Summary of “Margery Kempe Had 14 Children and She Still Invented the Memoir”

The Book of Margery Kempe is mostly the kind of text you read if you’re a medievalist, or maybe an English major at a women’s college, although I was an English major at a women’s college and I didn’t read it until I was in graduate school.
In one of my favorite passages of The Book, Christ tells Margery that she should “Make every Christian man and women your child in your souland have as much grace for them as you have for your own children.” In a spiritual economy in which women could either be spiritual mothers or physical mothers, this vision of Christ suggesting that it is precisely Margery’s physical maternity that makes her a great spiritual intercessor is nothing short of radical.
It is important to note that The Book of Margery Kempe is a book written by a mother but it is not a book about being a mother.
It mostly ignores the years Margery spent birthing and raising her children.
The Book of Margery Kempe is a book written by a mother but it is not a book about being a mother.
The woman’s husband tells Margery that his wife “Roars and cries so that she makes folk terribly afraid.” They have put manacles on her wrists, he says, because she “Will both smite and bite.” But when Margery enters the house, the woman speaks to her calmly.
Writing about this episode, scholar Lynn Staley notes that in helping the postpartum woman, Margery “Seems to offer consolation to her former self.” It is not hard to imagine why Margery might have been popular among married and childbearing women.
By Ellmann’s standards, Margery Kempe certainly had too many children.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Kindergarten Redshirting: Does Holding Preschoolers Back Help?”

There’s a growing trend of parents choosing to hold their children back in preschool for another year and delay their entry into kindergarten.
Some states have the cut-off as December 1st. In states and cities where it’s legal, parents who fall close to that cut-off date may decide to hold their child back for another year before they enter kindergarten.
ADVERTISEMENT. As Elia, a mom of six from Pennsylvania who recently decided to hold back her youngest, put it, “Kindergarten is the new first grade.” The rise of redshirting has coincided with what parents and experts refer to as the “Academization of kindergarten.” No longer a place for unstructured play and nap time, many kindergartens have shifted into a real classroom, where kids are expected to learn cursive and already know how to read. That leaves parents whose children just make that age cut-off face the decision of sending them into a tougher, more academically kindergarten.
“Let’s say you have two kids in a kindergarten class – one kid knows all his letters and the other knows five of the letters,” says Huang.
There are estimates that redshirted kids make up between 3.5-and-5.5 percent of kids being held back in any calendar school year nationally.
Redshirting rates tend to be higher in affluent schools and school districts – which makes sense given that to hold kids back often requires parents to shell out for another year of preschool tuition, which might cost as much as tuition at a four-year-public college.
There have been reports of certain parents in New York, who have the time, energy, and wealth to work around the law, enrolling their child in kindergarten at a public school for one year, re-enrolling them in kindergarten at a private school for a year, and then un-enrolling their child and putting them back into public school for the first grade.
In the meantime, parents who can’t afford to hold their kids back, even when they’re concerned put their kids into kindergarten classrooms.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Parents Panic Way Too Much Over Kids Who Learn to Walk Late”

It is sometimes easy to ignore the way your children differ from the average, but walking was so visible, so salient.
At Penelope’s 15-month well-child visit, our very practical and pragmatic pediatrician, Dr. Li, told me not to worry that she wasn’t walking.
“If she’s not walking by 18 months,” she said, “We’ll call in early intervention. But don’t worry! She’ll figure it out.” I did not have Dr. Li’s relaxed confidence or breadth of experience.
Then I promptly forgot about my fear that she would never walk and moved on to other neuroses.
If your child doesn’t walk until 17 months, is she doomed to be picked last on the kickball team? Working as I do with a number of highly accomplished economists, I feel a close kinship with this cohort.
There is very little evidence on the long-term impacts of late walking.
If you ask, “Does early walking predict walking?” the answer will be, “No, everyone walks.”
So don’t be surprised if your child is a late walker, or a late crawler, or an early walker or a non-crawler.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In Foster Care, “Short Stays” Can Mean Lasting Trauma”

An average of nearly 17,000 children are removed from their families’ custody and placed in foster care only to be reunited within 10 days, according to a Marshall Project analysis of federal Department of Health and Human Services records dating back a decade.
These U.S. counties had the highest percentage of foster children who left foster care within 10 days in 2018.
That’s due in part to an unusual state law that lets police unilaterally take children into foster care for a 48-hour “Hold” while their parents are then investigated by child services.
Although short stays in foster care may seem too fleeting to matter, they often inflict lasting damage, much like that experienced by children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Still, several foster parents interviewed for this story argued that some children are returned so quickly to their parents because of a shortage of quality foster homes and social workers, not because police officers wrongly removed them.
Even some children who were placed in foster care for short periods said in interviews that they didn’t want to go home right away.
The couple has stopped receiving short stays to focus on their four long-term foster children.
Joanna Rubi, another Albuquerque foster parent, has taken in nearly 200 children over two-plus decades; she estimates that about a third were short stays.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Eco-anxiety is overwhelming kids. Where’s the line between education and alarmism?”

