Bosslady in Crisis Edition

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S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership, the following podcast contains explicit language.

S2: Welcome to Mom and dad are fighting Slate’s parenting podcast. For Thursday, July 20 30. That boss lady in Crisis Edition. I’m Elizabeth New Camp. I write the Homestyle and Family Travel Blog that starts kids and the mom to three. Little Henry eight, Oliver six and Teddy three.

S3: And I’m located in Nevada, Florida and Jamilah Lemieux, a writer contributor to Sleigh’s Care and Feeding Parenting column, host of Slate. The Kids Are Asleep. Evening chat show and mom’s name. Who is seven. And we live in Los Angeles, California.

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S4: I’m Dan Course. I’m a writer for Slate and the author of the book How to Be a Family. I’m the dad of Harper, who is 12, and Lyra, who’s fifteen.

S2: And we live in Arlington, Virginia. Today on the show, we have a question from a boss who is trying to figure out how her company can support employees who are caring for kids. And we’ll be talking about student loan debt with Slate’s Rachel Hampton for a special project that Slate. Rachel spent a year pulling hundreds of people about how student debt shaped their lives. She has some advice for parents sending their kids to college about deciding when and if debt is worth it.

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S5: And as always, we have triumphs and fails and recommendations. Dumela. Do you have a triumph or fail? For us this week.

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S3: This week I say that I have a triumph. I launched a new show. It went interestingly, but I did it. It happened. It was fun. It was very hot in my house. My first guests very well. Junior was great and had really great strong Internet and mine for some reason. For the first time ever. And you are looking at me on Zoom on Wi-Fi. I was on Ethernet and still managed to look like I had a dial up disk from 1996 to connect. We did a test today and it looks totally fine. So hopefully for this week’s episode, which is tonight, Thursday night at 10 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, we’ll be streaming live on Facebook. And we have a pretty cool guest this week. Last week, we had Rubio Junior from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. And this week, we have retired porn star and proud grandmother Cinnamon.

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S6: Love you like roll with everything. So like you or dislike. All right. This is my Internet is weird and I’m going to be great. Anyway, thank you.

S7: Just another rich source of comedy.

S6: Thank you. It was you were just so calm about it. I had no idea until we were texting later. And you said you were nervous about it.

S8: I was like, she is so calm that I was nervous about everything. And I said, I’ve got a teleprompter app on a second phone that I use. So I had my teleprompter going and then it started moving way too fast. I was like, wait, no. And I had my lights kind of hooked up, as you know as well as I can definitely need a few more tech things around here, but we’re making it work.

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S3: It’s fun.

S9: People think teleprompters are easy. But my one experience, I’m reading a teleprompter. It’s impossible.

S3: It is like the amount of practice it takes. You would probably be able to just memorize your words, right?

S8: Because it’s always too fast or slow. And when it’s too slow, you’re just sitting there like an owl.

S1: So that’s a good try. You watched the show. Right.

S5: Thank you. Yeah. Great. Thank you, Dan. Time for faith.

S1: I also have a trial. I did not launch a widely beloved Internet show. However, I did let Harper do my makeup. So Harper is currently out of a huge makeup kick. Longtime listeners may remember what it was, slime. Now it’s makeup. I think they give her similar thing, mixing and blending and doing stuff with their hands. And she asked all of us to do our makeup a lot. Mostly everyone just says no. Lyra says hell. Aleo lets her do it sometimes. Harper always wants to do it before Ali has worked calls. And Ali is like, no. I usually say no because I just don’t. I don’t like the feeling of makeup on my face. And I also get super freaked out whenever anyone is anywhere near my eyes. I could never do contacts. When anything gets here, my eyes, I get like all Yugi and I just can’t take it. But last week she asked and asked and asked and I had the day off. So my triumph was I sucked it up and let her do my makeup. Now this is different from the old days when you guys may have this experience with your younger kids where she would just slather makeup all over me and I would look like a clown at the end that I actually found basically fine, because I took like three minutes and she would just go crazy and then I would wash it off. But now what she wants to do is she wants to, like, replicate the Instagram makeup videos that she’s always watching. So she wants to create a look and talk me through the luck and tinker with different brushes and broadeners and foundations and whatever it takes so long. And it is intensely boring to me. But this time I let her do it and she did it. I looked very shiny and a little bit sparkly, but it was a triumph. I think that I let her do this thing that she really loves, even though I have zero interest in it whatsoever. My other triumph was that I told her friend Shira, no, you may not take video of the entire picture posted. That is not necessary.

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S8: I think it’s definitely a failed for all of us. No, I just don’t need. I don’t think that is. I don’t like.

S1: I am happy for her to do my makeup. But I also don’t want to be the star of a video that I’m not interested in. I’m teaching them that it’s OK to say no to being in a Web video, too.

S10: But Dan, I feel like when you’re doing this, this is where my point of putting in your headphones and listening to a podcast or something you’re interested in. But that doesn’t work. Harper wants to know what I think about everything she’s doing. What do you think? I’ll Sarah, with you at the end if you would like this face. These are my terms and conditions.

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S1: Yeah, I’ll use that next time. But no, she just really wants to talk me through it and be like, look at this press. Here’s what this brush does. I love it, I guess because I wouldn’t let her be doing a video where she was talking to through that to her thousands of viewers. How about you, Elizabeth? Try it for fail.

S6: I also have a trial. Three Triumph Day. Well, I think it’s a triumph. We’ll see.

S5: I took the kids to go. Star gazing is like a big evening. Get out of the house. Social distance. Field trip. And so we drove down to the beach and watch Sunset. We brought out Jeff’s telescope that he got when he was eight. And, you know, so just, you know, very big into space. And I used to work at NASA. So also big into space. And so we were so excited to, like, share this with the kids. And we live in this place that this should be, like, wonderful. We got to see Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons and all of this stuff, and we just could not coach the kids onto the comet. So we had a little bit of cloud cover. And then also you need to use binoculars. And we, for whatever reason, we couldn’t quite get it in the telescope. We let them stay out to like 10, which for us is like very late. I have kids that are like headed to bed around six and then are asleep usually by 7:00. We have early morning hours. So that was like a huge deal. And then I have to play for you. And they are telling their grandparents over Skype about this. This is what my enthusiastic one says, that this is Oliver who is so excited.

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S2: He says, I’m waiting my whole life, too. I can see it coming. Oh, my dad. And he can see the economy.

S6: So he’s basically like, I didn’t see it. And I don’t care what else you showed me. I didn’t get to see the comet. Now, we said a few days. Wait, wait, wait. You know, I waited my whole life, his whole life to see a comet. Yeah. And we failed him. Ben Teddy, the virus coming through with this?

