voting for biden

[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country. This essay reflects the views of one mother—we invite you to also read As a mother, I'm voting for Donald Trump.]

As a mother, I'm not raising my children to be Democrats or Republicans; I'm raising them to be good people. I have measured up my core parenting values against each candidate and the right choice for me is easy: I will vote for Joe Biden this November.

My dissent from this administration and people and policies that it supports is not unpatriotic. In fact, I would argue that dissent is one of the most patriotic American actions you can take. Peaceful, purposeful protests are an American tradition—from the Boston Tea Party to the Seneca Falls Convention to Selma. Our non-violent defiance has changed minds, enacted laws and shaken our collective conscience. I will vote for a leader who sees my dissent as a strength, not frailty.

Here's why I'm voting for Biden:


I teach my children your words and actions matter

Joe Biden is living by example; in a country that is shouting for equal representation, Biden chose an extremely capable woman of color to be his running mate, Kamala Harris. She is smart, fearless and empathetic. In the midst of a global pandemic, Biden is diligently wearing a mask to protect himself and those around him. Instead of viewing compassion as a weakness, he is using it as a strength.

Biden is not holding public rallies because he is willing to put his ego aside to ensure the safety of others. This man has proven that he can work with a bipartisan team to push legislation that is beneficial to all Americans. One such example is the original Violence Against Women Act that Vice President Biden and Republican Senator John McCain worked diligently on together; a law which many experts attribute to the major decline of domestic abuse in the United States since its passing.

Biden is humble and has shown that he will work for the greater good. Though he started with a moderate platform, Biden united with Senator Bernie Sanders to create a campaign that is progressive and will meet the needs of the largest number of people.

In contrast, Donald Trump's running mate is Mike Pence, known for being pro-conversion therapy. And when we look at his team at large, a number of them have been fired or are being criminally investigated by the Justice Department.

Trump claims to be a champion for our military but his actions—and words—say otherwise. In the summer of 2020, news broke that US Intelligence had linked the Russian government to funding Taliban fighters to kill American troops in Afghanistan. Trump chose not to engage with Russian President Vladimir Putin on this issue, even though they were in talks when the story broke.

Furthermore, Trump has been blatantly disrespectful to military heroes like John McCain and has been quoted as referring to soldiers as "losers." This is not the level of respect that our armed forces deserve, especially from their Commander in Chief.

I teach my children it's okay to admit everything is not perfect

The world is far from perfect, but I teach my children that the first step to fixing a problem is to recognize it. We should expect the leader of our nation to acknowledge the hardships that our country is currently facing.

Biden is not the perfect candidate—no one is. The notion of perfection is fallible but the belief in decency is not. Biden is willing to look at his past decisions and evolve. His policy platform promises to tackle the country's wealth gap, create opportunities for minority communities and expand capital for small business owners of color. But it isn't just small businesses of color that need our attention—many mom and pop businesses are being forced to close across America, while parents are struggling to teach their children and work their jobs.

Folks are afraid. They see the words "protest" and "riot" and they are concerned about violence affecting their business and their family. The best way to solve this is to put someone in charge who will denounce aggressors and listen to the concerns of those in the streets; someone who can relate to the real and consequential problems that many of us are facing.

We need a leader who will put the well-being of his people above his own, and more specifically, we need a plan moving forward.

I teach my children we take care of others

I truly believe that taking care of others is our duty as human beings. I am a white mother and I know that I can do better. Be better. I own my privilege. I will use my voice to teach my children their names: George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Atatiana Jefferson. Aura Rosser. Stephon Clark. Botham Jean. Philando Castille. Alton Sterling. Michelle Cusseaux. Freddie Gray. Janisha Fonville. Eric Garner. Akai Gurley. Gabriella Nevarez. Tamir Rice. Michael Brown. Tanisha Anderson. And unfortunately, many more.

President Trump did not create discrimination, nor is he solely responsible for the systemic racism that plagues our country—but he has done little to fight against it. As President, he has fueled the flames of hate and cruelty towards marginalized communities with Tweets and concerning comments.

We have so much work to do, and we need someone to unite us.

