To the Editor:
Re “Trump Just Acts Like a Politician” (Op-Ed, Jan. 25):
Josh Blackman draws a false equivalence between the actions of Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and Donald Trump in 2019. We can debate the wisdom of President Lincoln’s decision to allow troops home to vote — but he made that decision to serve the national interest in a time of war, not to benefit his political career. President Trump’s pressure on Ukraine’s leader went directly against our national interest, in order to benefit himself alone.
I am positive that President Lincoln would have thrown away his career, his wealth and indeed his life to preserve the union. Can the same be said about our current president?
Teenagers and Their Phones: A Guide for Parents
Excessive screen time can be a red flag that a teenager is having emotional struggles. Teenagers often go on screens to escape hard feelings. But short amounts of time can pose risks, too. It takes only a minute to experience online cruelty. Still, much of the time that teenagers are on screens, they do not experience negative things.
If we are overly scared, we put teenagers on the defensive, alienating them. If parents take the opposite approach and are hands-off, teenagers are also likely to disengage.
There are a few simple actions all parents can take to help their teenagers. Foster open conversations and stave off defensiveness by first acknowledging the important role that their phones play in their lives and then ask about the hard stuff.
Encourage them to be mindful of how their digital experiences make them feel. Address irrefutable problems like inadequate sleep by requiring phones out of their rooms at bedtime.
Simple steps like these can help guide parents away from paralysis from the academic debate to a path of better parenting.
The writer is a primary-care doctor and documentary filmmaker. Her latest film is “Screenagers: Next Chapter,” about raising emotionally healthy young people in the digital age.
What’s Wrong With a Little Sugar?
To the Editor:
Re “Paths to Take When Sugar Lurks” (Science Times, Jan. 14):
Could we please stop obsessing about every piece of food we put in our mouths?
Moderation is the best way to go, with an occasional hot fudge sundae!
Darcy H. Sternberg