S11: I mean, we only think of our role. Dracula. You were locked in the car. Round. So you didn’t see the comet. Is that because you fell asleep? No, because I was watching what you liked because he was locked in. He says I didn’t see anything because I was locked in the car, guys. He was locked in the car because he fell asleep in his car seat and I rolled down the windows.

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S6: And we’re like the little kids, the pictures on Instagram, they’re sitting on top of the car. He is in the car seat asleep.

S1: Can’t believe you locked him in the car and let him see him in the car.

S5: That’s what he remembers. That is homeschool fail. A great lesson compared to my son. Nothing.

S1: I take that whole thing as a triumph. Great evening activity. Way to let your kids stay up late even though one of them couldn’t succeed and staying up late. Agree? Yeah. It’s not your fault.

S5: I saw the comments around for a few more days, actually, till the end of the month.

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S9: So I hear it sucks and can’t be captured and telescope, so I’m not going to worry about it.

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S10: Yeah, I heard that. You can’t see it. He waited his whole life. His whole life. All six years.

S6: That’s long time to wait and see a comment which you didn’t even know about, that nobody in the world knew about it till like a month ago.

S1: So anyway, Elizabeth, do you remember the great Halley’s Comet debacle of the late 80s when everyone was. No. Were you too young?

S6: No, I mean, I remember coming. I remember the whole hail Bob.

S5: This comedy’s such a big deal that we’re all gonna drink by Kool Aid and, you know, die. Right.

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S1: Hayley’s comet was just everyone was very excited about it. As I recall, it didn’t even have, like, a cool comet tail. And it was really far away and really small. And I think for whatever reason, people just really thought it was gonna be like an awesome comet streaking across the sky. My memory is just everyone I knew almost got to be like, yeah, I saw the fucking comet. It sucks.

S6: I do feel like that technology has really ruined faith because you can, like, go online and see these beautiful pictures and you can see both tale. Right. You know, and the kids are sitting there and they’re like, what do you mean? You have to find it like we’re supposed to be able to see it blazing through the sky.

S9: It’s supposed to be an omen of doom, but actually, it’s just a thing that you can barely see.

S5: All right. Well, before we move on, let’s do the business. Tune in to the kids are asleep. A hilarious late life show starring our very own Jamilah Lemieux. She’s live Thursday night talking about the joys and frustrations that come with modern parenthood and modern life. This week, she’s talking with former porn actress and director Cinnamon Love to catch the show live. Just go to Slate’s Facebook page. If you missed the premiere last week, you can find cumulous conversation with comedian Roy Wood Junior on Slate’s YouTube page. We’ll put a link on our show notes one more time. The show is Thursday, July 20 third at 10 p.m. Eastern time, 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time. While you’re on Facebook, join our active, moderated parenting community filled with people giving and receiving parenting advice. Just search for Slate parenting on Facebook. To stay up to date on all of Slate’s parenting content and shows, sign up for Slate’s parenting newsletter. It’s the best place to be notified about our parenting content, including care and feeding. Mom and dad are fighting and much more. Plus, it’s a fun personal email from Dan directly to your inbox. So sign up at Slate dot com slash parenting email. All right. Let’s get into our first listener question. It’s being read by the fabulous Sasha Leonhard.

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S12: Hey, folks, I manage a Web site and have a team of five full time people, all of whom are parents. For the record, I myself do not have kids. When COGAT hit, we struggled as a team and I struggled as their manager to figure out how to continue doing our work and also manage children. We were already a remote team before Cauvin and we have a workplace culture that allows for very flexible schedules. So we initially thought, we’re cool. We got this. But as the months have dragged on, as partners have gotten laid off, as kids are home requiring attention and home schooling, it’s all put an enormous stress on everyone. Everyone is exhausted. No one does their best work or their best parenting while exhausted. And this just isn’t sustainable. Now it’s becoming clear that getting back to normal isn’t going to happen anytime soon. We need new solutions for working parents. Well, I can’t help all parents. I at least want to help the parents on my team. But no matter how I look at it, this just seems like an impossible situation. I can only cut back hours and workload so much. My team members can only contort their schedules so far. Do you have any suggestions or ideas? Are there any examples we can take from other cultures where there was already a better work life balance? I feel like the time for radical, innovative ideas is now, and I’m ready to make it happen. Help, boss lady. Just trying to do right.

S5: Cos this lady you’re already winning in my book. Letter writer.

S10: I know. Boss lady, we’re proud of you. You’re the best.

S1: For being one of our child free listeners, of course.

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S13: But also that you’re thinking so hard about all this and putting so much care into how you treat your employees who are parents. That is meaningful. You’re right that this isn’t sustainable. I think everyone is discovering right now that the ways we are all living are not sustainable for the amount of time that it appears we’re all going to be dealing with this pandemic here in America. I hasten to add, it’s really important that you recognize that. And it’s also important to recognize that, of course, you don’t have the ability really to change the state of your employees child rearing or their home schooling or the things that they have to do at home. The thing that you have the ability to change is the workplace environment and the expectations within the workplace. So the first thing I would ask is, can you, boss lady, rethink what this Web site does and what its goals are? Should you be publishing significantly less right now? Should your revenue targets be shifted or should they be eliminated entirely? You know, what kind of leeway do you have with whoever owns this Web site to implement some kind of totally different strategy for, say, the next six months or nine months, however long it takes for things to get back to normal?

S7: And I ask all this because it seems to me that right now, any business that’s not essential, i.e. if you’re not a hospital or, you know, some other truly essential business, your moral imperative, I think, is to be doing everything you can to transform your business model so that your goal is no longer to maximize revenue or to maximize shareholder value or to gain market share or even.

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S13: And this is hard for a lot of people necessarily to deliver the best product to the world. Your goal should be to keep all your employees and to keep paying them and to keep them as safe as possible. And that means probably treading water as a business until things get back under control.

