Parents August 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

Send Help: the Lists Are Back THE FIRST silver lining of isolated living dawned on me about three weeks into the pandemic. Amid late-night cleaning, I came across the giant pad of paper I used for my family to-do list, tore off the crowded top sheet, and threw it in the trash. No, I hadn’t finally found the time to research day camps, help plan a presentation for my son’s kindergarten class, order a new living-room rug, or buy birthday presents for five different schoolmates. Instead, everything, even the need for my kids and my home to look presentable, had been canceled. It was as if a concrete roller had smoothed out an entire region of my brain. I may have missed the enrichment of being out in the world, but I…

your guide to making the days easier and the journey sweeter

Sleeker Sneakers Get back-to-school (and back-to-life) ready with a pair of shoes that balances cool-mom style with kind-to-the-planet sustainability. The Cariuma OCA Low comes in more than 40 colors and prints (plus a collection of shades in collaboration with Pantone). But the sneakers’ eco-conscious materials—bamboo, recycled plastic, responsibly sourced leather—are truly on point. With vegan memory-foam inserts made from mamona oil and organic cork (hello, comfy arch support), the pair will step up as an errand, school-pickup, and all-around-hoofing-it superstar that will weather years in your wardrobe. Plus, for each pair purchased, two trees are planted in the Amazon rain forest. Starting at $79; / IF YOU ASK ME / “With everything going on this past year, date night was not exactly a priority. Any suggestions for how my partner and I…

candace parker

Recent parenting win The great opportunity to get my daughter invested in the new professional women’s soccer team in Los Angeles. Though she’s still a kid, Lailaa will join dozens of co-owners including Serena Williams, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, former soccer players, and me. I’m excited for young people to see how a sports business could and should be run. Recent parenting miss Finding out, on the morning that school started back up, that Lailaa had outgrown her school uniform pants My parenting superpower Knowing I have my daughter as my teammate. I don’t make any major decisions without her. My parenting kryptonite I don’t always serve healthy meals. Sometimes you need a cheat meal … or day. Best time of day Walking the dogs with Lailaa in the evening Worst time of day Conference…

think beyond the swingset

HELP THEM THRIVE IN EVERY WAY AT THE START of the pandemic last year, desperation was the mother of invention. To diffuse my kids’ epic energy, my husband and I DIYed an aerial silks setup by tying sheets to X-mount hooks bolted to the ceiling beam. Memory foam mattresses softened the occasional hard landing. Maxine, 6, and Edie, 8, have since spent endless hours swinging, climbing, and “flying.” (“We’re dragons, Mom!”) Experts say that encouraging active play increases physical fitness and also helps kids work on critical skills that have lifelong benefits. “Play is essential to development,” says Sarena Patel, a pediatric physical therapist in New York City. “As kids hone their balance, agility, coordination, and endurance, they also develop self-confidence, discover what they’re good at, and learn what they like.” These benefits…

9 smart ways to protect your child’s skin

YOUR KID’S SKIN is likely smooth, soft, and oh-so-kissable—not saying that yours isn’t—but what makes make their skin so delicious also makes it sensitive. Children’s skin is thinner than adults’ and more fragile, so bacteria, allergens, and irritants can more easily penetrate the protective barrier and cause rashes or infections. It also loses moisture faster and is more vulnerable to sun damage. All of that means keeping your child’s skin clean, hydrated, and problem-free isn’t always simple. We asked pediatric dermatologists what they wish every parent knew about children’s skin, from general care to diagnosable issues. 1 Steer Clear of Products With Fragrances, Dyes, and Preservatives. Kids’ skin can’t handle a lot of harsh chemicals. Since their skin is thinner, they absorb more of what’s in skin-care products than we do. Dermatologists recommend…

battle of the siblings

OH, THE THINGS siblings do to torment each other. They fight over stuff that doesn’t seem worth thinking about, much less fighting over. In one study, toddler- and preschool-age brothers and sisters had an average of more than six fights per hour! My own kids relentlessly argue over timing: who gets to brush their teeth first in the morning, and who gets to wash their hands first before dinner. Pick a verb, any verb, and I’ll bet you ten dollars that my kids have injured one another in a squabble over who gets to do it first. Even when kids do thoughtless or seemingly cruel things, they often aren’t fully aware of their actions and the consequences. Sometimes they’re curious about cause and effect, and siblings are convenient objects on which…