Measuring Ambition in Afterschool Activities

Despite the arrival of summer (which has been way too hot thus far in Boston for my taste!), I’ve been writing, thinking, and talking about children’s afterschool activities more than ever. This is mainly related to the release of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture, set for September 1, but also because […]

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Pint-Sized Football Phenoms

We’re in the midst of multiple football seasons– Pop Warner, high school, college, and pros– and, like anything, we have some good and some bad stories. The bad stories focus on injuries and over-involved adults.  Massachusetts and New England are no strangers to crazy youth sports parents and physical altercations (as I wrote about in […]

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Picking Teams Based On Player Size Not Age Could Reduce Injuries, Level Playing Field (from Moms Team Blog)

This first appeared on Moms Team Blog (The Trusted Source for Sports Parents) on April 9, 2012 as part of April’s National Youth Sports Safety Month. To read it on their website click HERE. As a sociologist my work has focused primarily on the family and the educational system, two powerful institutions in childhood socialization. […]

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High Kicks: The Latest in Competitive Dance and Soccer from Choreography Theft to Poaching to Year-round Commitments (and Injuries)

Lifetime’s Season 2 of Dance Moms continues to get sillier and sillier as the contrivances spin out faster than a terrible fouetté turn.  What can you say when Kendall leaves Abby’s studio and ends up at Candy Apples in Ohio besides, “Yeah, right! Producer interference!” in Episode 8, “The Runaway Mom?” And Abby’s decision to […]

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Why Summer Camp Isn’t as Safe as You Think (on The Huffington Post Parents)

It was a hot Monday morning in July and he was dribbling a soccer ball when it happened. Twelve-year-old Joshua Thibodeau was at a soccer camp last month when he suddenly collapsed. Within 45 minutes, he was dead. By all accounts Joshua Thibodeau’s death was a tragic accident. Yes, it was hot, but he had […]

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Mommy/Daddy, It Hurts

Please note that this was syndicated on BlogHer on April 8, 2010: http://www.blogher.com/mommydaddy-it-hurts. Check it out! April is National Youth Sports Safety Month, according to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF). I’ve been thinking a lot youth sports injuries– last week I presented some preliminary findings from my research on youth sports injuries and […]

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The Eight-hour (play) day?

In last week’s post about sports injuries a reader commented, “But how do you regulate the number of hours a kid engages in these activities? For better or worse, it’s kind of up to the parents, no?”  The answer to this question is, “Yes, but…” It is true that in the US the family is […]

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