kids and parenting | KUOW News and Information

kids and parenting

Editor's Note: This story contains a quote where a racial slur is used.

Calvin Burns has trouble getting his 15-year-old daughter, Stepheni Bellamy, to talk to him. It's something many parents of teenagers can relate to.

He hoped that doing a StoryCorps interview — and sharing stories from his own teenage years — might help her open up.

Burns tells her when he was growing up, he was usually the only black kid in school and often felt left out.

With the approval this month of two drugs to treat hepatitis C in children, these often overlooked victims of the opioid epidemic now have a better chance at a cure. Kids may actually have an easier time than adults getting approved for the treatment, according to some health policy specialists.

How important is it to have a role model?

A new working paper puts some numbers to that question.

Having just one black teacher in third, fourth or fifth grade reduced low-income black boys' probability of dropping out of high school by 39 percent, the study found.

And by high school, African-American students, both boys and girls, who had one African-American teacher had much stronger expectations of going to college. Keep in mind, this effect was observed seven to ten years after the experience of having just one black teacher.

The videos are an infamous genre unto themselves: "Mother Punches Her Daughter Dead in the Face for Having Sex in the House!" "Dad Whups Daughter for Dressing Like Beyonce." "Son Left In Bloody Mess as Father Forces Him to 'Fight.'" Their images stream from Facebook timelines and across YouTube channels, alternately horrifying and arresting: burly fathers, angry mothers, lips curled, curses flying, hands wrapped around electrical chords, tree branches, belts, slashing down on legs, arms, buttocks and flesh as children cry and plead and scream out in agony.

When Kathleen Muldoon had her second child everything was going smoothly. The delivery was short, the baby's APGAR score was good and he was a healthy weight.

"Everyone said he was amazing," says Muldoon.

For Jernica Quiñones, the reality of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, hit close to home this year when a friend woke up on New Year's Day and discovered the lifeless body of her baby girl.

That's why Quiñones' 4-month-old son, Bless'n, has spent a lot of his life so far sleeping in a cardboard box.

The 33-year-old mother of five took part in a program in New Jersey that promotes safe sleep education through the distribution of "baby boxes" that double as bassinets.

Baby kid mom parent
Flickr Photo/DonkerDink (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

Some states have paid family leave. Not Washington, though.

That could change.

Flickr Photo/Tony Swartz (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to state Senator Joe Fain (R-Auburn) about the bipartisan Senate bill he is working on with Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Burien) that would require paid family and sick leave in Washington state. 

Outside the home of her foster sister Renee Davis, Danielle Bargala breaks down in tears while talking about how Davis' young children are living with different families. Davis, who was pregnant, was shot at her Muckleshoot reservation home last October.
Dan DeLong for KUOW

The young mom texted her boyfriend: “Come and get the girls or call 911. I’m about to shoot myself.”

For the first time in a decade, the classic children's television show Sesame Street will introduce a new Muppet on the air.

Jasmine Garsd/PRI

When she was 10, Safia Mahjebin started skipping school. She used to ride the New York City subways, aimlessly. "I just love riding the train," she says. "You ride from one end to the other, and then you go back. And then you get out at a few stops and just explore ... some stations are really beautiful.”

A few years ago, Chimamanda Adichie received a message from a childhood friend asking for advice: She wanted to know how to raise her newborn daughter to be a feminist.

Chris López always knew there was something a little different about her youngest child, Gabe. Although assigned female at birth, Gabe, 9, always knew he was a boy.

Things really changed for Gabe when when he spent a weekend at a camp for transgender kids when he was 8 years-old.

UW assistant professor of education Holly Schindler
University of Washington

Kim Malcolm talks with Holly Schindler, University of Washington assistant professor of education, about her study of low income dads of color. She wants to help them understand how they can more actively support their young children.

My bank sends me a text alert when my account balance is low. My wireless company sends me a text alert when I'm about to use up my monthly data. Somebody — I guess the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration? --sends me a text alert when it's going to rain a whole lot.

A few clever researchers said: "Hey! What if we could send text alerts to parents when students miss class or don't turn in their homework?" And what do you know, it worked.

