2021年8月7日 星期六

Back to Abnormal

School, work and new books on parenting.
A roundup of new guidance and stories from NYT Parenting.
Golden Cosmos

This summer, there's been a lot of talk about getting back to things: Back to the office. Back to school. Back to normal. But the Delta variant of the coronavirus is throwing a wrench into that conversation.

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While schools across the country are returning to in-person learning, workplaces are waffling about what to do with their temporarily remote workers. And many parents are at a loss for how to progress in their careers while caring for kids at home.

"Especially as the Delta variant spreads, many parents of young children — those under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated — say they're unable to return to workplaces or apply for new jobs as long as there is uncertainty about when their children can safely return to full-time school or child care," Claire Cain Miller writes this week.

Emily Anthes looks at the constantly shifting dialogue about schools reopening, in light of Delta. "Much remains unknown about the variant, including whether it affects children more seriously than earlier forms of the virus," Anthes reports. "And with vaccination rates highly uneven, and most decision-making left up to local officials, the variant adds new uncertainty to the coming school year — and makes it even more critical for schools to take safety precautions as they reopen, scientists said."

When it comes to parenting, the questions don't stop. Economist and parenting writer Emily Oster "applies a business-school problem-solving model to the parenting decisions of the elementary school years. Summer camp? Private school? Violin lessons?" Lauren Smith Brody writes in a review of Oster's newest release, "The Family Firm," and two other new parenting books.

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Well's Gretchen Reynolds explains how to make an Olympian, from the ground up. Surprisingly, it doesn't mean focusing on only one sport. The best athletes often dabble in a range of sports when they are young before rising to the top of their game in one, a new analysis found.

Business reporters Ben Casselman and Ella Koeze dig into the ways the pandemic changed how all of us spend our time, including parents: "The big change was in the amount of time parents spent watching their children while juggling other tasks, what Labor Department statisticians call 'secondary child care,'" they find.

Finally, Andrew Kaczynski, an investigative reporter and founder of CNN's KFile Team, writes in a heartbreaking guest essay for Opinion that seeking medical treatment for a child who is battling serious illness should not bankrupt a family. Although good insurance, consistent paychecks and community support allowed his family to financially cover treatments for his daughter's brain cancer, not all families are so "lucky."

Thanks for reading,

— Melonyce McAfee, senior editor, NYT Parenting

THIS WEEK IN NYT PARENTING

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John Gall

The Shortlist

The Pressures and Privileges of Being a Parent in 2021

Three new books delve into the choices faced by modern families.

By Lauren Smith Brody

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Leah Nash for The New York Times

Return to Work? Not With Child Care Still in Limbo, Some Parents Say.

The rise of the Delta variant and the uncertainty over schools and child care are keeping these parents from applying for jobs.

By Claire Cain Miller

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Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Phys Ed

The Making of an Olympian

The best world-class athletes often dabble in a range of sports when young before rising to the top of their game in one, a new analysis found.

By Gretchen Reynolds

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Cody O'Loughlin for The New York Times

The Delta Variant in Schools: What to Know

Classrooms are opening their doors to a different pandemic. Here is how to think about risk.

By Emily Anthes

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Illustration by The New York Times; Photographs by Patcha1984, via Getty Images

Guest Essay

I Will Mourn My Daughter Forever. But I Was One of the Lucky Ones.

It's hard enough to have a child with cancer. It shouldn't crush families financially.

By Andrew Kaczynski

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The Pandemic Changed How We Spent Our Time

Minute-by-minute data offers a glimpse of how we suddenly adapted to a different way of living in 2020 — and how those changes varied greatly across groups.

By Ben Casselman and Ella Koeze

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Tiny Victories

Parenting can be a grind. Let's celebrate the tiny victories.

To get my toddler to take one more bite of food, we "go fishing," putting the food on the end of the fork for the "Benji fish." He has finished entire meals "swimming" up to the table for a bite! — Adrienne Saxe, Houston

If you want a chance to get your Tiny Victory published, find us on Instagram @NYTparenting and use the hashtag #tinyvictories; email us; or enter your Tiny Victory at the bottom of this page. Include your full name and location. Tiny Victories may be edited for clarity and style. Your name, location and comments may be published, but your contact information will not. By submitting to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the Reader Submission Terms in relation to all of the content and other information you send to us.

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