Weekly reads election week edition – grounded parents

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. Hypochondria.com… 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 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.

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.

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.)

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.