kids and parenting | KUOW News and Information

kids and parenting

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
YouTube

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.


Part 3 of our series "Unlocking Dyslexia."

A mother who spent years coaching and encouraging her dyslexic son recalls his childhood with one pervasive feeling: "It was really scary."

One father told me his home life was ruined. Trying to do homework with his struggling daughter, he says, felt like "a nightmare every night." Optimism and determination would inevitably descend into tears and anxiety. The culprit: dyslexia.

Twenty-two states still allow corporal punishment in school: 15 expressly permit it while another seven do not prohibit it. That's according to a recent letter written by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. to the nation's governors and state school chiefs.

Not sure what, exactly, corporal punishment is? Here's a quick primer.

It often involves a paddle. Always, pain. That's the point.

Hope for trans women who want to be moms

Nov 30, 2016
Marlo Mack's daughter with her baby doll.
Marlo Mack

Marlo Mack always wanted to be a mother, and maybe even a grandmother. Mack is a single mom of an 8-year-old transgender daughter. She produces a podcast called “How to Be a Girl." In this excerpt, Mack looks at fertility and the future challenges her daughter will face.

GLEA family advocate Camille Churchill visits with four-year-old Moise, and his mother, Angela Madrid
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

On a sunny Saturday morning, a dozen moms and dads sat around tables in a White Center elementary school library, looking at a PowerPoint slide of a little boy pouring syrup on his pancakes.

"What do you think would happen if I said nothing at all? How much would he put on there?" asked speaker Kellie Morrill, director of the Educare of Greater Seattle P-3 campus.

Getting the flu while pregnant doesn't appear to increase the child's risk of being diagnosed with autism later on, a study finds, and neither does getting a flu shot while pregnant.

Part 1 of our series "Unlocking Dyslexia."

"It's frustrating that you can't read the simplest word in the world."

Thomas Lester grabs a book and opens to a random page. He points to a word: galloping.

"Goll—. G—. Gaa—. Gaa—. G—. " He keeps trying. It is as if the rest ­­of the word is in him somewhere, but he can't sound it out.

"I don't ... I quit." He tosses the book and it skids along the table.

Kids are writing letters to president-elect Trump
Facebook Photo/Dear President Trump: Letters From Kids About Kindness

Any way you dice it, the election of Donald Trump has brought on a lot of feelings. 

Many adults have expressed those feelings online, on social media and through taking to the streets. But what about our kids?

Every holiday season, things get a "bit tricky," says Risa Greene, 53, from New York City. "You have one child who is a human garbage disposal and will eat anything you put in front of him, and you have another child who is more restricted than [the] TSA."

Greene's son is an omnivore — he eats everything. Her daughter, Jessica, is a vegan. She stopped eating meat when she was in high school years ago, then dropped dairy products and eggs in college and eventually gave up gluten, too.

Iesha Gray, 20, resigned from her job at the U.S. Postal Service because she felt she wasn't given time or space she found acceptable to pump.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Iesha Gray called it the drought.

One month back from maternity leave, her breasts were empty. No more milk. Her baby girl at home was drinking her way through the freezer stash.

The share of U.S. mothers who spank their young children or endorse physical discipline has declined significantly over the past two and a half decades, according to an analysis of four national surveys.

The findings, out Monday in the journal Pediatrics, came from an analysis of data from 1988 to 2011. Researcher found that 21 percent of median-income mothers of kindergarten-aged children endorsed physical discipline at the end of that period — down from 46 percent at the start.

Courtesy of Barbara Frailey

The results of the presidential election have stunned people across the country. Trump's win has had a particularly emotional effect on some women and  girls. 

Seattle Girls' School is an all girl middle school in the Central District. And the first day after the presidential election was a time for sharing. Many teachers canceled their regular lesson plans and allowed their students to express their feelings about Trump's victory.

Art teacher Janet Miller said many girls were upset.

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who's already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

Sarah Weeldreyer, 37, is a stay-at-home-mom with two kids, has been married for 11 years, and is going through a divorce.

Pages