Last week, my entire social network (online and off) buzzed loudly about author Judith Warner’s New York Times article about adolescents and the pandemic, Stop Calling It a Lost Year. Parents had very strong opinions! Especially those who didn’t actually read the article (ahem).

The headline was revised to the more accurate How To Help Your Adolescent Think About The Last Year, and I invited Judith back to Spawned to discuss it with me, because it’s truly an excellent piece.

It’s so good, even our middle school principal sent it around to the entire list of parents, describing it as “an article about HOPE” (caps hers) so I hope you’ll read it too, then tune into this discussion about it.

I think you’ll find this to be an illuminating, supportive, really encouraging episode. We talk about why the majority of kids are more resilient than you might think, recognizing the difference between unhappy and “impaired,” what we can say and do to help our kids get best through this, and why honesty is the best policy with kids — even when it comes to our own feelings and struggles.


Parenting author Judith Warner on how to talk to our kids about the pandemic year, so they come out healthy | Spawned Parenting Podcast

I hope you listen to this terrific discussion on Apple Podcasts right now (any other favorite podcasting app works too), or click right here to listen — and stick around for two cool new Cool Picks of the Week.

If you enjoy our show, we are always so grateful for your kind five-stars reviews. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen), which really helps support us!

Learn more about Judith on her website,
And be sure to check out our previous interview with her about parenting middle schoolers through a pandemic, based on her latest book, And Then They Stopped Talking to Me: Making Sense of Middle School.


Support our sponsors! They’re cool!

Rock from the Sky, by Jon Klassen

We are such big fans of best-selling author Jon Klassen, author of the beloved Hat trilogy of picture books. And now he’s out with the brand new picture book, Rock From the Sky, featuring more of his wonderful characters, his trademark dry wit, and gorgeous illustrations.

Rock from the Sky is the terrific, wryly funny new picture book from Jon Klassen, author of the Hat trilogy


The story definitely turns story time into an interactive experience for kids, as they try to figure out the mysterious rock right along with Turtle, Armadillo, and Snake. Oh…and there’s an alien too. Called “Waiting for Godot for the playground population,” we think this is a book parents are going to love just as much as your kids do.

Rock From the Sky by Jon Klassen is published by Candlewick Press. Find it on Amazon or your own local bookstore.



If you caught our Instagram last week, you might have seen the funny video of Kristen turning her kids’ ceramic art into wall art, thanks to TilePix. They’ve created an incredibly smart solution for creating memory walls of art, thanks to their magnetic frames that make it a snap to change out your art, reposition it, rotate it, or move it around.

TilePix magnetic frames make it so easy to hang, swap out, and reposition all your family photos

The make it so easy to personalize a memory wall, build a layout that’s as big or small as you’d like, or use their Splits feature to turn a single photo into a multi-pice gallery display. Very cool!  And so pro. TilePix also make a great gift in time for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Our Cool Picks of the Week

Oven gloves are the best oven mitts for nervous kids, and help give them more confidence in the kitchen

Judith: If you want a dark, creepy binge series, she’s watching The Serpent on Netflix, the hot new murder mystery series about a 1970s serial killer.  (Also worth watching: the SNL parody song about women watching murder shows.)

Liz: These are the oven mitts that helped get my oven-averse kid in the kitchen!


CMP is an rstyle affiliate
Top image:  Maria Thalassinou via Unsplash