December Must Reads

Topping our list of parenting reads: A boho-baby paradise, Any Rand reviews children's movies, and abundance without attachment this holiday season.

Some stories we just can’t keep to ourselves. Here, this month’s recommendations for great reading.

CULTURE / Abundance Without Attachment
“First, collect experiences, not things.” Spending is trending right now, but this op-ed by Arthur C. Brooks provides a graceful exploration of how to translate wealth into value. It’s an especially timely read that might keep you from going overboard during the holidays. Bonus points for the wisdom imparted by an MBA-turned-swami. (The New York Times)

MIND + BODY / Everyone Drink Up!
Science writer Melinda Wenner Moyer argues against pump-and-dump this holiday season. Because biology. Find out why nursing moms don’t have to worry about enjoying a glass of wine or two over the holidays. (Slate)

TIP / Surviving the Holidays
Great tips for parents on how to prep toddlers for dealing with the craziness of the holidays. Tovah P. Klein, a professor at Barnard College and the author of How Toddlers Thrive shares her insights on making the holidays more bearable for both parents and children. We’re printing out her list of ways to prevent holiday disasters. (The Latest from Toddlerland)

HUMOR / Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies
What would happen if the philosopher and author, best known for her rejection of altruism and the collective good, reviewed classic kid’s movies? Here’s a sample from this amazing humor piece: On Bambi, “The biggest and the strongest are the fittest to rule. This is the way things have always been. —Four stars.”  (The New Yorker)

PHOTO / “Best Case Scenario” Photo Series Captures the Imperfect but Glorious Mess That is Parenting
Photographer Danielle Guenther doesn’t snag the perfect family portrait. What she does is even better. (The Huffington Post)


Courtesy of Dannielle Guenther

TIP / The Afar Guide to Family Travel 
It might be a hair more challenging, but traveling with your kids can open you up to an entire new set of travel experiences and connections with other families. From roadtripping Alaska’s Kanai peninsula to family-friendly Australian beaches, Afar has rounded up the best in family travel experiences. (Afar)

CAREER  / Can You Be Successful and Be a Good Parent?
Author Bernard Marr frames the issue of “having it all” as an individual challenge to re-evaluate our definition of success. An interesting take on prioritizing school plays over performance reviews. (Entrepreneur)

HUMORKangaroo Punches Drone out of the Air 
It’s family first for this kangaroo mom in New South Wales. She isn’t digging the drone zooming in for a closer look at her and her joey, and handles things accordingly. (IFL Science)

MIND + BODY / Texting: The Key to Getting Your Kid to Read
Professors at Stanford University designed a novel approach to bridging the literacy gap—by sending parents of preschoolers in a low-income San Francisco school district weekly tips on how to improve their children’s literacy skills. So far, the prompts have boosted the likelihood that parents will tell stories to and do puzzles with their kids. (OZY)

ESSAY / I’m a Sloth Mom
Ah, finally, a parenting style that feels familiar. Here’s a sample tweet from WaPo product editor Terri Rupar: “Sloth moms definitely just shoved that last block under the couch because, well, the container was already closed.” (The Washington Post)

DESIGN / April Hughes, Stylist and Co-owner of Beautiful Dreamers at Her Home and Store in Brooklyn
Baby in a boho paradise. There’s not so much reading going on here, but Todd Selby’s color-drenched photos of this Williamsburg boutique owner’s home and store make a convincing argument that more is more when it comes to vintage textiles, artisan ceramics, and apothecary oils. (The Selby)

The Selby-April-Hughes

The stylist and co-owner of Brooklyn’s Beautiful Dreamers created this fantasy bedroom. Find more at The Selby.

MIND + BODY / Some Early Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Life, But Which Ones?
New studies show the direct impact of emotional support during a child’s first three and a half years on his education, social life, and romantic relationships decades down the road. Studies also found that children’s early experiences help predict whether or not they end up developing social anxiety disorder as teenagers — but only for those who were especially sensitive and distrustful as babies. (NPR)

CAREER / Why US Women Are Leaving Jobs Behind
In 1990, the US had one of the top employment rates in the world for women, but now it’s fallen behind many European countries. See the data about how the lack of family-friendly job policies have contributed to this economic reversal, at The Upshot. (The New York Times)

CULTURE / Toys Are More Divided by Gender Now Than They Were 50 Years Ago
Back in the day, gender-coding meant that girls got kitchens, play irons, and other toys related to a domestic role. Today, it means that marketers use cues such as color or princess themes to target girls. University of California at Davis sociologist Elizabeth Sweet examines gender-based toy advertisements today. (The Atlantic)

HUMOR / Researchers Finally Figured Out Why Your Doctor’s Waiting Room Only Has Crappy Old Magazines
Yup, you’re stealing them. Filed under “Science” but feels more like psychology: Gossipy magazines (qualified as having 5 or more celebrities on the cover) were stolen most of all, thought National Geographic and BBC History were also stolen. No one stole any of the four Time or Economist issues. (Business Insider)

CULTURE / Kids’ Drawings Speak Volumes About Home
Equal parts fascinating and scary: Researchers believe they’ve created a system of objectively evaluating a child’s home life through his drawings. The sweet spot is at six years old—when he’s old enough to control his pencil but not so old that he’s internalized the concept of an “ideal family.” that helps them understand home lives. — in short, allowing any clinician to look at a child’s family sketch and draw roughly the same conclusions. (NPR)

Photo courtesy of W. Roger Mills-Koonce, UNC-Chapel Hill

Courtesy oF NPR


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