Email Newsletter Archive

To Tech or Not to Tech?

Every now and then I get asked questions about parenting. It makes sense since I write kids books and I feature my own kids in our ads, but I generally stay away from talking too much about how to raise kids. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a pretty big believer in the individual—and that extends to my belief that there isn’t anyone more qualified to know what’s best for your family than you are. With that said, I thought I’d share a little bit of my thoughts on kids and tech since it seems like a question that people ask a lot. In the grand scheme of things, we are still relatively new to the whole tech/parenting thing. Sure, when I was a kid, we had some video games, and even then there were arguments and different schools of thought regarding what the effects of Nintendo or Sega would

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Let’s Stop Asking Presidential Hopefuls to Create Jobs

“Beginning with you, Secretary Clinton, why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?” This question, asked in one of the 2016 presidential debates, has been asked in various forms and posed to various candidates for as long as I can remember and it has always caused me immediate and severe frustration. I’m not a big sports fan… but if ever there would be a time that someone might walk into my house and find me yelling at the TV, it would be in the moments after this question was asked of a politician. The only answer that would satisfy me would sound something like, “I plan to cut literally every piece of red tape that gets in the way of people providing for themselves and their families in the ways that they

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Lessons on Selfishness from a Calliope Player and an Albanian Immigrant

“But the clowns don’t understand supply and demand,” Atlas added. “They demand rewards without supplying hard work. That’s selfish!” This line from The Tuttle Twins and the Search for Atlas comes just moments before Ethan and Emily have their big “ah ha!” moment and come to a realization that’s been evading them since the beginning of the story. “The twins hadn’t considered that it was actually the clowns who were being selfish, rather than Atlas.” You see, in classic socialist style, the lazy and entitled clowns had spent the better part of the story trying to get everyone to think that Atlas was selfish for expecting merit-based reward, and attempting to “prove” his selfishness by pointing to the fact that he left the circus when the ringmaster decided that everyone should get the same reward—regardless of how much work they contributed or how much value they brought to the circus

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The Family That Plays Together

Have you heard about the recent studies on children and mental health? It’s pretty disheartening stuff, but unfortunately it isn’t really a surprise. Ten years ago, Dr Peter Gray began writing about the decline in the mental health of children and teens and its correlation to an increase in hours spent in school and a decrease in free time and play. In a 2010 piece for Psychology Today, he observed: “We would like to think of history as progress, but if progress is measured in the mental health and happiness of young people, then we have been going backward at least since the early 1950s. “My hypothesis is that the generational increases in Externality, extrinsic goals, anxiety, and depression are all caused largely by the decline, over that same period, in opportunities for free play and the increased time and weight given to schooling. “By depriving children of opportunities to

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Ten Truths For Teenagers: Essential Ideas On Law

Do you have teens or preteens in the house? My kids aren’t quite there yet, but a couple of years ago I felt impressed to write Lessons From a Lemonade Stand: An Unconventional Guide to Government  because I recognized that it didn’t do a lot of good to feed kids healthy doses of liberty in the Tuttle Twins series and then abandon them as they entered their teen years. At the time, I was already getting requests for a teen series of Tuttle Twins books, but I hadn’t yet figured out how I wanted to make that happen. Maybe I wasn’t quite ready for Ethan and Emily to grow up? Happily, my fatherly nostalgia passed and we’ve now got three Choose Your Consequence books for teens (with more planned for the future). But back to Lessons From a Lemonade Stand… I’ve always found it concerning that so many people don’t

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Be Vigilant In Looking For The Good

Happy Tuesday! It seems like the last few weeks have been pretty heavy on the bad, sad, and otherwise depressing news—impeachment drama, unrest in the Middle East, celebrity deaths, a rapidly spreading Chinese virus, the Grammys—so I thought maybe a little recap of the good was in order: Did you hear that a recent poll found that Americans still go to the library more than they go to the movies? “The average 10.5 trips to the library U.S. adults report taking in 2019 exceeds their participation in eight other common leisure activities,” said Justin McCarthy, a journalist and analyst at Gallup. The eight other activities were: going to the movies, attending a live sporting event, attending a concert or the theater, visiting a national or historic park, visiting a museum, visiting a casino, going to an amusement or theme park, and visiting the zoo. Go books! I love getting emails

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