Design

Have a Sweet Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? I’ve been blazing through Schitt’s Creek, and I’m in love with the Alexis character. (The way she says ‘David‘ makes me laugh every time. Ew, David!) Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

My kids don’t want to go outside.” (Alex wrote this NYTimes story inspired by our seven-year-old.)

How beautiful are these new prints?

Wow, this wild bookcase!

I was in charge of the deck chairs on the Titanic, and they absolutely did need rearranging.”

What it’s like to appear on Curb Your Enthusiasm. (New York Times)

What a pretty 500-square-foot apartment.

Confession: I’ll eat any cake that has sour cream as an ingredient.

Dame is offering 15 percent off your first order with code CUPOFJO15. (This vibrator is the ultimate de-stressor.)

Digging this podcast, especially the Princess Diana episodes.

This little girl drew her own bedroom mural.

Plus, three reader comments:

Says Caroline on what’s the weirdest place you’ve taken a call: “I defended my architectural thesis from my childhood bathroom – I had to position myself on the camera to keep to toilet out of view. That view didn’t seem to scream ‘please take my research seriously – I promise I worked really hard on it.'”

Says J. on what’s the weirdest place you’ve taken a call: “My favorite video conferencing moment is the silent mouthed ‘thank you’ to an off-screen someone who is dropping a tea, snack, lunch plate, or once for a meeting with Asia late at night, an Aperol spritz! It’s such a quiet moment of real life and gratitude that I love spotting in a corner of my screen that reminds me how, though this is impossibly difficult, it’s still full of small gestures of love.”

Says Allyson on how will you stay cheerful this winter: “My surprising source of joy during *gestures broadly* this entire mess has been my four backyard chickens. My neighbor offered me four teeny fuzzy chicks in March and now Popcorn, Goldie, Vader and Chuck are my fascinating, flighty friends (who sometimes give me breakfast). A project outside of my own worry and anxiety is critical to my staying afloat. I’ve also gotten more sunshine than I normally would because I enjoy sitting and watching them harass squirrels and peck curiously at me to decide if any part of me is a treat.”

And thank you for all the incredible advice on this winter post!

(Photo by Karen Cuneo.)

  1. Juliette says...

    Hello Jo and team!

    I have a request for some content/reader tips/advice on how to gracefully move on from mistakes (and subsequent telling-off!) as an adult. I’m sure lots of your readers identify with wanting to be the best/do well, and sometimes when I make a human error that I would forgive anyone else for, I find it so hard to move on. Multiply that by 100 if someone talks to me about it and is at all stern. I feel fairly adult in most aspects of my life, but this is an area I feel very childlike in – especially at work! I am sure you and your readership have some wisdom.

    I am listening to Oprah’s what I know for sure on Caroline’s years-old suggestion and it’s certainly helping 😊

    Juliette

  2. Kay says...

    Thank you for Alex’s article, it really hit home. Kids are resilient but this has been such a worry. We have a 12-year-old girl and we moved to our new city a year ago so we don’t have family or a “bubble” here, and she is in distance learning. Getting her out and about is almost impossible, she is very, very reluctant for daily short walks (even though we bought a cat stroller to bribe her!), and any small weekend outing we can dream up, she is very reluctant and extremely grumpy if we do make her go.
    Keeping her happy and mentally healthy during her teen years was always my parenting goal and not being able to is really, really tough. Even though experts say not to worry about long term consequences, I am.

    • M says...

      You’re doing a great job, Kay. Sending love from another tired and worried mom with no family nearby. We got this :)

  3. anon says...

    i had a boss who gave me a hard time named david. suffice it to say, i’ve watched that schitt’s creek “david” clip many times as a release!!!

  4. Melissa says...

    Alex’s article is so on point. The other night I was putting my 3 year old to bed, and giving him an extra long snuggle. Suddenly he snapped out of it, “too close mommy, too cloooooseeee–the sick bug!” It broke my heart to have to explain to him why hugs at home were okay, but hugs with outside friends are not.

