Journalism & Writing Process

How to Raise a Winning Child

Authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman have made a habit of slaying the sacred cows of parenting in their writing on child development. The pair made headlines two years ago in “NurtureShock” — their first book together — in which they criticized the way many parents choose to raise their children. Authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman have made a habit of slaying the sacred cows of parenting in their writing on child development. The…

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How to Give Back on Your Next Getaway

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is inspiring people across the country to volunteer this holiday weekend. But if you’re itching to do more — perhaps turning your next family vacation into a series of teachable moments about the importance of giving back — there are plenty of opportunities to make that happen….Continue Reading  

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Alleged Nanny Killing Evokes Mother’s Greatest Fear

Months before my son was born, I began searching for a nanny. The prospect of leaving my first child home with a stranger while my husband and I worked wasn’t ideal, but the only day care center in our neighborhood had a year-long wait list and our families weren’t in a position to help. Entrusting Jake, now 12, to a babysitter seemed like our only option…Continue Reading

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My Preventive Mastectomy – Staying Alive For My Kids

I’m not a helicopter parent and my children would tell you I don’t bake cupcakes for their birthday parties. But I’d readily cut off my breasts for them — and recently, I did. Removing breast tissue uncompromised by cancer is relatively easy. It took the breast surgeon about two hours to slice through my chest and complete the double mastectomy seven weeks ago…Continue Reading

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Is Underage Drinking Ever OK?

Before dropping off his son at Colgate University a few days ago to begin his freshman year, New York advertising photographer Robert Tardio went on one last summer vacation with his family. While his wife and youngest son were out exploring the quaint streets of Montreal, Robert took his eldest, college-bound teen out for a beer…Continue Reading

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The Granny Gap

What happens when Grandma and Grandpa aren’t around by the time you have kids? Here’s how to introduce your children to their memory. My mom and I had a ritual when I was young. After I was packed for school, I’d help her get ready for work. READ MORE

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The Dangers of Having a Baby After 35 – What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

If you are over 35, you’re probably aware of the increased risks of having a baby. Older women are more likely to have miscarriages, c-sections, suffer high blood pressure, and develop gestational diabetes. Your child is more likely to be born too early, not weigh enough, have chromosomal birth defects (most commonly Down syndrome), and other serious, potentially life-threatening conditions. Women are familiar with these hazards because their doctors talk about them routinely….Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents – Best Tools for Remembering Our Parents

My dad would have been 73 in June. I often wonder what he would he look like if he were still alive. Would he still be working as an architect? Would he be traveling as much as he once did? My father died just three days after September 11th — his body, as I’ve shared here in earlier posts, was hijacked by a different kind of terrorist: Lung Cancer….Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents – Remembering Your Dad on Father’s Day

Father’s Day can be particularly challenging if you’ve lost your dad. I’m a mom of two young children, and my father passed away when my son, our oldest, was just 18-months-old. While I’ll be happily celebrating my husband and father-in-law this Sunday, part of me will also be grieving, even though it’s been nearly 10 years since my dad passed away….Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents – Strategies for a Better Mother’s Day

It’s often difficult to remember your mother and rejoice over your life as a mother at the same time. From nursery school on, we are trained to celebrate this holiday, first by making our parents cards out of construction paper and pipe cleaners, and later by buying them gifts. Our role as sons and daughters is clearly defined. And when we become parents, we also know what we’re supposed to do: receive all the attention…

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Prince William – Remembering His Mother on His Wedding Day

Soon after Prince William told the world that he and Kate Middleton were engaged, we also learned that William had given Kate his mother’s sapphire and diamond ring. Of the ring, William said he was just making sure his mother didn’t miss out on the special occasion. “It’s my mother’s engagement ring,” he explained, “so of course it’s very special to me.” Getting married without your mom is hard….Continue Reading

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Geraldine Ferraro: Personal Lessons from Another Parentless Parent

I had the great pleasure of knowing Geraldine Ferraro during the writing of my book “Always Too Soon.” She was exceptionally generous with me, and she never wavered in her enthusiasm for my project. In the most personal way imaginable, her outlook changed my life. This is my tribute to her….Continue Reading

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Geraldine Ferraro in Her Own Words

I had the great pleasure to know Geraldine Ferraro, the first female major party vice presidential nominee, who died Saturday. We met during the writing of my 2006 book “Always Too Soon,” which chronicles the stories of prominent people who have lost both parents. Ferraro lost her father when she was 8 years old….Continue Reading

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Do Schools Share Too Much With Parents?

Are schools creating a new breed of helicopter parent?  Teacher Terri Reh wants parents to monitor their children’s entire educational career online. “I post all my students’ responsibilities, their current and upcoming assignments, and timelines for every project they have,” says the teacher at Flagstaff Academy in Longmont, Colorado…Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents – It’s My Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday, and here’s what I did: 7:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.: Got birthday cuddles from kids. Opened birthday cards. Received small presents. Got kids off to school. Kissed husband. Felt lucky….Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents – Why Writing About Grief Makes Me Happy

Several weeks ago my new book, “Parentless Parents,” was published. This is the third book I’ve written that deals with mourning and loss. And while you might assume I’d be the last person you’d want to meet at a cocktail party, I’ve been told otherwise. I smile; I laugh. You might even call me “bubbly.” Each book I’ve written is the result of successfully pushing through an unwanted and unanticipated experience, and using that experience…

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Being a Parentless Parent -The Effect on You, Your Children and Your Marriage

Both of my parents have passed away, and little has shaped the way I raise my children or affected the relationship I have with my husband and in-laws more than the fact that my mom and dad aren’t here to be grandparents to my children. I am a parentless parent. Because women are having babies later and later, the number of parentless parents in America is skyrocketing….Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents Q & A

Read a Q & A with Allison about writing Parentless Parents.

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Parentless Parents: The ‘I’ Factor

Outside my family and closest circle of friends, I’ve never told anyone that I stuttered when I was little. Stuttering was a deeply upsetting part of my childhood. It caused me to be made fun of, forced me into speech therapy while other kids went to gym, and completely shaped what I permitted myself to say in the class. Day after day I’d weigh the urge to raise my hand against the crush of embarrassment…

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Parentless Parents -Teaching My Daughter About the Grandfather She Never Knew

I took my eight-year-old daughter to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City yesterday, and I’m still in an awesome mood. The art was great, of course. She enjoyed looking at the Pollock’s, Picasso’s and Warhol’s. But the real takeaway was what she learned about my father, her grandfather, the one grandpa she never met. My father went to museums as often as other dads might go to football games….Continue Reading

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