Why Are California’s Children’s Hospitals So Much Nicer Than Other Services for Kids?

A System of Medical Centers Has Grown Up—and Offers an Example of a More Generous Golden State

I wish California children were doing as well as California children’s hospitals.

Even as the Golden State has maintained the nation’s highest child poverty rate, underfunded its schools, and made housing prohibitively expensive for families, California has developed a system of children’s hospitals that seems to occupy a parallel universe in which kids’ needs actually come first.

California has 13 children’s hospitals—eight private not-for-profits (in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Loma Linda, Oakland, Palo Alto, and Madera) and five within University of California medical centers. Collectively, they receive more than …

What the Gender Reveal Fad Says About Modern Pregnancy

A New Ritual Speaks to Anxieties Surrounding the Medicalization of Childbearing

My youngest daughter often asks me to tell her about the day when, pregnant with her, I was riding to work on the subway and wondering whether she would be …

When Pac-Man Started a National “Media Panic”

Video Games Revived a Perpetual Debate Over the Virtues and Vices of Technology for Kids

In the early 1980s, spurred by the incredible popularity of Atari, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man, everyone seemed to be talking about video games, if not obsessively playing them. A …

Where’s the Laid-Back Fun in Kids’ Summer Vacations?

Pricey Camps and Erratic School Calendars Are Spoiling Our Seasonal Break

My grade school summer vacations seemed to last forever, pairing well with the Beach Boys’ Endless Summer double album I wore out on the record changer.

During those hot and humid …

Welcome to the Affluent Central Coast, California’s Child Poverty Capital

How the Rising Cost of Living and, Paradoxically, the Availability of Jobs Are Tough on Families

Californians used to envy residents of our beautiful, wine-and-wealth-drenched Central Coast. Now we have reason to pity them.

And not just because Nicole Kidman has thrown her star power into producing …