parenting

My 3-year-old drinks milk, but not very much of it, and that could be a problem for her.

We live in the Northeast, where the sun's rays are weaker. And now that the days are shorter, my kid arrives at day care a few hours after sunrise and leaves when it's dark. That all made me wonder whether she's getting enough vitamin D, and if not, what we should be doing about it.

Forget the debate over participation trophies. The starkest divides in American parenting have less to do with warring philosophies and more to do with money, according to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

The poll of more than 1,807 parents finds that income and family structure powerfully shape parents' concerns and children's opportunities.

But first, some bright spots:

Josephine Howell of Seattle band Radio Raheem .
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Josephine Howell used to find it too painful to talk to her eldest son.

Charles is in prison on the East Coast, serving to two life sentences for second-degree murder. He was convicted at the age of 17 and has been locked up since 1999.

Howell fronts Seattle band Radio Raheem. They’ve written a new song about her son called, “Dear Charles.”

Howell told KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel that the song is a way that she attempts to express depths of her feeling in grappling with Charles’ situation.

Advice From A 7-Year-Old Trans Girl

Dec 9, 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

I asked my seven-year-old transgender daughter to tell me the story of her courageous fight to be seen as the girl she always knew she was. I also asked her to offer some advice for other kids like her - and for their parents. This is what she said.

King County will be offering 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

Children's personal information isn't supposed to be an online commodity. But whether kids are using Google apps at school or Internet-connected toys at home, they're generating a stream of data about themselves. And some advocates say that information can be collected too easily and sometimes, protected too poorly.

Larry and Mary-Jeanne Smith have been foster parents for 20 years. Mary-Jeanne Smith was also in the foster system as a child.
Courtesy of Mary-Jeanne Smith

Mary-Jeanne Smith was 13 when she ran away from home. She said she left to avoid an abusive environment.

“My parents had joined sort of a religious cult and there was a lot of physical, sexual and mental abuse,” she said.

Kim Malcolm talks to Sheila Capestany about the King County program Best Starts For Kids. Capestany is in charge of overseeing the implementation of the program. Voters approved a six-year levy on the November ballot that will fund the program. 

For a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, meeting the daily expectations of home and school life can be a struggle that extends to bedtime. The stimulant medications commonly used to treat ADHD can cause difficulty falling and staying asleep, a study finds. And that can make the next day that much harder.

If egg freezing once sounded like science fiction, those days are over. Women now hear about it from their friends, their doctors and informational events like Wine and Freeze.

Shady Grove Fertility Center in the Washington, D.C., area hosts Wine and Freeze nights for prospective patients every few months. Fifteen or so women in their 30s gathered at one recently over wine, brownies and sticky buns. A doctor explained the procedure, the costs and the odds of frozen eggs resulting in a baby — which decline as a woman ages.

Parental Leave: Is It Fair To Employees Without Kids?

Nov 23, 2015
Baby kid mom parent
Flickr Photo/DonkerDink (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/21d0GBQ

The Seattle City Council on Monday rejected another attempt to increase paid family leave for city workers from four weeks to 12. Estimated cost: $1.5 million a year.

On The Record earlier, Bill Radke heard about the pros and cons of paid parental leave from Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of MomsRising, and Paul Guppy, vice president of research for the Washington Policy Center.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning to take two months of paternity leave when his daughter is born. On Nov. 20, he posted on Facebook, “studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families.”

Nadiri, a 19-year-old gorilla at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, is pregnant. Her due date is Thursday, Nov. 19.
Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Zookeepers have noticed that Nadiri, a gorilla at the Woodland Park Zoo, has been restless at night and walking around more. For two weeks, they’ve watched her on closed-circuit television, waiting for signals that her baby is ready to arrive.

On a recent Saturday afternoon at his West Baltimore row house, Harrelle Felipa fields a steady stream of interruptions as he breads a large plate of fish and chicken for dinner.

His 4-year-old son wants to recite his letters. The 3-year-old brings him a toy that's broken. The tweens play Minecraft on the Xbox while Felipa's teen daughter checks her email. Felipa says he loves it.

"This is what my life consists of," he says. "I arrange my life around these guys."

It's not the typical image of a "deadbeat dad."

If Stevie Wonder had been born three decades later, we might never have gotten "Superstition" and "Isn't She Lovely" — but the musician might never have gone blind, either. Born premature, Wonder developed retinopathy of prematurity, an eye disease that afflicts more than half of babies born before 30 weeks of gestation.

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