I want to elect someone who shares my values and who will strive for a better tomorrow. Joe Biden has been in public service for decades fighting for his constituents through his role as a Senator, and then as Vice President of the United States. He helped pass the Affordable Care Act and has continually shown up for the American people.

Donald Trump has shown that he is beholden to no one but himself.

Nothing has made Trump's selfishness more apparent than COVID-19. The total coronavirus death toll in the United States has surpassed 219,000, a dire indicator of Trump's inability to lead. He has refused to listen to science and shows little to no regard for anyone suffering from the devastating effects of this virus.

The president is holding mass in-person rallies that are likely super-spreader events. He exposed himself and numerous members of his staff, family and friends to COVID-19. Even after contracting it himself, Trump gloated to the masses that he survived it, instead of using his experience for the greater good, and urging us to protect each other.

This October, the United States has a death rate of an average of 800 per day. How many people must be affected before we start taking this seriously? Moreover, people of color are infected and dying from this deadly virus at disproportionately higher rates than those of their white counterparts. Something has to change.

The tone-deaf casualty that this administration takes in regards to the welfare of the American people is despicable. To add insult to injury the Affordable Care Act, which helps ensure millions of us, is in imminent danger from the latest nomination to the Superior Court of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Therein lies what may be Donald Trump's greatest flaw: He lacks reverence for people, for the community, both domestically and globally, and this is his greatest weakness not only as a man but as a leader.

Folks are still with him, though, most citing that they think that he has the best chance of handling our crumbling economy. But there is a direct correlation between this Administration's failure to take the pandemic seriously and the downfall of the economy that is looming on the horizon.

Almost 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March and small businesses across the nation have felt the effects of the shutdown. Our country will reflect the mishandling of the pandemic for years to come. While the virus itself was not preventable, the devastation of its wake was.

I teach my children it's okay to take up space

It is important to me that my children know that they are allowed to take up space; to be bold and stand up for their worth and the worth of others. Sometimes as mothers we need to hear that, too. Keep speaking up and shouting out, whether your pulpit is the front seat of your car or the Senate floor. Together we can show our kids the power of every voice.

At a town hall on October 15th, Biden was asked by a constituent what he would do to protect the LGBTQ+ community. Biden answered simply and directly, stating that he would change the executive orders issued by Donald Trump which include: banning transgendered people from military service, weakening anti-discriminatory law and removing transgender language from government websites. Joe Biden was clear in his beliefs that there should be zero tolerance for discrimination.

Biden also spoke about being a young boy and his curiosity at seeing two men hug and kiss in public. Biden recalled how his father explained to him, "Joey, it's simple. They love each other."

This is the leader that I want: someone who will stand up to intolerance and work to create a world where every person's voice is heard, every person's worth is valued.

I teach my children it's okay to change your mind

If you voted for Trump in 2016, it is okay to change your mind. It is okay to look at the facts we have now and to reassess. I have seen what four years of a Trump presidency looks like—and this has been Trump confined by the constraints of reelection—what will the next four years look like if he has nothing to lose?

I often stop and ask myself this: Is my life better right now than it was four years ago? And what will it look like when my health care is taken away? When women's reproductive rights are confiscated? When I look at the television, when I drive through my town, is this the America that I want my children to grow up in?

America is not the greatest country in the world—not right now and not by a long shot. On this point, Trump and I can agree. Instead of identifying ourselves as Americans, we have become defined by who we voted for instead of the sustenance of what we voted for. I often remind my children it's okay to look at a situation and say, this is no longer working for me.

My hope for this election is that we move forward towards an America that provides security and opportunity for everyone.

Let us be informed by facts.

Let us pass laws that protect our most vulnerable.

Let us wage wars on poverty, failing education systems, wage gaps, unemployment and climate change—not on poor people.

Let us teach our children to care about their neighbors and ensure that everyone has equal access to basic human rights like health care.

Let us be bold in our demands for equity and equality—because my children will never truly be safe in America until all children are safe in America.

I want a president who looks at America and sees her beauty and promise. I believe that our democracy can and will work for my children and yours. I vote for every dreamer and every weary traveler who makes their way to our borders, for every child of every color, every orientation, every religion.

