PLAYING TO WIN Turns 3 (and 4!)

It has been almost exactly three years since Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture was released. And people continue to read it, which is definitely an amazing feeling. In fact, sales are up this year! Mostly this is thanks to professors assigning the book/excerpts in classes, and I can tell you that […]

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Ready for Rio: Gold Medal Families

Today the Olympics officially begin! My whole family is very excited (Carston and I are especially psyched for gymnastics, and John for Track & Field, though Q is undecided…). In honor of the Opening Ceremonies tonight I’m writing about Lifetime’s docuseries Gold Medal Families. The 8-part 1-hour each episodes followed 6 Olympic hopefuls (artistic gymnastics, […]

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Watching the Brie Train: Douglas Family Gold

It’s an established fact that I like gymnastics, and I love reality TV. So you can bet when there is overlap I’ll be watching. Enter Douglas Family Gold. Oxygen aired the six episode (30 minutes each) series beginning in May 2016, though the action all takes place in 2015 as Gabrielle Douglas (aka Gabby/Brie), reigning […]

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Jump! Bigger than the ropes

I can now say that thanks to a Lifetime reality show something I wrote is a little bit less true. The four-episode Jump! about a double dutch team in New Jersey showed me that jump-roping has more to do with teamwork than I previously thought. In Chapter 1 of Playing to Win I detail the […]

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The Privilege of Passion

Last week the always reflective Motherlode ran a very thoughtful and insightful essay by Lisa Heffernan, “Our Push for ‘Passion,’ and Why It Harms Kids.” Heffernan actually makes the case that some forms of manufactured passion hurt not just the kids, but the whole family. Part of the reason why her essay is compelling (besides […]

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Playing around with Books and TV Shows

I’ve been writing elsewhere lately about various different interests– my kids, playing, pageants, figure skating, books, TV shows, and child geniuses. You can check out these three different pieces by clicking on the titles: 1) Play, Outsourced– Written as part of the blog series, 28 Days of Play, about what impacts and at times impedes […]

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America’s new child genius

I loved the cover story of the January 24th issue of The Economist so much I even took notes. “America’s new aristocracy: Education and the inheritance of privilege” is spot on in so many ways. As the leader says, “Today’s rich increasingly pass on to their children an asset that cannot be frittered away in […]

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The Similar Worlds of Mutton Busting and AAU Basketball

In addition to reading a lot of books, I read a lot of magazines. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get through the stack on my nightstand, but I always do. I recently read two articles in my “regulars” (New Yorker and Sports Illustrated) that spoke to one another in important ways– even if no […]

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Catching Up on TV, Part 2: The Summer of Dance

Last week I looked at stage moms on TV this summer, this week it’s specifically the DANCE stage moms, some of the worst offenders on TV no doubt. It was interesting to look back over the past two summers and see what’s changed and what is the same in the world of dance on TV. […]

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Catching Up on TV, Part 1: The Summer of the Stage Parents

Yes, it’s October, I know. But between reading, writing, and childcare I’m still working my way through my DVR from August (DVR may be this mom’s favorite technological innovation, behind the iPad which helps me AND Carston). In previous summers I have done a wrap-up of stage moms and dance shows, but this year there […]

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