EppsNet Archive: Kids

Philip Roth, 1933-2018

The final question assigned to the class was “What is life?” Merry’s answer was something her father and mother chuckled over together that night. According to Merry, while the other students labored busily away with their phony deep thoughts, she — after an hour of thinking at her desk — wrote a single, unplatitudinous declarative sentence: “Life is just a… Read more →

Alfie Evans, 2016-2018

Thank god this could never happen here in the US . . . at least until Bernie Sanders is inaugurated. RIP Alfie Evans We're heartbroken, say the parents of 23-month-old Alfie Evans, as they announce that the toddler died overnight https://t.co/HuaJV9UFIE — BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 28, 2018 Read more →

If You Act Like an Idiot, I’ll Kill You

When my son was growing up, I found a lot of opportunities to point to someone else’s kid and say, “You see what he just did? Don’t do that.” When I saw a kid acting like an idiot, I assumed the parents were idiots . . . the kid either learned it from the parents or the parents allowed it… Read more →

Empowerment and Accountability for 5-Year-Olds

This is a real thing I just read: I tasked my 5-year-old with cleaning up the blocks from the floor, after he was done playing. A few times, he did not do it, and I ended up doing it for him. Later on, I realized that when I did it for him I was not empowering him to do the… Read more →

Some Links on Effective Communication

Busting myths on gender differences in the brain (Article) Nora Caplan-Bricker, “The Idea of a ‘Male Brain’ and a ‘Female Brain’ Is Likely a Myth,” Slate, November 2, 2015. Challenges and strategies for creating safe communication spaces at work (Article) James R. Detert and Ethan R. Burris, “Can Your Employees Really Speak Freely?,” Harvard Business Review, vol. 94, no. 1 (January/February 2016):… Read more →

Theological Question

I hear people say that bad things happen to kids in schools because God isn’t allowed in schools. Why do bad things happen to kids in churches? Read more →

To the Daughter I Never Had

Take control of your own impulses, conflicts and disappointments. Don’t forfeit your freedom and independence in exchange for intrusion into and adjudication of your private life and penalizing of men who did something you didn’t like. Also: Dress appropriately. Maintain some mystique and intrigue. Don’t feel like you have to link up with another person until you’ve got some idea… Read more →

Those They Leave Behind

My son’s moving this weekend from an overpriced San Francisco apartment to a different overpriced San Francisco apartment. His roommates in the current apartment are a friend he’s known since high school and a young woman who answered an ad to replace the original roommate, a college friend who moved out six months ago. The new roommates are the same… Read more →

Making it Through High School Alive

Baltimore schools spend a staggering $16,000 per student – the fourth-highest rate in the nation – and still an investigation by Fox45’s Project Baltimore revealed that at six city schools, not one student scored proficient on the statewide tests for English and math. At West Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass High, one of five high schools and one middle school where not… Read more →

We’re Dreamers Too

There are lots of people who went to school, worked hard, provided for our families, raised our kids, tried to do the right things . . . no one lionizes us but we’re dreamers too . . . Read more →

Some Things You Never Get Used To

Our whole family has been seeing the same doctor for about 15 years. I had an appointment with her today and she was a nervous wreck. She told me she’s flying to Houston tonight with her son, who’s starting college at Rice University. I’ve already had a child move away for college so she asked, “How did you handle this?… Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: X Hours of Homework

School is back in session and I’m listening to one of my colleagues say that his son started junior high school this year and had 6 hours of homework last night. It’s a way of bragging: My kid’s school is more academically oriented than your kid’s school. Maybe your kid is just slow. Maybe other people’s kids are finishing the… Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

Acquisitive yuppies who, instead of holding their infant, wear the child in a harness on their chest, thus keeping their hands free for grabbing more stuff . . . Read more →

Amber Alerts

I got an Amber Alert on my phone last night. The same Amber Alert is posted today on those lighted freeway billboards. How did we decide that child abduction is the one activity that merits a notification to the entire country? In this case, the woman in the photo, Kandice Johnson, stole a car at gunpoint with a 16-year-old boy… Read more →

Great Moments in Socialized Medicine: Charlie Gard

If I’m understanding this correctly, socialized medicine really does mean that the government decides if you will live or die, and if your children will be allowed to live or die. I’m glad to see that the current president of the United States is not on board with the idea of a government being able to decide on the life… Read more →

Why Are Black Americans Against School Choice?

Most or all of the people booing Betsy DeVos know little or nothing about her except that they’re expected to dislike her for reasons that they may know are related to her views on public schools and school choice. But why are black Americans against school choice? I don’t want to overgeneralize — my son went to public schools and… Read more →

Parenting Blunders Ranked

In other pit bull news, our neighbors across the street, who have a 5-year-old son, just brought home a 1-year-old pit bull from the animal shelter. This is a terrible idea because they don’t know the background of the dog, what is its history with people, adults, children, with other dogs, etc. Of course that’s true of rescue dogs of… Read more →

How to Tell If You’re Too Busy

A colleague shared this on Slack: It’s a slide from a presentation given by somebody somewhere . . . it’s hard to read but the gist of it is: In the past, I’ve worked every holiday, on my birthday, my spouse’s birthday, and even on the day my son was born. I asked the guy who shared it, “How do… Read more →

20-Something Girlfriends

Mel Gibson expecting NINTH child: Lethal Weapon star, 60, announces his girlfriend, 26, is pregnant — Daily Mail Online Here are the ages of Gibson’s current children: 36, 34 (twins), 31, 28, 26, 17, 6. OK, Gibson is better looking than I am, he has a lot more money than I do . . . on the other hand, I’m… Read more →

We Did It the Old-Fashioned Way

I overheard a couple people discussing IVF today . . . here in Southern California the cost apparently runs $15,000 – $20,000 for a single IVF cycle, which of course includes no guarantee of success. When my wife and I decided to have a child, I knocked her up on the first try. Just wanted to put that on the… Read more →

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