As climate change continues unabated, parents, teachers and medical professionals across the country find themselves face-to-face with a quandary: How do you raise a generation to look toward the future with hope when all around them swirls a message of apparent hopelessness? How do you prepare today’s children for a world defined by environmental trauma without inflicting more trauma yourself? And where do you find the line between responsible education and undue alarmism?
The nexus between climate change and the mental health of children is rarely at the forefront of the discussion around environmental politics, but it’s very real: In a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll of American teenagers released in September, 57 percent said that climate change made them feel scared and 52 percent said it made them feel angry, both higher rates than among adults.
The group’s executive director, Kathleen Minke, responded in an email to Guthrie that her group focuses on “Issues that have a very direct impact on schools, student learning and children’s mental and behavioral health.” Climate change, she said, “Falls outside this professional focus.” When I interviewed her later, Minke told me that her organization isn’t ignoring climate change and has dedicated resources to help school psychologists deal with kids affected by natural disasters.
Still, more schools have picked up the S4CA resolution model, and in September, Rep. Barbara Lee introduced a nonbinding resolution acknowledging climate change as a social justice issue and supporting more climate education.
Haase is a founding member of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance, an ad hoc group that has sprung up to offer patients and doctors advice on discussing climate anxiety.
For an overwhelming problem like climate change, being able to take some action – whether eating less meat or switching to an electric vehicle – can help fight paralysis and get patients to recognize that the worst of climate change is not a fait accompli and that some progress can be made.
In Pennsylvania’s Central Bucks School District in 2017, a Republican school board member used fears about rising anxiety among the young in lobbying to remove textbooks that discussed climate change.
A survey from the National Center for Science Education and Penn State’s Survey Research Center during the 2014-15 school year found that fewer than half of the teachers responding had taken a formal course on climate change.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Cultures Around the World Think About Parenting”

The crisis of American parenting, as anyone who has looked at the parenting section of a bookstore can attest, is that nobody knows what the hell they’re doing.
What dangers lay in thinking that there is one “Right” way to parent? How much of how we parent is actually dictated by our culture? How do the ways we parent express the essentialness of who we are, as a nation?
In reporting her book, says Senior, when she asked mothers who they went to for parenting advice, they named friends, websites and books.
“You don’t see the handwringing in other places around the world,” says Christine Gross-Loh, author of Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us. “People understand that there is a way to do things.”
A child has the “Right” to access their parents’ bodies for comfort, and therefore should be allowed into their parents’ bed with them in the middle of the night.
In Jewish tradition, says Wendy Mogel, a clinical psychologist and author of The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers, there’s a teaching in the Talmud that every parent has an obligation to teach their child how to swim.
Sara Harkness, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut and a pioneering researcher on parenting and culture, found that nearly 25 percent of all of the descriptors used by American parents were a derivation of “Smart,” “Gifted” or “Advanced.” “Our sense of needing to push children to maximize potential is partly driven by fear of the child failing in an increasingly competitive world where you can’t count on the things that our parents could count on,” Harkness suggests.
In Taiwan, the most popular parenting books are translations of American guides.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Best Parts of Your Childhood Probably Involved Things Today’s Kids Will Never Know”

These were just a few of the revealing answers from more than 400 Twitter users in response to a question: “What was a part of your childhood that you now recognize was a privilege to have or experience?”.
That question, courtesy of writer Morgan Jerkins, revealed a poignant truth about the changing nature of childhood in the US: The childhood experiences most valued by people who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s are things that the current generation of kids are far less likely to know.
In a video for The Atlantic, Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult, argues that so-called helicopter parents “Deprive kids the chance to show up in their own lives, take responsibility for things and be accountable for outcomes.”
So it’s no wonder that a large majority of the respondents to Jerkins’ Twitter question answered cited time for reading as a major privilege of their childhood.
A Screen-Free Existence Gratitude for a childhood free of Facebook and smartphones was another common thread. “No social media,” one user wrote.
Another user answered: “A childhood without social media, tablets, mobile devices, apps, etc.” “I am so happy and blessed,” she continued, “That I can reflect on a childhood filled with books, board games, Razor scooters, and VHS tapes.”
Reinventing Childhood It’s only after we grow up that we’re able to recognize all the factors that made us into the people we are today.
A safe, healthy childhood is a privilege that far too few children in the US and around the world ever get to experience.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Goodnight Moon is missing from the New York Public Library’s list of the 10 most-checked-out books of all time.”