  5. Oh my gosh I LOOOVE Schitt’s Creek!! It was one of those that I had to watch more than one episode to get hooked… but when I did… there was no turning back! Love those kinds of shows! :)
    I totally just binged all of the cheesy shows I could find too, like “Virgin River” and “Sweet Magnolias”. Haha, I don’t know what’s going on with me but I kinda like it! :)

  6. Holly says...

    Jo, I wanted to comment on Alex’s article in the NYT section, but if he’s a smart reporter, he doesn’t read the comments section, haha.

    I have two boys your boys’ ages in Chicago and I’ve noticed the same phenomenon in my 7 yo. (“I don’t want to go out to the suburbs for mini-golf! I’m a city kid! I just want to stay home!”) It was really reassuring to read that I’m not alone and a very helpful article for how to move forward and be brave in this new world.

  7. Nancy says...

    I live not too far from Schitt’s Creek’s Rosebud Hotel and have even driven by during filming, but I have yet to watch an episode. This may be the nudge to get into a good binge.

  8. Laura says...

    Alex’s article articulates something that I’ve been feeling but haven’t been able to put into words. My daughter is just barely 2, so I don’t think it’s a fear of people or understanding of the dangers of disease that are making her a homebody. I’d love to bring her to music classes at the library and tumbling classes and play groups, but those aren’t an option anymore. So… sitting around begets sitting around. Honestly it breaks my heart. I want to raise my daughter with a hunger for life and adventure, and all she wants to do is play indoors.

    • Sage says...

      I have a 2 yr old son and I think it’s just a smidge early to be worrying about a long-term thirst for life/adventure. :-) Let’s enjoy this time for what it is and channel the restlessness into excitement as the world slowly reopens; hopefully by this time next year we’ll be able to do all sorts of activities again.

  9. Maya says...

    We bought our 5.5 year old daughter a cheap digital camera for kids (durable!) so she could take photos on our daily walks. It got her excited about the walks and we did a scavenger hunt with it too so it got her involved in looking closely at her surroundings (i.e. can you photograph 5 leaves of different colors?). I highly recommend it!

    • soph says...

      Great idea!

  10. Katrina A Verlinde says...

    Ellison or Edison would be adorable!

  11. Lanette Raugust says...

    I love You’re Wrong About podcast too. I just started the Princess Diana episode. I really loved the Tonya Harding one but I’m from the Portland area. Schitt’s Creek is comfort food for the soul!

  12. Kate says...

    Can I make an SOS request for advice from this amazing community? Last night I made out with a new guy I’m seeing for the first time – we’ve navigated dating in the Covid era (virtual, socially distanced) and last night was the first time we were alone together. It was a lot of fun because I like him a lot, but his kissing skills…leave something to be desired. He’s very enthusiastic resulting in too much tongue and even teeth for my liking! Do others here have experience or advice nicely redirecting a guy in this department? I like him a lot so I want to make it better.

    • RM says...

      Lol!
      I’m not laughing at you! I’m judt thrilled to be part of this discussion!
      Maybe just encourage him to slow down/relax/take it easy. I think telling him gently what you really like is such a relief for guys. They’re thrilled not to have to try to figure it out.
      Disclaimer: I’ve been married 26 years, so take this with a grain of salt.

    • Stacy says...

      Glad you had a fun date! I would say keep giving him a chance since you say you like him a lot. My fiancé’s kisses were just okay at the beginning and I remember us settling into more of a nice kissing rhythm after a few months. It was as if our bodies took a little time to get used to each other. I think I asked at one point if we could have a little drier of a kiss, since he was also super enthusiastic. Good luck!

    • Natalie says...

      Give it some time. You’ll find your groove together. People are sometimes way too excited and want to “really get in there” at the beginning but get more chill with time.

    • Laura says...

      Just be ginger about it! “I really get turned on by gentle kisses.” If he’s interesting he’ll want to explore that for you!!! If not, he’s too fragile for a strong lady like you!!! XO

    • Megan says...

      Love this, excited for you, and second Stacy’s advice! Give it time!

    • Lucy says...

