This week in parenting: November 13, 2020

Four children from the back walking through trees like in Narnia

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Kamala Harris becomes the first woman and first woman of color to hold the office of Vice President.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Vice President-elect Harris told cheering crowds at Saturday’s socially-distanced outdoor celebration. “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.” NYT/CNN

Jill Biden could be the first FLOTUS to also keep her full-time job. The incoming First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, intends on fulfilling her duties as America’s First Lady while holding on to her full-time job, teaching at a community college. Husband Joe Biden praised her in his speech after being named President-Elect: “She dedicated her life to education. Teaching is not just what she does, it’s who she is.” The Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s husband Doug Emhoff, on the other hand, plans to quit his full-time job at a law firm to support the Vice President’s career. USA TODAY/AP

Britney Spears loses bid to have her father removed as her conservator.
A California judge has denied Britney Spears’s request to suspend her father Jamie Spears’s duties as conservator of her estate, noting he can continue to control her finances for now. Spears’s father has been the legal guardian of her $60 million fortune since 2008, when the pop star exhibited bizarre behavior in public. The 38-year-old celebrity has said that she is afraid of her father and that she won’t perform as long as he’s her conservator. NBC News


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

Resilience Through Adversity

When I underwent breast cancer treatments during the pandemic, my children received first hand lessons on what it means when we say, “We are called to serve one another.” They viewed my diagnosis, treatments, and side effects without school, friends, and extracurriculars to distract them. With their front row view they learned independence, compassion, and how to help one another. They supported each other with distance learning, distracted younger siblings with neighborhood walks through the “Narnia” bushes, and how to love someone during an illness. They’ve shown their resilience through adversity during a pandemic. They are stronger than they know.—By Heather Jauquet


My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell. A haunting debut novel about consent, abuse, memory, and the possibility of healing. Vanessa Wye is a lonely, poetic 15-year-old when she embarks on a romantic relationship with her English teacher. It becomes the animating force of her life and one she is desperate to conceive of as a matter of love not rape. Alternating between the early days at her Maine boarding school where it all began and 2017, the height of the #metoo movement which brings fresh allegations against the same teacher, this story is complex to the bone.

(Tasty recipes for families)

Sheet-Pan Sausage With Peppers and Tomatoes. This easy-to-make, delicious, and flavorful recipe is a stand-by family favorite. Click here for full recipe.

(Advice & tips from parenting experts) 

Q: How can parents help kids manage strong emotions such as anger? 

A: When parents try to help kids channel their intense feelings, things can get tricky, particularly when it’s one the parent strongly identifies with. “My daughter is as angry as I’ve always been,” writes Melissa Savoie for Motherwell. “I once broke a brush against my own skull out of rage, hot and irrational.” Savoie’s daughter “screams with a primal, gut-shriek” while doing her math homework, especially now with school online. It’s not about the math, Savoie notes, her daughter is “angry at a pandemic, at her missing friends, at having to see her grandparents on video.” Savoie doesn’t want to replicate the advice her parents gave to her as a child, to scream into a pillow to calm down, she doesn’t want to smother her daughter’s heat. Instead, she finds active outlets to help her daughter through the anger, to find her way to calmness. (Read the full essay here.)

(& other interesting facts)

  • Elmo is the only non-human to testify before Congress. He lobbied for more funding for music education, so that “when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play.”
  • Both male and female turkeys purr, whistle, cackle, and yelp, but only the males gobble.
  • The American flag that inspired Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner still exists; it is one of the most treasured artifacts at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

A touching look at a former Prima Ballerina, who suffers from Alzheimers, as she listens to Swan Lake. She performs a moving dance when she begins to remember. Watch here.

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