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But Mom, video games are my JOB! (New York Times)
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Kyle Giersdorf earned $3 million when he won the Fortnite World Cup. He was 16 years old. Suppose it’s after midnight and your son is playing video games. You tell him to turn off the game and go to bed. What are you supposed to say, when your son answers “But video games are my […]

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Why Stinky Socks Bother Women More Than Men (New York Times)
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A couple, returning from vacation, turns on the air-conditioning. The wife is overwhelmed by a terrible stench coming from the ductwork and is convinced that an animal must have died in the house. She tells her husband that they need to hire somebody to get rid of it. His response? “I don’t smell anything.” Both […]

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“I Just Want Her to be Happy”
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The Science Talent Search is the leading science competition for American high school students. It’s often referred to as “The Junior Nobel Prize.” According to a recent study, 83 percent of the forty finalists in 2016 were the children of immigrants. Fourteen had parents from India; eleven had parents from China. So twenty-five of the forty […]

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Parenting in the Age of Awfulness (Wall Street Journal)
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Kyle was absorbed in a videogame on his cellphone, so I asked his mom, “How long has Kyle had a stomach ache?” Mom said, “I’m thinking it’s been about two days.” Then Kyle replied, “Shut up, mom. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he gave a snorty laugh, without looking up from his […]

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Blame Parents, Not Kids, for Sexting (Wall Street Journal)
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If mom and dad installed monitoring software on their middle-schoolers’ phones, it would make a big difference. (Read article on The Wall Street Journal website) Earlier this year I visited a school in turmoil. It began with two students: a sixth-grade girl who I’ll call Emily, and her 14-year-old boyfriend, who I’ll call Justin. Justin begged […]

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‘Unspecified Mental Disorder’? That’s Crazy (Wall Street Journal)
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Psychiatry’s diagnostic bible has broadened the definition of mental illness to absurdity. (Read article on The Wall Street Journal website) The American Psychiatric Association released a revision of its diagnostic bible in May, the first major rewrite in two decades. “The Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” or DSM-5, is […]

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A.D.H.D. Drugs Have Long-Term Risks
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(Read this article on The New York Times website) A teenager complains of difficulty concentrating. The doctor is consulted. The teenager does not meet formal criteria for A.D.H.D., but the doctor says, “Why not try Adderall? Let’s try it and see whether it helps.” A prescription is dispensed. The student reports more energy, improved ability […]

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Child psychiatry is sick with hidden conflicts of interest
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(Read article on the NY Daily News website) When I first began writing prescriptions for children 22 years ago, it was unusual for a child to be taking powerful psychiatric drugs. Today it’s common. How did we get here? Dr. Joseph Biederman is part of the answer. He’s an important guy. His title is “chief […]

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‘Twilight’ Sinks Its Teeth Into Feminism (Washington Post)
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(Read this article on The Washington Post website) When the final book in the “The Twilight Saga” series went on sale this month, 18 area Barnes & Noble stores were among the shops hosting midnight parties. Fans have congregated en masse online, and all four books are on Amazon.com’s list of the top dozen bestsellers. […]

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What’s Happening to Boys? (Washington Post)
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(Read this article on The Washington Post website) The romantic comedy “Failure to Launch,” which opened as the No. 1 movie in the nation this month, has substantially exceeded pre-launch predictions, taking in more than $64 million in its first three weeks. Matthew McConaughey plays a young man who is affable, intelligent, good-looking — and […]

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Too Few Women — Figure It Out (Los Angeles Times)
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If their numbers in math and science don’t add up, blame schools, not brainpower. (Read this article on the LA Times website) True story: A distinguished Harvard professor suggests that women may be innately less capable of scholarship at the highest levels and asserts that the pursuit of an academic career will cause a woman’s […]

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Teens Will Speed. Let’s Watch Them Do It (Washington Post)
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(Read this article on the Washington Post website) I met Danny Sivert seven years ago. I was with him in June 2002 after his wife, Bette, was killed in a traffic accident, leaving him to raise their three young children alone. On Nov. 19 Danny was driving home when two young men lost control of […]

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A Good Jew and a Good German
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This article was originally published in The B’nai B’rith International Jewish Monthly in September 2000. You can read a PDF of the original article at this link for the complete article. The plain text of the original document, without photos, is provided below: A Good Jew and a Good German The rise and fall of […]

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