      I’ve been there before! Kissing is all about personal preferences, so I think it’s 1000% okay to state yours. I told this guy that I preferred kissing with less tongue – that I enjoyed more of a tongue tease, rather than it fully in my mouth. It will also set a precedent for communicating about any issue, but especially ones surrounding intimacy and sex. Good luck! :-)

  13. Lauren E. says...

    Schitt’s Creek is EVERYTHING. I am totally in love with Annie Murphy. How she managed to make such an “annoying” character so insanely lovable is a testament to her skill as an actor. I’m about due for a rewatch!!

  14. JLW says...

    You guys, there is a Schitts Creek mini-doc about the last season… spoiler alert so don’t watch it u til you have finished Season 6 … https://www.netflix.com/title/81286241

  15. Courtney says...

    I discovered Schitt’s Creek during the pandemic. I don’t know how I was so late to the party, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I can count on the Roses to lift my spirits on the dreariest of pandemic days.

    I also really relate to Alex’s article about agoraphobic children. I have recently resorted to bribing my three year old to venture outside our apartment. It has been a startling change from the toddler who loved running and playing at the playground. It makes me feel better to know I am not alone in this struggle.

  16. Lisa says...

    I seem to be missing something, but I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Schitt’s Creek and I’m not enamoured with it. Is it something that grows on you? Am I missing something?

    • Sarah says...

      Yes! It definitely grows on you & gets better and better!

    • Rachel says...

      It grew on me for sure – I watched the first episode and thought, “I do not get the love.” Was convinced to try again, and I’m now into the second season. After every episode I think, “That was a wonderful episode!”

    • Laura Greenwood says...

      Yes, it’ll grow on you– keep going! XO

    • Maryn says...

      I’m in the same boat. Everyone I’ve talked to says you have to push through the first season and then it gets much better, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do that yet. The humor’s a bit much for me (especially the awful mayor)!

    • Emily L says...

      I honestly have no desire to watch it. Maybe I’d like it, but it’s not really my type of humor and there are other ways I’d rather spend my time. If you’re not loving it, then move on!

    • Eli says...

      I HATE Schitt’s Creek and I feel like I am the ONLY person. The voices, the jokes… it’s annoying. Maybe it’s from growing up in a variety of places, knowing tiny towns that know everyone’s business. I cannot STAND the “bickering” and the way “David” is said. My best friends LOVE it and I tried watching so that I could at least understand all the inside jokes but… I can’t. Maybe it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. I just don’t get the love for it. (Then again I also didn’t love Fleabag. No matter how many episodes I watched, it never got better).

      Also, I realize this is an unpopular opinion for both shows so please be kind and realize not everyone likes what is popular.

    • Sid says...

      I normally avoid all shows that people claim take a while to get into (who’s got time for that!?) BUT Schitt’s is worth trying to make it through the first season. The more “cringey” humour disappears and all the characters get fleshed out in a lovely, sympathetic way as the show progresses. Yes, even Roland Schitt :)

    • Sage says...

      No desire to watch it because it robbed The Good Place of even ONE measly Emmy. Maybe later, after my heart heals, haha.

  17. Sara says...

    My girls (4 and 6) are happy to be homebodies, too. I’ve been grateful that our family is content staying around the house for the most part, and my first grader is loving being able to do school remotely.

    I do worry about how it will be for them once things are back to “normal” (whatever and whenever that is!), but for the most part I try to appreciate that it works for our personalities now and we’ll cross the next bridges as we get to them.

    Scavenger hunts are one thing that I have found success with for making walks around the neighborhood more enticing.

  18. Caitlin says...

    Ive been binging You’re Wrong About allll week and I’m hooked! So interesting and I love the hosts practical take on all the topics.

  19. Bonnie says...

    The McSweeny’s link…oh my god. In. Tears.

  20. Sarah says...

    Agorophobic kid, same problem here! Although since our daycare has reopened and she’s into the swing of things there it’s gotten much, much better. But over the summer, it was a struggle to get our three year old out to do anything- I remember one day telling her we were going to take the dog for a walk and to her credit she came up with some very creative excuses- “I’m a dog too and dogs don’t wear clothes so I can’t get dressed” and “There is a sign that says no walking.”

