June 26, 2020
Summarizing a mountain’s worth of stories, current events,
creative ideas and stuff that makes us lol
Me: what do you want for lunch?
3yo: a pickle.
Me: a pickle is not a meal.
3yo: two pickles.
-- WTFDAD, @daddydoubts
weekly survival tip
Wash your mask – every day. We know. Super annoying. But the experts say to do it anyway.
There are a lot of scary things in the world. And, at the moment, there seem to be a preponderance that are urgent and all over the news. Between a global pandemic, a national and international reckoning with racial injustice and a major financial crisis, it’s hardly surprising that our children may be feeling some anxiety about it all, too. As parents, it’s natural to want to shield our children from these worries, and that may mean not talking to them about what’s going on, what they may see on the news, on the internet or in their neighborhoods. But feigning an “everything is A-OK” attitude may not be the best approach in the end – not for their long-term mental health. Rather, as this Atlantic story explains, talking honestly and thoroughly with our children about what worries us and them, about real life matters that can be frightening and hard, is the best approach for fostering trust and feelings of safety and security. It may seem counterintuitive, but the research-proven outcomes suggest it really does work.
Well, the news is mixed. According to a Pew Research Center survey released on Tuesday, most Americans believe the federal government should do more to combat climate change. But, a deeper dive into the data finds that Americans are also deeply divided along party lines about who is to blame for our warming planet and how much our leaders should prioritize the problem. Far more Democrats than Republicans believe humans are the main cause of global warming and that such warming is a serious threat. Yet, there is some consensus – even across those party lines – on strategies to deal with climate crisis such as planting more trees, getting more fuel efficient cars on the road, providing tax credits for carbon capture and encouraging the use of wind and solar power for energy. So, yes, it’s mixed, but there are reasons to be hopeful.
Summer during a pandemic – no camps, no childcare, no break. What’s a parent to do? This piece from the New York Times suggests a few approaches. Get your kids to help with some chores around the house, younger ones especially like to pitch in. Let them separate laundry, help you cook a meal, or, have they ever tried a vacuum?? Allowing more TV than normal is also OK, really it is, because this is about survival. Outside play is ideal, at least for some period of the day. You can give them some toys to play with but kids can also do so much out there with so little. A few sticks, maybe collecting rocks to toss into a stream, climbing a tree – all of that will keep them busy for a good chunk of time, not to mention the hours you can kill with hikes, bike rides, picnics, and more. While there might not be many museums, plays or concerts to see, invite your children to create their own fantasy worlds and enjoy the show. And, if they complain at some point about being bored, maybe that’s OK. Maybe you don’t have to do anything to fix it. Maybe letting them figure it out is a worthy life skill to teach, born of these unprecedented times, but useful always.