Parents February 2021

Parents brings you expert advice you can trust to help you raise happy, healthy kids at every age, every stage! Celebrate the joys of parenthood! Say yes to Parents now and get all the family-focused fun, down-to-earth tips, and advice from the heart you need to be the best mom you can be!

United States
Meredith Operations Corporation
12 号


editor’s note

The Common Thread Is Love WELCOME TO the season of sparkly hearts, homemade valentines, and yes, pink sweaters. The world may feel upended, but we can still rely on love (and chocolate) to help get us through the winter. Love of family inspired many of the stories in this issue, from the DIY cards on page 34 to the heart-motif breakfasts on page 80. But it simply radiates off the cover featuring singer Brandi Carlile, her wife, Catherine, and their daughters. This cover is our first to spotlight two moms—a long-overdue Parents milestone. As Carlile points out in her moving essay on page 64, depictions of gay parenting in mainstream media remain few and far between, even in 2021. What’s more, models of all kinds of nontraditional families (divorced, blended, single-parent, adoptive,…

your guide to making the days easier and the journey sweeter

Rock Their Little World This craft-plus-storytelling game offers a screen-free way to keep your kids’ imaginations churning. First, collect rocks on the next family walk (or hook yourselves up with a set from a crafts shop or a store online). Then help your kids paint a different creature, object, or person on each, or use stickers to dress them up. When you have a dozen or so, toss them into a bag. Have each kid choose a rock and then start to tell a story based on the picture. Take turns, adding to the plot with each new stone. By all means, ham things up with fun adjectives (“a sparkly raindrop,” “a zany ladybug”) to boost those verbal and literacy skills. Or just let your kids take charge of the whole…

sheinelle jones

“I meet so many people on Today and often wonder how their upbringing contributed to their success,” says Sheinelle Jones, cohost of NBC News’s 3rd Hour of Today and a mom of three. That sparked her “Through Mom’s Eyes” video series on, in which Jones interviews mothers of celebs, including Shaquille O’Neal and Serena and Venus Williams. Jones knows her own momming aptitudes—and accepts that matching up socks is not one of them. My parenting superpower I’m pretty fun and spontaneous, and I genuinely have a good time with my kids. My kryptonite Organizing. I wish I were a whiz at mastering my kids’ schedules—Kayin, 11, and twins Clara and Uche, 8—along with my own: nightly meal planning, grocery shopping, laundry, all of that stuff. But I stink. Still, my kids…

teach your child what family really means

AS I APPROACHED 40, still single, it was clear that my knight in shining armor, or any knight, for that matter, wasn’t on his way. I could live with that, but the need to be a mother was, for me, nonnegotiable. In 2014 I googled my options, finding a new term: Single Mother by Choice (SMC), which includes women who conceive with donor sperm. I decided this would be my path. In 2016, I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl. But the reality of raising my daughter without a dad can be daunting. I worry: Will she think she is missing out? As an adult, will she know how to navigate relationships with men? As I reported this story, experts assured me that the most important factor for healthy child development…

50 ways to raise an adventurous eater

MY KIDS SPENT their first couple of years eating anything we put in front of them. “What’s the big deal about getting kids to try new things?” I’d say as I roasted arctic char or stirred a chickpea stew. But then the jig was up. My 5-year-old daughter refused anything except mac ’n’ cheese. Her big brother pushed away his old favorites, from his grandma’s stuffed Lebanese meatballs to his dad’s lemony scallops. Bringing up adventurous eaters, we learned from experts, is a moving target. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” says Katie Morford, R.D., author of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. Meanwhile, we try different foods, different moves. We’re silently grateful every time our kids discover a new dish they love (linguine with clam sauce was a recent win), or at…

decode your kid’s cough

WET COUGH Known as a “productive” cough, it sounds gurgly and can produce mucus. The source? Usually a cold, flu, allergies, or postnasal drip (when mucus secretes into the back of your throat), says Micah Resnick, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City. Contact your doctor if your child is 3 months or younger or has a high fever, trouble breathing, or the cough that lingers for longer than a week. DRY COUGH Most raspy coughs are caused by irritation to the throat from allergies, viral infections, postnasal drip, acid reflux, or asthma, says Katherine Williamson, M.D., a pediatrician at Southern Orange County Pediatric Associates in Ladera Ranch, California. COVID-19 can also cause a dry cough (though some people experience…