    • EmBed says...

      Haha, these are indeed great excuses!

  21. Cari says...

    I happened upon Schitt’s Creek this summer during a dark time and dropped everything else in life to binge it multiple times. It is such a bright spot and so clever and hilarious! I love all the characters, but Annie Murphy and Catherine O’Hara are comedic goddesses. Have you gotten to A Little Bit Alexis yet??The cast also seem like the loveliest people IRL. So much Schitt’s Creek love. So glad you found it!

  22. Sarah says...

    Ahh, Schitt’s Creek. Oh, how it made me laugh and warmed my soul. I find I’ve adopted some of Alexis’ mannerisms, including saying “boop!” when I tap my kids’ on the nose.

  23. Abesha1 says...

    The sour cream cake list is brilliant! And yes, I’ll eat any cake that has sour cream in it, too!

    p.s. yogurt works well as a substitute.

  24. Sara B says...

    This is completely arbitrary, but I just found out I’m pregnant with our fourth baby. We don’t find out gender, but we are looking for boy names that go with our other three kiddos: Asher, August, and Harrison. We still have our girl name. If anyone has ideas, I’m all ears! It’s super early but every time we have a kid I think we’ll never find a name we both like.

    • Christina says...

      I went with names that begin with an H, to make two pairs of your childrens’ names :-).
      Maybe
      Henrik
      Henning
      Holger
      Herman
      Hilding
      Herbert
      Hubert
      Humphrey

      Good luck, and congratulations!

    • Denise says...

      Avery. <3 I know an Avery and she is the most amazing kid. How she came to be is equally amazing. And it's good for a boy or a girl! Congratulations!!

    • Betsy says...

      I have a boy named Otto. I think Otto sounds nice with the other names.

    • Emily says...

      Haddon (short ” a” sound…not hayden spelled differently) or Holden.

    • AN says...

      Can I please put a vote in to not crowd-source baby names here? Wading through that last post of M names for a comment relevant to the collective rather than the individual was so ugh.

    • Bailey says...

      For some reason an L name seems like a good fit with the other names. Liam? Lucas?

    • Brynn says...

      We also have an August, so I feel compelled to suggest our other sons’ names: Callan and Monte. Boy names are hard!!!

    • Mary says...

      How about Henry?

    • L says...

      Ezra!

    • Kiana says...

      Are you leaning towards a certain letter of the alphabet? You seem to prefer first names that could also be last names so maybe Holt, Miles, Owen, Fletcher, Finn. Something to think about. Good luck!

    • Julie says...

      Congrats! Some names of boys I’ve had in class over the years that might go with your other boys’ (adorable) names:
      Maddox
      Reilly
      Tristan
      Micah
      Luca

    • Sarah says...

      Sara B, we also just found out we are pregnant with our fourth, and our first is also an Asher (and I am also a Sara(h)! Our others are Cora and Leif (rhymes with safe). Will you share with a stranger your girl name? We have always wanted an Ellie but it seems a bit too popular for us…. We will find out gender, but don’t really have any top contenders for names for either gender. Mostly just trying to get through the first trimester. Treacherous days!

    • RM says...

      As the mom of four, maybe you can learn from my mistakes,
      – Don’t name kids with the same first initial (I know you’ve already done this. So did we.). You will never get their names right. oh well.
      – unique names that your kids need to spell for people. they sound great at age 25, but are a bitch for an 8-year old. We made this mistake. (#1) she likes her name now, at age 21, but I think it was a hurdle for her. There are lot of interesting, unused names out there, that don’t need to be spelled out for everyone. .
      – “Super cool” names tend to be trendy, and your child will be one of four in their class. We made that mistake twice.
      Ultimately, they will adjust no matter what you name them, and likely learn something in the process. BUT if I could have had this input 20 years ago, it may have prevented some angst.
      Good luck!

  25. Cindy says...

    Since when did McSweeneys give me hope for another week instead of just making me laugh? What is going on in this world?

    • Lynn says...

      Hahaha same thoughts here.

