Some of the most-clicked-on pieces related to the headlines and explored how we’re raising kids in this world we live in. Others were solid, but simple advice on timeless topics, such as bullying and disciplining children. Whatever the reason, all of them resonated with readers.
Here are the 10 most read On Parenting stories from 2018.
Novelist and freelance writer May Cobb took her autistic son to a park near her Austin home. She was congratulating herself on having a fun— and meltdown-free — family outing. Then police approached her because another parent in the park saw her son’s unkempt hair and unusual clothing as possible signs of neglect. In the wake of other high-profile cases of child neglect, this piece launched a conversation about whether parents should report concerns like these to police. Where is the line between an altruistic concerned onlooker and a helicopter parent nanny state?
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to her third child in late April and made a public appearance outside the hospital, on her way home, just a few hours later. She looked flawless, thanks to a paid staff at the ready to fix her hair, choose her clothes and make sure everything was just so, to camouflage the physical ordeal she had just endured. Amy Joyce wrote about how that is not reality for most of us.
Allison Wallis shared what it was like to be a mother in Hawaii when an emergency alert went out in January saying there was a ballistic missile heading for the state. The alert was sent by mistake, but for 38 minutes she had to keep herself, and her daughter, calm while preparing for what they believed was an imminent nuclear attack.
Behavior issues, and what parents can do about them, are always a hot topic. As spanking and other forms of physical discipline have declined, many parents turned instead to timeouts. Some experts, however, are advising parents that the technique is not effective. Writer Claire Gillespie explored why it doesn’t work, and what to try instead.
Braden Bell, a dad and teacher in Nashville, wrote a helpful piece about why parents need to teach kids that not all unkind behavior is bullying, and how to help them differentiate.
British television personality Piers Morgan somehow managed to forget what century we’re living in, and posted a photo on Twitter of James Bond star Daniel Craig wearing his infant daughter in a baby carrier. He tagged the image #emasculatedbond. Deanna Paul covered the swift and severe response, as social media reminded Morgan that in 2018, fathers wearing their babies are indeed real men and aren’t particularly unusual or noteworthy.
Darlena Cunha wrote about the important lesson all moms can learn from Serena Williams’s childbirth experience. Williams nearly died of a pulmonary embolism and subsequent hematoma after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis, because doctors ignored her history of blood clots. Williams had to advocate for herself relentlessly, and other moms need to do the same until policy changes make it easier for women to get the care they need.
Kate Rope shared this piece with great advice from author and therapist Katie Hurley and other experts on raising kids who know how to listen to their inner voice so they can grow up to be independent and confident decision-makers.
When news broke in June of migrant children being separated from their parents at the border, a San Francisco couple decided to try to raise $1,500 to help detained parents post bond. In less than a week, they had raised more than $15 million. Avi Selk and Darlena Cunha’s story about the unexpected outpouring of aid is here.
And Billy Doidge Kilgore wrote this essay about how, during a routine trip to the grocery store with his kids, everyone praised him for, well, being a dad. He realized moms wouldn’t get the same recognition for the everyday work of caring for their children. It made him think about male privilege, and what he can do to challenge sexist expectations of parenting.