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May 25, 2016

Oh man, when I read Heather Shumaker's essay in Salon Homework is wrecking our kids: The research is clear, let's ban elementary homework, I reached out to her immediately. In her excellent article, Shumaker articulates exactly what I have been grumbling about (and fighting with my ex about) since my kids were in preschool. I wanted to know: Would she be my BFF? Make sweet love to me? Talk to my school/ex/annoying parents who dominate the PTAs and playgrounds and support all the over-parenting pressure that is actually corrupting kids, holding women back professionally and financially, and are generally an irritant to the establishment?

Shumaker, a Minneapolis based journalist and married mom of two, agreed to be interviewed on this show, and I am so glad she did. This is a home girl, a sister-in-arms in reasonable parenting that supports kids and families in ways that promote health and reason, and not the homemaker fantasy that dominates school schedules and curriculums, and pressure to spend inordinate and unprecedented hours with our children even though science negates any benefit and personal and macroeconomics suffer at the hands of such practices. 

Check out Heather Schumaker's awesome books that should be required reading for every new parent before they are allowed to check out of the hospital:

It's OK to Go Up the Slide: Renegade Rules for Raising Confident and Creative Kids

It's OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids

If you have any question at all about why you should stop micro-managing your kids, let them play freely, dirtily, creatively, check out this awesome info from

Highlights include ...

  • Improved language in kindergardeners
  • Higher academic performance overall, including math, problem-solving and yes, you Type A parent, standardized tests
  • Better behavior when kids exercise
  • Play promotes emotion regulation and empathy
  • Play = lower stress

More info on the power of play for kids:

The case for well-played kids 

The evolutionary importance of self-directed play

The decline of unstructured play