Idina Menzel on the challenges of pandemic parenting, and a sweet collaboration with Rice Krispies Treats


Broadway legend and Frozen star Idina Menzel has partnered with Rice Krispies Treats, just as kids are gearing up to going back to school in the “new normal.”

The lunchbox staple is promoting the treats’ new packaging, which make it easy for parents to jot a quick note of encouragement for their kids.

Idina is “proud” of the partnership. “…They’re really encouraging parents to reflect and listen to their kids, and this is such an anxiety provoking time,” she tells ABC Audio. “I mean, I’ll speak for myself [with] just going back to school and everything that’s going on in the world and trying to do the right thing for our kids.”

She continues, “They’re asking us to take a moment to really listen to [them]…”

Idina says of her 11-year-old son, Walker, “I usually send little love notes to my kid anyway in his lunchbox. My mom always did that for me, as embarrassing as it might be for certain kids at certain ages, but who cares?” Idina laughs. 

Like millions of moms, the star has found pandemic parenting challenging.

“My son was not doing great with the screens all day long, so I was just constantly on top of him…It’s like, ‘Did you do this? And you do that?"” she confesses. “And then he wanted me to just go away. And that wasn’t great for our relationship.”

“So then I brought in my sister who is, a fifth-grade teacher. I said, ‘Come live with us for a couple of months…so he can hate you and not me!’ Idina says with a laugh.  

She adds, “It wasn’t until he actually got to go away to summer camp this summer and where they figured out a great healthy bubble to keep the kids safe and just run free and swim in the lake and see his friends, that I saw this relief just come over his whole body and I realized, wow, he’s been carrying the weight of the world on him. So it made me sad. But, well, we’ll get through it and we just have to sort of take it day by day — and stop trying to control everything.”

Check out Idina’s Instagram to enter to win some of Rice Krispies Treats’ 365 Days of Love and Support Kits, along with a year’s supply of the goodies.

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