Welcome to Modern Parenthood

Modern Parenthood, the Monitor's new community for parents, grandparents, friends – anyone, really – who believes in raising compassionate and engaged global citizens.

Ann Hermes/Staff
Recent Monitor articles about kids and families started us talking about creating the Modern Parenthood blog as the Monitor's new community for parents, grandparents, friends – anyone, really – who believes in raising compassionate and engaged global citizens.

Hi. My name is Stephanie. Stephanie Hanes in my professional life, Stephanie Hanes Wilson to the folks in the little Massachusetts town where I live, “Mamamamama” to my munchkin of a baby girl who inspired this project in the first place.
 
That first bit of information you could have gotten from the little tag we put above stories. We call them “bylines.” You know, “By Stephanie Hanes, Correspondent.”
 
You wouldn’t have heard it from me, though. We journalists are a shy bunch, believe it or not, and we tend to try to keep ourselves out of our stories and let other people talk instead.

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But a few of us at the CS Monitor decided recently that we wanted to try something different. We were talking about some of the stories we had worked on in the past months about kids and families – pieces like Little Girls or Little Women? The Disney Princess Effect and Toddler to Teens: Relearning how to Play.  And then, of course, we started talking about our own lives – how one editor’s daughter insisted on leaving the house wearing "that," how another noticed that his kids didn’t run around outside, how one reporter wanted to make a frilly pink bonfire of all the baby girl gear gifted by a grandmother.
 
We started talking about you, as well. Yup, you. All of you readers – and there were just tons of you – who shared your own stories, argued with us, asked questions, and wanted more. More stories that explored parenting and family culture and growing up, but with the Monitor’s signature approach of reporting with compassion and diligence; reporting that was global in both spirit and practice.
 
We realized we wanted to keep the conversation going. And so we decided to start this blog as a community for parents, grandparents, friends – anyone, really – who believes in raising compassionate and engaged global citizens. Because we think that families and children are important. We think that stories about kids are not “fluffy,” but crucial for policy decisions, international relations, the global environment, and building the sort of world we’d love to leave behind for the next generations.
 
We have some thoughts about parenting, too. We think it’s hard and humbling, frustrating and hilarious, world-changing and invigorating, beautiful and exhausting, delightful and boring, fascinating and, above all, joyful. But more importantly, we want to hear what you think. And we hope you’ll share your responses to the news, life and commentary that we will be posting on this site.
 
This will be a bit different than the other Monitor blogs. Parenting is unique in its blend of personal and political, local and global, small and big. So while we still are going to offer fair, thorough and balanced reporting here, we’ll be also sharing a bit more about ourselves.
 
Bear with us on this last part. Pretty please. Like I said, we’re kind of shy, so we might have to work on it. I’ll tell you more about me soonest, since I am going to be the Monitor's main parent blogger here, and it’s only fair for you to know about the person behind all of these words.
 
In the meantime, welcome. We’re really glad you’re here. And we can’t wait to get to know you better.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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