On Monday the New York Public Library, celebrating its 125th anniversary, released a list of the 10 most-checked-out books in the library’s history.
The list is headed by a children’s book-Ezra Jack Keats’ masterpiece The Snowy Day-and includes five other kids’ books.
The list also includes a surprising addendum: One of the most beloved children’s books of all time didn’t make the list because for 25 years it was essentially banned from the New York Public Library.
She scheduled scores of story hours for children; she encouraged any children who could sign their names to check out a book; she trained librarians drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds and then sent them out into a city of immigrant children, preaching the gospel of reading.
By the time Brown’s most famous book was published in 1947, Moore had ostensibly retired-as Jill Lepore noted in the New Yorker in a story about Moore’s war with another children’s classic, Stuart Little-she still essentially ran the children’s section, leading department meetings even when her put-upon acolyte and successor, Frances Clarke Sayers, tried changing the meeting room at the last minute.
Margaret Wise Brown wanted librarians to adopt Goodnight Moon; she even blurred out the udder of the cow who jumped over the moon to avoid offending those “Important Ladies.” But it certainly wasn’t enough for Moore, or Sayers, or the NYPL: Marcus notes that “In a harshly worded internal review, the library dismissed the book as an unbearably sentimental piece of work.” And so the book wasn’t purchased by the New York Public Library, and while children were encouraged to check out all kinds of books from the library’s extensive children’s department, Goodnight Moon was not one of them.
“She’s such an easy villain.” Her discriminating book recommendations delivered from on high represent the exact opposite of the credo pledged by most children’s librarians today: that the library’s role is to provide the widest possible array of titles and allow children to find the books they love.
Since 1972, Goodnight Moon has been checked out about 100,000 times from New York City libraries, placing it somewhat below the No. 10 book on the list, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why the World Is Becoming More Allergic to Food”

Food allergy now affects about 7% of children in the UK and 9% of those in Australia, for example.
Where Are Food Allergies Most Likely to Occur? The frequency of food allergy has increased over the past 30 years, particularly in industrialised societies.
Australia has the highest rate of confirmed food allergy.
The increase in allergies is not simply the effect of society becoming more aware of them and better at diagnosing them.
Migrants appear to show a higher prevalence of asthma and food allergy in their adopted country compared to their country of origin, further illustrating the importance of environmental factors.
A newer, “Dual allergen exposure” theory, suggests food allergy development is down to the balance between the timing, dose and form of exposure.
There is currently no cure for food allergy, and managing the condition relies on avoiding the offending foods and on an emergency treatment plan in case of exposure.
The main way to identify food allergies is for a patient to gradually eat increased amounts of that food under medical supervision.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Playtime Is Over!”

“As the mother is urged to make play an aspect of every activity, play assumes a new obligatory quality.” The mother must not only carry out every caretaking activity required of a good mom; she must also bounce and sing as she does it.
“There are lots of cultures where considered absolutely inappropriate-a parent would never get down on their knees and play with the children. Playing is something children do, not something adults do,” developmental psychologist Angeline Lillard said in an interview.
Psychologists Dorothy G. Singer and Jerome Singer, in their 1990 book about play and imagination, described research that found that older children who had parents who told them stories and played fantasy games with them were more imaginative, themselves.
In a 1974 book, How to Play With Your Children, Sutton-Smith and his wife and co-author, Shirley Sutton-Smith, offered age-by-age strategies for facilitating parent-child play, from peek-a-boo with infants to creative writing exercises with 7-year-olds.
Alford told me she thought parents who played “Pretend” with their children too much undermined the development of this fluidity because “Adults don’t think that way anymore.” Indeed, the open-endedness and indeterminacy of children’s play was one of the things the mothers I asked cited as “Annoying” when contemplating playing with their children: “As a kid I used to like playing pretend but now I’d rather clean the toilet,” one wrote.
The Sutton-Smiths began their book with the caveat: “You do not have to continue playing night and day. In fact, the ruling principle in this book is, ‘If it isn’t fun, forget it.'” Say no to play, they wrote, “If you feel like you are intruding, or you feel it is a duty, or you are too grumpy, preoccupied, or just plain exhausted to enjoy the fun you are supposed to be having together.” Every contemporary source I consulted, from the people who wanted parents’ hands off children’s play to the adult-child play cheerleaders, emphasized the idea that you should not play if you resent it.
Schedule time for child-driven solo play at home, and try to seize on and expand those moments when your child is happily playing alone.
For most of this list of activities, children chose “Real” over “Pretend”-showing, in these researchers’ view, that Maria Montessori’s belief that children would thrive more if provided real-life activities, as opposed to fantasy play, might have been correct.

The orginal article.