For this week's magazine cover I interviewed Gretchen Carlson, mother of two, morning show TV host, Miss America and regime-toppler about her plans to take on sexual harassment. Halfway through the interview, her daughter came home from an appointment at the doctor. I was looking around Carlson's spotless house—I mean immaculate, like they were expecting to put it on the market and having an invitation-only open house for neat freaks the next day—and thinking, (a) this woman has help and (b) a family lives here? I admit to a teensy amount of judgy skepticism about how much mothering she actually did. But then her daughter scolded Carlson for not coming to the doctor's appointment when she called. (My fault, I kept saying!) And I realized that any working mom whose daughter is surprised that her mom can't come to the doctor is not an absentee parent. So, I declined to pursue that theory. Hope you enjoy the story, and let me what you think. I'm at Belinda.email@example.com
The biggest parenting news of the week is that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has revised its screen time recommendations. The old ones were hard to follow but pretty clear-cut. The new ones are not so clear-cut because of the new and increasingly large role screens—by which we mean smartphones, TVs, tablets, computers, videogames, etc— play in everybody's lives. The part I like best about the new recommendations is the online questionnaire the AAP developed to guide parents and kids to make smart choices on screens. TIME
Patagonia, the outdoorsy retailer, has a 100% retention rate for women who become moms. That is, they all return to work once they've had kids and they stay. Let's take a look at what a working mom paradise might look like. Quartz.
A mother had a very simple get-out-the-vote plan. She wanted to get her son to vote. It turned out to be a little tougher than it looked. I know the right to vote is a beautiful thing, but it seems so perilous to give teenagers equal say to, you know, sane people. TIME
A San Francisco dad, sick of the overprotective way kids are raised, set out to as they say in tech, "disrupt" his neighborhood, by creating a playborhood (disrupting English is a bonus, I guess), where kids were exposed to danger. Not just exposed to danger, kids are in fact sort of encouraged to do dangerous things. One mom ventures into his world with her kids. The story caught the comments section on fire before it was even published in the New York Times Magazine.
The 62-year old woman just had a baby. as a way to deal with retirement, I guess it beats playing bridge as a way to spend your retirement. TIME
Apparently it's possible to develop shrewd money habits in your children. Or so I am told. Evidence from my own research in this area suggests that money habits are inherited, a little bit like money itself. Or debt. But experts say no; it really is possible to teach kids to be financially wise. I pass this advice along and wish you the very best with it. MONEY
This is going to sound hypocritical from somebody who often mentions her own family in these newsletters, but experts say you should actually be very careful when you post stuff about your kids online. A new study suggests that "parents should give their children some agency over their social media identity," including perhaps giving them “veto power” over photos and other posts that refer to them. TIME
I'm a teensy tiny bit late to this one, but I just thought it was such a good read and worth sharing. It has some observations as to why Americans parents feel so anxious and stressed all the time. "I gradually understood why European mothers aren’t in perpetual panic about their work-life balance, and don’t write books about how executive moms should just try harder: Their governments are helping them, and doing it competently." New York Times
PFFT: Parenting From Famous Types
Jerry Seinfeld, comedian and father of three, at a benefit for a fatherhood program
Men are terrible at talking about being a husband and a father. A gigantic hurdle is encouraging these men talk to each other.
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