I am a mother, a woman and an American. People before me have fought long and hard for my right to vote and I hold this honor close to my heart. I will continue to teach my kids to be a part of the solution; to fight for a better life for all of us. And the choice for me come November is simple: I will vote for Joe Biden.

In This Article

    23 kid-approved lunch ideas you'll want to steal

    Looking for some tried-and-true lunch time suggestions? We've got you covered, mama.

    mrs/Getty Images

    Whether your little one will eat anything you put in front of them or prefers to stick to their favorite foods, coming up with healthy lunch ideas for your kids every day can be stressful. We're here to help. That's why we're rounding up some fun, healthy meals for you to try. Many of these feature leftovers or options you can make without cooking anything new.

    We hope you'll find some great ways to help make lunchtime fun in your house. Whether it's a new idea for a wrap or simply a snack that your child has yet to try, read on for 20+ great lunch ideas for kids.


    A version of this story was published in July 2021. It has been updated.

    Food

    12 baby registry essentials for family adventures

    Eager to get out and go? Start here

    Ashley Robertson / @ashleyrobertson

    Parenthood: It's the greatest adventure of all. From those first few outings around the block to family trips at international destinations, there are new experiences to discover around every corner. As you begin the journey, an adventurous spirit can take you far—and the best baby travel gear can help you go even farther.

    With car seats, strollers and travel systems designed to help you confidently get out and go on family adventures, Maxi-Cosi gives you the support you need to make the memories you want.

    As a mom of two, Ashley Robertson says she appreciates how Maxi-Cosi products can grow with her growing family. "For baby gear, safety and ease are always at the top of our list, but I also love how aesthetically pleasing the Maxi Cosi products are," she says. "The Pria Car Seat was our first purchase and it's been so nice to have a car seat that 'grows' with your child. It's also easy to clean—major bonus!"

    If you have big dreams for family adventures, start by exploring these 12 baby registry essentials.

    Tayla™️ XP Travel System

    Flexibility is key for successful family adventures. This reversible, adjustable, all-terrain travel system delivers great versatility. With the included Coral XP Infant Car Seat that fits securely in the nesting system, you can use this stroller from birth.


    Add to Babylist

    $849.99

    Iora Bedside Bassinet

    Great for use at home or for adventures that involve a night away, the collapsible Iora Bedside Bassinet gives your baby a comfortable, safe place to snooze. With five different height positions and three slide positions, this bassinet can fit right by your bedside. The travel bag also makes it easy to take on the go.


    Add to Babylist

    $249.99

    Kori 2-in-1 Rocker

    Made with high-quality, soft materials, the foldable Kori Rocker offers 2-in-1 action by being a rocker or stationary seat. It's easy to move around the home, so you can keep your baby comfortable wherever you go. With a slim folded profile, it's also easy to take along on adventures so your baby always has a seat of their own.


    Add to Babylist

    $119.99

    Minla 6-in-1 High Chair

    A high chair may not come to mind when you're planning ahead for family adventures. But, as the safest spot for your growing baby to eat meals, it's worth bringing along for the ride. With compact folding ability and multiple modes of use that will grow with your little one, it makes for easy cargo.


    Add to Babylist

    $219.99

    Coral XP Infant Car Seat

    With the inner carrier weighing in at just 5 lbs., this incredibly lightweight infant car seat means every outing isn't also an arm workout for you. Another feature you won't find with other infant car seats? In addition to the standard carry bar, the Coral XP can be carried with a flexible handle or cross-body strap.


    Add to Babylist

    $399.99

    Pria™️ All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

    From birth through 10 years, this is the one and only car seat you need. It works in rear-facing, forward-facing and, finally, booster mode. Comfortable and secure for every mile of the journey ahead, you can feel good about hitting the road for family fun.


    Add to Babylist

    $289.99

    Pria™️ Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

    Want to skip the wrestling match with car seat buckles? The brilliant Out-of-the-Way harness system and magnetic chest clip make getting your child in and out of their buckles as cinch. This fully convertible car seat is suitable for babies from 4 lbs. through big kids up to 100 lbs. With washer-and-dryer safe cushions and dishwasher safe cup holders, you don't need to stress the mess either.