S7: And now that is not economically feasible for many businesses, mostly because the government hasn’t really done enough to support businesses during this time to help them do the things that they need to do to keep their employees safe. Paying bars to close, for example, a thing that government absolutely should be doing. You know, they’re the the loans, which involved a lot of hoop jumping in which I tell everyone who needed got or was eligible for. And there are plenty of businesses in your business, boss lady, maybe one of those in which pressure from the top to maximize revenue every single day means basically that you can’t, like, take your foot off the gas even for a second, that if revenues drop, you will be told by your bosses that you have to fire everyone. So maybe you’re in that situation and we can talk about what you do in that kind of situation in a moment. But you seem to me to be describing a situation where you have some degree of autonomy and some degree of authority over these kinds of decisions. So I think the first and most important thing you can do and should do is transform the mission of the company to the extent that you can so that everyone just has way less work to do, so that you are paying everyone the same amount of money and they just do a lot less work, including you, if possible. But that should be your first goal. And that’s a simple and dumb answer. But it’s an answer that a lot of people find difficult to initiate because of the way they associate the product that their job puts out with themselves. It’s hard for me to think about just doing less work or doing work less well or just being more mediocre at my job. But that’s actually pretty crucial at a time like this. And being willing to accept that and to encourage it on the part of your employees is one way that you can help them all survive this time.

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S14: What are the rest of you think? One thing that immediately jumps out at me, and I think that’s great advice, Dan would be having one on one conversations about what a more livable work schedule might look like, because there are people who have a very different experience trying to work while parenting. If, say, they were able to begin their workday at eleven o’clock in the morning or 1:00 in the afternoon as opposed to nine o’clock in the morning or if they were able to be online overnight. Wow. Perhaps other employees are sleeping. That’s the time when their children are also asleep and they can be productive. And there may be multiple people that are in a situation where they can be supportive of one another, working collaboratively during nontraditional hours. But there would need to be some conversation, had to put that into practice. I would say leaning into what do these individual people need? Because everyone’s needs are different. And I think creating individualized work plans that take into account just what sort of time they need to be able to give to their children. In addition to scaling down their scope of work could be, I think, a good solution.

S5: I love that idea. It’s like because everybody’s needs are different. And so being able to assess what those needs are. I was really struck by this question.

S15: It really hones in on one of the differences we noticed when we were living in the Netherlands, which was that several years back, the Netherlands just kind of noticed that the focus on the family was not there. And as a result, their society was facing some detrimental impacts. And so put into play some legislation that allowed for a more flexible work environment. So they have like a momma’s day and a poppa’s day where they routinely work from home and then they are in charge of the children, of course. Most schools in the Netherlands have a half day on Wednesdays. Working from home with your child is something that they are accustomed to. I think one of the things that we saw there was sort of this concept of any 40 hours. And I mean, the Dutch necessarily not everyone’s working 40 hours. They are much more focused on getting the work done. And so as a result, you see far less meetings. And anything that can be done by email is done by email and not in a meeting. Anything that can be done in kind of a more productive way to get the task done. That is what’s given priority. And so they buy themselves a lot of time there. The expectation is not that you are sitting in your office or sitting at your desk, but that the tasks you have been assigned are completed by the assigned deadline. And I understand, like for all jobs, that some jobs are about the time spent there. But it sounds like if you have some flexibility with this Web site job, and this is kind of what Jamila was talking about and really, Dan, like the the any 40 hours. So you give us the 40 hours that you can give us. And if that means that you’re taking short breaks every 45 minutes or if that means that you’re doing it all at a different time, I think giving that kind of flexibility allows you to account for like children being there. There’s also a bunch of studies that really demonstrate that the 40 hour workweek is not the most productive model. And there’s a Ohio University info graphic that we can link to in the show, notes that shows how much production goes up as you decrease those work hours. But by really focusing on what do you need to get done such that your business stays afloat, which is what Dan was talking about, and then letting people do those tasks. So we’re gonna pay you what we’ve been paying you. And if your task is done and it takes, you know, less hours, great. And I think what they found in the Netherlands in doing this is that people are willing to sit down and be much more efficient because they can do it when it’s convenient for them and they can meet their other needs. So by not having a lunchtime meeting, you know, it means that they can handle their kids at lunch, get them set up, do whatever they need to do.

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S5: I think the other big piece is to make interruptions acceptable. And this idea that we are like working in an office environment and just understand, like the kids are around and yes, maybe they’re not as focused. But I think if you just say we understand that you’re working with kids and if you need to take a few minutes to go get them organized or to have your kid working at your feet, that that is OK. And again, either this concept of any 40 hours that you can give us or the idea of like just getting these tasks done and shifting to the mentality of it’s not how many hours you put in, but that each of these requirements is getting met. And let your team work on that. Like maybe there are people that are OK picking up some extra tasks or they do those tasks faster, whereas other people might need a little bit more time. Or this particular task is really hard to do with a toddler. But someone with an infant doesn’t have a problem because they can you know, it’s more about not being on Zoome. I don’t know how all of that works. I think that goes to Jamila’s point of asking each employee, like, what is stressing you out about the situation? But I think that, you know, boss lady, by asking us these questions, that’s definitely the right step. And I think if more of us thought about this and tried to find these innovative ways, we will find things that work even when we’re not kind of in at times. There are so many studies that show that this produces better workers, like allowing people to feel secure at home means you are a better worker. So maybe this is a time to try to figure out what that looks like for you. And how many things are you doing that don’t really need to get done? Like, how many meetings are you having that are not really purposeful? How many things on your kind of checklist are there that don’t actually need to get done? I think there’s probably a lot of waste and little things that we got used to doing that don’t really need to be done.

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S9: It is funny to hear you talk about like the Dutch ditcher 40 hours where you can get them policy. It’s true that Dutch people don’t work past those 40 hours for sure. And if you get your stuff down early, that’s great. But the expectation is definitely they you will get your tasks done in that time. And if you stay late or work a lot of night, bosses think you’re very weird and that you must be quite inefficient.

S5: You’re like saying if you day after your shame.

S4: And part of that, of course, is a result of being very conscious and cognizant about how you assign work and assigning discrete tasks that are accomplishable and the amount of time that people have. So you talk a lot in your letter. Boss lady, about why I can only cut hours so much. But one way to cut hours without actually cutting hours is just make very clear to people, not your expectation, but your requirement that during this time they not go above and beyond. They don’t work when they finish the tasks that you need them to do. They don’t just log on at 8:00 p.m. to make sure that no one needed them, if that’s not something that’s in their schedule. They don’t just write one more piece or blog post or whatever just because, well, we just need as many pieces as we can possibly get. That’s alien in a lot of workplaces.

S1: It shouldn’t be. I mean, it would be great if the American workplace just never had those expectations. But right now, particularly to the extent that you can explicitly tell your employees, I don’t want you doing that shit right now, that is an enormous load. You can take off everyone’s minds.

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S14: I just want to add, you know, we know that this is a Web site that we don’t know exactly what stuff you guys are doing with this Web site. But if you’re in a position to rethink or reimagine what success looks like in terms of the content that you’re creating or the work that you’re doing, then now would be a great time to do that.

