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August 8, 2016

Last week’s family related news coverage included discussion of a Korean-American family tradition, babies and developmental learning, how gender affects parental modeling, starting a family in your mid-fifties, and the unintended effect of helicopter parenting on teenage drinking.

Parents Deserve a College Graduation Present Too Ron Lieber, The New York Times, July 29, 2016 In Korean-American families, children give their parents gifts when they start their first job or graduate from college. In the words of Simon Park, a recent grad, “it’s a way to say ‘Mom, you did a great job.”

What Babies Know About Physics and Foreign Languages Alison Gopnik, The New York Times, July 30, 2016 Parents and policymakers have become obsessed with getting young children to learn more, faster. But the picture of early learning that drives them is exactly the opposite of the one that emerges from developmental science.

How a Child’s Gender May Affect Parents’ Willingness to Bend the Truth Shankar Vedantam, National Public Radio, August 2, 2016 An experiment found that parents cheated at a game less when their kids were present, but gender made a big difference: The parents modeled honest behavior more with daughters than with sons.

Single, 54, and a New Dad: Why Some Start Families Late Abby Ellin, The New York Times, August 5, 2016 Sparky Campanella never heard the thrumming of a biological clock. But his “sociological clock” — his sense that he was missing out on something important in life — boomed mightily. At the age of 54, he decided to do something about it. He became a father.

How Helicopter Parenting Can Cause Binge Drinking Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic, September Issue And so, to keep their children close, to keep them safe, and to ensure that they do not escape into the wild freedom of an adolescence unfettered by constant monitoring, drinking in captivity has become a popular alternative. Drinking isn’t like doing drugs—it’s not something parents recoil from in horror. It’s something they can make an accommodation for, and so they practice “social hosting,” as the law refers to the custom: allowing teens to get hammered in the comfort and safety of the rec room.

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