Best of the Web: How to rapid antigen test your child, and more

Expert advice on using RATs on kids and easing anxiety, the simple answer to raising teens, and the need to celebrate parenting milestones.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

Go low, go slow: how to rapid antigen test your kid for COVID as school returns

(Margie Danchin and Eric Levi, The Conversation)

The use of Rapid Antigen Tests are a feature of the return to school in Victoria and NSW, as part of protocols to keep schools open safely.

Twice-weekly testing of students and staff has been strongly recommended. Yet as this article notes, it may be challenging for some parents, especially if their child has behavioural or development issues.

This is a useful guide for parents to meet some of those challenges, including preparing the child well and explaining what will happen. This will help minimise anxiety and give them some sense of control.

There’s also a step-by-step guide to administering the test, accompanied by expert videos, such as the Victorian Government how-to-guide.

‘No matter how well you do it, some children will find this harder than others. We understand that. But honest education and practice runs will help the vast majority of kids,’ write the authors. ‘The key is planning, discussion, watching videos and attempting to make it a bit fun to try and take away some of their anxieties. Demonstrating the test on an adult may also help.’

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Raising a teenager is scary. Don't be daunted and embrace the hard work

(Andie Fox, The Guardian)

Raising a teenager? Feeling overwhelmed, incompetent, alone? Just like it was when they were babies and toddlers?

This is the experience of the author, who shares in this article her experiences and emotions – descriptions that will resonate with many parents now navigating the teenage years.

‘Sometimes, when I admit to another parent that this is hard, harder than I expected, they lower their heads near mine and, with eyes widened, whisper urgently about something very worrying they are contending with as a parent,’ she writes. ‘Their voices convey the relief of an honest conversation but also, the ache of big problems that cannot be immediately fixed for a child.’

In the midst of all this, she recalls the children’s favourite, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, with the obstacles that must be overcome in the journey, facing the dangers ahead. Perhaps, after all, this was a book for parents, she reflects. Rereading it now, the true purpose is imprinting a script for living. And parenting a teenager.

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The importance of celebrating parenting milestones

(Megan Holbeck, ABC Everyday)

It began with a polite tap on the bedroom door, writes the author. Her five-year-old son had woken during the night. She scooped him up, carried him back to his room, and snuggled with him until he settled.

On her way back to her bed, she had a startling realisation. It had been weeks since this had happened – the ‘eventual massive gift of reliable sleep had gone uncelebrated, almost unnoticed’.

This is a reminder that we need to celebrate parenting milestones, for so many will slip by. It’s why the author treasures concrete, date-based milestones such as birthdays – a time to look back and celebrate wins, both big and small.

When her son finished pre-school, among the artwork and spare clothes they carried out was a folder of photos. ‘We flicked through the photos together and I remembered.’

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