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kids and parenting

Roosevelt High School
Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Some Seattle student groups — from colleges to middle schools — are organizing walkouts and protests of Donald Trump’s presidency on Inauguration Day.  

Seattle Public Schools officials say, as with past protests, students who take part may be marked “unexcused.” Now Seattle high school and middle school students upset about the election results are weighing that decision.

Cindy McIntire kisses her 1-month-old granddaughter Sophie Lin. She wrote Sophie Lin a letter, telling her that in the 1960s and 70s, they wondered if they should bring kids into the world. And yet out of that era came good, she says.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

On the eve of the Trump administration, we asked you to write your loved ones. These are those letters.

Students will have to stay home from school in Spokane if they can’t prove immunity to mumps. The U.S is in the midst of the largest mumps outbreak in a decade, and it’s hit the Northwest.

Old Man Winter has struck again east of the Cascades. Residents woke up Wednesday to find the deep snow covering the area frosted by an ice storm.

In the Tri-Cities, children have had nearly a dozen snow days and late-start days this winter. Piled on with airport, mountain pass and work closures -- many parents are feeling quite trapped.

Cold and flu season means plenty of parents are trying to figure out whether their kid is too sick to go to child care or school.

The Obama administration is rushing to tie up loose ends before packing up — protecting the rusty patched bumblebee, ending the Cuba "wet foot, dry foot" immigration policy, settling a fraud case over

Small classes. High standards. More money. These popular remedies for school ills aren't as effective as they're sometimes thought to be. That's the somewhat controversial conclusion of education researcher John Hattie.

Over his career, Hattie has scrutinized more than 1,000 "meta-analyses," looking at all types of interventions to improve learning. The studies he's examined cover a combined 250 million students around the world.

When Noel Anaya was just a year old, he and his five brothers and sisters were placed in the California foster care system. He has spent nearly all of his life in that system and has just turned 21. In California, that's the age when people in foster care "age out" of the system and lose the benefits the system provides. That process becomes official at a final court hearing. Anaya, along with Youth Radio, got rare permission to record the proceeding, where he read a letter he wrote about his experience in the foster care system.

Marlo Mack's daughter with her baby doll.
Marlo Mack

Before I enrolled my daughter in public school two years, I raced to get her official documents changed. It’s one of the rites of passage for parents of trans kids. 

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in a dispute that advocates describe as the most important case involving public school special education in three decades.

At issue is whether federal law requires public schools to provide more than the bare minimum in special services for children with disabilities. With millions of children qualifying for these services, the court's ruling could have a profound effect.

Educator Jasen Frelot
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Many white parents have difficulty finding the right words to use when talking to their kids about racism. Preschool director Jasen Frelot runs workshops for white parents. He starts by telling those parents to sit with their discomfort.

The 17-year-old son of a new congressman became a kind of celebrity this week by being just a little naughty. Or maybe trying to appear a little naughtier than he may actually be.

We won't repeat his name, although it's easy to discover. I think a 17-year-old has the right to make a mistake that won't follow him for the rest of his life, including six years from now, when he applies for a job; or in 12 years, when he wants to get married; or in 20 when his children see a picture and ask, "Dad — is that you? What were you doing?"

After multiple recent studies showing that feeding peanut-containing foods to infants can reduce the risk of peanut allergies, there are new federal guidelines for parents about when to start feeding their infants such foods.

One of the most stressful questions a new parent confronts is, "Who's going to take care of my baby when I go back to work?"

Figuring out the answer to that question is often not easy. When NPR, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, surveyed more than 1,000 parents nationwide about their child care experiences, a third reported difficulty finding care.

The 24 juniors and seniors in the astronomy class at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Va., sink into plush red theater seats. They're in a big half-circle around what looks like a giant telescope with a globe on the end. Their teacher, Lee Ann Hennig, stands at a wooden control panel that has enough buttons and dials to launch a rocket.

Although her oldest child, Ben, is 10 years old, Andrea Scher, 44, feels like a new mom again.

Scher suffered from maternal depression after Ben was born, eventually recovering with the help of antidepressants and psychotherapy. She was understandably relieved that her depression didn't return after the birth of her second son.

But now she's struggling again.

Once more, Scher is having anxiety attacks and it's difficult for her to sleep through the night.