    Add to Babylist

    $329.99

    Tayla Modular Lightweight Stroller

    With four reclining positions, your little ones can stay content—whether they want to lay back for a little shut-eye or sit up and take in the view. Also reversible, the seat can be turned outward or inward if you want to keep an eye on your adventure buddy. Need to pop it in the trunk or take it on the plane? The stroller easily and compactly folds shut.


    Add to Babylist
    $499.99

    Tayla Travel System

    This car seat and stroller combo is the baby travel system that will help make your travel dreams possible from Day 1. The Mico XP infant seat is quick and easy to install into the stroller or car. Skipping the car seat? The reversible stroller seat is a comfortable way to take in the scenery.


    Add to Babylist
    $699.99

    Modern Diaper Bag

    When you need to change a diaper during an outing, the last thing you'll want to do is scramble to find one. The Modern Diaper Bag will help you stay organized for brief outings or week-long family vacations. In addition to the pockets and easy-carry strap, we love the wipeable diaper changing pad, insulated diaper bag and hanging toiletry bag.


    Add to Babylist

    $129.99

    Mico XP Max Infant Car Seat

    Designed for maximum safety and comfort from the very first day, this infant car seat securely locks into the car seat base or compatible strollers. With a comfy infant pillow and luxe materials, it also feels as good for your baby as it looks to you. Not to mention the cushions are all machine washable and dryable, which is a major win for you.


    Add to Babylist
    $299.99

    Adorra™️ 5-in-1 Modular Travel System

    From carriage mode for newborn through world-view seated mode for bigger kids, this 5-in-1 children's travel system truly will help make travel possible. We appreciate the adjustable handlebar, extended canopy with UV protection and locking abilities when it's folded. Your child will appreciate the plush cushions, reclining seat and smooth ride.


    Add to Babylist
    $599.99

    Ready for some family adventures? Start by exploring Maxi-Cosi.

    This article was sponsored by Maxi-Cosi. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


    Boost 1

    This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

    My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

    When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

    One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

    I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


    Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

    The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

    Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

    Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

    Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

    My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

    Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

    Woodland Snug comforter

    Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

    The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

    $249

    Braided Pom Pom Throw

    Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

    $145

    Lumbar pillow

    sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

    What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

    $65

    Crystal infused sleep mask

    sunday citizen sleep mask

    Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

    $40

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

    Shop

    15 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

    So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


    Stomp Racers

    As longtime fans of Stomp Rockets, we're pretty excited about their latest launch–Stomp Racers. Honestly, the thrill of sending things flying through the air never gets old. Parents and kids alike can spend hours launching these kid-powered cars which take off via a stompable pad and hose.

    $19.99

    Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

    Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

    Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

    $139

    Secret Agent play set

    Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

    This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

    $40

    Stepping Stones

    Stepping-stones

    Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

    $99.99

    Sand play set

    B. toys Wagon & Beach Playset - Wavy-Wagon Red

    For the littlest ones, it's easy to keep it simple. Take their sand box toys and use them in the bath! This 12-piece set includes a variety of scoops, molds and sifters that can all be stored in sweet little wagon.

    $17.95

    Sensory play set

    kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

    Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

    $19.95

    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

    $121

    Foam pogo stick

    Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

    Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

    $16.99

    Dumptruck 

    green-toys-dump-truck

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

    $22

    Hopper ball

    Hopper ball

    Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

    $14.99

    Pull-along ducks

    janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

    $16.99

    Rocking chair seesaw

    Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

    This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

    $79.99

    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

    $79.99

    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

    $24.75

    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

    $40

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

    Shop

    How to talk to your kids about Indigenous history and issues

    In honor of Native American Day.

    MoMo Productions

    No matter who you are and where you're from, there's likely an indigenous population that was displaced by colonialism wherever you live, or you yourself might have this heritage. While each situation varies widely based on exactly where you're from, it's still important to discuss indigenous history with your children. Allow them to ask questions to truly understand the scope of their experience through education.

    Indigenous history education is important for kids of all backgrounds—even those who aren't indigenous. Some may even argue that it's especially important for kids who aren't indigenous.

