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belinda-luscombe
Hello again parents and people who just love newsletters,

Such a lot has happened since my last newsletter! First, there was Thanksgiving. I hope yours went well. I tried seafoam salad for the first time. Ours was green. Quite a remarkable foodstuff. Not sure why it's served with the main course and not dessert, but who am I to judge? Then I had a fascinating correspondence with a reader about whether lip salve was indeed good for kids, as I had suggested in a previous missive. (Here's where I landed.) And then TIME named a child as Person of the Year and lots of people attacked that choice and that child and well, it's been quite a time! For my contribution to the Person of the Year issue, I interviewed Disney CEO Bob Iger, who, as well as running the company that makes the most ubiquitous family entertainment for the western world, also has four kids of his own. And yes, of course I asked for parenting tips. (See below.) I'm always thrilled to hear from any readers, so hit me up. I'm at Belinda.Luscombe@time.com or @luscombeland on twitter.

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

"It’s been said that good cooking is an art form. The truth is, it’s much more than that. It’s a way to teach kids vital 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, creativity and collaboration." So says this essay on teaching your children to cook. I am not a terrific cook, it must be said; it's more of a dad job in our house.  Because of this, and how frustrated I am by this lacuna in my education, I am attempting to pass some skills on to my children, who mastered pasta and store-bought sauce and then stopped caring. What this mostly looks like is me trying to get them to help their dad get dinner ready, instead of me trying to help their dad get dinner ready. So it's kind of a win-win.   TIME

Exposure to BPA, a chemical which is correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer, infertility and birth defects, and delayed or otherwise disrupted puberty, may be much more prevalent than has been previously thought.  According to a study of a new testing method developed by researchers at Washington State University and just published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, our exposure to BPA may be 44 times greater than previously thought. It's probably not time to ring alarm bells yet, but worth remaining reasonably informed.  TIME

As I mentioned, one Greta Thunberg was named Person of The Year by (ahem) TIME magazine this year. There was some pushback about this decision, with some people suggesting that Ms. Thunberg is a puppet and has not really changed anything. If you want to hear why TIME chose her, you can read about it here. It seems appropriate that children should start to speak up about the planet's future, because it will affect them more than their parents, especially in sight of new research that climate change is bringing on more premature birthsTIME

A reminder that even small children have a very strong built-in survival mechanism—and really care about their fellow family members. This kid carried his baby sibling for half a mile in subfreezing weather after the power went out when the kids' parents weren't home. Luckily it all ended well.   TIME

Books, of course, are amazing gifts. They don't break easily. They can be used again and again. They don't need batteries. They stimulate little brains. The right ones can be fun for both kids and adults. Ah, but there's the rub. What are the right books? How do you make sure you don't stick yourself or a recipient with a dud? We have people for that! Here are the best children's books of the year, according to Time for Kids.  (Also, for a friend with a baby, you could do worse than this....)
Did you know about the restaurant in Amsterdam where kids run the kitchen? Or the ferris wheel in Santa Monica that runs solely on solar power? Learn more about these destinations and the 48 other extremely cool places for kids, as selected by the TIME for Kids editors. A handy list if you're planning your 2020 travels. We promise some of them are fun for adults too.  TIME

And one last breaking piece of news. Finally, after years of struggle, federal workers will get 12 weeks of paid parental leave. Of course, now that it's a done deal, everybody wants to take credit for it, just like family members when one of the kids gets his or her first job. Nevertheless, the first step to a humane and workable parental leave policy in the United States may have been taken!   TIME

PFFT: Parenting from Famous Types

Bob Iger, Disney CEO and parent of four

"My sons, they’re 21 and 17. The older one would complain about homework all the time. And I’d say, 'Look at your parents. Your mom’s in her fifties, I’m in my sixties, we’re still doing homework.'"

 
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