不够,再加上得州刚刚发生了极为惨烈的校园枪击案,学校是不是有必要更加关心学生的心理健康和全面发展? 也许许多人会纳闷:不是说美国净搞“快乐教育”了吗?不是说红州的教育质量很差劲吗?这类高度浓缩了严师和虎爸虎妈的场景在美国大多数地区确实很少见,但在亚裔人口快速增长的教育重镇,比如纽约、旧金山和东北部的一些大学城,孩子们在校内外的竞争已经越来越激烈;这种人口趋势也蔓延到我们所居住的这个郡,受优质公立学校吸引的亚裔人口占比已经超过两成,而且其中大量家长都属于“留学一代”,孩子受邀参加同学生日会时,我早已见识到很多家长都是本地医学中心或高校的同事同行。总之,这些区域很“海淀黄庄”。 在小学阶段,家长们主要是在中文学校、美术班和网球场这类兴趣课程上混个彼此脸熟;但在这所汇集了全学区资优特长生的中学,亚裔学生占比超过一半,周围孩子被“鸡”的强度进阶了一档。孩子们周末越来越难约到一起玩了,而在参加科学展和辩论队之类的活动时,那么多高学历印度裔家长亲历亲为,贡献时间、资源和人脉,令华人家长都自叹弗如。 想着女儿的学校仍然在持续为资优学生提供服务,她能有一群同样重视学业的朋友和师长,得到或许超过联邦平均水准的优质教育,我感到很庆幸;但看到家长会上无法掩饰的焦虑情绪,听闻好些孩子已经领先了自家娃好几步,我也难免寻思:我家这孩子是不是还有再“鸡一鸡”的空间啊?但是,孩子又已经很累了呀,除了学业不放松,我也想让她多多户外运动,在家分担些家务,没事多读点闲书或者上网跟几年没见过面的姥姥奶奶们多聊点天,或者啥事都不做,就是单纯地闲着、放空。背井离乡的不就图个自己轻松娃快乐吗?这样的初心跟自己的行为是不是矛盾了呀? 到了美国还有没有必要把“鸡娃”放在首位?我们“鸡娃”图的又是啥?进了亚裔扎堆的高中,孩子们的GPA要精确到小数点后两位才能精确排名,这么苦又能有什么意义?也许你也会有类似的困惑,时报观点版面最近正好推出了一系列“学校到底是为了什么?”的评论文章,也许能给大家带来启发。有些讨论相当大胆而挑衅,其中一篇《学校是为了追求优绩》的作者是第一代印度裔移民,在全美最好的高中之一托马斯·杰弗逊科技高中于2020年宣布采用新的入学要求以增加学生群体多样性后,她组织活动,要求该校恢复凭考试择优录取。她“鸡娃”的投入程度让我联想起很多亚裔家长:在学校做各种义工,为孩子们朗读,给儿子的乐高队做教练,支持孩子参加的拼写大赛;而她的孩子也符合“自鸡娃”的理想标准——尽管想打游戏,但还是为了考高中专心学习。 而另一篇评论恰恰走在了“鸡娃”的反面,作者声称学校只是“浪费时间和金钱”,结论是成年人会迅速忘掉书本知识,美国的公立教育基本上只是在帮家长看孩子。这似乎也符合许多人对美国人“学术成绩一塌糊涂,算术能力尤其差劲”的印象。 不过,学校只是教授书本知识吗?对于如何在激烈的学术竞争中获胜并进入名校,很多家长已经有了第一手的经验。不过进了名校之后,人生的种种烦恼和问题也能迎刃而解吗?对于这一点,家长们或许也有第一手的教训。 在开家长会时,让我最印象深刻的是生物老师的一句话。这位老师为学生们设计了大量协同项目,引导学生通过做各种项目培养自主学习和研究能力与团队协作精神,她说,“是什么让我在凌晨一点辗转反侧,我一直在想着如何帮助你们的孩子成为终身学习者,适应一个日新月异的未来。”而在时报的这个系列里,加州一所高中的学生们认为大人们根本不理解学生和学校,他们说,学校是“我们青少年塑造个性”的地方,是“我们成长和学习表达自我”的地方,是“与朋友共度时光”的地方,也是“犯错误并从中学习”的地方。 