  26. Carol Hinz says...

    Wow, thanks for sharing Alex’s article! One thing we’re really struggling with as parents is limiting screen time. Our boys are 7 a 10 and the older one is obsessed with playing Fortnite and watching videos about the game when he’s not playing it. I’d love to see a post delving into kids and screen time during the pandemic when so many activities that don’t involve screens are off limits.

    • Jana says...

      I agree! The whole screen time thing is stressing me out. We used them so much just to get a break that screens became way more a part of leisure time than we meant for them to be (no family in town, two working parents, I just can’t stand to play all the time!). We just detoxed our 3 and 6 year old from iPad use this weekend and I was relieved they still knew how to exist without tapping away at the screen. How can we make sure our kids are existing in the real world when every second suggestion of how to keep them entertained or connected involves a “virtual” something?

    • Agnès says...

      The easiest is no screen at all. All the parents complain about screen, try without it is much more easier. Let your kids be bored they will find their way trust them.

    • soph says...

      I agree with Agnes. Children need to learn how to be bored! No screen is so much easier than regulating screen time. There’s a great Goop podcast episode with Kim John Payne discussing the importance of children learning to sit with boredom…I’d suggest giving it a listen! Kids are smart and once they push through that initial “ugh,” they find things to keep themselves busy.

  27. Rosalie says...

    I also love sour cream in cakes, but especially in chocolate frosting! I use a recipe from Julia Turshen, who I think got the idea from Deb Perlman. It’s just melted chocolate and sour cream, with a little maple syrup mixed in. I highly recommend it!

  28. Ash says...

    BRB sobbing at the gentle humanity in the mouthed “thank you” on Zoom calls. Thank you for bringing my attention to this gem, J!

    • Sarah says...

      My coworkers I’m sure now think of my husband as the disembodied arm that brings me tea haha

  29. M says...

    That wild bookcase – yikes! The picture alone is giving me anxiety. Like laying on that couch and having books feel like they will topple onto you.

    • Allison says...

      Oh thank you! Yes!! I could NOT deal with that bookcase without feeling like vertigo was setting in all. the. time!!

    • Emily L says...

      I felt the exact same way!

  30. E says...

    Schitt’s Creek is a perfect show. And it’s just as wonderful the second and third time you watch it start to finish! Enjoy!

  31. Erica says...

    This is just what happened to my son, who turned 5 this summer. He was also refusing to wear shorts or short sleeved shirts for most of the summer, and developed a nervous tic.

    We’re in NYC and one of our friends of friends (the dad of a classmate of my son’s best friend) died of Covid in the spring, so we’d been particularly vigilant about lockdown. (And we’ve been very lucky to be employed and well in our own bubble, but our son heard a lot of hard things. He still asks if the dad will come back when the virus is over…)

    We ended up deciding that we had to open up a little as cases went down and we learned more about Covid prevention and treatment. So we started having one trusted friend over to our house for play dates and going to the playground every day. (Masks on, of course!)

    Now he’s much better, and happily goes for walks and to the park every afternoon. But I worry as cases start to tick back up that things could get bad again this winter. I hate to think of what a second lockdown will do to him.

    Please, everyone, wear a mask and vote Blue!!!

    • Marie says...

      Vote Blue? What does this have to do with the article you refer to. It’s all the blue states that have needlessly closed schools down (despite what science says), and is feeding this panic in children. Our schools have been open for 7 weeks now, and while cases continue to increase, deaths are not increasing, and teachers and students are doing well.

    • Abesha1 says...

      Marie,

      Sigh… if we all wore masks and had voted blue the last time, there wouldn’t BE cases rising wherever you are. And by the way, death rates lag by a month or more.

      Politics influences everything! Sadly, even the basic responsibility of humanity, to protect others.

    • Marie says...

      Abesha1 ,

      Sigh…..government (blue, red, purple, whatever) can’t save you from a virus. It’s a virus, and it will spread regardless of who our president is. Also, masks are being worn almost 100 % of the time, by nearly all in our community since late March, and our numbers are still rising because it’s a virus, and that’s what viruses do.

