Help! My ten-year-old searched porn!

Dear WOM, My ten-year-old got in trouble searching “porn” on a school computer. I’m not even sure he knows what porn is yet. How do I handle this? Sincerely, Perv’s Dad? Dear Perv’s Dad?, You are not the first one to ask me this. In fact, you’re the fourth friend/neighbor/random stranger to bring up this... Continue Reading →

The Eye-Rolling Olympics

Dear World’s Okayest Mom, I kind of hate my 12-year-old daughter right now. Everything is overly dramatic and I haven’t heard a civil word from her in months. Last week, for example, we voted as a family on where to get takeout for dinner and she lost. She stomped out of the room and slammed... Continue Reading →

Judgment is everywhere

My daughter spent seven years in a kids’ theater program in our neighborhood, starting as the baker/spoon/villager-with-pitchfork in Beauty and the Beast and working her way up to Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. After the final show in the spring of their eighth-grade year, the director shared anecdotes about each of the kids graduating... Continue Reading →

The Myth of a Happy Childhood

“My son is so emotional all the time. He’s angry, then he’s sad, then he’s excited. I can’t keep up,” said one friend. “I’m wondering if he needs therapy.” “My daughter spends most of her time reading in her room,” said a different friend on a different day. “Do you think she’s okay? Should I... Continue Reading →

Scene: 7:17am, in the car, one block from school. Jack: Sh$t. I forgot shoes. Me: <long pause as I process (1) that my son is old enough to curse without blushing but still forgets something as basic as *shoes* and (2) the tension between my natural-consequences, you-forgot-so-deal model of parenting and the fact that it's... Continue Reading →

Last weekend (along with 90% of Americans) I saw “Black Panther.” The movie itself was rad and subversive and set a new bar for Hollywood action movies, blowing up the idea that people of color and women (and most particularly women of color) can only carry the roles of sidekick, token or gooey-eyed love interest.... Continue Reading →

WOM IRL: Mom-ing in museums

Because of my profound lack of interest in entertaining an unenthusiastic 13-year-old at the Getty (mom-ing at a museum is all "What do you think the artist wanted us to feel?" and "What does this make you think about?" until I want to scratch my *own* eyes out) I hooked him up with a self-guided... Continue Reading →

Ping-Pong-Ping: The Art of Conversation

Dear World’s Okayest Mom, My 11-year-old son monologues. He gets started on a topic, and goes on and on and on. And on and on. Sometimes he gets really passionate and starts lecturing everyone within earshot about why the topic is important and why he’s right. At first, it’s boring, then it alienates people. I’ve... Continue Reading →

Why 13 is Better Than 3

Among my friends, it’s become something of a sport to gripe about our young teens. The sullen faces. The eye-rolls. The sinus-searing scent of their shoes. One dad I know, in the middle of a tirade about epic homework battles, exhaled deeply, “Remember when they were in preschool? Those were great days.” His eyes glazed... Continue Reading →

Flinging Yourself In

The minibus driver pulled out without looking, just as my twelve-year-old passed on her bike. Two taxis, caught behind her, began call-and-response honking. She sped up, but so did the minibus driver, drag-racing my little girl on the traffic-choked streets of this dusty Colombian town. My husband and I had assumed the English-speaking bike tour... Continue Reading →

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