听到这些观点,我觉得我自己的“鸡娃”焦虑症倒是缓解了一点:多和孩子们聊一聊,了解他们想要什么,喜欢朋友的哪一点,他们在为什么高兴、又在为什么而烦恼,未来他们梦想着成为什么样的人,永远要比一次考试的排名更重要。 你对美国或中国国内的教育现状有何看法?身为父母或是若有养育孩子的计划,你最重视培养孩子哪方面的素质?你会选择“鸡娃”吗?欢迎来信与我们分享。 近期不容错过的文章还有: 即使在最糟糕的时刻,美国人和苏联人也一直在对话。如今,美中之间的接触很少,北京和莫斯科的关系却越来越密切。拜登和习近平越来越多地迈向一条有可能引发新版冷战的冲突路线。新加坡总理李显龙担心风暴正在周围聚集,而夹在冲突中的在美华人恐怕有更多现实的担忧。(阅读本文中文版) 中国的许多地区仍然处在“静默”中,有人忍饥挨饿,有人求医无门,还有更多人陷入了令人窒息的孤立与绝望。我刚刚在微博上看到了一个被大量转发的故事:在成都,一个16岁的女孩早年被父母遗弃,初中辍学打工,封城后丧失了收入来源,拿了邻居的两盒外卖充饥,邻居了解情况后不仅没有报警,反而发动全小区为她募捐。我不确定这个故事的真实性有多高,但我相信普通人的善意。疫情初期,美国的大量弱势群体也曾困守家中寸步难行,而他们的亲友和邻居在这个艰难的时刻握紧他们的手,陪伴他们抗击癌症、度过孕期,也一起捱过了最难熬的孤独。 英国女王去世后,这篇由罗纳德·里根总统的女儿撰写的关于哀悼与失去的短文让我格外感到触动。她写道,在父亲的最后一次追悼会结束后,“驱车穿过漆黑寂静的街道回家,我知道悲伤之河在等着我,我知道我必须独自渡河。我希望人们能记住王室的这一点:尽管他们出身显赫,但最终他们和我们所有人一样,要与生与死、与生而为人意味着什么这个谜题缠斗。当他们深爱的人去世,在夜幕降临、孤身一人的时候,他们会陷入和每个人一样的困境。他们想知道自己是否能穿越悲伤之河的另一边。” 大学教育的成本越来越高,包括我在内,很多家长可能在孩子上幼儿园时就已经开始为他们存大学教育基金,时报播客《大学定价游戏》聊了聊大学教育成本攀升的问题为何始终解决不了。在学费不断上涨的情况下,学生和家长在择校时尤其需要高质量的指导。名校地位和高校排行榜曾是择校的重要指标,但在哥伦比亚大学提交的数据遭到本校教授质疑,该校在《美国新闻与世界报道》的年度榜单中名次大跌后,这样的指标还足够可信吗? 乌克兰在迅速收复失地,而俄罗斯军队正在乌克兰东北部城镇慌乱撤退,将他们没吃的罐头甚至没晾干的内衣留了下来。看到俄军的颓势,中国信奉“落后就要挨打”的亲俄网民和美国崇拜着普京专制、残暴和恐同统治的右翼会做何感想呢?保罗·克鲁格曼在他的评论文章中指出,女性占五分之一以上的乌克兰军队拥有的勇气、智慧和灵活戳破了右翼对拳头和肌肉的迷恋。 对于美国历史上黑人遭遇的私刑,大家应该都不陌生,可是很少有人知道,华人也曾遭到过残酷的私刑。1871年,至少18名华人在洛杉矶被绞死或活活烧死,当时时报称这是“文明社会所发生的最可怕的悲剧之一”。现在作为迟到了100多年的纪念,这座城市想要建立一座纪念馆铭记过去。 感谢阅读本期“海外华人札记”,欢迎来信与我们分享您的想法:cn.newsletter@nytimes.com。点击这里查看往日更新。欢迎在Twitter(@nytchinese)、Instagram和Facebook上关注我们,了解更多中文资讯。也欢迎访问中文网首页阅读更多新闻。下期再见。

