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A blatant disagreement on crucial COVID policy between Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, the director of the Rhode Island Department of Health and her boss, Gov. Dan McKee, occurred last week right in front of the comatose press and the tuned-in audience.

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Memory is a mystery. No matter how old we are, there are moments from our young lives that are vivid. Things we saw, great moments we had, thi… Read more

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Albert Einstein said, “the important thing is not to stop questioning,” but something strange and unhealthy has unfolded before our eyes during the pandemic. It has become commonplace to see people sham… More

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We have a bridal shower coming up this weekend and my sister Bev and I were discussing what to wear. She had been rummaging through her closet for something suitable and had narrowed the choices down to… More

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My grandson JR has been visiting from New York this week and the pace here at my staid old residence has picked up considerably, to say the least, especially since it has also been cousin time. More

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After a summer that has been alternately too hot, too wet, or sometimes both at once, it is with a sigh of relief that I now slide into what is my favorite time of the year, late summer and autumn. More

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Q: Our 4-year-old, an only child, is giving us fits. As a toddler, he began ignoring us. That evolved into downright refusing to do what we ask, as in, “I’m not going to” and just plain “No.” It seems l… More

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“You won’t believe what I just bought!” I gushed, still quivering with excitement, on the phone to my sister Bev one morning earlier this week. “I am so excited. I’m on my way over to show it to you.” More

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We have a bridal shower coming up this weekend and my sister Bev and I were discussing what to wear. She had been rummaging through her closet for something suitable and had narrowed the choices down to… More

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My grandson JR has been visiting from New York this week and the pace here at my staid old residence has picked up considerably, to say the least, especially since it has also been cousin time. More

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After a summer that has been alternately too hot, too wet, or sometimes both at once, it is with a sigh of relief that I now slide into what is my favorite time of the year, late summer and autumn. More

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Q: Our 4-year-old, an only child, is giving us fits. As a toddler, he began ignoring us. That evolved into downright refusing to do what we ask, as in, “I’m not going to” and just plain “No.” It seems l… More

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“You won’t believe what I just bought!” I gushed, still quivering with excitement, on the phone to my sister Bev one morning earlier this week. “I am so excited. I’m on my way over to show it to you.” More

Newsletters

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Interconnectivity might not be the precisely correct word here, but it was the word that sprang to mind after a very enjoyable visit with old friends earlier this week (although the full title of this piece should, perhaps, more correctly be, “The Unexpected Interconnectivity That Comes of L… More

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I can remember as clear as day the exact moment when I was made aware of my size. It was in the summer of 1956. I was 14 years old at the time and standing in our kitchen in Manville, talking to my boyfriend Ronny and his friend Norman, when in the course of conversation I referred to myself… More

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We were playing cards when my sister Bev announced, “there’s a big black horse fly in your window,” referring to the bow window she was facing in the dining room where we were playing cards, and she was right. While not actually a horse fly, there was indeed a large black fly frantically buz… More

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It has been a long, hard winter, a long hard year in fact, but things are looking up now that we are finally slipping into what I think of as the fresh food season. More

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Anne Tyler has written 23 novels. Six of these works have been made into movies. It is a safe bet that none of these movies used computer generated imaging to move the plots forward. This is not meant as an insult. Tyler’s profound talent lies in the slow, quiet unveiling of her characters’ … More

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Several columns past, I took to my bully pulpit and excoriated men who are married with children for being fathers first and husbands a distant second (maybe even third behind sports fans). My point, for those of you who are behind the curve here, is that children don’t need fathers who are … More

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I was just sitting here waiting for inspiration to strike, as so often happens on Friday mornings, and browsing through Facebook posts to pass the time, when what to my wondering eyes did appear but a chart of delectable French pastries. More

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A question popped up on Facebook recently: “When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?” I of course immediately responded: “A writer and a nurse,” which was the simple, bare bones truth. But as so often happens with simple questions and answers, different, more distant o… More

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The good news is that I have a new laptop thanks to my son-in-law Jonathan who had heard me crabbing about my old one and dithering about what to replace it with until he grabbed the bull by the horns, so to speak, and ordered a new one delivered to my house. More

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No small number of today’s parents view their children through psychological lenses, especially when it comes to misbehavior. Instead of regarding a given misbehavior as simply an error that needs to be corrected through the application of proper discipline, the parents in question interpret it. More

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Q: I’m a working single mom with a 4-year-old daughter who won’t go to sleep unless I lie down with her. Plus, if she wakes up in the middle of the night to find I’m no longer in her bed, she comes and crawls into bed with me. If I attempt to persuade her to go back to her bed, she starts to… More

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Many if not most if not almost all of today’s parents believe in magic words. They do so because the mental health professional community has for 50 years or so told them that children can be reasoned with, a claim that exposes the general lack of intellectual rigor in the mental health prof… More

