Author: Melanie Dunn

In Defense of Screen Time: The Benefits of Playing Video Games as a Family

File under Stuff I’ve Probably Already Talked About, but in the wake of this article in the Atlantic that constructs a bogeyman threat of how young people are being ruined by their smartphones, I wanted to address a few oft-overlooked points about the benefits of screen time. I won’t dish all the details of my disagreement with Twenge’s take on how smartphones have supposedly “destroyed a generation,” as this counterpoint does a pretty good job of that already. Instead, I want to take a moment to explain how playing video games, either as a solo endeavor or as a...

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Parenting the Twice Exceptional Student: Advocacy Tips for Your Gifted Child with a Learning Disability

This mom’s frustration with her local school district just bowled me over completely. This is my client population: parents who are tired of being dismissed by their children’s educators as crazy, money-hungry, or power tripping. Parents of kids who burst into tears because a 30-minute homework assignment takes three hours. Parents who are ready to throttle the next teacher who tells them that their child is just so smart, so why isn’t he doing the work? Ms. Thompson’s plight resonates with me in particular, because so called “twice exceptional” (2e) children are uniquely disadvantaged if the school’s IEP team...

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Finding My Place In a Small Town

I like the world around me in general, and the community I live in is just fine — very good, even. But I am not the type to seek out activities to do or places to be. I just let them happen, when I’m not actively resisting them. Connecticut is chock full of New Englandy quaintness, and my little Hartford County town is a decent example. There is a farmers’ market in town every summer. It was adjacent to the park we went to after school, so we walked over there. It was crawling with other moms and little kids,...

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I Hate Cooking: An Update, Podcast Interview, and Tips for the Unwilling Chef

I was recently interviewed for an episode of The Food Chain, a BBC World Service podcast. As you might imagine after reading this oldie but goodie post by yours truly, this particular episode featured people who don’t cook or don’t like to cook. You can listen or download it here. The irony at this point is that I actually DO cook, out of necessity. And truly, I never said that I don’t cook at all, or that I can’t do it when push comes to shove. I just love to avoid it as much as possible. Over time, I...

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