Avital Norman Nathman

Laverne Cox’s Documentary Special “The T-Word” Is Groundbreaking, Must-Watch TV

"When a baby is born, one of the first question asked when is it a boy, or is it a girl? But what if it's not that simple?" The question, posed by actress and advocate Laverne Cox, sets the stage for the hour-long documentary, " Laverne Cox Presents: The T-Word." Cox, an executive producer…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 17, 2014

Mommie Dearest: From Helicopters To Lawnmowers, With Free-Range In Between, What Kind Of Parent Will You Be?

Parenting can be overwhelming. Not the actual act of being a parent -- although that certainly has its challenges -- but the whole world of parenting philosophies. It seems like every other week we're bombarded with a new way to parent, each one promising even more chances of insuring your offspring's success. For a new…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 14, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Some Thoughts For Blake Lively On “Preserving” Her Pregnancy

If you haven't heard already, let me be the one to fill you in: Blake Lively is pregnant! Lively, an actress and Martha Stewart wannabe (without the jail time, one hopes), announced her pregnancy via her lifestyle website Preserve. I'm actually fairly surprised that no media outlet hasn't jumped all over writing "Will Blake…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 10, 2014

Mommie Dearest: So-Called Overprotective Dads Are Doing Their Daughters No Favors

A tale as old as time. A so-called overprotective father writes an extreme list of demands for dating his (currently only 2-year-old) daughter, and it goes viral. Retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell took to his public Facebook page to rant about all the things he'll do to any potential suitor that may take…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 2, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Your Kids Need To Know About Consent Long Before They Head To College

Talking about sexual assault is never an easy thing. But as a parent, it's crucial to find ways to talk to your children about it. Lately, there's been a lot of attention focused on campus rape and sexual assault, and with good reason. Many colleges have been called out (and even sued) for…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / September 24, 2014

Mommie Dearest: On Adrian Peterson, Discipline & Child Abuse

Growing up, I was occasionally threatened with "the belt," or asked if I wanted a "patch on my tuchus" whenever I behaved extra naughty. But that's all they were — threats. Instead, my parents sent me to my room, took away prized privileges, or assigned me extra chores. Now, with my own son, there aren't…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / September 16, 2014

Mommie Dearest: On Breastfeeding In Bars

Sometimes it feels like moms who breastfeed in public can’t catch a break. Or, in the case of a Virginia mother, a few sips of beer. A woman identified as “Crystal” was thrown out of Big Woody’s Bar and Grill for drinking a beer while she nursed her baby. Crystal says she…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / September 11, 2014

Mommie Dearest: How Not To Get Suspended

It’s back-to-school time for everybody from preschoolers to college students and you can't throw a No. 2 pencil without hitting some advice on promoting academic success. Create routine! Eat properly! Get enough sleep! These are all well-intentioned suggestions we hear repeatedly. But I’m here to offer up one more nugget of educational guidance: Don’t get…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / September 5, 2014

Mommie Dearest: 4 Reasons I’m Glad I Brought My Kid To Provincetown’s Carnival This Year

It was only by happy accident that I scheduled our yearly family vacation to the outer Cape to coincide with Provincetown, Massachusett’s annual Carnival. For the uninitiated, Provincetown — or PTown, as its called — is a sweet little seaside village on the tip of Cape Cod, known for being the first place…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / August 29, 2014

Mommie Dearest: On Parents Who Publicly Shame Their Kids

When it comes to parenting, one of the more difficult aspects to figure out can be discipline. There doesn’t seem to be one set method that works for every child, yet everyone has an opinion on what supposedly works best. For parents, it feels like a lot is riding on our disciplinary method, as it’…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / August 18, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Parents Need To Get Real About Sex Ed

Once upon a time, I was a high school social studies teacher. One of my favorite classes to teach was a college lecture-style current events course. I co-taught it with a handful of my colleagues and we gathered every morning in the school’s auditorium with the entire senior class. Since it was so convenient, administratio…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / August 12, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Bravo Is Serving Up Some “Extreme Parenting”

There’s a new reality show coming to Bravo this Thursday: "Extreme Guide to Parenting" will be an hour-long show that follows the lives of a variety of families, all living on the “extreme” edge of parenting. Several stereotypical parenting philosophies will be represented, from the helicoptering couple to the overly attached attachment parents, authoritative…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / August 5, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Florida Hospital Tried To Force C-Section On A Mom

A Florida mother gave birth to her fourth baby this past Friday amidst a hell of a controversy. Jennifer Goodall, who has had three previous C-sections, had been hoping to attempt a vaginal birth with her fourth delivery. However, her providers at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte were not on board with her wishes and went…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / July 31, 2014

Real Talk: On Debra Harrell’s Arrest, Motherhood & Race

In last week's Mommie Dearest column, I wrote about Debra Harrell, a South Carolina mother who was arrested for "abandoning" her nine-year-old daughter at a park while she worked at a nearby McDonald’s. (Just yesterday we learned that Harrell has been let go from her job.) I had mentioned in my post…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / July 23, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Mother Arrested For Leaving 9-Year-Old At The Park While She Went To Work

Another day, another mother arrested for trying to have it all. And by "have it all," I mean struggling to figure out child care with little support while maintaining a minimum wage food-service industry job. A 46-year-old Black mother from South Carolina was jailed for letting her nine-year old daughter play at the park unsupervised…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / July 16, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Are We Now In The Age Of DIY Abortions?

I was a freshman in college when I found myself Googling "can Vitamin C induce your period?" There had been some condom-less sex and, surprise surprise, worries over a late period. I wasn’t about to head to my university’s health care office, which offered a Band-Aid and some Tylenol for pretty much every malady. I…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / July 10, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Motherhood Is Not For Everyone And At Least Cameron Diaz Realizes It

Motherhood — it’s not for everyone. Yet we live in a society that pushes it as the one path of femininity and womanhood above all. For women who choose not to head down that road, they’re usually subjected to all sorts of invasive questioning, unsolicited advice, and are generally made to feel as if they’re…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / July 3, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Can 7-Year-Olds Be Assholes? You Bet — But That Doesn’t Mean Brandi Glanville Should Say It

Can seven-year olds be assholes? You bet. Do parents sometimes talk about how their kids can be total assholes with their friends? Most likely. Should parents — especially those with a decent-size platform — talk publicly about how their kids are huge assholes? Of course not. But that’s exactly what "Real Housewife" Brandi Glanville…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / June 23, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Meet The #FreeTheNipple Activist Who Wants Areolas To Be Free

In 2011, actress and filmmaker Lina Esco went with a handful of friends to Occupy Wall Street, curious to see the response to a group of topless women. “Within minutes there were hundreds of people taking pictures, and they didn’t know what to do with these boobs," Esco told The Frisky. "After 10…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / June 16, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Mom Breastfeeds At College Graduation, Heads Explode

Sigh. Here we go again. People are currently in an uproar over a photo of a mother breastfeeding her daughter taken while at her college graduation. 25-year-old Karlesha Thurman posted the photo to the Black Women Do Breastfeed Facebook page, which reposted it for her, and it quickly went viral. Many people were…
By: Avital Norman Nathman / June 12, 2014