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The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and although the branches on the trees are moving a bit at least the wind chimes right outside my window are no longer wildly clanging as they had done for the past two days. Dare I hope that spring might actually be coming back again? More

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One of the more unfortunate consequences of relying on advice from mental health “experts” concerning parenting matters has been a one-dimensional understanding of child discipline. Because of the infiltration of psychological theory into childrearing, most parents conceive of discipline as … More

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Every so often a “who knew?” moment falls into your life and one fell into mine just last week. More

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April has always had a special place in my heart, not only because it’s my birthday month, but for the myriad other memories that come flooding in at this time of the year. Chief among them are heartfelt ... in every sense of the word ... memories attached to my Aunt Bea. More

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Many times have I warned parents of the pitfalls of micromanaging their children’s academic responsibilities lest said children deduce that the responsibilities in question are not theirs at all and begin acting increasingly irresponsible. Hello? Is there anybody out there? More

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The light at the end of the tunnel just got immeasurably brighter for me with the acquisition of my “Get Out of Jail Free” card, and unless you already have yours in hand, you have no idea how liberating it feels. More

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To most folks, micromanagement has to do with tasks or performance. The micromanaging parent, for example, is generally thought of as one who hovers over a child’s homework or academics in general. Indeed, that is the most common form, but parental micromanagement can also extend to organizi… More

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Editor’s note: This week we introduce our new feature, a regular review of books that you, our readers, might want to take up in your spare time. Jim Raftus is a retired marketing director and experienced book reviewer who has lived with his wife in Cumberland for 35 years. More

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This morning I ordered another book I had just read about in the New York Times, “When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains,” a true story, and I am hoping it’s as good as the excerpt I read online. More

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Q: My 3-year-old is prone to ear infections. When he has one, his behavior deteriorates considerably. He becomes disobedient and given to angry outbursts. When his ears are clear, he’s generally delightful to be around. I’m reluctant to discipline him when his ears are hurting him, but I’d l… More

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Q: My 5-year-old continues to throw tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. His father and I are divorced. I have primary custody. He is with his dad every other weekend, basically. My ex has very poor emotional control and I’m concerned that our son may have inherited that from him. When he t… More

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It’s shaping up to be another beautiful day. The sky is a deep blue and the sun is shining, but unlike last week, the wind has died down a bit and temperatures should soar close to 60 degrees by midday. Even more exciting is the fact that I have plans to meet a friend for lunch. We will be g… More

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Spring is in the air and not a moment too soon if you ask me. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I have had it! This whole pandemic was bad enough last year, but then winter hit and it really all went to hell in a handbasket. More

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Concerning my prior use of the word “addiction” in association with smartphones and children (including teens), some people think I am speaking figuratively. To set the record straight: No, I am speaking quite literally. More

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What, pray tell, is COVID parenting? I need to know because over the past few months, several journalists have asked if I have any COVID parenting suggestions. I went online and, sure enough, a fair number of so-called “parenting experts” are advising parents on how to “survive” shutdowns, a… More

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Let me just preface this by saying that: A. New recipes can’t all be winners; B. You may find yourself having to kiss quite a few culinary frogs before you find a prince of a recipe; C. The end results won’t necessarily look anything like the photo that accompanied the recipe. More

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A therapist takes a 10-year-old boy into what she calls “therapy.” The young fellow is belligerently defiant toward his parents and throws titanic tantrums when things don’t go his way. At school – virtual, going on a year – he’s distractible and doesn’t finish his work without being hovered… More

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Unlike my sister Bev who never met a gadget she didn’t like ... or want to own, I am generally pretty immune to the lure of that kind of thing. Stuff like hot pots, air fryers, and other space-occupying single-use items that don’t seem worth wasting precious counter space on, or shelf space … More

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Just curious, but am I the only one who hits the mute button on the TV remote every time certain commercials or heartbreaking pitches for money come on the air? More

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It has recently occurred to me that time seems to have become something of a pandemic paradox, both hanging heavy on my hands while also seeming to fly by at almost warp speed. More

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In a recent column, you described our 5-year-old daughter. She is in bed at 6:30 in the evening but usually wakes up during the night and wants to talk to us about whatever is on her mind. We both work and need our sleep, so that’s a huge problem. She’s very energetic and emotional during th… More

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There’s more of me than there used to be. Not tons more, perhaps, but built low to the ground as I am, it doesn’t take much to make a difference. And not being self-delusional, the building doesn’t have to fall on me to realize the above mentioned fact. What I have been, however, is unconcerned. More

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Next month marks the 32nd anniversary of my move to Cumberland and the purchase of my home. I can still remember as clear as day walking around my new domain and marveling at how much room there was. With closets in every single room, including the bathroom, and two in the living room, plus … More

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Making children happy became a parenting goal in the early 1970s. The paradox, as everyone with a modicum of commonsense knows, is that the more effort parents put into making a child happy, the more unhappy the child becomes. More