Parents April 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!

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editor’s note

The Tricky Business of Advice I WAS SEVEN months pregnant the first time I was on the receiving end of unsolicited parenting advice. A smiling woman in my apartment building congratulated me on my bump—then reminded me that a mother belongs in the home and said she hoped I’d be quitting my job. (Thanks, neighbor!) Right away I realized that when it comes to parenting, everyone has an opinion, and if you want to take in the golden tidbits that will help you on your way, you’ll also have to listen to a lot of “wisdom” that drives you bonkers. Seven years and many brilliant (and questionable) tips later, I’ve developed a thicker skin than the armor on my 4-year-old’s Iron Man action figure. In a typical day, I consume dozens (sometimes hundreds)…

your guide to making the days easier and the journey sweeter

Milk Does a Bunny Good Your kid is gonna bite the ears off first anyway—so after they chomp, fill the body of a hollow chocolate bunny with milk, add a straw, and then present them with the most adorbs chocolate milk ever, an irresistible hack from the blog All for the Memories. (The bunny shown here is from Jacques Torres, $9.50; Pro tip: If you peel back just the top of the foil wrapper or simply wrap the bottom half in cellophane, those kid hands won’t get gooey. It’s a legend—wait for it—dairy way to top off the holiday. TAKE 5 NOTE TO SELF Toddler threw themself on the floor and is wailing at full volume? Tween stormed up the stairs and slammed the door? When you’re face-to-face with a tough parenting situation,…

alyson hannigan

The comedic actor from How I Met Your Mother—and before that, Buffy the Vampire Slayer—has spent her pandemic days overseeing schooling and crafting with daughters Satyana, 11, and Keeva, 8. In fictional family life, she stars alongside a squirrel (of the CGI variety) in the Disney+ film Flora & Ulysses, based on the Newbery Medal–winning book, playing mom to the squirrel’s pal, Flora. Recent parenting win I think I’ve really made this incredibly hard time as fun and positive for my kids as I could. We act silly and we’ve gotten creative with remote learning, and I remind them it that will be something they can tell their grandkids they lived through. Recent parenting fail I tend to interrupt them during school. Yesterday, I was trying to adjust a curtain that I’d…

special-ed strategies that work for all kids

HELP THEM THRIVE IN EVERY WAY FOR WHAT SEEMED like ages, my then 3-year-old daughter, Edie, freaked out whenever we tried to wash her hair. She screamed. She cried. Her pixie-like frame shook with panic. “Oh, you know, it’s just bathtime,” I imagined myself explaining to the neighbors, who could surely hear the nightly screechfest. I tried everything to get her hair clean without the hysterics, from letting her pick out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shampoo to folding my 5-foot-10 self into the tub with her. But it was my husband, a special-education teacher, who was finally able to help our typically developing daughter get over her phobia. He sat down next to the bathtub one night and asked Edie why she was afraid. He listened and then asked what would help her…

infection fighters 101

What Are Antibiotics, Anyway? Some antibiotics, like penicillin, work by killing bacteria directly—they’re dubbed bactericidal. “This type of antibiotic prevents bacteria from forming their protective wall or making the components they need to live,” says Stacey L. Schultz-Cherry, Ph.D., an infectious-disease expert at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis. Other antibiotics, like erythromycin, work more indirectly by causing the bacteria to stop multiplying without outright killing them. These are called bacteriostatic antibiotics (often prescribed for ear infections). “They can work with the immune system to fight the infection,” explains Dr. Schultz-Cherry. What Can Antibiotics Cure? Even though we’re staying home more, kids can still pick up run-of-the-mill illnesses, and these prescribed meds can be the magic pill you’re looking for to help them feel better fast, says Lisa Stern, M.D., a pediatrician…

ease allergies all day

Morning LIMIT OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. Pollen counts are usually highest between 5 and 10 A.M., so save playing outside for later in the day, if possible, says Stanley Goldstein, M.D., director of Allergy & Asthma Care of Long Island, in Rockville Centre, New York. KEEP WINDOWS CLOSED. Shutting them reduces the amount of pollen inside your home and keeps it from settling on surfaces. If it’s hot, flip on the air conditioner. Midday HAVE YOUR KID WEAR SUNGLASSES. They can reduce the amount of pollen that gets into your kid’s eyes outside. WIPE ’EM DOWN. “When your child comes inside, wash their face and around their eyes to remove pollen,” says Robert Wood, M.D., director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Also, brush off their shoes, change clothes, and wash their hands.…