family

These Are My Mom's Beautiful, Painful Hands

Feb 3, 2016
KUOW Photo / Shina Williams

I told my mom one day that I thought she was a very headstrong woman.

“What do you mean ‘strong?’” she asked me.

Mary Lou and Kayla Balassone
Courtesy of 'StoryCorps'

Years ago Mary Lou Balassone decided to become a foster parent. She then adopted Kayla, 4, and her brother Dustin Balassone, 18 months. Mother and daughter sat down to talk about those early days of becoming a family – and Kayla learned something new about what Mary Lou did to keep them all together. 

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Courtesy Christanne Boudreau

What leads a young person, living what seems to be a "normal everyday life" in the West, to join an extremist group?

And what can you do to bring them back? 

The BBC talked with one young British woman who was recently contacted by ISIS recruiters. She preferred not to use her name, but she did talk about what first got her interested in groups others might view as radical.  

It was the news about three teenage girls, gifted students in east London who slipped away in February to join ISIS.

Children of anxious parents are more at risk of developing an anxiety disorder. But there's welcome news for those anxious parents: that trajectory toward anxiety isn't set in stone.

Therapy and a change in parenting styles might be able to prevent kids from developing anxiety disorders, according to research published in The American Journal of Psychiatry Friday.

Roberta (far right) with her father and two brothers. The younger brother went to Mexico with her parents.
Courtesy of Roberta Lirma

When Roberta Lirma thinks of her childhood, she pictures her whole family together, outside their light brown apartment building in Auburn.

Her dad would be fixing the car, while her mom sat on the stairs and watched Lirma and her two brothers play.

"We would climb trees or go to the store with our friends," she remembered. "I miss that."

Amane Robale (second from right) is surrounded by five of her younger siblings. There are 10 children in the family in all.
Courtesy of Amane Robale

Amane Robale is adjusting her mom's bed while chatting with her. "Hey, mama. Hi, mama. How are you? How's your day?" 

Her mom, unable to speak, quietly moans. Robale turns on her mom's feeding tube.

Can Family Secrets Make You Sick?

Mar 2, 2015

In the 1980s, Dr. Vincent Felitti, now director of the California Institute of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, discovered something potentially revolutionary about the ripple effects of child sexual abuse. He discovered it while trying to solve a very different health problem: helping severely obese people lose weight.

Newborn baby with big brother and mom.
Flickr Photo/Sheila Dee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The City of Seattle may soon offer its employees four weeks paid leave to take care of a new child. Mayor Ed Murray and City Council Member Jean Godden laid out the details Monday at a news conference.

Godden said paid parental leave helps reduce the gender wage gap and that women who work and have kids will be better supported.

Stumping in Kansas after his State of the Union, the president said that for most parents working today, child care is more than a "side issue," and that improving access "is a national economic priority for all of us."

For someone who is blind, a simple click can be the sound of sight.

Colleen Kelly Starkloff was working at a nursing home when she met her future husband, Max Starkloff.

"Here comes this guy into my office," Colleen, 65, told her daughter Meaghan Starkloff Breitenstein, 34, at StoryCorps. "Drop-dead gorgeous."

Max was in a wheelchair. He was nearly killed in a car accident in his early 20s, leaving him quadriplegic. "He couldn't use his fingers or his hands, but he could get his left arm around me to hug me, and that was fine with me," Colleen said of their first encounter. "And I was smitten."

When Alysia Abbott was 22, her dad died of AIDS. It was San Francisco, 1992. Even though her dad was out as a gay man at the time, she wasn’t out about his illness.

There was so much shame and stigma, and she didn’t know anyone else who shared her experience. Not until many years later, when she met Whitney Joiner, who had also lost her father to AIDS the very same year, in rural Kentucky.

The State Department launched a program this month that creates a safe passage to the United States from Central America. It would give some U.S.-based Latino parents the chance to bring over children they left in their home countries.

More than 57,000 child migrants made the trip across the U.S.-Mexican border this year. Many report being physically and sexually abused along the harrowing journey.

Program Seeks To Help Men Be Good Fathers

Jun 13, 2014

Sunday is Father’s Day, and there are many men who are now fathers who did not have a dad when they were growing up — someone who might be a role model, and teach them right from wrong.

In Milwaukee, one organization is working to help dads strengthen their relationships with their kids, even after the family has broken apart.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Erin Toner of WUWM reports.

Flickr Photo/hapal (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Norma Rosenthal and Toby Donner about the joys and pitfalls of caring for aging parents. They share their own experiences on the blog "Girlfriends With Aging Parents."

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