    Indigenous history is an integral part of the history of any nation with a history of colonialism. And although parts of it may be uncomfortable, it's important to learn about it in order to become better citizens in the present day. Indigenous populations are filled with many rich cultures and populations of people still being affected today by the events of history—and current events taking place right now.

    No matter where you are or when you're getting started, here are a few effective tips for how to talk to your kids about indigenous history and issues.


    Don't Rely on Stereotypes

    Much of what we have to go off of in our common culture in terms of indigenous stories and representation are actually based on stereotypes and narratives perpetuated by colonizers. Sometimes it can be difficult to wade through a sea of stereotypes and unreliable sources, but in order to find legitimate information about sensitive topics, you may need to look for better sources — likely sources that come directly from indigenous people, records, and organizations.

    Even academic history textbooks are often filled with lies and constructed narratives. From the stories of the first Thanksgiving to Disney movies featuring native characters, common cultural narratives of indigenous people are often much less than accurate.

    Be Honest With Them

    It can sometimes be difficult to talk to kids about sensitive topics, especially when those topics inherently contain discussions of wrongdoing and injustice. However, that makes it even more important to be honest about the events that have taken place.

    Of course, it's always important to talk about things in an age-appropriate manner, especially with kids who are sensitive to graphic information. But age-appropriate doesn't mean bending the truth. It means telling the truth in ways they can understand and process.

    Talk About Both Past and Present

    Especially for those not as in touch with the indigenous community, indigenous history can feel just like how it sounds at first glance—history that lives completely in the past.

    On the contrary. Indigenous populations are as alive as ever, from reservations to bigger cities. Indigenous people face unique issues that they didn't in previous generations, and it's important to recognize indigenous people as more than a history—they are a community of people.

    When it comes to how to talk to kids about indigenous issues, one of the biggest things to remember is that current events are a large part of that narrative.

    Listen to Actual Indigenous Voices

    As previously discussed, much of the common cultural narrative—including educational materials—are filled with stereotypes and manufactured histories from the perspective of European colonizers. No matter what, the best way to get an accurate view of indigenous history and issues is to seek out accounts and sources from actual indigenous people, tribes, and organizations.

    When trying to learn about any subject, it's always best to head right to primary sources. So check out the tribes in your area and learn directly about them. Plus, check out books, speeches, and resources from indigenous authors and scholars.

    Be an Active Force for Positive Change

    Again, it's important to disrupt the "people of the past" narrative, which means actively participating in positive change as a part of the learning experience. Donate money to indigenous organizations, go to events that feature and give back to the indigenous community in your area, and sign petitions for current events as a part of your conversation.

    It's important both to make reparations and to create a participatory learning experience when talking to kids, and there are plenty of ways to do that.

    Discuss Non-Colonialist Culture and History

    One of the big missteps—even with well-intentioned educators—is centering the conversation of indigenous history around colonialism. By starting the conversation with the colonizers showing up and stealing land, you participate further in a euro-centric worldview and miss so much valuable information that indigenous history and culture have to offer.

    Instead, learn about indigenous culture, tradition, spirituality, and history outside of the colonial narrative. While it may feel like a no-brainer to some, many don't realize what they miss out on.

    Encourage Them to Ask Questions

    Just like any topic you're teaching kids, they will likely have questions and curiosities about indigenous peoples and experiences. Questions are a good thing, especially if the subject is new to you, too.

    Encourage your kids to ask questions throughout the conversation or lesson. And if you have answers, you can lead them to those answers. However, if you don't know the answers, you can take it as a learning opportunity to discover something new together.

    Keep the Conversation Going

    One of the primary ways to create a well-rounded education on indigenous history and issues for anybody of any age is to keep the conversation active. Just like any history lesson, you don't just talk about it once and drop it afterward—you keep the conversation going with new lessons and topics of discussion.

    At the end of the day, indigenous culture is rich and diverse—much too much for you to tackle it all in just one sitting.

    Talking to Your Kids About Indigenous History

    There are so many ways to discuss indigenous issues and culture, and exploring them with your kids is an amazing opportunity to educate them (as well as yourself) to be better citizens of the community and world. Indigenous history is inherently a part of the history of your country, which means it's imperative that you bring it into the educational conversations you're having.

