The Kiddy Pool: Pregnant Joggers, Black Kids in Hoodies, and the Strangers Among Us

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.When I was about four months pregnant with my first daughter, I went running in the neighborhood where I work. It’s a mostly residential area, accustomed to pedestrian traffic from both the homeowners and the university students. To a stranger, I probably didn’t “look” pregnant at that point, but I was thrilled to be out moving in the fresh air without needing to vomit … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Thank You for Being a Friend

Some primary schools in the U.K. recently espoused a “no best friends policy,” a move that mirrors practices described in a 2010 article of The New York Times: “A Best Friend? You Must Be Kidding.” Both plans illustrate anxiety with the exclusivity that comes with best friendships and seek to discourage those tight bonds to avoid bullying, cliques, and the pain that can accompany friendship “breakups.” While I agree that educators should encourage children to work with different people and to pra … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Into the Woods

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I love night running in the wintertime. I love the way my neighborhood changes in the early twilight, lit up by Christmas lights. I love taking off on a path in the woods, where the snow amplifies the moonlight and the muffled sounds transport me to Narnia. I fell in love with running long before I fell in love with my husband, long before I fell in love even with God. … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: A Sweet Season

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.As I drive along my winding route to work, I can see the creek rushing along on my right. The water churns and chugs along, lower than in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, which collapsed segments of this road, but still flowing briskly. Trees line the narrow lanes, and on a stretching hillside, I notice the white buckets hanging from the tall maples. In my part of the … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Food, Food Everywhere – Obesity and Responsibility

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.This week, Disney’s Epcot Center closed its controversial new “Habit Heroes” exhibit (intended as anti-obesity education) amid criticism that creating villains with names like “Lead Bottom,” “The Snacker,” and “The Glutton” promoted shame more than health. A number of organizations rejected the simplistic, personal-responsibility focused tone of the exhibit, citing inst … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Rise of Single Motherhood

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.The New York Times reported this week that more than half of all children born to women under 30 are born outside of marriage. According to the article, there are a number of causes for this trend, including a generation jaded toward marriage by their parents’ divorces, a preference for cohabitation (which, even with children, is less stable than marriage), and a re … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Salvaging the "Date Night"

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.The University of Virginia’s The National Marriage Project recently released a new study on married couples and “date night.” The study considered the potential effects of regular couple time based on the following five criteria: communication, novelty, sexual and romantic passion, commitment, and stress relief. Not surprisingly, the results consistently show that for b … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Prayers for the Nation

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.In the excitement leading up to the Super Bowl (expected to draw its biggest audience ever and banking on 30-second ad slots worth $3.5 million) and Punxsutawney Phil’s unsurprising prediction of more winter, most people probably missed any news related to the National Prayer Breakfast. Granted, the breakfast is essentially a series of political meetings, but the ke … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: What’s in a Name?

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Naming a child is perhaps one of the most personal and one of the most challenging decisions that parents face. There are a number of factors to consider—tradition and novelty, spelling and pronunciation, familial and ethnic heritage, relationship to surname and sibling names, and meanings. Then there is the reality that while name changes are possible, most of us keep … [Read more...]

Modern Family’s Cussing Controversy

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.This week, Modern Family broadcast a controversial episode in which two-year-old character Lily drops the “f-bomb” (http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/01/18/modern-family-f-word/). The ABC sitcom airs Wednesdays at 9pm (at least in EST), but the episode raised the ire of protest groups before show-time even rolled around. Both the Parents Television Council and a stud … [Read more...]


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