The Week in Parenting: Election News for Families (Plus Pot, Pumping and Sperm)

Election news, thinking womanWe're just under two months away from the Nov. 6 election, and we know that in the midst of packing lunch boxes with perfect Bento treats and racing to and fro with soccer cleats (hey, that rhymes) you've had time to get up on the political issues that matter most to parents, right? Right?? OK, if you're like me, maybe not. So in the coming weeks, in this space where we often bring you the news du jour that all your peeps might be gossiping about at playground pick-up, we'll include some elephant- and donkey-style roundups, too. Nothing overly wonkish, though, don't worry.

Hey pumpkin, eat your veggies and vote Democrat, or else!!! Discussion-provoking story about what happens when Mommy and Daddy's political views don't align with Jr's. Makes me think about whether we're brainwashing our kiddos back at the homestead. Do you expect your children to turn out with the same views as you?

Pour yourselves some wine and dip into this: Education Week has been doing some broad-spectrum coverage of the presidential race and how the candidates are dealing with education on issues such as funding, curriculum, teacher evaluation and more. Check out this story, which outlines President Obama's and Mitt Romney's differences, and also notice the cool Storify page with great convention snippets.

Mom in chief, but not on the payroll: This column by Valerie Young at MomsRising clearly shows that even when it encompasses a plate full of important duties, motherhood is an under-payed and undervalued profession. Use this essay to spur discussion with your preteens and teens, students and friends. Is anyone outraged?

And, in other dramatic parenting news:

Please pass the epigenetics: Do you know what that word means, honestly? Because apparently it is all the rage. And, apparently, dads now matter. This New York Times piece will lay it all out for you: smoking, drinking, recreational drugs, sperm quality. How's that for an aphrodisiac?

Herd immunity and high tuition: Parents who send their children to private schools are much more likely to opt out of immunizations than their public school counterparts, an Associated Press analysis has found, and not even the recent re-emergence of whooping cough has halted the downward trajectory of vaccinations among these students. Read all about it.

Breastfeeding again. Pump. Dump. Wallow in guilt. Come on. Read it. You know you want to.

A parent's worst nightmare, coming to you soon at a local school: I had to read this twice to believe it: Discipline at schools that includes isolation, broom closets, shame and abuse. A dad tells his family's story.

My Daddy is the funnest Daddy ever: This opinion piece on pot and how the drug makes this dad a better dad netted many an opinion from other parents about how Mark Wolfe might be lost in the haze of his own story. This succinct letter from a reader in Los Angeles sums up the reaction well: "I have one question for Mark Wolfe: Were you high when you wrote this article?"

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