The Chatterbox | November 30
File under: “Big problems”
- Social workers recently removed an eight-year-old third-grader who weighs 200 pounds from his parents’ custody. The weekend story from Ohio took off worldwide Monday, with people weighing in—sorry—on both sides. Some articles, such as this one from the Los Angeles Times, point out precedents in the growth and evolution of the debate.
- The firing of Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine over additional evidence of alleged sexual abuse of minors sends one more shiver down the spines of parents who can’t help but wonder if this problem exists pretty much everywhere.
File under: “Sharing is caring”
- Hot on the heels of a tally of 40 most-shared stories on Facebook in 2011, WBEZ’s Steve Edwards noted on Twitter that “parenting related posts dominate” the list.
- And tomorrow at 7pm, the radio station hosts Schools on the Line, a call-in show with Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard that takes place the on first Thursday of every month. Listeners can leave a question or comment for Brizard in advance by calling 312-948-4886, via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AskBrizard.
File under: “Pretty in pink”
- Fashion gurus Tom and Lorenzo gave high marks to Elle Fanning for the vintage dress (and Louboutins) she wore to Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl’s Children at Heart gala. “Cute and age-appropriate, but chic and timeless at the same time,” they wrote. We concur—and we’ll add our thumbs-up to Fanning for supporting the charity’s cause.
File under: “Holiday cheer?”
- Even Santa, it seems, has a hard time during the recession. As The New York Times reports in this fascinating article (and nifty video), the men who attend the nation’s top Santa school (who knew?) in Michigan (!) must learn how to downscale kids’ expensive requests—sometimes prompted via silent cues from cash-strapped parents nearby. The trickiest requests of all come from kids who ask Santa to help their parents find jobs. One Santa’s delicate answer to that heartbreaking request? “I usually tell them, ‘Santa specializes in toys, but we can always pray on the other.’”
- Every family’s got a know-it-all uncle, sharp-tongued aunt or ex-con cousin. The Tribune offers this helpful article on how to deal with the family oddball during your annual holiday get-together, adding that kids have a greater buffer for inappropriate behavior (and corny jokes) than adults do—so when you’ve reached your tipping point, be sure to point Uncle Larry and his reindeer sweater toward the kids’ table.