Mom and Dad Are Fighting

The Pandemic Pod People Edition

Slate’s parenting podcast debates forming quarantine pacts and interacting with imaginary friends.


Episode Notes

On this week’s episode: Dan, Jamilah, and Elizabeth debate the advantages and risks of adding families into their quarantine bubble. Social distancing guidelines and epidemiologists have warned about increased risk of catching Covid-19 with increased exposure to others. But what if absolute social distancing isn’t working for your family?

For the Everyone is Fighting Now segment, the hosts answer a question from a listener who is worried her daughter is more convinced than ever that her imaginary dragon friend is real. Dr. Stephanie Carlson, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Director of Research at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, joins the hosts to determine if the letter writer should keep interacting with the dragon. If you’d like to listen with kids that can handle a conversation about make-believe friends, zip ahead to about 41:00. Or if you are listening to the Plus episode, go to 35:45.

For Slate Plus, how helpful are coronavirus specials, like Elmo’s virtual playdate, in helping kids understand what’s going on? Sign up for Slate Plus.


Dan recommends An Embarrassment of Witches by Sophie Goldstein and Jenn Jordan. It’s a young adult comic, best suited for 13+, and you can order it on as an alternative to Amazon that benefits independent bookstores.

Jamilah recommends The Anger Management Workbook for Kids by Samantha Snowden, which has lots of activities for when young ones are trying to work through complex emotions.

Elizabeth recommends The Big Life Journal for Kids, an interactive book that helps children develop growth mindsets.

Extra reading recommendations: You’re single. You live alone. Are you allowed to have a coronavirus buddy? By Sigal Samuel.

Join us on Facebook and email us at to ask us new questions, tell us what you thought of today’s show, and give us ideas for what we should talk about in future episodes.

Podcast produced by Rosemary Belson.


About the Show

Jamilah Lemieux, Elizabeth Newcamp, and Zak Rosen share triumphs and fails and offer advice on parenting kids from toddler to teens.

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