parenting

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Some parents don’t know how to parent.

When their lack of parenting skills put the child in danger, that’s when the state comes knocking – to take their children away. Nearly 7,000 kids in Washington state were placed in foster care last year.

Washington is under court order to keep foster youth from running away. So the state now has a team of “locators”--social workers whose job it is to find runaways and bring them back.

Our "Tools of the Trade" series is taking a look at some of the iconic objects that form a vital part of our educational lives. For an upcoming piece, I'm reporting on how young children learn through that most basic of preschool education tools: simple wooden blocks.

Rural Thurston County, Washington, is the kind of place people move to for a little elbow room. But if you’re a teenager from the suburbs, life can be less than exciting.

File photo of a flu shot.
Flickr Photo/Fort Meade (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Dr. Douglas Diekema about why some parents don't vaccinate their children. Diekema is professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and an emergency room physician at Seattle Children's Hospital.

The ongoing measles outbreak linked to Disneyland has led to some harsh comments about parents who don't vaccinate their kids. But Juniper Russo, a writer in Chattanooga, Tenn., says she understands those parents because she used to be one of them.

"I know what it's like to be scared and just want to protect your children, and make the wrong decisions," Russo says.

Author Sharma Shields with her new novel, "The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac."
Screenshot from YouTube

Jeannie Yandel talks with author Sharma Shields about her latest novel, "The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac," and what monsters represent for her as a writer and a parent. 

When Do Kids Know They’re Transgender? Younger Than You'd Think

Jan 29, 2015
A drawing by a child in Professor Kristina Olson's study. Olson has found that transgender and non-trans girls have an equally deep sense of their gender identity.
Courtesy of Marlo Mack

When Kristina Olson, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, started looking into research on transgender children, she was surprised. It was thin at best.

Data from decades ago said that 80 percent of transgender kids revert to their born gender, but Olson was skeptical.

So she started the TransYouth Project to track transgender children to adulthood. The project has worked with 65 children across the U.S. and Canada – so far. Some are as young as 3.

Mama, I Was Supposed To Be Born A Girl

Jan 29, 2015
Marlo Mack and her daughter. Marlo's daughter is part of a University of Washington study on the lives of trans children.
Courtesy of Marlo Mack

My son was barely 3 years old when he informed me that … I didn’t have a son.

He looked me square in the eyes and said, “Mama, I think something went wrong when I was in your tummy, because I was supposed to be born a girl, but I was born a boy instead.” 

He begged me to put him back in the womb to right the wrong. He was sobbing.

The First Time My Mother Lied To Me

Jan 27, 2015
Storyteller Silas Lindenstein, center, with his parents at his high school graduation in Massachusetts.
Courtesy Silas Lindenstein

It was summer of 1992, and I had just graduated from high school in a small town, Millis, Massachusetts, where I had been living with my mother and stepfather for the previous seven years.

I was flying out to California to go to college. When I got to California, I called my mother to let her know that I was there safe. And she commented that when I went down the airport terminal I never looked back once. And I didn’t.

Flickr Photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Tonight on KUOW Spotlight, we present the latest episode of Reveal.

Part 1: The Murkiness Of American Day Care Reports

State inspection reports of day care providers are public record, but accessing them is still a problem for many parents. Washington state posts records online, but more than a dozen states don’t.

When Amy Seitz got pregnant with her second child last year, she knew that being 35 years old meant there was an increased chance of chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome. She wanted to be screened, and she knew just what kind of screening she wanted — a test that's so new, some women and doctors don't quite realize what they've signed up for.

Cigarette tobacco smoke
Flickr photo/Ta Duc (Cc-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with anti-smoking advocate Vince Willmore about the public health benefits of raising the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21. Willmore is vice president of communications for the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids

When the British newspaper The Mirror reported in late December that a UK mother named Denise Sumpter was still breast-feeding her daughter Belle, who is 6 and a half years old, two experts were invited to weigh in on the practice.

Tara Keo is a single mother to Sokinna, 16, and Kayden, 2.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

RadioActive's Sokinna Keo has learned to find forgiveness for her mother's past as a drug user. Here is their story, in Keo's words: 

When my mom was in middle school, she fell into a bad place. She told me she got expelled from school and started hanging out with "the wrong people."

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