Parents March 2021

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editor’s note

Working Moms, the Future Is Ours “MAMA! MAMA! Where’s Mama? I need Mama now!” No matter where I sit, I hear my children hunting for me. Since last March, I have floated from room to room, trying out spots where I could feel focused—and alone. I am good at being quiet. My kids are even better at finding me. My older son, Joey, 6, made his feelings known last week when he torpedoed onto my lap as I edited an article. “Mommy, you need a different job,” he announced, then added, “This one doesn’t let you spend enough time with your kids.” He has a way with gut punches. “This is not your fault. Just hang on. The future will be easier,” I said to myself for the three thousandth time. The past year has been…

your guide to making the days easier and the journey sweeter

Rainbow Connection When two kid food obsessions join forces on a breakfast plate, something magical happens. (And if the ingredients you need are already in your pantry—lucky you.) This St. Patrick’s Day rainbow-arama, inspired by the Painted Confetti blog, will get a “Cool!” out of your kid without much effort on your part. Just string Froot Loops by color onto a pipe cleaner, crimp it into an arch, and poke each end into the hole of a powdered mini donut. It’s no pot of gold, but hey, for busy parents, it’s the next best thing. THE SHORT LIST This month’s lineup of what’s new, novel, and nice to know PLANT Start the Seed Ball Kit from Modern Sprout now and reap the benefits later. You can choose from three different options: growing veggies to top…

rachel hollis

Best part of my day Morning. I wake up at an ungodly hour (4:30 A.M.). I drink coffee, do gratitude work, set my intentions, and work out. By the time I get the small humans up for school, I feel centered and hyped for the day. It’s my best parenting advice—not that you asked. You must get up before your kids. If they wake you, you start the day on defense and are screwed. Toughest part of my day Getting my youngest to bed. I’m usually exhausted, and her bedtime is about a 14-step process. I did this to myself. Nowhere is it written that we need to have so many forms of goodbye: high five, fist bump, thumb bump, pointer finger bump, pinky promise, elbow bump, kiss, rub noses. Or…

all the ways to keep ’em busy!

YES, REALLY! THEY CAN ENTERTAIN THEMSELVES. So Netflix has played babysitter more times than you can count this year? No shame. We asked experts for the holy grail: screen-free playtime ideas that hold kids’ attention long enough for you to clear out your inbox. WHEN MY SON Ben was in preschool, he’d get so immersed acting out Star Wars battles that it often seemed like he couldn’t hear me. “Maybe he really can’t hear me,” I thought, and took him to have his ears checked. Turned out he was fine, and I’ve learned that focused play is a vital part of child development. But after kids have been cooped up for months with the same toys and people, those magical moments—when your child gets completely absorbed in play—may seem few and far…

look for the good

A WOMAN I counseled named Claire came to me because she was going through a hard time with her son, Daniel. Within minutes of entering a room, the 7-year-old would break or spill something. Claire trailed after him, warning him to slow down. When disaster struck, she yelled at him and sent him for a time-out, which he sometimes agreed to take. “It seems like he’s running rampant just to piss me off,” she said. She registered only the disobedience. “My son loves to give me a hard time. My worst fear is that he’s always going to be like this.” Although Claire didn’t realize it, her parenting style was drawn from two instincts that aren’t productive for raising independent, confident children in the world we live in now. The first…

fill your kid’s friendship bucket (even without a playdate)

Play With Them. Missing out on group fun and games could mean less chance for your kid to work on their social skills. So try to set aside time daily to give them some practice, says Dylann Gold, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, in New York City. Dress-up, coloring, and fort building all count. Get Your Kid to Laugh. Silliness is a key part of kids’ friendships. Toys, books, and shows that make your child crack up can help fill that gap. “Anything involving surprise—magic tricks, puppets—is fair game,” says Jessica Borelli, Ph.D., associate professor of psychological science at the University of California, Irvine. Rethink Virtual Playdates. Your kid is probably tired of Zoom get-togethers. But there are ways to make virtual visits more creative. Through Airbnb Online Experiences, kids…