My friends and family know what’s coming when we’re out to dinner and they see a little packet of white squares come out of my purse, held together with a rubber band. It’s a pile of carefully selected Table Topics — little cards printed with questions — usually from the “Family Gatherings” collection. (Though on … Continue reading »
Three insights from research about immigrant families
Everything you think you know about immigrant families is probably wrong. That’s one of the conclusions I took away from the annual meeting of the Council on Contemporary Families, which convenes scholars and writers from around North America to discuss new scientific findings about the family. This year’s conference at the University of Miami focused … Continue reading »
Five life lessons from “56 Up”
The film critic Roger Ebert famously called the “Up” series “an inspired, even noble, use of the film medium.” It started in 1964, when the British TV program World in Action profiled 14 seven year olds with the aim of discovering how social class shaped their worldviews. There was no intention of going beyond that … Continue reading »
The redefinition of fatherhood demands new public policies
In anticipation of Father’s Day, the International Museum of Women put together a gallery on “the changing role of the modern dad,” which includes a global facts and figures, a three-minute video on how mothers around the world view fatherhood, a documentary about stay-at-home dads in Hungary, and profiles of fathers in South America and … Continue reading »
These dads get it
The research on dads this year may not be as salacious as, say, the theories about why dad-to-be Anthony Weiner would risk his career and marriage by sending narcissistic and semi-nude photos of himself to women. But the kind of post I’m tempted to write about that (e.g., “How Not to Raise a Weiner”) is clearly … Continue reading »
High GPAs, low happiness?
With the stress of finals upon many high school (and middle school!) students, I’m hoping we can pause for a moment to put it into perspective. Because the statistics on teen stress, my friends, are scary. Like most parents, I want my children to succeed in school, and I’d like them to go to college. More … Continue reading »
Believe it or not, optimism is a controversial value to some people. When I give talks, people frequently question me about why optimism is something they should want for their children. I can see how fostering optimism could be mistaken for fostering a Polyannaish, La La Land mentality in our children—which, in turn, could make … Continue reading »
Does marriage make us happier?
Perhaps because I’m divorced, I wonder a lot about whether I’d be happier if I were married. Admittedly, I’m already a very happy person; I pretty much max out most happiness scales (like these, here). But I’ve made a career out of becoming an ever-happier person—and teaching my children how to do the same—by doing all … Continue reading »