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Editing Enid Blyton... this week in Parent land

They say a week is a long time in politics. And, they're right. I was going to write that it was nothing compared to a week in parenting, but honestly, politics wins hands down this year. Parenting though is still, really, super-busy. Here's what you may have missed in the push-me pull-me, wobbly fun-house of Parent land.




Congratulate yourself if you are a 'Live-editor'

of children's books


Hands up any parent of a certain age who reverently picked up an Enid Blyton book and began to read it to their child. Only for that warm glow of smugness to disintegrate into a stuttering mess of long pauses, ums and 'oh dears'. This is what the Guardian this week have called 'live-editing'. You know the drill by now if you've tried any number of your own childhood favourites - one minute you're painting a charming picture of a long ago innocent time, the next you're changing names, or skipping entire sections with the panicked eye of modern day parenting.



"The most underrated parenting skill? Live-editing children's books


by Emma Brockes in The Guardian


"There are a lot of upsides to being a humourless lefty parent, mainly to do with the pleasures of indoctrinating one’s young. My children, at five, have a range of opinions about President Trump (“a dummy”), popular protest (“if the police do something wrong they should still go to jail”) and the importance of exercising the franchise (“vote!”) that gratifyingly mirror my own. The trigger for these lessons is generally National Public Radio – which, by the time my kids get up in the morning, I’ve had on for an hour and am already raving. This is the easy bit; extending, in moderated form, the conversation I’m having with other adults to my children. The trickier side is figuring out what to withhold, and where to tweak their expectations with judiciously placed lies. This can take the form of glossing the news – there’s never been a female president but there surely will be one soon – or downplaying just how unjust the world is. But it mostly involves the underrated parental skill of live-editing my kids’ books as I read them...


In Snow White, it’s a question of how we indicate value. “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest – and smartest! – of them all”, while in Charlotte’s Web, some fancy footwork is required to get around the fact that 8-year-old Fern puts on a dress for the fair because boys might be there.

The motherlode, of course, is Roald Dahl, whose brilliance at engaging young kids is in proportion to the amount of work you have to do on the fly to update him. I don’t mind violence in children’s books; the sudden deaths please the crowd and are bracingly uncondescending. He hates fat people, however – particularly fat women, or perhaps women in general; the aunts in James and the Giant Peach are a pair of “ghastly hags” (in my version “terrible people”). In the Twits, which I love, Mrs Twit is said to have started out in life pretty, but as her rotten character revealed itself, so the “the ugliness had grown upon her, year by year”. There’s an argument that Dahl is referring to the inchoate detection of spiritual ugliness, but for the avoidance of doubt, I kill the line".


Read more at The Guardian



Millennials are getting parenthood burn out


So a recent study into 'me time' for Millennials found that they on average fekt they had half an hour a day of leisure time. So, between work and parenting, the daily commute was the window in which Millennials parenting felt most at ease. When you consider that for many of us, the daily commmute has been reduced to walking from the kitchen in your pjs to put some lipstick and a work shirt on in case of any zoom bombs that day (a.k.a 'Could you just jump on a call for ten minutes, we have Chris from Marketing...'


All in all, it's time for all of us to take a jolly moment to breathe.



'"Millennial burnout' thought leader Anne Helen Petersen on how parenting and social media are driving her generation to exhaustion


by Hillary Hoffour for Business Insider


When journalist Anne Helen Petersen published an essay on millennial burnout in January 2019, she didn't expect it to go viral.


The essay began as a quest to dive into her own burnout, she told Business Insider, and grew into a thesis of generational burnout from there. "It was a difficult, but really rewarding experience to figure out why I was feeling the way I was," the former Buzzfeed News writer said. "It resonated with more people than I imagined."


A year-and-a-half later, the essay remains Petersen's top Buzzfeed News post and has garnered 7 million reads. It also led to a book by Petersen that dives deeper into the topic: "Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation."


Burnout, defined as chronic exhaustion from chronic workplace stress, was defined as a clinical syndrome by the WHO in May 2019 after cases of burnout had been increasing at an alarming rate over the years.


In her book, Petersen connects the history of labor in America to today's alienated workplace of high expectations and the millennial burnout it's fostered. But she also finds that work is only one part of the equation. It's the pressure to be everything and everyone, all at once, without support or a safety net that characterizes millennial burnout.

Petersen spoke with Business Insider about two other key factors burning out millennials: parenthood and social media.


Nonstop parenthood


Half an hour.
That's how much time millennial parents consider to be leisure, they told Petersen during her research, and it typically happens during their post-work commute".

Read more at Business Insider



This just in - humans are actually changing shape over generations!


Babies are being born without wisdom teeth, faces are changing shape and we're gaining bones. This is all actual fact. We can only hope this isn't another example of modern life dumbing us down, but scientists in a recent study conducted in Australia have concluded that human beings are evolving rapidly with some babies being born without wisdom teeth. Not only that but faces are changing shape and we're growing more bones in our bodies. . This is all actual fact.


"Rapid evolution’ means humans now being born without wisdom teeth


by Harry Cockburn in the Independent


Some babies are now being born without wisdom teeth, and more people have a previously rare additional artery in their forearm, as humansundergo a “micro-evolution”, a new study suggests.


Scientists in Australia have discovered several changes in humans which are appearing over a short period of time.


Dr Teghan Lucas, of Flinders University in Adelaide, said faces are also becoming shorter, due to changes in our diet, and our smaller jaws mean there is less room for teeth.


“This is happening in time as we have learnt to use fire and process foods more. A lot of people are just being born without wisdom teeth,” she said.


The research team also found an increasing prevalence of people being born with additional bones in their arms and legs as well as shorter faces, or with abnormal connections of two or more bones in their feet`'.


read more at The Independent



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