Weekly Reads: Election Week Edition

Hi Readers! I’d like to thank Deek for stepping up last week and agreeing to take a biweekly tilt at interesting and topical parenting news and links. Hopefully this will help keep us both fresh and on schedule, ready to provide the quality Grounded Parents content that nobody pays us a dime for!

Yesterday I had my first “old person procedure,” in preparation for my 50th trip around the sun. A colonoscopy is just as much fun as it sounds, but well worth it to find that my innards are in mostly good shape so far despite how much whiskey I feed them. Staying alive is one of the simplest of parenting duties.… wait I’m being told the site is called WebMD, has a handy list of routine tests those of us in what is optimistically called “middle age” should be taking.

Next Tuesday, November 6,  is Election Day here in the US of A. Hamilton County has pretty easy early voting access, so I took my Mom out to lunch and voting, which is becoming a fun tradition. If you are already registered, double check your polling location here,  and get yer butt out there. This is the longest continuously running representative government in history, voting is how we govern ourselves. Hold the people we choose to lead us accountable, get out there. All the Russian meddling, shitty media coverage, voter suppression and egregious gerrymandering really only works on the margins, it can be overcome with shear numbers.

I Votereded

I have been a voter my whole life. My Dad was a radio newsman at WUBE in Cincinnati.  I grew up knowing who the local politicians were, we watched the nightly news together, he took us to the polls with him. I’ve tried to to the same with the Hellions. Not all folks have that kind of example to work from. Jennifer Breheny Wallace at WaPo’s “On Parenting” has some advice on how to raise a voter.

Recent polling appears to indicate that American voters are ready for more openly secular candidates.  That’s good news for any of our kids who might consider a future in politics.

And to underscore the importance of voting, point your kids to last weeks surprising election in Ireland, where young voters led the charge to remove the medieval crime of blasphemy from the Irish constitution.   With a resounding 65% of the vote in favor, this move come on the heels of Ireland’s historic votes to legalize abortion and legalize gay marriage, the only nation in history to do so by popular vote. It’s an astounding repudiation of the Catholic Church, once one of the most powerful institutions in the country but now rocked by all too familiar sexual abuse scandals.

Not only are a record number of women running for office this year, an amazing number of moms are running, smashing stereotypes of what a successful Politician should look like.

After the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue last weekend, the deadliest act of antisemitic violence in US history, you might be wondering how to talk to your kids about it. Amy Joyce has some great insight and advice.

The next generation of kids are really stressed out by these shootings… they have a right to be. 

Here’s what it found: A whopping 75 percent of Gen Z respondents in the poll said mass shootings are a significant source of stress. Seventy-two percent said the same about school shootings. (The other age cohorts, particularly Gen X and baby boomers, were much less stressed about these events.)

Furthermore, the report finds, “more than one in five (21 percent) say the possibility of a shooting at their school is a source of stress either constantly or often.”

No wonder. They have grown up in a time when school shootings seem to occur on a regular and horrific basis. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took place in 2012, when the 21-year-olds in the poll were 15. The Parkland, Florida, high school shooting was earlier this year. When millennials were in high school, there weren’t as many discussions about arming classroom teachers to fend off would-be attackers; now it’s commonplace.

Here’s a Schoolhouse Rock I don’t even remember!

Louis Doench

Lou Doench is a 52 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at

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