Deep thoughts on modern family life from Kathryn Jezer-Morton.


Parenting Through Our Control Issues

Raising our kids with too much control — of their moods, their consumption, their safety — makes it harder for them to transform and change.

More From ‘Brooding’

  1. When Kids Are Addicted to their Phones, Who Is to Blame?Parents can’t change their kids’ relationships to screens without also addressing their own.
  2. Why Are Parents On TikTok So Angry?The barrage of online advice from experts promoting a “gentle” approach to child-rearing is getting to them.
  3. How Should You Discipline a Kid in Trouble at School?There has got to be a way for nonauthoritarian parents to raise children with structure and respect for authority while maintaining their trust.
  4. Can Parents Prevent Their Sons From Sliding to the Right?It might feel dangerous to let a teen explore reactionary and unformed pseudo-ideologies. But no one should get canceled at the dinner table.
  5. How (and Where) Are Parents Supposed to Get it On?Being a highly engaged parent in a nuclear family, fulfilling as it can be, often requires that some intimacy between parents gets lost.
  6. Why Are Parents Fixated on Core Memories?It’s supremely hubristic to assume that you can stage-manage the content of your children’s memories.
  7. A.J. Daulerio Is Embracing Sober ParentingThe writer talks about recovery, becoming a father during the pandemic, and staying present.
  8. The 10 Most-Read ‘Brooding’ Columns in 2023The stories from Kathryn Jezer-Morton’s series on parenting that most captured Cut readers’ attention this year.
  9. How Much Nostalgia for the Holidays Should We Have?At best it’s a state of arousal that makes your life more vivid. At worst, it’s an unscratchable itch — a jones for a fix that does not exist.
  10. What Do Kids Lose When Preschools Are Segregated?Sociologist and race scholar Dr. Casey Stockstill discusses the ways both affluent children and poor children of color miss out.
  11. Why Does the Internet Tell Us to ‘Raise Good Humans’?The phrase is so general it becomes meaningless, but it has sinister, grandiose, and defensive undertones.
  12. Does Anyone Feel Like an Actual Adult?Or are we all just cosplaying adulthood?
  13. Childhood Independence Is a Mental-Health IssueWhat if we are inadvertently contributing to a decadeslong crisis?
  14. Why Are We Always on Call for Our Kids?My children very rarely have to wait for anyone for very long — is it time to establish stronger boundaries around my alone time?
  15. What We Owe Our Families — and What We Don’tJenisha Watts was raised by people who did not keep her safe. Here, she talks about parenting her own child in the shadow of that history.
  16. How Will We Cope When the Elder Care Crisis Comes for Us?And you thought you had it bad with the childcare situation.
  17. Is Tradwife Content Dangerous, or Just Stupid?The visual appeal of homesteading and hand-making overrides the conservative ideology living in the background — and that’s the point.
  18. ‘My Mom Is Selfish. Do I Still Have to be a ‘Good Daughter’?’Having a living mom, no matter how self-centered, is important, writes Brooding columnist Kathryn Jezer-Morton. Even if frustrating.
  19. When Lonely Children Go Viral, Should We Rejoice?GoFundMes and positivity will not actually help a child make friends — even worse, sharing feel-good content about them risks causing harm.
  20. Will Teens Always Be Daredevils?It seems like an impulse that’s on the wane lately. Is that a good thing?
  21. On Parenting Regrets and the ‘Right Time’ for KidsThis isn’t an advice newsletter — but you have questions anyway. So here are some answers.
  22. Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ Is the Best Parenting Book of All TimeWhen all of the accouterments are stripped away, what does it mean to care for a child? That’s what McCarthy was really writing about.
  23. Director Nicole Holofcener Can’t Tell You How You’ll Mess Up Your KidsStill, the You Hurt My Feelings filmmaker continues to be my guide to adulthood.
  24. Is Going ‘Camel Mode’ Inevitable for Parents?When you’re caring for young children, you are crossing a metaphysical desert of the self. It’s emerging from it that’s the hard part.
  25. Learning How to Parent from a Warhol Factory Girl at the Chelsea HotelAlex Auder’s mother Viva Superstar was a Warhol girl. As a parent, she thinks kids need less micromanaging by adults.
  26. What Exactly Is the Magic of Disney World?Adults who love Disney hear a siren song returning them to a time they fully lived inside a secondary world. This is nothing to laugh at.
  27. Busking As a Family BandAfter a spate of troubles finding housing, The de la Mottes, a family ensemble of nine kids who all play string instruments, have landed in Harlem.
  28. Bless This Mess(y Fridge)Where better to display the uncurated floatsam of our actual lives?
  29. Are Helicopter Parents Actually Lazy?Maybe they’re soothing their anxiety, maybe they’re just choosing the path of least resistance.
  30. Are New Dads OK?Male loneliness can make for a powder keg of bad vibes.
  31. Cup of Jo’s Joanna Goddard Opens Up About Her Divorce“There’s something really nice about waking up in a house alone. It feels kind of quietly revolutionary.”
  32. What If You Just Didn’t Clean That Up?Our ideas about cleanliness are stuck in the mid-20th century. Today, women can afford to care less.
  33. How Am I Supposed to Teach My Kids to Be Generous?Especially when “paying it forward” is just a quid pro quo turned outward.
  34. What If We Make Affordable Child Care About Wellness?Then we might finally see some change.
  35. Was ‘Adulting’ Actually Good for Us?If the self-help top-seller were written now, its lessons would look a lot different.
  36. Actually, It Takes Real Skill to Be a MomfluencerTransforming family life into something people want to buy is harder than it looks.
  37. Are There Any Kids’ Books Out There That Are … Actually Good?Wizards and dragons need not apply.
  38. Would Unschooling Actually Make My Kids Any Happier?To help kids take more pleasure in school, encourage them to do their own thing — not schoolwork.
  39. Can a 40-year-old Really Call Themself an Orphan?The death of a parent makes you a child again, but also an elder.
  40. My Family, My PlaylistsThe soundscape of a house is a shared space where we can expand into our feeling of belonging.
  41. Why Does Giving My Son His First Phone Feel Like a Trap?My phone has amplified my worst qualities and dulled my best ones. I got the SIM card anyway.
  42. Why Do Moms Love Fall So Much?After months of ad hoc caregiving and catastrophic weather, the season and all its decorative trappings offer moms a less chaotic reality.
  43. Why R U Mad at the Name Kayleigh?Online groups dedicated to making fun of “tragic” baby names are just showing their own class anxiety.
  44. Sleepover Kits Are About Making Content, Not Playing PretendKids don’t need to glamp.
  45. Now Is the Time for TreatsLeave your try-hard commitment to feeding your kids healthy food at home this vacation.
  46. Vacationing With Kids While BrokeThere can be shame in vacationing as a family with little money, but what if broke travel is the best travel?
  47. What Even Is a Resilient Child?An unexpected Instagram exchange made me consider how growing up with social media affects kids.
  48. Rae Dunn Pottery Shards Will Form the Archaeological Record We DeserveThe simple designs conveying humor and relatability in momfluencer imagery have created a whole cult subculture.
  49. Oxygenate the Family UnitExposure to other parents can help kids figure out, by trial and error, who they are within a community.
  50. What Will It Take for Momfluencers to Speak Up About Abortion Rights?Mommy bloggers have the power to mobilize real political energy — but they rarely do.
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