plus: back to schoooool! |


Hello people who have school supplies in their future,

School is either here, or around the corner, or has been going this whole time because you live in another hemisphere, but whatever, you still have school supplies in your future. I'm kind of an 11pm the night before at the all-night-drugstore purchaser of school supplies, although I occasionally indulged in the more classy quick stop-off at Staples before the first day of school approach. But one of the things I've learned is that it's helpful to buy a little more if you can. Sending your kid with a few extra pencils or pens or erasers or exercise books means they can make a friend, help a kid whose parent didn't quite there or take a burden off a teacher. Don't go overboard. Backpacks can get incredibly heavy—even before they get bullet-proofed (this is how we live now???)—but a few small items never hurts. And while we are on the subject of school, I've seen the dress code stories start to pop up again, so it's time for me to remind everyone who has never experienced it about the joy of wearing school uniforms. My children didn't wear them, which I will always consider their loss.

Any other school uniforms fans out there? I'm at 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.

The issue of weight and children is a ticklish one.  How to best encourage healthy behavior without veering into body-shaming? It's an issue that Weight Watchers, which has now been rebranded WW, knows well. It has developed a new children's weight-loss app—and lots of people aren't that grateful. TIME

The reason some of your children's classmates don't have what they need may be that in many states childcare costs exceed federal subsidies for low income parents. A new report suggests that stats examine the guidelines under which they distribute founds from the block grant, which is set aside to help low income parents for childcare. Other childcare advocate say it is massively underfunded.  TIME

Allergies are a source of terror for parents whose children suffer from them. They have to be hyper-vigilant, making sure their children are kept away from foodstuffs that could set off a possibly fatal reaction. Children with allergies often miss out on a lot of activities with other kids, because of the danger of contamination. So some parents are trying a controversial new method of treating them: oral immunotherapy. TIME

Here's something else to think about as you do your back to school shopping. It's a great opportunity to chat with your kids not just about style, or appropriateness, but where their clothes are coming from. As this story that we ran a few years back says: "Talking to kids about where their clothes came from can make something abstract — life in other countries — more concrete. And it’s a fun way to engage kids of all sorts of ages in a discussion about the world." TIME

Does social media have the same effect on all young people? Clearly, different personality types and temperaments would react to its attractions and challenges in different ways. Researchers analyzed data from the Our Futures study, which tracked about 10,000 U.K. teenagers over three years. They found that it had a different effect on boys and girls, and girls were more likely to be harmed by it. TIME

My children are no longer in elementary school. But knowing the struggles and hard work the teachers there put in, I've become a big fan of the organization DonorsChoose, where you act like a secret Santa for a classroom of kids. So I'm psyched that the TIME for Kids squad has partnered with DonorsChoose to fulfill teacher requests for the weekly magazine. Want to help teachers bring current events and media literacy into their classrooms? (media literacy! Why would anyone need that? ) Visit to contribute.

PFFT: Parenting from Famous Types

Anna Faris, actor and parent of one,

"Six is such a perfect age...He wants to be independent. He wants to be cool, but he's still like that snuggly kid."

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