Chatterbox | August 8
Whenever you lead off a weekly news roundup with something called "Doc McStuffins," it's been a good week.
- While Disney hasn't always done a good job—or even seemingly put forth an effort—to offer shows or movies that appeal to minority audiences, ti seems like the new "Doc McStuffins" is a big hit.
- I think just about any parent whose son has been enchanted by the doll section of the toy store, or who has a daughter mixing it up with the bulldozers, would appreciate this gender-neutral toy section. The idea that it's "right" for a boy or girl to play with any toy other than the one that makes him or her most happy is hopefully dying off.
- I'm always stunned by people who can write essays like this one, about the challenges and rewards of raising a severly disabled child. Not only must it be difficult to write about this and open such a private experience to the public, but to stay level-headed enough to rundown advice for anyone in a similar situation takes an incredible amount of compassion. It's also full of good advice for all parents.
- The big weekly news magazines know that parenting articles get lots of views, but it's really bizarre to me how much they focus on the surface of parenting. Every article seems to be about how people perceive parents, rather than on parenting itself. This Time article about women's bodies after pregnancies asks the question: "Have Americans become too obsessed with how women's bodies do—or don't—spring back into shape after having a baby?" Yes! Shortest article ever. Look, it's not that they're on the wrong side of the argument, it's that they fundamentally misunderstand an aspect of parenthood: Appearance is sort of the last thing on your mind. Or, at least, it's a very low priority. Just ask all the sweatpanted parents at the playground at 7:30 in the morning.
- I dig essays like this, that ask sort of theoretical or philosophical questions about parenting. In other words, ones that don't offer specific advice–i.e. "how to talk to your kids about the death of a tree"—but rather a way to coax a healthier or more constructive mindset out of yourself. And I like the approach advocated here, even though I'm such a helicopter parent, the A-Team could use me in a getaway.