S5: I mean, I think kind of countrywide, we need an expectation shift. Like in so many of these things that we’re facing right now, what we are seeing is that the expectations were really high to start out with an unattainable. And now we have, like, stressed the system and we just can’t meet those and we’re still holding people to them. And it’s easy to keep adding things and say, when I worked for NASA, we had to do all these like greenlight charts and we were never allowed to not have the chart be green. And it was like, then what is the purpose like? Sometimes there’s just not enough money or just not enough things to make the chart be green. But nobody ever wanted to go and say, like, well, we’re in yellow or we’re in red. Like they wanted to say, like, well, we can do it with less money and less people. And I just think, like, the time is to just say, like, listen, we are fighting this pandemic. We need to be focused on that. And part of that is focusing on this like core family group that we all have. Right. And if we don’t take care of that, like, what is the point, adjusting your expectations across the board for for what your business can do, what you can do, what you can do as a parent, what you should be doing? I think that is kind of the mental shift that you have to make for everybody at business schools, whatever. You know, the government is apparently not going to help us make that shift. So I think being like boss lady and saying let’s, you know, change our expectations of ourselves, too.

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S7: Two more quick things. One, boss lady, you should also be asking these questions about yourself. Even though you are not a parent, you should be asking yourself, what are ways that I can decrease what I am doing? What are ways that I can find work life balance, especially as the boss you may find you that you want to take on all these things to try and save those parents on your staff to the extent that you can. Your goal should be to eliminate the things that are necessary, not to just do them yourself, because that’s easier, too. One thing that the government has done that you can and should still take advantage of is emergency FMLA. You have all these parents, presumably a lot of them have kids whose child care or school situations are fucked up in some way. You should be encouraging them to say, take a day, a week. The government pays you two thirds of their salary for that day. You can probably cover the other one third of their salary for that day. You can save an enormous amount of money. And so the revenue maybe doesn’t become that big of a deal. And also, all those parents on your staff have suddenly been given this gift of a full day each week that they could just get the shit done, that they need to get done outside of their lives. And that can make an enormous difference to they may not feel comfortable taking this. They may be worried about taking it. They may think it’s a betrayal of the website’s mission to take it. It can be your job as their manager to tell them not only can they take it, you would love them to do it.

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S1: Good luck, boss lady. Thanks for asking. You’re right.

S5: Yeah, I agree. Well, good luck. Thank you so much for your question. If you have a burning question, send it our way. E-mail us at Mom and dad at Slate dot com. If your child is approaching college age, you’re probably already panicking about how much higher education costs should you take out loans. Should your child. Slate’s Rachel Hampton just published a fascinating package on student debt, interviewing adults about how their debt has impacted their lives. Welcome, Rachel. Hey. Oh, thank you for having me.

S10: Hi, Rachel. Hey, Larry.

S1: What kinds of stories did you hear from your interviewees about? What affect the debt they carried had on them? How the debt changed their life decisions or their work decisions or other things about their lives?

S16: Yeah, I mean, for a lot of them, it was just this constant thing in the back of their head. For most of the people that I talked to, only a few were like, yo, yo, think about it when I pay it every month, pretty much all of them were like, whenever I’m making a major life decision, whenever anything comes up that I need to buy, whenever I’m thinking about buying a new car, moving or taking a new job, I’m thinking about how I’m going to pay my student loan debt. And then for the people who have paid all of it off, what they talked about was the freedom from having to think about it. They were like, yeah, am I having to pay this much every month? It’s obviously amazing. But I think what’s the greatest thing about having all my student loans paid off, which is not having that burden, not having to think about how this is going to affect me and thinking about like what choices I don’t have access to because I have this amount of money I have to pay every month, like from a young age.

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S5: We really pitch college as it isn’t optional and it’s like the only path. And so I was really moved by how many people that ends up affecting in ways that they didn’t see when they sort of got, you know, started down this path. On average, how much debt did students have when they finished school?

S16: So for twenty eighteen, I think it’s between twenty thousand dollars and twenty four k, although we’re seeing those numbers going up across the board.

S5: And I know you found like four black and low income students. It can be even more, right.

S16: Yeah, it gets higher because I mean a lot of those families just kind of aren’t as well versed in like student loan debt. And then they also the middle class kind of gets squeezed in between people who are like very low income and people who can’t pay all the way like a hundred dollars year for college.

S17: Were there any respondents who, you know, even if they haven’t paid the loans back, would say it doesn’t bother them or that they’re grateful to have been able to take the money out, even if it’s been a challenge to repay it?

S16: Yeah, I mean, I think most of the people that I talked to were very grateful for the education that they had. But even if they do have this kind of weight that they’re dealing with, most of them are very much just like I wouldn’t be where I am without it. Just why did it have to cost so much? There were a few, I think, more recent grads who were kind of like, yeah, I have this student loan debt, but it’s not as much. And a lot of that had to do with the fact that they just grew up at a time where people were talking a lot more about student loan debt, black on social media or on the Internet. There’s a lot more information about what it means to carry a lot of student loan debt after you graduate. And so they just had more access to, I guess, people’s stories about it when they started college. This was on their mind versus a lot of people who went to college kind of in the early odds who were like student loan debt wasn’t necessarily something they didn’t think they could pay off. They’re like, I’ll be able to handle this. That’s just what everyone does. Exactly.

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S17: I’m curious to hear what some of these folks had to say about the reason that they chose institutions where they’d have to take out a lot of loan money. Would you say that most of them were describing a situation like your own where you felt that you were choosing the best school for the degree program that you wanted? Or are there other factors like I went to a private HBC you where the tuition was pretty high and I know there were a lot of us who went there against schools like it because we wanted to be at an HBC you. And how do we go on to other institutions? We would have paid less. We know many of us would have gotten scholarship money. There may have been grants that were not made available to us in our institutions, that we could have gone elsewhere, that would have made college a lot cheaper. But we were paying for the culture and we were paying for the history. We’re paying for the name and the community experience that we were going to have. And some mixed results, I’d say.

S16: Yeah. So I would say that a fair amount of the people that I spoke to chose the colleges that they ended up going to largely based off of like the quality of the program. Like the mental health counselor chose to go to Columbia’s Teachers College and APHC program for mental health. Based on the kind of research was being done there, she really wanted to study micro aggressions. And so there were I think we’re professors that she really wanted to have access to. Other people chose kind of based on location. The six year old teacher who has like two hundred thousand dollars in student loan debt. It was close to the town that he was living in. What I found is of the people who respond to the e-mail, not a lot of people have those like big ticket or big number blown deaths from undergrad. And so there was actually something I was looking for when I was coming through is just people who did end up taking out a lot. And there were a lot of people in that situation as far as people who responded to the email. But that’s also just kind of a product of slave audience meeting.

