Katie Arnold-Ratliff

Katie Arnold-Ratliff is a journalist and editor whose writing has appeared in such publications as Slate, Time, Tin House, Salon, New York, the New York Times Book Review, Wired, The Believer, Poets & Writers, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parents, and Runners World. She is also the author of the novel Bright Before Us and the monthly books newsletter The Syllabus. A native Californian, Katie lives in New Jersey with her family, and can be found at katiearnold-ratliff.com.

Make It Stop

Say Hello To The Real Rules Of Elf On The Shelf

Your step-by-step guide to the season’s most relentless task.


Hold Up: Why Does My TP Have A Scalloped Edge? Does Yours?

A very serious investigation.

“I Thought You Should Know…”

You Just Got A Text Saying Your Kid Did Something Awful. What Now?

Some practical advice for handling this tricky (read: dreaded) situation.

The Struggle Is Real

4 Things To Normalize If You're An Introverted Parent Raising An Extrovert

You find large groups exhausting, but your kid is the life of the party. Recipe for disaster, or totally navigable? (Good news: It’s the second one.)

Free Time = "Me Time"

What Is Revenge Sleep Procrastination? Why Moms Stay Up Way Too Late, For One

On the self-defeating phenomenon of parental “RSP.”


Are You Raising A Misogynist?

The world is full of awful messages about women. Here’s how to help your kid avoid internalizing them.

Reading rainbow

How To Help Reluctant Readers: 8 Expert Tips To Get Your Kid Into Books

They might balk at the sight of a book — but that doesn’t mean you can’t stealthily instill a love of storytelling.

Send Help

When It Feels Like Your Kid Is The Only One Who Does Something Weird

On the terror of feeling like your child is one in a million — in a bad way.

It's a Process

How To Raise Your Little Kid To Be A Great Teenager

What you can do now to help ensure your child will thrive later.

A Colorful Query

Why Are All Gray Hair Shampoos Purple? Inquiring Minds (& Hairs) Need To Know

What does “brassy” even mean? And why can’t going gray mean less work, not more? And is all this stuff just made up to sell us things we don’t need?

Listen Up

The Perimenopause Info You Need — And Likely Haven’t Heard

Ever felt like your torso was suddenly roasting under the devil’s heat lamp, though you’re “too young” to have hot flashes? If so, this one’s for you.

Important Info

Can Kids Get Monkeypox? What Parents Should Know About The Viral Disease

Don’t panic — but do stay vigilant.

Very Curious

You Probably Don't Know The Mysterious History Of Postpartum Mesh Panties

Their origin story says a lot about society’s perception of female bodies.

What To Know

8 Telltale Signs You’re Raising A Hypochondriac

And how to address their health anxiety.

WFH Woes

What Am I Supposed To Do With All These Office Clothes Now?

A few options for your corporate wardrobe in the WFH era of Zoom.

One And Done

The Secret Benefits Of Raising An Only Child

Sure, the lower daycare bills and lack of sibling squabbles are nice, but the research reveals even greater perks for singletons — and for their parents.

That's What She Said

Help, I Can't Stop Playing The Office’s Addictive Mobile Game

Quit this time-wasting diversion? It’s just too hard. (That’s what she said.)


Is It Better To Be The Oldest Kid In Kindergarten Or The Youngest? Here’s What The Data Says

When you have the option to push your kid or hold them back a year, here’s what experts say is best.

Oy Vey

The Hell Of Being Married To A Yes-Man

You might think a passive, go-along-to-get-along spouse would be swell. Not quite.


Is It Retail Therapy — Or A Real Problem?

If the big brown truck is making daily visits, it might be time for a gut check.