From Captain to CEO: Young Girls and Sports

10 Power Women Who Leveraged Sports in Business, Forbes article collage

Earlier this week Forbes ran an article entitled “The Secret to Being a Power Woman: Play Team Sports.” The piece has certainly struck a chord with many women– and it struck a chord with me as it dovetails nicely with some of my research on girls and competitive afterschool activities. In my work I find […]


Guest blogging at orgtheory this month- First post on the afterschool industry

Orgtheory image

Please check out my first post over at orgtheory– on the back-to-school/afterschool industry. If you’re a parent you’ve likely spent a lot of time lately preparing for the start of the school year.  Pictures on the front porch of the house with child in first-day-of-school attire (posted to Facebook, of course)? Check. School supplies purchased […]


Lions, Tigers, and Bear Moms- Oh, My! (from Contexts)

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother cover

A piece I wrote on the aftermath of the Tiger Mom Amy Chua controversy recently appeared in Contexts— a sociology magazine for the general public. Hope you enjoy it and would love to here what you think! On January 25, 2011, Stephen Colbert announced, “My guest tonight is a Yale professor who has written a […]


The Mutton Busting Circuit for Kids

Girl mutton busting Credit to Rab Mattson for The New York Times

General George Patton often declared in his speeches to troops during World War II, “When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball players, the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time.” Now, if […]


Creating Competitive Kid Capital… Through Bridge?

Whenever children participate in activities, including unsupervised play or organized non-competitive activities, they acquire skills through socialization. This is also true of participation in organized activities which do not have an explicitly competitive element, as I have argued before. But many activities that were previously non-competitive have been transformed from environments that only emphasized learning […]


Childhood is a Buffet

I love a good Sunday brunch buffet. I often sample lots of dishes, and then go back to get a larger serving of my favorite. When people ask me about afterschool activities for their elementary school-age kids– how many they should be in, which activity will help them get into college someday, etc.– I explain […]


Congratulations on your new credential!

Many children today are being raised to play to win (hence the title of this blog). What does this mean? Kids are taught, from a young age, skills that will help them compete and achieve in their adult lives. These (largely upper-middle class and middle class American) children are molded, both inside and outside the […]