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S9: There weren’t a lot of people who had huge undergrad loans. Big loans were coming from grad school. Yeah. A lot of it was grabbed. OK. So I know so many people who end up doing grad school as a way to get out of paying their undergrad loans. Exactly. It seems like not the greatest idea.

S10: Yeah. Probably not the best decision because you’re still accruing that. You’re not now paying for it.

S5: So what can parents be doing now? I like thinking about now as they’re getting ready to send kids to college, I guess sort of what steps can they take that make a difference? Because obviously there’s like societal changes that can happen. I lived in Europe for a number of years and obviously it’s an entirely different system there. And like, the idea of carrying college debt is crazy to them. You know, since we can’t change the system, like what can we as parents do to influence changes going forward, like with our students?

S16: I think what helped most. For me, going to college is just being very honest about what it means to pay an extra like two hundred to five hundred sixty two dollars a month. When you’re first getting started in your career, if you’re not going to grad school or deferring that, just what it means that to have access to that money every month, I think it means talking to them about what earnings they’re going to get from their degree and whether or not it’s worth going to like an expensive private school for like a degree in English literature when they could go to one that’s cheaper. Like, for example, I went to Northwestern for journalism because I was fully aware that journalism was a very small field, that it was contracting and that the earning potential wasn’t high and that I needed kind of that kind of institutional backing to get my foot in the door, to be able to have the career that I had. Like, I knew I wasn’t gonna be able to do it. Unpaid internships straight out of college. I didn’t know I had to get a full time job. And so this school is more expensive than the ones that were in-state. But I didn’t have to spend as much time after graduation trying to get a job, basically. And so it’s kind of conversations that you need to have, kind of talking to people in there, like the fields that they want to be in about what the first five to 10 years out of undergrad look like. And if they’re 18 and don’t know if they want to do, which is completely normal, I think it’s fair to be like you don’t need to make that decision now. But don’t take on a lot of student loans to figure out that this is basically right.

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S1: Because as a parent, what really struck me about this package was we hitch college as the thing that is going to open up every door for you, for your kids and their life. And the lesson of this package is that that closes a bunch of those doors. It makes the sort of wide open future you imagine for your kids untenable in many cases because certain decisions they would like to be able to make. They just can’t make because they know they have this debt sitting on them every month and being as honest as you can with about what, as you say, those five to 10 years after graduation might really look like their situation and how they can best position themselves to keep as many of those doors open as possible seems really, really valuable and also hard. And there’s as parents, we have this at least I have this thing where I want my kids to view their future as limitless. And so it’s hard for me sometimes to talk to them honestly about the stuff that’s gonna be tough for, about the reason that Lyras believe that she’s just going to move straight to New York and be a writer and live in an apartment without even knowing how to cook or have a bank account is like reasonable. But like being as honest as you can with them seems really valuable when you you’re talking to all of these people. What did they tell you about. What they heard from their parents were from their schools before they made these decisions about what role that might play in their life going on.

S16: I mean, for the people that I found had the most do in loan to, a lot of that came from their parents were immigrants that had no understanding of the American education system or that they were first generation students. So they just didn’t really have any experience. There was no one in their life. They can necessarily ask about what it meant to take out this amount of student loan debt for the people who had paid it off or who had lesser student loan debt. They were like my father was an accountant or my father had some kind of like familiarity with like finance and budgeting. And so they sat down to have these honest conversations about, you know, we can’t pay for your undergrad, but we can’t help you look at what student loan interest rates are like, like what that actually means. Like you can take out federal, but you can’t take out private. And so it was very much the people who had access to those conversations as they were applying to schools. It made all the difference between how much student loan debt they had at the end of it.

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S1: Rachel. And talking to all these people. And thinking about dad as much as you’ve thought about it, doing all these interviews, do you have regrets over the decision you made to take on the amount of debt you did? Or do you think in the end it was the right thing for you to do? Is there anything you think you should have done differently?

S16: I feel comfortable with the amount of debt that I took out. I mean, I hate paying for it, but Northwestern has a policy where you can’t actually take out more than 20 thousand dollars in federal student loan debt. So that was part of the reason why I chose the school that I ended up going to and staying here or total total for the entire four years. You can’t graduate in more than 20 thousand dollars in student loan debt.

S4: Does that just lead people to take a shit load of private loans?

S10: Yes, and it’s not the best. But Northwestern likes to tout it like, oh, this is a great thing, but it’s also just Fleg.

S16: There were definitely times where I was like, I wish I could have had more access to federal student money instead of considering taking out private loans. But I mean, to be completely honest, like I was in a privileged position because my parents, like, helped me a lot in college. I am incredibly fortunate to have parents who were like, this is a time where we’re going to help you because you don’t want to be helping you when you’re 30, basically like we will if we have to, but we prefer not to be. And so I was really lucky in that regard. I also had jobs on campus. So I think that for where I met my career, I don’t think I would be where I am if I hadn’t gone to less than and if I hadn’t taken out the student loan debts. And I think that this project actually made me, like, very grateful that I had parents who could talk me through, like what it meant to take out that money or what it means to be paying now for the next however many years and to make an informed decision where I don’t regret the one I made it 17 or 18 like now a few years into my career.

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S5: Do you have any advice for parents that maybe don’t have the kind of financial literacy that you were talking about, like where can they go get this? Or where can like students that don’t have someone in their lives to help them? Is there a place they can start kind of thinking about this and getting educated in that way?

S16: Hopefully they have a college counselor at the school who has some level of knowledge. I can’t say mine was like the most helpful in terms of finances, but that’s a good place to start. If there are schools that they really want to go to become extremely familiar with their financial aid department. Do not be afraid to call them. They will definitely call you when the loans come in. And so please feel free to call them beforehand and just ask them what’s the loan to grant ratio like? Are there like work study jobs? Like how much that you’ll be able to take out? How do scholarships factor into this? ET cetera, et cetera. Can you appeal financial aid decisions and what is our process look like? I think that becoming very familiar with whatever school’s financial aid office looks like is very important. And then I think there are a lot of resources online. I don’t really have any off the top of my head, but I feel like there are a lot of student loan advocacy organizations out there right now as people try to get that kind of stuff.

S5: Kanthal, like your advice is that you need to be seeking out this information, like don’t just kind of blindly go into this situation. And it’s not too early to start thinking about what your financial situation is going to look like when your student starts and asking those questions, like you said, call and ask and don’t be afraid to ask those questions.

