I love the people I meet through my job, and had fun putting together two heroines of parenting for a Conversation with Common Sense. The topic was elementary (chores and parent hacks) but the two authors went deep – reminding us that by taking care of things at home, kids learn to take care of their community. Which now, more than ever, is something we all need to do.
You can watch the video here on YouTube, but just a quick introduction to our two fun guests.
Catherine Newman writes about etiquette and parenting for lots of excellent magazines (including Real Simple and O) and also writes for the New York Times. She is the quintessential writer-living-the-good-life up in Amherst, MA where she cooks and plays board games and paints and is all-around creative all the time. She has a food blog called Ben and Birdy, which makes me laugh). She has a wonderful new book called “How to Be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super Important Skills to Learn Before You’re Grown Up” with illustrations for all sorts of things you have time to teach your kids this summer- like, tying a knot or writing thank you notes or loading dishwashers.
I promise it is winner and a perfect gift for this crazy summer. Take it from me, at some point kids are going to need to plunge a toilet, and they’re certainly going to need to learn to save money. The book is both a reminder of the tasks that you might realize need to be taught and a primer on the basics of letter writing, knot tying, and even thinking about other people. Buy it here– you’ll be supporting my new friend!
The other guest, Asha Dornfest, is someone I’ve admired for many years for her clever parenting survival tools – which she aptly dubbed Parent Hacks, years ago when she started a blog with that name, which became a book (buy this one too, Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids.
Her career launched, the first book begot a second book (Minimalist Parenting) Her kids are now 17 and 20 and she’s got a great podcast with friend and co-author, Christine Koh, called Edit Your Life.