The Envy List #27: The Parenting Olympics
1.Are you an anxious parent, like me? Rituals can help you calm down. Read more...
Rituals — or the tasks we perform repeatedly, not for what they accomplish but for what they mean to us — help athletes prepare their minds for the unknowns they’ll face when they perform. As a child psychiatrist, I see those rituals as anchors, not only for athletes but for all of us, to help us remember who we are and how to navigate life. By adopting our own rituals, we can bring calm, meaning and connectedness to our lives and families.
“Rituals allow you to create a pathway to connect your mind and body and feel in control during a time where there are a lot of unknowns,” said Caroline Silby, Ph.D.
—"Rituals Keep These Athletes Grounded. They Can Help Parents, Too” by Neha Chaudhary, M.D., from The New York Times
2. Did you know that some childcare centers stayed open during stay at home orders? Here’s what we can learn from them. Read more…
The Y says that during the lockdowns it cared for up to 40,000 children between the ages of 1 and 14 at 1,100 separate sites, often in partnership with local and state governments. And in New York City, the pandemic's national epicenter in March and April, the city's Department of Education reports that it cared for more than 10,000 children at 170 sites.
Working in early days, and on very short notice, these two organizations followed safety guidance that closely resembles what's now been officially put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Y says a few staff members and parents at sites around the country did test positive, but there are no records of having more than one case at a site. This, among a population of essential workers.
—”What Parents Can Learn from Child Care Centers That Stayed Open During Lockdowns” by Anya Kamenetz from NPR’s “All Things Considered”
3. Curious about how to talk to your kids about racism? A sociologist’s book proves that our actions speak loudest. Read more…
…[White] parents have a lot of resources economically as well as status as white people. They can then use those resources to set up their own child’s life in ways that give them the best education, the best health care, all the best things. And we have this collectively agreed-upon idea in our society that being a “good parent” means exactly that—providing the best opportunities you can for your own child.
But then some of these parents are also people who believe strongly in the importance of diversity and multiculturalism and who want to resist racial inequality. And these two things are sort of at odds with one another. These affluent white parents are in a position where they can set up their kids’ lives so that they’re better than other kids’ lives. So the dark side is that, ultimately, people are thinking about their own kids, and that can come at the expense of other people’s kids. When we think about parents calling up the school and demanding that their child have the best math teacher, what does that mean for the kids who don’t get the best math teacher?
—”How Well-Intentioned White Families Can Perpetuate Racism: The sociologist Margaret Hagermen spent two years embedded in upper-middle-class white households, listening in on conversations about race” by Joe Pinsker from The Atlantic
4. When you can’t imagine the future, you can raise your kids to live in the present. Read more…
What will anthropologists say when they study this epoch?
…I worry my children will be stunted by the solitary nature of our lives. During a hard season, a tree slows its growth. A ring for a year of strain nothing more than a thin encasement, the depth of skin. We’ve spent months in isolation, only briefly in the midst of others, but never close enough to touch. Toby and a friend have amassed a catalogue of children’s tricks: speaking through windows; using parallel driveways, running up and down nearby but not together; taking turns coming up with dances, copying each other from afar. Toby and I talk about boundaries to not cross when we visit. He draws a chalk line on the macadam and asks, “What about here?” I hesitate to answer. They may grow inches during this strange time, not the lean growth ring of a tree under pressure, but they will be changed in other ways.
—"Raising Children for a Future We Can’t Quite Imagine” by Rachel B. Sturges at Sojourners
5. When grocery shopping becomes more like hunting, less like gathering. Read more…
I make a stressful, overdue trip to Costco wearing a new mask that doesn’t stay securely over my nose and mouth. When I arrive at the store, not only is there a long line to enter but also far more people than I expect once inside. Maneuvering around people and their carts, I attempt, and often fail, to maintain six feet of distance. I watch as supplies disappear quickly into other people’s carts and deliberate when, if ever, is the right time to pounce. Competition does not come naturally to me. I look at some elderly shoppers and wonder why they are out. I see another man in uniform and wonder if he might be a first responder. I worry they may not be getting what they need. Then I decide to stop writing scripts in my head. I focus and do what needs to be done, making my way mercilessly through the store.
—”My maternal focus on survival in the grocery store” by Susannah Q. Pratt from Motherwell Magazine
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