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S16: Yeah, definitely become familiar with FAFSA like all that stuff, things that might affect, like your financial aid package, your you’re like my brother was in school for the first two years. I was in college and my financial aid was higher those two years. And they graduated and it got lower. It’s like those little things that like you’re like the first year as the package looks great, but like what’s gonna look like for the whole like four years I’m gonna be here.

S9: I think the one thing that even parents who think of themselves as financially literate sometimes have trouble with is this question of, oh, my kid wants to go into this field, but I don’t know shit about how do I understand what the financial picture looks like realistically in those five to ten years after graduation. And that’s you know, that’s just yet another of the one million ways where salary transparency really benefits people. And so in fields where either because you’re a public employee, so salaries are public or in fields where people have been making real efforts towards salary transparency. You know, I just think parents, for example, of kids who want to go into journalism don’t know anything about journalism, don’t have a real sense of what that looks like for people starting out. They have no idea how low the salaries actually are. And so to the extent that you can find people in those fields who you trust and who are willing to talk to you honestly about what their salaries really are like, like, I wouldn’t avoid that information.

S1: And I would also try and actively seek out that to the extent that you can also union contracts, union contracts, lot easier contracts are out there right now.

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S16: Yet if your field have the union, then you can ask them what the salary for is for different positions, and they will very happily. Yes. So that’s also helpful, too.

S5: This has been like great practical advice, but also like to say, really pertinent to all of us. And if you haven’t gone and checked out Rachel’s investigation, we have a link in the show notes, and we really highly encourage you to take a look at the profile. She put together an article that is so good, so good. Thank you again, Rachel, for your excellent reporting and for joining us today. Thank you for having me. Thanks, Rachel. And with that, Rachel’s piece is our first recommendation. But we’ve got some more for you. Dan, what are you recommending?

S4: I am recommending America’s hottest new sport pickleball.

S13: This is in addition to the tennis we’ve been playing with the kids. We have also recently picked up pickleball, have been playing a lot of it. I had never heard of pickleball before. Two months ago, maybe. And all of a sudden, I am seeing it everywhere. And when I was walking all over my neighborhood, I saw people setting up pickleball, courts like chucking them out in cul de sacs, taking over tennis courts and playing pickleball there. And the pool that we go to created a pickleball court. This year, they transformed the basketball court to do a pickleball court and it’s been totally great.

S1: Pickleball is basically like small tennis or I sort of think of it as enormous human sized ping pong. You’re on two sides of a low net and you’re like hitting a wiffle ball back and forth to each other with paddles.

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S13: And because it’s a wiffle ball, it doesn’t really move that fast. And so it’s a great game or sport for kids to play with adults or for adults to play with older adults. That’s actually one of the few games that can be played multi generationally.

S4: And so we’ve just been playing a lot of it. And the kids will play with us and they find it fun. And Ali and I can play it together and get away from the kids. Then we find it fun and olea. Even though she hasn’t really ever play that much tennis or other racquet sports, she can be competitive right away with me because it’s that’s just the way the game works.

S1: Like, everyone is basically about as good a pickleball as everyone else.

S5: The great equalizer.

S4: Yeah, it’s great. I mean, it’s like that’s really crucial. It’s like no fun to play a game and have a real crush you all the time. It’s pretty fun to play and crush everyone, but it’s I guess it’s less fun for them. The person I really want to come on and talk about pickleball at some point. I want to have a whole conversation about pickleball with beloved former mom and dad or fighting co-host Alyssa Benedict. Rest in peace because she and her husband have been playing pickleball all summer. And she described it to me as as she wants to write a piece. That’s basically how we made it through the pandemic, thanks to pickleball like she thinks it saved her family. And so I’m very excited to have that conversation, really pickleball as super fun. Not that hard to do.

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S1: You basically do it in any big open pavement’s space. And it’s a great family game. Love.

S5: It sounds good to me, Olla. How about you?

S18: My recommendation is that it’s fun. It’s a kid’s book about the Borse was written by an author by the name of Ashley Sampo, who is a mommy and a wellness advocate who often times writes about race and culture. And I followed her for quite some time. And she Riccio’s that she’s writing a book. In essence, you can send it to me as well as I could. So I didn’t expect it to be this. I’ve been following the kids book about account on Instagram for a while. I think it’s a pretty cool concept. They’ve got books about these, you know, somewhat heady concepts like divorce and identity and racism and poverty and anxiety and all types of things that it’s obviously important to talk to our children about. But they can be very difficult if you’re not a trained expert. Parenting advice show hosts like us. So they’ve got these very tidy, very easy to comprehend books written for kids ages six and up. And so kids book about divorce. It’s, I think, really cool and really easy to read. It doesn’t have pictures. It just has some words that I think would help most children, small children understand what it means for their parents who are once together living in one household to decide to separate. And I think you should check it out. So a kids book about that time you can order kids book about divorce or a kid’s book about any number of complicated subjects.

S5: Well, I am sticking with the space theme for my commendations as well. So it’s actually the fifty first anniversary of the moon landing.

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S15: In addition to having this comet so fun as I am recommending a fun graphic novel that’s called Rocket to the Moon Big Ideas That Change the World by Don Brown. And what I love about this book is that not only does it kind of talk about the facts about the moon landing, but it also incorporates like a lot of the more questionable concepts and that it was more sort of involved. And that includes like that von Braun, our main scientist, was a Nazi. It talks about like the budget Terry issue and basically what we put aside during that time to enable us to go to the moon and then. It does a nice job of sort of touching on the hidden figures aspect, but also saying like, why are there no women in this room, like over and over and over again? So I think it’s a nice way to celebrate something, but also talk about kind of the way in which it came about and the people that suffered or that sort of the things that happened on on the way to the moon landing and puts in perspective like this thing that is celebrated I think should be celebrated, but the consequences of that as well. And along with that, I am a huge fan of the junior ranger badges. And NASA actually has one that you can download and do for free. And there’ll be a link to that in the show notes. They are not sending out badges right now because everyone’s working from home. So I guess they’re not there to get the packets. But you can do it and download a badge. And it was a great way to kind of cover some space topics in a fun lesson that I didn’t have to prepare. And the older child could just sit down and do it, which bought me forty five minutes. So that’s always a win.

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S1: But you get the badge. Do you have to see a comet?

S10: No, you have to find the word common in a word search.

S1: Heck no. I’ve been waiting my whole life to find the word comet works. Yes.