    Parenting

    The important safety tip parents need to know about sleep + car seats

    Why you might want to plan for more pit stops on your next road trip.

    When we become parents we don't just have to learn how to take care of a baby, we also have to learn how, when and why to use all the different kinds of baby gear.


    There is so much to learn and when it comes to car seats there is one rule many parents haven't heard of: infants shouldn't be left in car seats for more than an hour at a time, and they should never nap in a car seat outside the vehicle.

    According to multiple studies, babies are at risk for decreased oxygen levels while in car seats, especially when the car is not in motion or the trip lasts for an extended period of time. Although preterm babies or infants with respiratory conditions are most at-risk, there is good reason for all families to take proper precautions.

    As Scottish mother-of-two Kirsti Clark recently told STV, she had no idea that infants shouldn't be left in car seats for more than an hour at a time until her 3-week-old daughter, Harper, had a seizure following a car trip that went longer than expected. It was a situation not unfamiliar to many other families: The Clarks simply got stuck in traffic and then left Harper in the seat while they put their older daughter to bed.

    When Harper's father then took her out of her car seat she seemed like she could not get comfortable on his lap, Metro reports. Her father tried to settle her on a play mat and that's when the baby suffered a seizure. The Clarks rushed to the hospital where she was treated and thankfully recovered. But, Clark says one of the biggest shocks to her was that these guidelines even exist.

    "I've never once been told a child should not be in a car seat for any length of time," she told STV. "Nowhere in the instruction booklets or any guidance that we've seen online has there been anything mentioned about breathing difficulties."

    This is why some hospitals do what's known as a "car seat challenge" with preterm babies before discharge, which allows professionals to monitor the baby's cardiorespiratory stability when they're in their car seat.

    Make sure all care providers know to never use a car seat for naps 

    Sharon Evans, a trauma injury prevention coordinator at Cook Children's Hospital, told WFAA News the idea that car seats can be used for naps outside the car is a pretty common misconception that needs to be cleared up.

    "There's nothing about the car seat that's designed to sleep," she told WFAA News. "Of course, if the straps aren't tight, the child can kind of slump down."

    Safety experts say parents should make sure everyone who looks after the baby, including daycare providers and babysitters, understands that they should not be placed in the car seat outside of the vehicle.

    Lisa Smith tells WFAA News she did understand the risks associated with car seat naps and didn't let her baby daughter, Mia, nap in the car seat. Tragically, at nearly 18 months old Mia was left to nap in a car seat at her licensed home daycare, and lost her life to positional asphyxia, or restricted breathing. Now Smith, like Clark, is on a mission to educate other parents to make sure this doesn't happen to another child.

    "I walk around town and see people using a car seat on the seats at restaurants or putting them on the floor at tables," Smith says, adding that she will tell Mia's story to parents when she sees a baby napping in a car seat, letting them know kindly, "'I just want you to be really careful.'"

    What parents should do

    Researchers with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society agree with Smith: The most dangerous time for a baby to be in a car seat is when they're not actually in a car. So while it may seem convenient to leave a sleeping babe in their car seat after a long trip or while you're at a restaurant, it's best to take them out right away.

    The AAP recommends that when you are using the car seat as intended in the car, plan"to stop driving and give yourself and your child a break about every two hours." In the case of babies younger than one month, some car seat researchers recommend avoiding unnecessarily long road trips.

    "Restrict it to say, no more than half an hour or so," Professor Peter Fleming, a noted car seat researcher, told the BBC. (If you've got to go farther than that, just plan for rest stops to get baby out of the car seat.)

    All this comes with one significant note: While baby is in a moving car, safely buckled into a car seat is always the safest place to be. As noted in a study The Journal of Pediatrics, babies riding in a car seat as per the manufacturer's guidelines have a very low risk of suffocation or strangulation from the harness straps.

    If we're aware of the risks and make sure to take breaks and take the baby out of the seat when the car stops, everyone can ride safely. Car seats, when used properly, are a literal lifesaver we should all be thankful for.

    [Update, September 13, 2018: Added information regarding Lisa Smith's case.]

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