Bodies and the Body of Christ

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A few of my Facebook friends posted a link to an article titled "Why Six-Year Old Girls Want to Be Sexy" and I agree with their comments that the content is both compelling and disturbing. Author Jennifer Abbasi describes a study in which young girls choose between an avatar of themselves dressed in revealing clothing or one dressed in more modest (though still fashionable) clothing. More girls chose the "sexy" version as the one they'd prefer to emulate and the one they perceived as more … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: We Are… God’s Handiwork(ers)

Dirty Hands

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I remember reading Martha Nussbaum’s Sex and Social Justice in graduate school; in it, she argues that we are all “body workers,” that every human is embodied and therefore uses some physicality to perform our work. It’s just that the product of some people’s work is divorced from our bodies, so the work is considered more dignified. I’ve been thinking about that … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Project Runway’s “It’s Fashion Baby”

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I’ve always been a big fan of Project Runway: I’ve seen every season, which is more of a commitment than I’ve ever made to any other reality TV show (and possibly any other show at all). I think my appreciation for the program has something to do with the contestants possessing skills that are actually creative and interesting, as opposed to say, being former D-list s … [Read more...]

Play: Good for Children and Other Living Things

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I must admit, I read the article "Is CrossFit Training Good for Kids?" with significant skepticism. It's not that I'm a stranger to difficult workouts; I ran DI cross country and track, I have 18 marathons to my credit, and yes, I can do cleans. To me, these CrossFit workouts sound fun except for the fact that they're taking place indoors.My primary concern is not that the workouts are too hard for kids (though I think that's possible if the staff is not appropriately trained or the workouts … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: MoMA’s “Century of the Child” Exhibit

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.In their book of literary criticism Utopian and Dystopian Writing for Children and Young Adults, Carrie Hintz and Elaine Ostry describe Romantic perceptions of childhood in which childhood is viewed as “utopian, a space and time apart from the corruption of everyday adult life” (5). The editors further state, “To the Romantics and their heirs, children were innocent and … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Another Look at “Disappearing Mothers”

Katie Roiphe

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Earlier this week, a colleague sent me a link to Katie Roiphe’s essay "Disappearing Mothers". I’ve found myself grappling with it ever since, trying to reconcile my appreciation for Roiphe’s premise with my intense dislike of her tone. She begins with the foundation of “the trend of women using photographs of their children instead of themselves as the main pictur … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Parenting in the Big Picture

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.My elder daughter received The Big Picture Story Bible as a gift from her godparents (fellow CAPC writer Carissa Turner Smith and her husband). The book, written by David Helm and illustrated by Gail Schoonmaker, is beautiful, complete with vibrant images and simple, poetic text. As the title suggests, the book is filled with bright, big pictures, and it also follows … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Ins and Outs—Reading Susan Cain's Quiet

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I love swimming with my elder daughter. We are members of the local YMCA and use the pool regularly. Sometimes we swim in lanes if there is a vacancy, because my daughter admires the swimmers who wear “special glasses and hats” while they swim underwater. Sometimes she plays on the ramp, creating imaginary houses and gardens while she fills and refills a plastic wate … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: A Letter to My Children’s Future Therapists

Dear Therapists:I don’t know if you’ll ever actually exist, but if you do, it’s unlikely that we’ll meet. If you do end up spending some time with my daughters, and my name comes up, there are a few things I’d like you to know. Things about me, about who I am, and what I’m trying to do with this whole mothering gig.I started thinking about you and your potential existence over dinner with friends -- the first time I got to go out for an evening with my girlfriends (without toting my baby alon … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Teach Your Children Well

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Dr. Madeline Levine’s book Teach Your Children Well (2012) is a refreshing entry in the parenting guidebook genre. She avoids the all-consuming, one-size-fits-all, guilt-ridden parenting standards that seem to flood the current cultural tableau of parenthood. For example, her advice on page 38 consists of these remarkably reasonable words: When we construct our chi … [Read more...]


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