parenting

Meri Putnam, age 11. She was adopted from Ethiopia at age 5.
Courtesy of the Ryan-Putnam family

It was a long trip and many things were different. But I enjoyed it. I was young so I wasn’t that close to many people. But it was hard to let go of my grandma, who took care of me when my mom wasn’t there.   

Then I met my adoptive parents.  

I knew they were going to be my parents the second I saw them, the way they smiled at me. They were crying but trying to act calm.

Mexican-American toddlers born in the U.S. do not develop nearly as fast as white toddlers when it comes to language and pre-literacy skills. That's the main finding of a new study by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley.

Why Does Seattle Have So Few Kids?

Apr 7, 2015

Marcie Sillman speaks with journalist Alan Greenblatt about the lack of children in Seattle. Greenblatt recently wrote about the issue for Governing Magazine.

Selling breast milk is big business.

Each year tens of thousands of women post ads on websites, offering their extra milk for $1 to $3 an ounce: "My rich milk makes giants!" promises one seller. "Organic and Gluten Free Breastmilk," claims another. Then there's this one: "470 oz. of breastmilk must go!!!"

But some women online aren't delivering what they're advertising.

Scientists at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, analyzed 102 samples ordered from popular websites and found about 10 percent of them were "topped off" with cow's milk.

File photo: Discarded alcohol containers.
Flickr Photo/Steve Snodgrass (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with state Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, about his proposal to ban aversion therapies for people under the age of 18.

marijuana joint pot
Flickr Photo/Dann Cove (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with University of Washington researcher Kevin Haggerty, who says confusion over the state's marijuana law gets in the way of important conversations about teen drug use. 

There are many reasons women need cesareans. Sometimes the situation is truly life-threatening. But often the problem is that labor simply isn't progressing. That was the case for Valerie Echo Duckett, 35, who lives in Columbus, Ohio. After receiving an epidural for pain, Duckett's contractions stopped. By late evening she was told she'd need a C-section to deliver her son, Avery. Duckett says she has vague memories of being wheeled into the operating room, strapped down and shaking from cold.

Writer Elisa Albert believes that the so-called "Mommy Wars" have gone on long enough — they are both a distraction and a cop-out, she says. "It's a way of avoiding the actual issues, which is: Women don't have enough support for any of the choices that we make," Albert tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "We are pitted against each other and ultimately, then, are pitted against ourselves. And everybody is unhappy, and everybody feels judged. It doesn't have to be this way."

If you have siblings, you probably think that your parents liked one kid best — and you're probably right. Scientists say the family pecking order does affect children, but not always in the way you might think.

The vast majority of parents do have favorite child, according to research — about 80 percent. But that number sounds pretty darned high. So I decided to ask some kids in my neighborhood in Bethesda, Md., what they think happens in their families.

Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That's what some provocative new research suggests — but don't tear out your machine just yet.

The study involved 1,029 Swedish children (ages 7 or 8) and found that those whose parents said they mostly wash the family's dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema, and somewhat less likely to develop allergic asthma and hay fever.

In the 1960s in California, the state wanted children to be adopted into two-parent homes. But officials were having trouble placing hundreds of children, especially older boys.

Bill Jones, a gay man living in San Francisco, had always wanted to be a father. He decided to apply.

"They were looking for somebody with family in the area and I had family in the area," Jones told his friend Stu Maddux, on a recent visit to StoryCorps. "They were looking for somebody that had some contact with children. I had been a schoolteacher for six years."

education kid school
Flickr Photo/jeweledlion (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Calyn Holdaway, mother of three special needs students who have been physically restrained and isolated in Washington's public schools.

Also, we hear from Veronica Cook, a special education teacher in the Shoreline school district. 

Lawmakers say kids are physically restrained or isolated too often in public schools. A bill currently in front of the state legislature aims to address this issue by tightening regulations.

Parents have made news recently after being detained for purposefully leaving children on their own, prompting renewed debate about so-called "free-range parenting."

That includes Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, a Silver Spring, Md., couple who are being investigated after they let their children, ages 10 and 6, walk home from a park last month by themselves.

health flu shot
Flickr Photo/Government of Alberta (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The same question goes for non-vaccinating parents: What’s the right strategy? Also: yet another questionable fatal police shooting, this time in our state. And what will politics be like without comedic news anchors John Stewart and Stephen Colbert? Finally, Seattle has a new earthquake alert, what will you do with your five seconds?

Bill Radke analyzes the week’s news with Luke Burbank, Joni Balter and Knute Berger.

Note to our podcasters: The team also discussed the possible resignation of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. He formally announced his resignation after the show aired. 

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.

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