S6: I mean I haven’t told Oliver yet but he’s not getting an actual badge.

S10: He’s been through enough.

S5: That would just. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

S2: So that’s our show one more time. If you have a question. E-mail us at mom and dad at Playboy.com or coast to the Slate Facebook group. Just search for Slate. Parents say Mom and Dad are fighting is produced by Rosemarie Bellson for Jamilah Lemieux and Dan Quayle. I’m Elizabeth.

S5: Hello, Slate plus listeners. Thank you so much for supporting us to tickle or not to tickle, a New York Times article by Jenny Marter outline the case for retiring the childhood rite of passage. I’m a huge fan of this because I hate being tickled. So I can’t imagine that someone who doesn’t want to be tickled should be tickled. But I don’t know.

S1: All right. I want someone to please summarize for our listeners the case against tickling. What is the case against Tickly?

S5: OK. The case against tickling is basically that it produces a reaction that causes you to laugh. And it can to the point at which you are producing this reaction that you can’t control. That was sort of part one. Part two is that there is also this like societal idea that being tickled means you should be having fun and that, you know, you should be laughing and this is something that you’re enjoying.

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S6: And then when we tickle people, usually their response is to be like, no, no, stop. And we’re like, sorry, we’re going to keep doing it all while sort of professing, you know, you have autonomy over your body except when I’m tickling you. And I relate to all of that.

S5: I relate to this idea of like when someone is tickling you, they are expecting that you laugh. And it is hard. I mean, when you have this reaction. But I find it difficult in those situations. Not only do not want to be tickled, but you’re also fighting this idea that, like, this is somehow supposed to be fun. I think it’s a good summary.

S14: I think that you have to look for affirmative consent when you are tickling someone. I can tell when my daughter is generally like having fun with the tickling. And when she is like, come on, please stop. I don’t like this. I think it’s something that should be done pretty lightly. You know, like when you’re just tickling someone’s to play with it like, oh my God, I’m going to pee on myself. I can. And they’re laughing harder and harder. It feels like they’re having more and more fun. But that’s usually not the case. But I do think that gentle, thoughtful, intentional, tippling can be fun if you have a person who doesn’t mind or who enjoys being tickled. At least briefly, yeah.

S5: The article does talk about that, like if you like to be tickled and your kids are asking you to tickle them and like you said, you are in tune to them, then tickling can be OK.

S1: I feel like a real old fogey because I basically feel like tickling as I like. I agree that if you articulate someone so much that they are unhappy and uncomfortable and are going to pee their pants, that’s too much. But that’s true with like literally everything, like everything you are doing with your kids. If it turns out they don’t enjoy it and are uncomfortable. You should stop doing it. And so, like, singling out tickling specifically as as the article says something, that it would not be a horrible loss in the world if we all just let go of tickling like that. Seems slightly weird to me. And it also seems to lie the ways in which tickling is actually fun for kids, even when it gets like a little bit wild and out of control and. I mean, I just think about, you know, when I was growing up and I would sit in the passenger seat of the car with my dad even when I was a teenager, and I would never quite know when it was coming. Every once in a while, I would just get this, like, incredible tickle on my knee that he could do that.

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S4: No one else on Earth has ever been able to figure out how to do, though. Just make me go like that.

S1: And. It is true that at the moment that that happened each time I was like, wow, this is what’s happening to me. But I also look back on that memory with incredible fondness and love that we had this thing between us. And I guess the difference between me and people who really don’t like it is that I just never had anyone in my life who pushed it too far and made it uncomfortable or maybe unhappy. But again, I think it doesn’t seem that hard to tickle in a way that is fun for everyone. And so, like writing a whole manifesto against tickling seems like overkill.

S5: I just think you’re like a considerate person who had considerate parents and you were tickled in a like, very consensual way. Yeah, I have found. Maybe this is just my experience that like as a woman, that men also think that tickling is something that is like funny to do with a woman. And to me, that is it’s not that much removed from, you know, other types of touching. And so it became something for me that was this societal way that it was OK to, like, tickle or poke or, you know, just something cute and fun.

S6: But also because, I mean, I grew up in where we tickled and I have fond memories of being tickled like as a child. But I felt this pressure that, like, I’m supposed to like this, but I don’t really want to be touched. And so I have definitely been places where I watch children being tickled by by someone else in the group. And they are saying like, no. And the parents like, oh, you’re just being tickled. And so I think there’s like real harm there that tickling becomes a thing that can be done in an environment. And we ignore that. The child’s saying, no, I don’t want this. Or like, oh, he’s just laughing so hard. He’s saying no. And I think a lot of people push it past that. I can think about that happening to my children with people like adults that interact with them just by tickling them. And my kids are like, no, I don’t. You know, particularly I think of like Oliver, who the spaces are ready, like he already doesn’t want someone in this space. And then they try because he’s shy to, like, take alone because he’s going to laugh. And not only does he not like the feeling of being tickled. He doesn’t know like that. He’s been forced to interact with someone he didn’t want to interact with. And so, you know, I’m a parent that is like, hey, he doesn’t want to be tickled. But how many times have you seen parents not advocate for that?

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S14: I think the bigger issue or the driving issue behind that is not encouraging children to really have bodily autonomy. Even a, quote unquote, good touch or a well intended touch that you don’t want is a bad touch. And it’s OK to say I don’t like this and that the expectation should be that it’s respect, that, you know, whether it’s an aunt, a classmate, a partner or a parent, that nobody has a right to do anything with your body that you don’t want them to do. It was so drilled into me that nobody was really to touch me at all except for my parents. You know, that the majority of the touching would be my mother. And, you know, my father was trusted, but everybody else was pretty much like a sister.

S8: I hate to say it that way, but like, you know, even as a family man, it was just like, OK, don’t let people tickle you.

S14: Don’t let people play with your hair. You know, you’re only hugging people that are on the approved hug list. And so that empowered me, too, you know, set boundaries at times with other children that I think, you know, kids that may not have been one had the fear of God put in them that they’re not supposed to let other people touch them, but also just, you know, helping them understand that it’s OK to set boundaries. And I think that where it does get uncomfortable, you know, in particular for women and girls, really, you know, when it becomes a matter of flirting or something that’s done in the context of a relationship because, you know, you’re smiling, you’re giggling, we’re having fun. And because so many of us are, you know, trying to unlearn socialization, which tells us that we’re not supposed to say no or we’re not supposed to be difficult to manage or, you know, so as being nice to us, the least we can do is to be kind to them. I think that’s why I do understand the author’s argument that this is not a big sacrifice to make on behalf of people that are deeply uncomfortable by tickling. But I think I would rather focus on continuing to instruct my child to say, I do not like this. You are not to do this to me. Do not do this, this. And that includes saying it’s a me or her dad.