Marlo Mack

1) Gender matters, but I have no idea what it is

If a girl can wear anything she likes, and play sports and climb trees, and be a doctor or an astronaut or a senator … and if she can even have a “boy’s body,” what the heck is a girl? I honestly don’t know. But I do know this: It matters to me that I’m a girl. It matters to my daughter. And I bet your gender matters to you too.

2) Fear is inevitable, and fear is irrelevant

Studies of fish oil and health are like studies about coffee — there's plenty of contradictory information out there.

With that in mind, here's the latest turn: A Danish study finds that women who took fish oil supplements during pregnancy reduced the risk of asthma in their children.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Not every teacher wears a onesie, diaper and gets greeted with a song.

"Hello Baby Declan, how are you today?" sings a roomful of second-graders to 5-month-old Declan on his monthly visit to Highland Terrace Elementary in Shoreline.

The bag Rose, a slave and mother, gave to her 9-year-old daughter the day she was sold away. They never saw each other again.
Courtesy of Middleton Place Foundation

For about $300, a 9-year-old girl named Ashley was sold as a slave.

Her mother, Rose, remained a house slave at a mansion in South Carolina.

On Dec. 24, 1956, when Judy Charest was 3 months old, her father went to take a shower and when he came out, Judy and her mother, Marguerite Hunt, were gone.

"She had driven to the Shelby Street Bridge, and with me in her arms, she jumped 90 feet," Judy recounts for 90-year-old Harold Hogue during a recent visit to StoryCorps in Nashville, Tenn.

Harold, who worked as an engineer with the Nashville Bridge Co. at the time, was part of a group of people who ran to the river after someone spotted her mom floating in it.

How to be a (teen) girl

Dec 22, 2016

Life as a teenager can be challenging. All the pressures of school, figuring out who you are and your place in the world. It can be even more difficult if you’re a transgender teen. Marlo Mack has been thinking about this a lot lately. She’s a single mom of an eight-year-old trans daughter. Puberty is just a few years away. In this excerpt from her podcast “How to Be a Girl,” Mack explores what life will be like for her daughter as a teenager.

Ikea has reached a $50 million settlement with the families of three toddlers who died after unsecured Ikea dressers tipped over, according to lawyers for the families. The furniture giant confirms a settlement has been reached but describes it as "tentative."

Suzanne Gwynn

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Suzanne Gwynn about her idea to create the Ladybug House. Gwynn has been a nurse for 33 years, working mostly with children here in Seattle. She says hospitals do a great job at providing medicine and treatment. But for terminally ill kids, there comes a time when medicine can no longer help. And for a long time, Gwynn had an idea to make end of life care for kids better: a hospice just for them and their families.

Tech toys have become popular holiday gifts. Many are interactive; some even claim educational benefits. But one such toy has privacy advocates very worried this year.

It's called My Friend Cayla. It's a doll and looks pretty much like most dolls do. She is available in various skin tones and hair colors, and according to her website, she is the smartest toy you'll ever have.

But My Friend Cayla also has some issues. She sings, talks and listens — maybe a little too well.

Emily Fox talks with journalist Susanna Ray about the impact of high turnover among social workers who work in Washington's foster care system. Ray wrote a series of stories about foster care for the nonprofit Investigate West.

The widening gap between rich and poor Americans has pushed the chances of children earning more money than their parents down to around 50 percent, economic researchers say. That's a sharp fall from 1940, when 90 percent of kids were destined to move up the income ladder.

The U.S. surgeon general said Thursday that e-cigarette use poses a significant and avoidable health risk to young people.

"We already know that e-cigarettes have the potential to cause lasting harm to the health of young users," said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. "Most contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug that can damage normal development of the brain – a process that continues until about age 25."

Murthy's comments were part of a report released Thursday on rising e-cigarette use by people under 25.

Student parent.

Ever heard that term? It's used for a student who is also a parent, and there are nearly 5 million of them in colleges around the country. That's over a quarter of the undergraduate population, and that number has gone up by around a million since 2011.

It can be really, really expensive to be a student parent, especially if you need to pay for child care while you're in class.

Jeff Lynch survived catastrophic injuries from his two deployments to Iraq, but they left him unable to have children naturally.
Brian Batista

When his convoy was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Iraq in 2007, Army sergeant Jeff Lynch was seriously wounded. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, was hospitalized for months, and underwent more than a hundred surgeries.