Parents (magazine)

Last updated
Parents magazine.png
Editor in ChiefJulia Edelstein
Publisher Meredith Corporation
Total circulation
First issueOctober 1926
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City [1]
ISSN 1083-6373

Parents, published by Meredith Corporation, is an American mass circulation monthly magazine that features scientific information on child development geared to help parents in raising their children.



The magazine was started by George J. Hecht in 1926. The magazine was originally titled Children, The Magazine for Parents. [2] Hecht hired Clara Savage Littledale to be its first editor. The first issue was published in October 1926 [3] [4] and soon was selling 100,000 copies a month. [5] Beginning with the August 1929 issue, the name was changed to Parents' Magazine (with an apostrophe). [6] Littledale was followed as editor by Mary Buchanan. In 1937, the magazine was granted trademark registration for the mark Parents' Magazine. [7]

From 1941–1965, Parents' Magazine Press published a line of comic books and magazines heavily featuring comics, including such long-running titles as Calling All Girls, Children's Digest , Polly Pigtails, True Comics, and True Picture-Magazine. [8] Parents Magazine Press also published Humpty Dumpty from the 1950s through the early 1980s, until it and Children's Digest were sold to the Saturday Evening Post company.

Parents' Magazine was sold to Gruner + Jahr in 1978. At that time, the magazine was "relaunched" and its name was shortened, utilizing only the word "Parents", without an apostrophe. [9] Elizabeth Crow became the magazine's editor for the next decade.

In 1992, Gruner + Jahr filed suit against Meredith for trademark infringement of Parents when Meredith published Parent's Digest. With the court finding no actual confusion of the products (though there was testimony from managers and employees as to inquiries about a possible relationship between the publications), the case was dismissed. [10]

Meredith acquired Parents magazine when Gruner + Jahr left the US magazine business in 2005. Sally Lee was the editor from 1998 to 2008. Dana Points was Editor in Chief from 2008-2016.


Its editorial focus is on the daily needs and concerns of mothers with young children. The glossy monthly features information about child health, safety, behavior, discipline and education. There are also stories on women's health, nutrition, pregnancy, marriage, and beauty. It is aimed primarily at women ages 18–35 with young children.

Columns include "As They Grow," which cover age-specific child development issues, as well as the reader-generated "Baby Bloopers," "It Worked for Me," and "Goody Bag." The magazine also produces a website, [11] an iPhone app for kids, Parents Flash Cards, and, the now-defunct blog.

With its impressive historical reach, Parents has frequently been used by academics, to document social and cultural shifts over time. Melissa Milkie and Kathleen Denny describe the prominence of the magazine:

The magazine's goal of disseminating scientific knowledge of all types concerning children's development and family life in general, proved to be very popular. The magazine was the only U.S. periodical whose circulation rose during the Great Depression, and during the 1930s and 1940s, it was proclaimed as the most popular advice periodical in the world (Schlossman, 1985). [12] By 1971, PM claimed in its pages to have counseled mothers and fathers in the 'rearing of more than 100 million children,' attesting to its prominence" [13]

Despite its gender-neutral title, the magazine's advice has implicitly been directed toward women. [14] On the February 2019 issue it features a same-sex male couple, the first in its history. [15]

Medal for "Movie of the Month"

Each month, Parents' Magazine would award a medal to a "Movie of the Month". The image of the "Movie of the Month" Medal was subsequently used on movie posters and lobby cards. Past recipients include:

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  1. Dave Eisenstadter (May 28, 2015). "Family Fun magazine leaving Northampton; jobs moving to New York City". GazetteNet. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  2. Marten, James (2002-08-24). Children and War: A Historical Anthology. ISBN   9780814756676.
  3. "Magazines in Alphabetical Order". Radcliffe Institute. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  4. "Top 100 U.S. Magazines by Circulation" (PDF). PSA Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  5. Selig, Diana. "Parents Magazine". Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  6. Hudson, Robert Vernon (1987). Mass Media: A Chronological Encyclopedia of Television, Radio, Motion Pictures, Magazines, Newspapers, and Books in the United States . Garland Publishing, Incorporated. ISBN   9780824086954. parents' magazine apostrophe.
  8. Parents Magazine Press, Grand Comics Database. Accessed Feb. 29, 2016.
  11. "Parents". Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  12. Schlossman, S. (1985) Perils of Popularization: The founding of Parents' Magazine. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 50, 65-77.
  13. Milkie, M. and K. Denny (2014) Changes in the Cultural Model of Father Involvement: Descriptions of Benefits to Fathers, Children, and Mothers in Parents' Magazine, 1926-2006. Journal of Family Issues, 35:223-53.
  14. Strathman, T. (1984). From the quotidian to the utopian: Child rearing literature in America, 1926-1946. Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 29, 1-34.
  15. 'Parents' magazine features same-sex dads on its cover
  17. Fricke, John (2013-11-07). The Wonderful World of Oz: An Illustrated History of the American Classic. ISBN   9781461744771.
  18. Sammond, Nicholas (2005-07-20). Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930–1960. ISBN   0822386836.
  20. Heritage Music & Entertainment Auction #7006. ISBN   9781599673691.