This week in parenting: October 23, 2020

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Charlie Brown holiday specials move to Apple TV+. 
After five decades of airing on network television, Charlie Brown and the gang are moving to the streaming service Apple TV+. The iconic holiday specials—including “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” as well as new original Peanuts content—will now be part of the subscription-based entertainment space. But for a limited time this holiday season streaming will be available to both subscribers and non-subscribers. Good grief….NBC News

FDA says common pain medications might cause pregnancy complications.
According to the FDA, commonly used pain and fever medications, such as Advil and Aleve, could be harmful to pregnant women and their unborn babies. The agency notes that women who are 20 weeks or more into their pregnancies should avoid both prescription and non-prescription ant-inflammatory drugs because they can cause fetal kidney problems. USA Today

Disney-plus adds a disclaimer for racist stereotypes. 
A 12-second disclaimer—which cannot be skipped—will now appear on Disney’s streaming service to warn viewers about scenes that involve “negative depictions” and “mistreatment of people or cultures.” “The Aristocrats,” “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan” and “Swiss Family Robinson” are among the classic animated Disney movies affected, and viewers are directed to a website for further explanations of the problematic scenes. “These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now,” the disclaimer says.

SHARING YOUR STORIES: We’ve been featuring your pandemic-related stories on our Facebook page, and on our site. Below is one such post. 

Full Circle

I had forgotten the tale until I was sitting on a bed in a hotel room with my 17-year-old son and my ex-husband, playing a game of Go Fish after a long day of college tours. Go Fish, of all things my ex had suggested. He had never been one to sit down and play a game when our son was little. Why the hell not, I decided when he’d asked if I wanted to come back to the room to play the silly card game. We had just returned from dinner with couple-friends we hadn’t seen together in more than 10 years. I sensed the tension and trepidation in my son, as the three of us sat together on the neatly made bed. He’d rarely seen his parents behaving amicably in recent memory. Somehow, the college tour trip had created a sort of solidarity between us. Gone were the anger, the sniping, the snarky remarks. We were simply two middle-aged parents following their kid around campus, awed that we had reached this chapter so quickly.

On the bed next to me was a pile of old pictures and mementos of our relationship my ex had brought along for me to sort through. I had disremembered what being happy with him looked or felt like, but there was the evidence documented in smiling photos—backpacking in the remote wilderness, hugging at marathon finish lines, kissing at holidays, posing at family get-togethers, and giving knowing looks to whichever one of us was snapping the picture. It was there in our eyes, and our smiles, and the easy way our bodies held space together. There had been genuine moments of beauty between us. I needed to look no further than my son to cement that, but I rarely linked our relationship with the existence of my son. I held the two distinctly separate in my mind, as one had failed, and one had flourished. I hadn’t any depth of emotion left for our history. I hardly allow myself to look back at what was because that inevitably brings me to what became of us—an arguing, unhappy couple who were often mean to each other.

My son doesn’t remember many of the happy times his father and I shared. For most of his childhood, we were at odds with each other’s inherent personalities, wishes, and values. He remembers arguing parents and shared custody arrangements. He remembers hostility and sadness and a family that didn’t make it.

My son joked he had PTSD while his dad and I bantered back and forth over our story as I flipped through the pictures. Remember that day, that hike, that race, that place? We had been happy and then we weren’t. One day, he was suddenly telling me he had trouble coming home because ours wasn’t the life he had envisioned. It wasn’t one big thing that tarnished our story, but more a series of unfortunate misalignments in our daily lives—the little paper-cut-like things that wore us down, and later, the larger wounds we each inflicted thinking we were justified in our self-preservation. We were cognizant of our differences back when we were happy but, we overlooked them for a time. Then we chose to firmly dig in our heels and fight for what we each believed was right—for ourselves, not collectively for us as a couple or a family. I suppose, all things considered, we were destined to fail.

The game of Go Fish ended, I gathered up my portion of the pictures and memorabilia, and headed back to my separate room down the hallway. I closed the heavy door behind me and gave the lock a turn. I leaned against the door and felt like I should cry for the loss of what had been, but I sighed instead. I long realized parting ways had been the right decision for us, and even for our son. I searched inside for a thread of regret but, didn’t find it. I was at peace with our short, but pretty love story. We had come full circle.—By Jeannine M. DeHart


The Self-Driven Child, by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson. When kids feel that they are deeply loved even when they’re struggling, it builds resilience. Battling your child about due dates and lost work sheets invites school stress to take root at home. So instead of nagging, arguing, and constant reminding, we recommend repeating the mantra, “I love you too much to fight with you about your homework.” Read an excerpt from The Self-Driven Child here.

(Tasty recipes for families)

Spicy Butternut Squash Pasta With Spinach. A cheesy, spicy, and easy-to-throw-together fall dish. Click here for full recipe.

(Advice & tips from parenting experts) 

Q: How can parents plan their childcare so they are able to vote?

A: With so many parents working from home with their kids, time management is more challenging than ever. So how can parents prepare to vote this year while juggling work responsibilities, hands-on parenting and the children’s online learning? It’s important to talk to your boss ahead of time, and plan for long lines at the polls. And if you have young kids, here are some suggestions for securing your childcare:

1. If you already have a learning or babysitting pod, great. If not, seek out a small group of local parents to create a ‘voting pod.’ Then choose a ‘home base’ where everyone gathers so that on Election Day a couple of parents supervise while the others go to the polls. Then swap so everyone gets a turn.

2. Check out Election Day childcare options in your neighborhood, like your local YMCA, or day care center.

3. Ask a loved one or friend for help. Yes, it’s a pandemic, but voting is so important. Consider the risks when asking someone to watch your kids during this time—see if they can play outside while you carry out your civic duty.

4. If you are all covered with your own childcare, check in on others to see if you can help figure out their plan to go vote.—Lifehacker

(& other interesting facts)

  • If you search the word “askew” in Google, the window and search results will tilt slightly to the right…try it.
  • Why is the “official” color of bubble gum pink? When it was invented, pink was the only food dye on hand.
  • Six in 10 college students say they’ll shame their friends who can but opt not to vote. 

The original cast of Hamilton reunites to encourage voter turnout. Watch here.