Articles

I am a contributing editor at Scientific American and write the Brain Waves blog for Psychology Today (you can find those posts here). My work has also appeared in The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, Vogue and many other publications. Earlier in my career, I was on staff at Newsweek, and People, among other places and I’ve included a few of my old favorites from those days.

Clear the Air

It’s much more polluted than you may realize, and the potential impact on kids’ risk of asthma, cancer, and even autism is startling. Take steps now to protect your family’s health.

When Gretchen Alfonso, a 29-year-old mother of three, was growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania, fishing was part of the culture. The locals knew that the perch from Lake Erie was contaminated with toxic pollutants like mercury, but fish-fry dinners were a tradition no one wanted to give up. So on…

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Brain Changing Games

Playing violent video games can sharpen our focus, reasoning and decision-making skills. But do we really need the weapons?

I am in an overgrown lot leaning against an eight-foot tall shipping container. I look both ways, weighing my options. A man with an assault rifle is looking for me, just as I am looking for him. Hoping for a better vantage point, I run toward the abandoned car to…

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Redefining Adventure

When my husband told me he wanted to move from New York to Hong Kong, my first thought was: Really??!! My second thought was: What about Alex? The youngest of our three sons, Alex is almost entirely deaf. He uses a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. At the time,…

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Jumping Higher

We had three light-saber-wielding, tree-climbing, rough-and-tumble boys. Everywhere we looked, potential danger lurked. Instinctively, though, we knew we didn’t want Alex to live in a bubble—and I suppose we knew it would be futile to try.

For years, my youngest son, Alex, who is now six, has watched one of his brothers do gymnastics. Jumping on the trampoline and swinging from the high bar looked like a lot of fun. Every time he was in the gym, Alex asked if he could do gymnastics, too. Every…

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The Voice Of A Mother

I parent with my voice. Like mothers everywhere, I soothe and cajole, read and sing, teach and explain, reprimand and, though I’m not proud of it, yell. I like to think that whatever wisdom I’ve gained in 10 years of mothering my three boys is displayed in how I talk…

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The Sun Has Finally Come Out for Alex

With his new cochlear implant, our son is able to talk and sing. The transformation is miraculous.

My son Alex told me about his day recently. He played cars with Max and Aidan, sang the “Mr. Sun” song and danced–a typical day for a 2-year-old. His report, however, was anything but routine. It was the first real conversation we had ever had. Alex is hearing-impaired. Every word…

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