    • RM says...

      Sigh.
      We’re all angry. We’re all confused. Death rates vs. positive rates vs. testing rates vs. false negative rates… I come here to get away from the “facts” of CNN, Fox News, NY Times, NY Post, etc.. I still visit those sites, but I leave my political comments there.
      I’m sure Joanna is trying hard to balance civic awareness with political partisanship. It’s tough job nowadays. Kudos to her and all of her employees. I would prefer a non-political site, but I’m sure many readers feel otherwise. But, for what it’s worth, my mental health has benefitted greatly from this website during this pandemic. Thank you.

    • Abesha1 says...

      Marie,

      “Government can’t save you from a virus…” Really?
      Seen any polio in your community lately? Smallpox? Didn’t think so. But you can thank government later, if you’re not ready yet, but New Zealand certainly thanks its government right now.

  32. Christina says...

    I am obsessed with You’re Wrong About! A friend recommended it to me a few months ago and it has been a lifesaver for me when I’m tired or sad. The hosts are so smart and thoughtful and I appreciate their insights. The last few Diana episodes have been excellent.

  33. Leah says...

    Loved Alex’s article. I’m experienced the same thing with my son, though been feeling some improvement lately.
    Some things I found helpful:
    1. A dog. We got a puppy a few months before COVID and it has been such a blessing. Morning walks were among the only things I was able to drag my son to. Slowly he built his confidence and got used to it, now he’s initiating it.
    2. I took him on multiple car rides just to be outside the house and see that life goes on. He was very reluctant initially, but slowly grew used to it.
    3. A few times I just made him go places. Go to our favorite ice cream shop to meet a friend. A social distancing party. We agreed in advanced to stay a short amount of time, and every time he eventually asked to stay longer.
    4 lots of patience and love, hugs and reassurance while not sugar coating anything. I found the best time for him to express his concerns and stress was before bedtime, so I made sure I have extra time (and patience!) for it.
    Our kids are smart and resourceful and resilient. We will be ok on the other side of this!

  34. C says...

    Love Alex’s article. We noticed the same with our children. One had a fear of going outside and the other developed apathy about outdoors, preferring inside and loved the world of Roblox. She said there is no COVID there and I can see my friends. Our youngest needed a lot of support to build confidence with going outside and she is a person who needs facts, science. She thought it was everywhere in the atmosphere so we explained the ways were being safe. When playgrounds recently opened up, we are in day 100 of hard second lockdown, she didn’t want to go until, and I quote our 7 yo , “ until case numbers are lower”. I bribed too and started small. Edging our way out on longer walks. Now let’s go to the end of the street, now around the block…now let’s find those special biscuits only that bakery has in the next suburb. She got there. School has re opened this week, and although it is weird and different, she has a bounce in her step. They both do. In the real world instead of roblox.

  35. Catherine says...

    Yes to You’re Wrong About! They got me through many Friday nights of mopping. Please interview them or something – I think you’d mesh well :)

  36. Hey Joanna, when do you find time to watch these shows?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your note! our kids go to bed around 8:30/9 these days, so I’ll usually watch a show from about 9-10 or 9-11 — unless I’m into a really great book, and then I’ll read instead. xoxo

  37. I fear that both of my sons are now behind socially because of Covid. Our school district is 100% remote and they are missing the daily social interactions with other children.

    I am optimistic that they will be able to quickly bounce back once we are out of this mess, but it does hurt that they will have essentially lost a year of socializing and growing with friends.

  38. Lauren says...

    Don’t forget to spend some part of your weekend making calls for the Biden campaign: https://www.mobilize.us/2020victory/event/291103/

    I did it for the first time recently, and it was thrilling. Great and easy technology, and it felt good to actually be doing something instead of panicking alone in my apartment.

  39. Mary Beth says...

    I’ve been BEYOND enjoying the podcase “You’re Wrong About” — which I looked into because of you! I feel like Sarah doesn’t say much (especially on the Diana episodes) but every one of her comments lands *PERFECTLY.*

    Such a great discovery!

  40. Amy says...

    Never thought a McSweeney’s article would make me tear up, but here we are.