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What We Pray for When We Pray for Our Children

She described one recent walk over the Labor Day weekend, saying that she prayed that schoolchildren, “from the most vulnerable to the fiercest, feel safe and valued.” She continued: “As I approach the main doors of the building, I lay my hands on them and pray that every soul that crosses them experiences peace, perhaps […]

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As Serena Williams Plays Her Final Matches, a Generation Looks On

Williams’ frustration on the court, her hair styles and eye-catching outfits, her dancing and fist-pumping were all once unheard-of in tennis, Ms. Corbett said, and Williams’ decision to never turn down the volume has been widely admired. It is in large part why Scheherazade Tillet, a photographer and co-founder of the art-focused nonprofit A Long […]

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An Apple Watch for Your 5-Year-Old? More Parents Say Yes.

Florian Fangohr waffled for about a year over whether to buy an Apple Watch SE as a gift. The smart watch cost $279, and he worried that its recipient would immediately break or lose it. In May, he decided the benefits outweighed the costs and bought the gadget. The beneficiary: his 8-year-old son, Felix. Mr. […]

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Education in America: School Is for Connecting to Nature

Throughout the first five years of my older daughter’s life, I watched her dance through the clover, climb trees, puddle jump and play her way through the day. As she stood on the threshold to kindergarten, I pictured her stuck inside at a desk, cut off from her relationship to the wild, and my stomach […]

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Education in America: School Is for Merit

In 1982, as a 5-foot-0 teen at Morgantown High School in the foothills of West Virginia’s Appalachians, I stepped forward at our annual sports award ceremony to claim an honor: female athlete with the highest G.P.A. A boy named Michael Roh, who won the male athlete award, towered over me at 6-foot-6. He’d been my […]

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Education in America: School Is for Learning to Read

The most important thing schools can do is teach children how to read. If you can read, you can learn anything. If you can’t, almost everything in school is difficult. Word problems. Test directions. Biology homework. Everything comes back to reading. But a lot of schools aren’t teaching children how to read. It came as […]

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Silicon Valley Discovers an Age-Old Child Care Hack: The Neighbors

In 2019, about 18 percent of children younger than 5 were cared for in residential-based centers, which often provide a lifeline for parents who work nontraditional hours or live in rural areas. And since time immemorial, parents have leaned on a network of friends, family members and neighbors — the so-called village — to step […]

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More Children Are Swallowing Batteries and Landing in the E.R.

Button batteries and lithium coin batteries power many electronic devices that families tend to have in their homes: TV remotes, key fobs, thermometers, scales, toys, flame-free candles — even singing greeting cards. But the batteries, which are small, round and shiny, can pose a significant health threat to young children who swallow them or put […]

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‘The Best Tool We Have’ for Self-Harming and Suicidal Teens

Parents seeking therapy for teenagers who self-harm or suffer from anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts face an imposing thicket of treatment options and acronyms: cognitive behavioral therapy (C.B.T.), parent management training (P.M.T.), collaborative assessment and management of suicidality (CAMS), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and others. Each approach can benefit a particular subset of people. […]

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Parents Are Hiring Babysitters or the ‘Disco Nanny’ for a Night Out

Three months before Olga Lopatina and Emiliano Beltrami make their annual August pilgrimage to Mykonos, they start making reservations. They make sure to snag tables at Scorpios, a bohemian beach club set on the Aegean Sea, and Lío, the Greek island’s star-studded, cabaret-style restaurant. “We make reservations for six people even before we know which […]

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The Pernicious Myth of Maternal Instinct

The myth of maternal instinct places a primacy on biological mothers, suggesting the routes to parenthood fall into two into categories: “natural” and “other.” It sustains outdated ideas about masculinity that teaches fathers that they are secondary — assistants, babysitters — and encourages mothers to see them that way, too. It undermines the rights and […]

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How We Can Help Children Grow in the Wake of a Crisis

A few years ago, people thought American kids had it way too easy. Best-selling books and articles lamented “the coddling of the American mind” and shamed “snowplow parents” who removed every obstacle their children encountered. Parents were scolded, told that they should allow their kids to develop “grit” by giving them “the gift of failure.” […]

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How to Protect Against Monkeypox as School Starts

As children around the country head back to school for the third time since the Covid-19 pandemic began, a different infectious disease is now spreading globally: monkeypox. Almost every single state and territory in the United States has reported cases of monkeypox, with more than 11,000 confirmed cases nationwide. And news of a day care […]

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Michelle Tea’s Punk Parenting Memoir

Every fairy tale confronts reality along the way. For one thing, there’s money, probably the one topic that’s still avoided—or, at least, talked about evasively, in most writing about motherhood. Those parenthetical confessions of relative privilege are rarely accompanied by something so crass as a number, but Tea brings the bluntness of someone who’s been […]

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I Was Skeptical of Baby Gear. Then I Became a Dad.

As annoying as it made me, I liked knowing about baby gear. My wife liked me knowing about baby gear. And I found, to my surprise, that learning about baby gear was forcing me to learn about babies themselves — what they like, what they dislike, what ages they grow into and out of certain […]

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Is it OK to Work on Vacation? Yes, If You Do it Right.

Covid and the rise in remote work accelerated this trend, especially in management, business, financial and professional occupations. But while many appreciate the new flexibility in their daily lives, and some enjoy having the ability to take a “workcation,” the bleeding of work into vacation hours has caused a lot of angst about the difficulty […]

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Raising Young Kids in America Has Become Hell, and The Government Should Finally Acknowledge That

However, while states can help on the margins, and some limited federal laws could get passed, what is actually needed is a new paradigm, one that centers these families as a distinct class of people the same way the federal government treats seniors. Even if states choose to act, or if something like the Romney […]

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Kidas’ ProtectMe software is keeping an ear on your kids

Interested in learning what’s next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today. Here’s a question for you. How do you make sure to parent your kid’s internet time without invading their privacy? Kidas might have an answer for you, with […]

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