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S4: I think we can all agree on some extremely basic ground rules like, hey, don’t tickle other people’s kids. Like, why would you do that?

S1: B, you should not be tickling another grown adult. Tickling is not for grown adults unless you are both agreed tickle fetishists and you’ve got that down on writing.

S4: And so I do agree with you that like a rando coming up to your cat and tickling mom and expecting that that should be like the initial way that they interact with their child, his borchers. And so that seems like a useful caveat to make.

S8: But what about your bestie? What if it’s your best friend?

S1: My personal best friend is an adult.

S14: Or my Kino’s friend, your best friend.

S1: I feel like kids. I mean, maybe I’m remembering this incorrectly, but I don’t remember having any problem telling my friends not to tickle me if I did not want to be tickled. It seems like the question is more when it’s an adult who are child fears or just feels uncomfortable and telling to stop. Right.

S5: Like you said, particular issue for me is that, one, the act of it produces a sound which we like process as joy, even when it’s not joy. So so I think that is why the author like chooses tickling. But I agree with you, like every part of his like pandas is the sensory processing things.

S6: He loves the light touch of tickling, like tickling or any kind of touch like that. He really enjoys I don’t routinely go up and tickle him unless he says, let’s play where you tickle me. And then just like the article sort of talks about, we like take a little stop, OK? You know, and then I’ll say I want to be tickled again. OK. Take a little stop, which is the same. Like, I think that is the kind of like autonomy over your body touching. But I think what the author is addressing is this idea that like you say, Dan, you say like let’s all agree that, like, we shouldn’t tickle random people. But like, I think that out there are people that just tickle children and just tickle each other. And I I agree that, like kids, if you are a kid that can tell an adult to stop, you can share this stuff. I don’t think roaming the street, but I think, like, there is a neighbor who I have. Right. Who tickles the kids. That is how he tickles and wrestles with them. And that is how he interacts with them.

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S1: That’s like his default mode. Oh, and what do I do?

S6: Kids like he. That is how he interacts like this. Roughhousing make these kids laugh. It makes me uncomfortable.

S14: My mother would faint.

S6: What has happened is I’ve had to lay down the law about that. Right. I worried, too, that the kids that don’t say anything. And I think this is kind of what the article alludes to and not that this is just women. But I think particularly little girls, if you tickle and you’re told like like Jimmy was saying, this is the way you’re supposed to act, like you kind of like this. Then when a friend tickles you and you say, stop, you don’t know that because an adult has never said you have to stop or you’ve never been listened to. You’re taught like, well, this is just what happens. Like, you are tickled. You laugh. It’s fun. And I think there’s a lot of, like, peer pressure and that kind of situation to say, like, this is a really fun thing and it produces this laugh. And aren’t I cute? So I’m laughing even though I don’t enjoy it, even though I’m, like, strong and feel like I can tell people not to tickle me. I just remember there being times in which I did not want to be tickled, was tickled and laughed.

S5: You know, just kind of laughed and walked away and there was no harm done. I was not at that point saying that tickling was like any kind of abuse or anything like that. But I think the idea that this is a societal thing to do as opposed to like something you’re doing consensually with your children is the problem.

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S1: What did you guys think about the proposed substitute game and this article?

S10: Why? I’m going to try it out at C-Mac.

S1: Insane.

S6: To me, it does seem insane, like take your sock while you’re trying to keep your sock on. But I sort of thought he was saying, like, there are other ways to have this roughhousing. And again. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yeah.

S1: To the point that. Yes, he’s definitely saying that. Yeah. It’s just that the sock game sounds bad. And if someone played the soccer game with me, I would accidentally kick them in the face.

S14: You wouldn’t be much worse than if they had briefly tickled their feet or so much worse in tickling beat are like a second private set of private parts. I think there needs to be some very explicit, clear trust established around. Right. Touching feet smelt like. No, don’t. I don’t like that game.

S9: I just feel like Dr. Cohen is recommending that it’s hard for me to take Dr. KONE’s dealings on anything seriously because the soccer game is so obviously a bad idea. But maybe many families will write into us and say the soccer game has gotten us through this pandemic. Dad, shut up.

S5: I’m going to try this luck. Please write down.

S1: Let me tell how about of the E.R. for four family members were essentially out with broken noses after a misguided attempt to play the soccer game.

S10: It also seemed like my feet are pretty ticklish. So I thought that was a weird game, too. I feel like you could be tickled in the act of trying to take the soccer.

S1: It’s a little tricky when a sock comes off and you’re not ready for it.

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S8: Like grabbing at the foot to get the sack. I definitely would just like to take any good ole kid’s feet.

S5: You know, when you live with four men, you can’t stand there.

S8: Do you know my feet smell like as a child? I think I might have said this like one of my first shows.

S10: I sure don’t remember if you did. I really want to know.

S14: Let’s revisit one day as a kid. I remember I must’ve been like or. Five, I remember like getting a whiff at my feet, you know, beat my mother is impeccably clean. So it wasn’t that we had a dirty floor or anything like that. They were just regular little, you know, clean feet. They just smell a little musty from being in socks and shoes all day. Like, I got a whiff of them, you know. I was a little so I could put my feet up to my face. No sight. They smell like KFC biscuits. And to this day, where I smell like is maybe once every two or three years, I am in the vicinity of a Kentucky Fried Chicken. You know, Neal, I’m like, this still smells like my feet when I was by my childhood feet, my childhood feet.

S1: I mean, that’s such a wonderful smell as compared to the smell of a teenage child’s feet. I can’t say how much I would prefer it if my children’s feet smelled like KFC biscuits instead of what they smell like now, which is a teenager’s feet, which is unbelievably horrible. Whenever there were like in the car and they take their shoes off and it’s so horrible. And I’m like, oh, my God, you’ve got to put your shoes back on. They’ll be like, that’s insulting to me and my body. And I’m like, breathe in this car right now. Hopefully my children don’t have sleepless, because if they heard me say that, they would come and take off their shoes.

S10: Right. Right. That said, though, had to be right mentality due to the shock or a burger slate plus account so they can hear you.

S14: When did you really must be the worst? Did you say it best? All right. I save it all for Slate plus.

S10: So in conclusion, we’re mixed on tickling, but we’re all anti foot, so we gotta go. No, baby.

S5: Well, I hope that was educational for all you Slate plus listeners. That’s it for our segment. Until next time.