  41. Agnès says...

    Allyson’s comment on the chickens is so nice and hilarious! We’ve had a tough week here in Paris (curfew from tomorrow on, plus other terrible news tonight) and reading this week’s posts has been so soothing; your blog is really, an inspiration and I find comfort reading you. Thanks.

    • Maryn says...

      I was an expat in Paris up until this past May and I just saw the awful, awful news. Sending prayers to Paris and finding comfort in CoJ tonight.

    • Agnès says...

      Merci Maryn; I couldn’t sleep for all night; I’m a Philosophy professor and I have to say, I’m scared I will want to avoid working on certain topics now. A teacher being so horribly killed , what a nightmare.

    • Allyson says...

      Hi Agnes! Hugs from Missouri, USA. I would share the few eggs I get from my four hens if I could. I come to Cup of Jo for the same reasons you do and am delighted you thought my chicken comment was funny. I wish I could post a photo of my four hens. Popcorn is HILARIOUS looking, but very sweet. Take care. We will get through this. <3

  42. Jill says...

    Alex’s article makes me so sad. My heart breaks for how children are affected during this pandemic. I urge parents to take their kids outdoors every day if allowed. When we were in lockdown for April and May, I took my son out for a daily walk in the neighbourhood (which took some urging as the newness wore off) and I never made him feel like it was scary to go outside. He would always find something to be curious about and explore.

    We also spent a ton of time in nature (we live in British Columbia, Canada, so forests, oceans and mountains are at our doorstep, but it could just be a local park). And when summer arrived, he was able to go to outdoor camps, pools, beaches, etc. (we didn’t do any social/play activities indoors).

    We are so fortunate that schools have reopened thanks to people following public health guidelines, but the outdoors have been a saviour for our child and so many others.

    I can’t help but think that parents really need to be careful in how much they tell children about the pandemic and going outside, because surely kids look to their parents for guidance on what is safe.

    • Jo says...

      Couldn’t agree more. We’ve explained the situation to our children in an age-appropriate, factual way. But we also have a policy to not listen to or discuss the news when they are around. By minimizing the fear and focusing on the facts It seems they have a better grasp on how to protect themselves and others than many adults and are not displaying any unusual signs of emotional distress.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha

  43. M says...

    Thank you to Alex for a hella good article. I am a mental health professional (LICSW) and my kid is doing the exact same thing. The advice in the article is spot-on. On more thing to add: instead of going to Starbucks for yet another cake pop (we did the same thing) or considering getting a puppy (over my dead body), make the outings community-oriented. For example, let’s talk a walk to: a) leave a balloon tied to your friend’s lamp post, b) draw chalk messages outside the hospital, c) leave some Halloween candy for the neighbor, etc. Bonus: On the walk you can wear any costume/wig/outfit you want (it’s October, afterall). This works for my kid every single time. Keep trying. This pandemic hasted lasted for almost 1/6 of my kid’s life which is the equivalent to 6 years of my life. No wonder they want to clutch to the safety of home. Their lizard brains just want to live to see tomorrow and we made it clear a few months ago that the only way to do that was to stay home.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love this, M! Thank you for this smart advice.

    • Kate says...

      Fellow social worker here – this is wonderful advice. The perspective of the proportions of our kiddos lives this has impacted is something I hadn’t thought about.

    • Such good advice! And thank you Alex for the piece. My 6-year-old goes through phases like this. It’s so tough. We are in one of those areas in NYC with schools closed once again. He had a whole three days of school and I noticed such a positive change in him in that short period. Having to tell him school was closing was completely heartbreaking. I can’t believe 8 months later, here we are, yet again. Sending hugs to all of the parents and kids.
      PS I recently realized my 2-year-old did not know/remember the concept of a handshake! We were reading a book and one page said, “shaking hands,” to which she replied, “what is that?”

    • NH observer says...

      Such good ideas — thank you!!

    • Ceridwen says...

      Great ideas!

  44. Andrea says...

    Where’s the recipe for the donuts pictured??? They look amazing! I want to make those this weekend!