One day out of school? Fine, here’s the remote. But by day four of a low-grade temp— just enough to keep the kid home— most parents get rather desperate for ideas. We are both unfortunate experts on the topic of kids’ sick days, and in this episode we discuss

  • what you should already have around the house in anticipation of those “Mommy, I don’t feel well” moments
  • how to decide if your kid is really sick enough to stay home
  • why sick days are not the time to introduce a new skill
  • how kids will act better before they report feeling better
  • why even sick days need a semblance of a schedule
  • the importance of “blank-facing”
  • and why we must always beware secondary gain.

Here’s links to some research and articles with great ideas for sick-day kids that we discuss:

Devon Corneal for Real Simple: 16 Clever Ways To Entertain a Child Who’s Home Sick

Parenting Magazine: Activities for Kids on Sick Days

Stephanie Morgan for Momtastic: 10 Activities When Sickness Has You Stuck At Home

Carrie McBride for Apartment Therapy: 5 Survival Tips for Being Sick at Home

from NPR: Should My Slightly Sick Child Stay Home? The Rules Often Conflict

and most importantly, this sobering read, from Heather Murphy for the New York Times: Fish Depression is Not a Joke

Want to help a sick kid in the hospital who is really super-bored? Donate a LEGO set to Sam’s LEGO Drive!

One of our favorite sick day hacks? Audible. (Amy’s daughter has listened to three Harry Potters and the entire Incorrigible Children series, saving her mother’s sanity while she listens.) Get your 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/whatfreshhell- and help support our podcast at the same time!