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The week’s best parenting advice: February 2, 2021

1.

There’s no scarier moment in a parent’s life than when they look around and realize their small child is nowhere to be found. Jess Martini, mother of three, offers up some smart advice on how to locate a missing kid quickly. “You want to start loudly looking for them,” Martini says in a helpful TikTok post. “Do not start silently looking for them. You want to look loudly.” And don’t just call their name. Shout a description of what they look like and what they’re wearing so that “you’ve got every single person who is around you looking for your child, instead of just you,” Martini says. “Remember: These things happen to even the best parents. You may feel you look stupid doing it and maybe you do, but it is so much better to look stupid than to be sorry.” [Jess Martini]

2.

Thanks to the pandemic, it’s much harder to make “mom friends,” writes Jenna Autuori Dedic at Parents. By “mom friends,” she means other parents with kids around the same age as your own, whose company provides support and camaraderie. Mental health experts say these relationships are essential, and while they are hard to curate in a time of social distancing, Autuori Dedic says you don’t have to start from scratch. Consider “promoting” acquaintances: “If you already have a network of people you speak to, try to see who you might be able to bring to the next level,” says psychologist Francyne Zeltser. Rekindle old friendships you let fizzle out in recent years. Or keep it local by reaching out to neighbors with whom you might be able to plan a socially-distanced friend date. Take this opportunity to rid yourself of any toxic friendships. “You have an easy excuse, you’re not socially obligated to meet up with an acquaintance who you would be seeing to keep social peace,” Zeltser says. [Parents]

3.

A study of pregnant women in Philadelphia found that most mothers with COVID-19 antibodies gave birth to newborns with those same antibodies, suggesting women can pass on some level of immunity through the umbilical cord. The research, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, examined more than 1,500 women who gave birth at one hospital between April and August. In all, 83 of the women tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, and 72 of their babies tested positive for antibodies through their cord blood. The women infected earlier in their pregnancies produced newborns with higher concentrations of antibodies. “What we really want to know is, do antibodies from the vaccine efficiently cross the placenta and protect the baby,” Dr. Denise Jamieson, an obstetrician at Emory University who studies COVID-19, told The New York Times. If the Philadelphia results are replicated in other studies, it could have implications not just for vaccinating pregnant women but also at what stage of the pregnancy to inoculate them. [The New York Times]

4.

No parent enjoys constantly begging their teenager to clean their cesspit of a room. Aside from donning a hazmat suit and cleaning it yourself, what can be done? Think about what would make the task easier for your kid. Maybe they need specific cleaning instructions in the form of a checklist, writes Ashley Connell at Moms.com. Set up a regular cleaning routine rather than asking them to tackle the mess on a whim. And consider that the problem may come down to a lack of storage space. “If they don’t have the proper storage, whether that be containers and bins for their closet or a new dresser, it makes it really difficult to keep a clean room,” Connell says. If all else fails, you can offer an incentive — cash or otherwise. “Even offering up the pick for family movie night can be a great motivator as well,” says Connell. [Moms.com]

5.

“I have heard so many people — especially moms — talk about how they are hitting the most massive of walls right now,” writes Christine Koh at The Washington Post. She has some tips on how to recharge and prioritize self-preservation as the pandemic drags on. First and foremost: Ask for help, whether that means outsourcing errands or requesting that your partner take over to give you some time off. “Give yourself a minimum of 10 minutes a day to prioritize yourself, whether it’s chair yoga, a quick walk, non-doom-scrolling time, or something else,” Koh says. And think of some ways you can do your part to help make life easier for your fellow working parents. “We have a ways to go in this pandemic, and if we’re going to make it out the other side, the time to prioritize your needs — and those of the collective mom village — is now.” [The Washington Post]

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