What parents need to know from Joe Biden’s town hall
Joe Biden/Facebook.

It was supposed to be another debate, but Joe Biden stood alone on a stage in Philadelphia tonight, talking to the American people on ABC as his opponent, President Donald Trump, did the same on NBC.

If you were watching NBC (or didn't watch either of the candidates because you were busy getting children fed and to bed) don't worry, we were watching for you.

Biden took the stage just hours after the campaign announced that Kamala Harris' communications director and a member of the campaign's flight crew had tested positive for COVID-19. Biden and Harris both tested negative before tonight's event, which was held under strict health and safety measures to prevent any potential spreading of COVID-19.

Here's what you need to know about Vice President Biden's town hall:

Joe Biden on the pandemic 

With a small group of Pennsylvania voters in attendance—a mix of Democrats, Republicans and undecided voters—the first set of questions addressed the coronavirus pandemic, and the lack of coordinated federal action.

Asked what "following the science" means to him in terms of policy measures that could help contain the pandemic, Biden argued that the President was informed early on about what scientists said about the virus, but consistently played down its seriousness.

Biden, who said he meets several times per week with members of the scientific community for debriefings, said that he had created detailed plans for reopening schools and businesses that he published in a series of op-eds earlier this year.

"He missed enormous opportunities," Biden said, referring to President Trump's response to the pandemic, and to the lack of progress on testing and tracing nationwide. "It is a Presidential responsibility to lead, and he didn't do that," Biden says. "He kept worrying about the stock market."

Questioned about how he would contain the pandemic without crushing the economy, Biden said, "You can open businesses and schools if you provide them with the guidance that they need, and with the money that they need to do it."

Biden's response highlighted the importance of aid for schools during the pandemic. "We need more teachers in our schools to be able to open smaller pods. We need ventilation improvements. And we need them now."

Asked by a 2016 Trump voter if he would take a vaccine if it became available, Biden said, "If the body of scientists say that this is what is ready to be done, I would encourage people to take it." But Biden pointed out a lack of transparency within the current administration about a realistic timeline for a vaccine, and the lack of planning around vaccine distribution.

"There should be a plan for when we get the vaccine, how will we distribute it," Biden said.

Asked if he would mandate the vaccine, he said it would depend on the efficacy of the vaccine and how distributable it was, stating that he would work with local and state governments on encouraging and enforcing widespread vaccination.

Joe Biden on taxes 

Asked about extending tax cuts for the middle class—and whether tax cuts in a pandemic would be wise—Biden didn't explicitly say he would extend tax relief, but confirmed his plan not to raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000.

Under Biden's plan for the economy, corporations and taxpayers making over $400,000 per year would be taxed at a slightly higher rate, creating billions in tax revenue without needing to raise taxes for the middle class.

Joe Biden on racial equality

Asked by a young Black student what he would say to Black voters under the age of 30 who are conflicted about voting because they are reluctant to participate in a system that they feel doesn't represent or reflect them, Biden's response focused more on policy changes than addressing systemic racism or progressive reforms in the criminal justice system.

Biden's priorities included a range of policies from expanding health care to creating economic supports to funding educational programs, focusing on putting the African American community in a position to create wealth (seriously, he said "it's about accumulating wealth" like five or six times).

Among the policies Biden listed: Supporting public health programs that address mental health and addiction, funding early education programs, funding and supporting HBCUs in order to create career opportunities, support for first-time home buyers, support for Small Business Associations to create opportunities for Black entrepreneurs.

"Have you heard what you need to hear?" moderator George Stephanopolous asked the young voter.

"I think so," was the response—although the young man's expression was a bit dubious.

When asked about the 1994 crime bill he supported that resulted in disproportionate impacts on African Americans, Biden said, "We have to change the system," expressing his support for community policing, as opposed to "swarming in armored Humvees."

"Most cops don't like bad cops," Biden pointed out, but are reluctant to report systematic problems within departments. Biden pledged to create a task force composed of leaders in the BIPOC community along with law enforcement to address racial discrimination in law enforcement.

Joe Biden on the environment

Asked if he would ban fracking, and what environmentally sustainable energy sources he supports, Biden was clear that he is not in favor of banning fracking, but proposes regulation to make sure it's done within certain guidelines.

Biden set himself in contrast to the "Green New Deal" championed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others, instead proposing investing in technologies to create and distribute energy more efficiently, support agricultural innovations to reduce the environmental impact of industrialized farming, and stop subsidizing oil companies in favor of investing in sustainable energy.

Joe Biden on trans rights 

When a mother asked Biden what he would do to protect her transgender child and protect LGBTQ rights, the former vice president told her: "I will flat-out just change the law. Eliminate those executive orders, number one."

Biden discussed how trans women of color are especially at risk in the United States and how a high number of trans women have been killed just this year. Biden says trans rights are important to his family, noting that his late son Beau helped protect trans people through legislation.

A stark contrast to the Trump town hall 

The contrast between Joe Biden's conversation with ABC's George Stephanopoulos and President Trump's conversation with NBC's Savannah Guthrie was stark.

While Trump and Guthrie sparred on one feed, Biden and Stephanopoulos conversed on the other. The tone was gentler, kinder and less divisive. And that was no accident.

Joe Biden was as calm as the President was combative, telling the American people: "If I'm elected president, you will not hear me race-baiting, you will not hear me dividing, you'll hear me try to unify and unify with—bring people together."

[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.]

<p> Siobhan Adcock is the Experts Editor at Motherly and the author of two novels about motherhood, <a href="" target="_blank">The Completionist</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">The Barter</a>. Her writing has also appeared in Romper, Bustle, Ms., McSweeney's, Slate, Salon, The Daily Beast, The Chicago Review of Books and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter. </p>

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're 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 toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Detective set

Plan Toys detective set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop 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.


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.


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.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

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.


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.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


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.


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25+ Halloween movies for kid, by age

These capture the goofy, spooky and sweet aspects of Halloween. Boo.

My family loves watching Halloween movies to get into the spooky spirit.

Of course, every kid has a different threshold for what they consider too scary. With most of these selections, there are links to Common Sense Media, where you can read more about the content of the films (along with reviews from other parents and kids).

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