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Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers weigh in on essays about kids doing chores, bipartisanship, and more.

Helping Hands

Certainly, young children are capable of doing all of the things shown on Old Enough! (“Why We Owe It to Our Kids to Make Them Do Chores,” Perspective, May 15).... My main concern would be nearby adults, not the children. Many adults today are not paying attention to their surroundings, which could be a safety hazard for a child. Household chores, however, are a great motivator and confidence booster for children.


posted on bostonglobe.com

At the ages of 8 and 6, my kids, Melanie and Billy, were fortunate to have a bathroom just for the two of them. At some point, my brain thinks, Why am I cleaning this? If they’re old enough to use it by themselves, they are old enough to clean it. Time for mean Mom’s lessons. There were weekly negotiations of who would do what and amazing feats of engineering to see how high a mountain of trash they could build before being forced to empty the wastebasket. Later, in grad school, Mel and her new housemates discussed chores. Both were from families who employed cleaning people and neither had a clue how to clean. Like mother, like daughter — Mel quickly introduced them to the business end of a toilet brush.

Sue Zile


North Kingstown, Rhode Island

Guilty as charged for some of this, and am paying the price now. I stressed independence and agency for my kids (now 19): they walked to school on their own at age 8, even crossing busy streets (I got the side-eye from other parents). They flew alone as young teenagers. They started working at 14. They pay for all their own personal expenses, their computers and books at college. But — housework was a bust. They never did much of it and I was too tired to put up with supervising them through it. They are both now messy and when they’re home from college they do very little, even when I ask. It is frustrating.


Alpha and Omega

posted on bostonglobe.com

Letter of the Law

Thank you for publishing this Connections by Phil Primack (“My Soviet-Era Pen Pal,” May 15). It brought up memories of the excitement attached to receiving letters from abroad. Those of us who had pen pals usually had more than one, and we dreamed of visiting them or them visiting us. No one I knew ever traveled to visit their pen pals, so Primack’s story is unique. The friendship of the two boys came forth as very real and also very special. To learn the reason for the end of the letters was sad, but understandable as we view it through the lens of history.


posted on bostonglobe.com

Mission Impossible?

In Charlie Baker’s “On Bipartisanship and Building Trust” (Perspective, May 22), he mentions “it is critically important that...the government continues to get things done to benefit the people,” but then undercuts his argument by citing the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 as an opportunity for future state and local bipartisanship. Not one Republican voted to pass this much-needed legislation. If Baker had referenced the American Rescue Plan to call out his own party’s abdication of bipartisanship, or to urge Republicans to collaborate with Democrats to pass popular legislation (e.g., gun control, reproductive choice, voting rights), then its mention would make sense. To champion its distribution as a means of fostering bipartisanship comes off as disingenuous at best, and gaslighting at worst. Americans only have one party supporting government efforts to serve and protect its citizens, and it’s not the GOP.


Sarah Pascarella


This is what we need from our political leadership. Unfortunately, Washington, D.C., has become the equivalent of trench warfare with each side firing daily rounds of mortars and occasionally conducting a full assault. Stop voting for extreme candidates in the primary. Reward bipartisanship with reelection even if you don’t agree with all of the politician’s votes.


posted on bostonglobe.com

It is telling that Baker has no place in today’s Republican Party — either within or [outside of] Massachusetts.

David Odland

Peterborough, New Hampshire

I used to subscribe to the ideas Baker espoused in his Perspective. I think, in general, it is best to listen to all sides, and that compromising will bring about the best solution. However, that relies on both parties acting in good faith, and agreeing that a problem exists and should be solved. What do we do when one side is willing to do anything to keep power? When one side is actively trying to limit people’s ability to vote? I don’t love the Democrats, but they aren’t actively trying to ruin our democracy. I’ve grown up, and learned that bipartisanship only works when each side has the people’s best interest at heart. When will Baker grow up and realize the GOP is not playing fair?


Bryanne McDonough


I am an independent voter and vote based on who is the best candidate for the job, regardless of political party. I have always been truly impressed with Governor Baker as someone who I thought could reach across the aisle and work with both parties. This article reaffirms my position of him and I wish he’d run for another office, because he would have my vote. Thank you, governor, for taking the time to write an article needed in this moment.


posted on bostonglobe.com

While I agree with Baker’s overall message, people like him did NOT step up when their party started to go in the wrong direction. They were silent because they liked the results. Where was Baker . . . in 2015 when Republicans held up routine Obama Cabinet appointments? Or in 2016 when they refused to hold hearings on a Supreme Court appointment for purely political reasons? Was he using his position as Republican governor of the 16th [most populated US state] to say, “Hey guys, knock this off”? Nope. Silence.


posted on bostonglobe.com

This really made me rethink a lot of assumptions about what makes a good leader. It isn’t ideology because ideology doesn’t get things accomplished, it divides folks from finding solutions. After having watched Baker in his two terms, I am not surprised about him having grown up with a Democrat mom and a Republican dad. He learned up close and personal about navigating the political spectrum. Life is about working together — often with those you may disagree with — for the purpose of creating good public policy. Baker seemed to have always tried to get to solutions without needless labeling but that is almost impossible in today’s partisan politics. The center is no longer holding and with it goes the ability to actually work together. Bottom line: It is always about good results. Baker got them.


Sal Giarratani

East Boston

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