Helping Parents Hold the Line

The team also produces a newsletter twice a week, uses its social media accounts to spotlight articles related to parenting from across the newsroom and continues to create special projects: In May, the team published a collection of essays focused on motherhood and transformation, and a recent package of profiles featured families that have opted for home-schooling.

Ms. Grose said that in the beginning of the pandemic, the desk talked to infectious disease pediatricians every day to bring readers the most up-to-date information. As the pandemic wears on, the desk continues to consult pediatricians, as well as psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. And the team stays in close contact with the Science, Metro and National desks to ensure that Parenting’s coverage is “additive, and not duplicative,” Ms. Grose said.

When brainstorming ideas, the team pays close attention to reader feedback. It also helps that many of the Parenting staff members are raising young children themselves, and often come to pitch meetings with ideas that stem from their own lives.

Ms. Miller handles audience development as part of her role and frequently reads comments from, and interacts with, readers on the desk’s Instagram page. She often brings this feedback to the team so members can think about the best way to address caregivers’ most pressing concerns.

The team has also made it a priority to talk about the mental health of parents. “We do a lot of coverage about how parents can cope right now; it’s not just all about kids,” Ms. Grose said. “The amount of anxiety and rapid change that has happened is really hard.”

Early in the pandemic, as editors and reporters explored recurring themes of parents and children living similar lives in front of screens, Deanna Donegan, the senior visual editor for Parenting, created a visual approach to the articles that counterbalanced the heaviness of the moment.

“Content-wise, Parenting has done a really good job of giving parents resources of how to handle this very anxious time when there isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan for anyone,” Ms. Donegan said. “It’s nice to try to infuse some of that calm and reassurance, and also provide some levity maybe, in the art.”


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