Portland’s most prominent music teacher is facing allegations that he was inappropriate with some teenage students. Thara Memory has been coaching high school musicians in his American Music Program for over a decade. The news has sent the city’s musical community into a tailspin.

Support groups for new parents are popular in Seattle. Parents swap tips about when to introduce the bottle and empathize about new family dynamics.

But the mothers gathered in this light-filled Beacon Hill living room have a different mission: discussing how they want to raise their infants of color.

Jennifer Fontaine kisses her daughter Morgan in Methuen, Massachusetts on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. After Fontaine's standard prenatal screening suggested her fetus might have Edwards syndrome, a doctor suggested a fetal DNA test, which said she was fine.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Science writer Bonnie Rochman says she likes as much information as she can get — she finds it empowering. But she knows not everyone feels the same way.

Debi and Avery Jackson at the book launch party in Seattle for Avery's book, 'It's Okay to Sparkle.'
Debi Jackson

Marlo Mack is raising her nine-year-old transgender daughter in Seattle. Over the years Mack has felt supported and welcomed in her hometown. But this isn't always the case for transgender people living in more conservative parts of the country.

Two decades ago only about 9 percent of children's books published in the U.S. were about people of color. Things have changed since then, but not by much.

On Wednesday, the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Education School revealed that in 2016, it counted 427 books written or illustrated by people of color, and 736 books about people of color out of about 3,400 books it analyzed. That adds up to 22 percent of children's books.

Courtesy of the Krump family 

Since Kristina Krump and her husband, Nicholas, started dating, they’ve dreamed about leaving Phoenix to live abroad, maybe after sending their last child to college, or in retirement. In the meantime, they and their three boys spend a month every summer in Latin America.

Last year, the family went to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It was a welcome break, Kristina Krump said, from US politics and bad news.

‘We want youth out of the criminal justice system’

Feb 16, 2017
KUOW Photo / Natalie Newcomb

“April, do you think youth easily get away with committing crimes?

“In certain cases, yes, because adults think that we’re still learning right from wrong. What do you think, Melissa?”

“To be honest, I don’t think so. I always hear about young people getting into trouble on nationwide news or at school.”

In the RadioActive podcast, hosts Melissa Takai and April Reyes share their thoughts and experiences about the criminal justice system. 

M. Lorena González
KUOW Photo/Meghan Walker

New moms and dads who work for the city of Seattle will now be allowed 12 weeks of paid leave. The City Council unanimously adopted a new parental leave policy Monday with the support of Mayor Ed Murray.

Supporters say expanding the paid parental leave law is a step toward closing the gender pay-gap.

It's tough to be a teenager. Hormones kick in, peer pressures escalate and academic expectations loom large. Kids become more aware of their environment in the teen years — down the block and online. The whole mix of changes can increase stress, anxiety and the risk of depression among all teens, research has long shown.

You won’t have to worry about unclear labels on any pot-infused sweets in Washington state after Valentine’s Day. A rule to help keep children from getting more than just a sugar high goes into full effect Tuesday.

Marlo Mack

We all need someone to look up to.  That's what motivated Marlo Mack to seek out a role model for her nine-year-old transgender daughter. In this excerpt of her podcast, How to Be a Girl, Mack tells the story of finding a "big sister" for her child.

How to Be a Girl is produced in partnership with Marlo Mack and KUOW.

Subscribe to the podcast to hear the full episode: RSS | iTunes

Alaa, age 11, takes a selfie with a reporter's camera.

Alaa Al Halabi's big sister was supposed to move here on Monday. 

But President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

Courtesy of Juanita Ricks

When Juanita Ricks’ biracial daughter Alexandra tested into the highly gifted program, Ricks, who is black, and her then-husband, who is white, toured the school Alexandra would attend: Washington Middle School in the Central District.

Even though studies show kids whose fathers take an active part in their lives are less disruptive and better adjusted socially, most programs that aim to up parenting skills are geared towards mothers.

People at a women's march on Seattle's Capitol Hill on Dec. 3.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Seattle’s mommy networks lit up this week with a question: Is it safe to bring our babies to the Womxn’s March on Saturday?