Plus, the antacid-allergy link |

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belinda-luscombe
Greetings to parents and other varietals of reader,

Spring break is over. College and other learning decisions are being made. Summer plans are afoot (well, not mine, but most of you organized types’.) Parenting involves a lot of judgment calls in areas where we don’t have expertise. We’re expected to make a lot of choices in areas about which we don’t always have a lot of information and it seems like the wrong decision can have serious consequences. We are told the wrong type of food, or doctor, or extracurricular activity might harm our kids’ future. I wish we could get away from that. Most of the decisions you make will be the right ones and most of the wrong ones will probably not be that bad. The worst decision is to spend the 15 years you have stewarding a child worrying needlessly. Oh, and cutting their bangs too short. That’s just mean.

I’m at belinda.luscombe@time.com or @luscombeland on Twitter. Feel free to follow me, but not necessarily my parenting philosophy.

P.S. If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to a friend. And if you got it from a friend, sign up here for email delivery each Friday. You know, more or less.
roundup

Speaking of worrying too much, some states are introducing what are known as free range parenting laws, which protect parents from prosecution if they let their kids walk alone to the park or play unsupervised. I don’t know about this. I’m all for kids having as much independence as they can handle, but do we need to legislate it, really? TIME

Hold off on the baby Zantac. There’s a link between giving infants antacids and the development of allergies. Researchers think it might be something to do with the bacteria in out intestines. Pro tip: as much as possible leave your child’s gut flora alone. TIME

This is an incredible story that becomes all-too-credible. It delves into the mystery of why so many more black babies and their mothers die during childbirth, or shortly after, than white babies. This is not just a product of wealth. It holds true even if the black women are educated and financially stable. The answer, which has to do partly with stress, is pretty devastating. New York Times

More toys do not mean more happiness for your kids. I loved the exhilaration my kids got from a new toy or a gift. It was like a balm for my parenting flaws. But a new, albeit small, study has pointed out that having more toys can put a lid on a child's creativity. The study was pointed out to me by KJ Dell'Antonia who noted wisely that we don't always buy toys for the joy they bring; we sometimes buy toys under the mistaken impression that they will buy us time to get other things done. Not true.  British Psychology Society

On the other hand, if you do actually want some cool new toys, Parents magazine explored the 2018 Toy Fair for likely candidates. The top news is that Mr. Potato Head has been hacked. Here's the roundup. Parents

Parents of teens: have you ever wondered what it would be like if your kid didn't have a smartphone—or even a cellphone? This used to be my dream. We recently traveled to a destination with no internet or cell service with two teenagers. I was worried about the whining, but it was dreamy. When we finally got back in range, they both suddenly looked like they'd been assigned extra homework. So I read with interest this account by a parent whose teenagers have no phones. I thought I would be wildly jealous of her family, but to my enormous surprise, I realized that her way wasn't for me. You may feel otherwise. In the meantime, I'm planning more trips to data-deprived places. Washington Post

How do you get to be a big shot business person and a mother to four? According to Alicia Hatch, you’ve got to embrace the gray areas—the times when you know that you don’t know what to do—and let go of assumptions of what you thought you life would or should like.  Motto.

PFFT: Parenting from Famous Types

Michael Phelps, Olympian and parent of two, on whether his kids will be swimmers

“We’re always there to help and support and answer questions, but I don’t want to force them to do something they don’t want to do. That’s how my mom was with me, and I’m forever grateful for that.”

 
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