2021年6月5日 星期六

Will Our Children Dream of Masks?

How the pandemic might affect their tiny psyches.
A roundup of new guidance and stories from NYT Parenting.
Golden Cosmos

I was reading a picture book to my 4-year-old last week when she asked me why the kids depicted weren't wearing masks. For her, it was a mundane point of information, like asking why a character is wearing a yellow shirt. I realized then that the pandemic has accounted for roughly one-quarter of her life, and I wondered what she will remember from this past year — how it might affect her tiny psyche. Will masks appear in her dreams when she's stressed as an adult?

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I thought of this interaction when I read Alejandro Zambra's lyrical musing about childhood memories, the nature of time and how the Covid year might affect his 3-year-old son. Alejandro perfectly captures the way that getting into your children's head space can scramble time, and act as a kind of anti-anxiety drug for parents: "Every day I feel my son change, and his fluctuations and accelerations have built an internal rhythm of the pandemic, a rhythm that has allowed us to endure it."

Also this week, Sarah Williamson, an art director at the Times, has a lovely comic about a lengthy visit to Arizona to help care for her mom, who has multiple sclerosis. Lisa Damour has a piece about why teenagers really need a mental health break this summer — and how to give them the space to be kind to themselves. Jillian Freyer and Christina Caron collaborated on a photo essay about teen moms and the unique challenges they have faced in the pandemic.

And finally, when blood clots were potentially linked to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, some women wondered: Why aren't we talking more about the risk of blood clots from birth control pills, which is statistically much higher? Apoorva Mandavilli talked to experts, and as one reproductive endocrinologist told her, it's "crucial for health care providers to discuss the risks with their patients and coach them on worrisome symptoms" of blood clots. (You can find descriptions of the different kinds of blood clots and their symptoms here.)

Thanks for reading.

— Jessica Grose, columnist, NYT Parenting

THIS WEEK IN NYT PARENTING

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Illustration by Rose Wong

What Will My Son Remember of This Horrible Year?

Dispatches from the pandemic for my 3-year-old.

By Alejandro Zambra

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Gardening in the Desert With My Mom

Sarah Williamson, an artist, spent part of the pandemic with her mother, who was struggling. Read the illustrated story of how their time together became a healing experience.

By Sarah Williamson

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Yifan Wu

Adolescence

Why Teens Need a Break This Summer

The pandemic has been the psychological workout of their lives. The next few months can be a time of recovery.

By Lisa Damour

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What It's Like to Be a Teenage Mom During the Pandemic

As new parents and high school students, they were determined to build a better future in the midst of unprecedented hardship.

By Jillian Freyer and Christina Caron

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Lauren Justice for The New York Times

A Vaccine Side Effect Leaves Women Wondering: Why Isn't the Pill Safer?

Scientists were alarmed by blood clots possibly linked to the J&J vaccine. Some women wondered if there shouldn't be more concern about oral contraceptives.

By Apoorva Mandavilli

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