Let's Talk Kids

The Salt
5:10 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

McDonald's Says Bye-Bye To Sugary Sodas In Happy Meals

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:29 pm

Fast-food giant McDonald's has made a commitment to stop marketing sodas as a beverage option in kids' Happy Meals.

Instead, the chain has committed to market and promote only milk, water and juice with the children's meals.

Now, if parents order a Coke or Sprite with their child's Happy Meal, they won't be turned down. But sodas will no longer be marketed or promoted visually in any of McDonald's advertisements or in-store visuals.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
1:00 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

It Takes Two to Tangle

There were never two parents raising the same child anywhere who ever agreed entirely about how to do it.  When adults care about the same child, a certain amount of “gatekeeping” is bound to happen, in which each adult thinks he or she knows best about how to parent. 

Here’s an example:  Adam says, “Eve, you should make that boy behave.”  Eve says, “Adam, he’s doing the best he can. Quit riding him all the time.”  Years down the road, Cain slays Abel, and the finger-pointing commences.  “I told you we were doing it wrong!”

Read more
Education
11:52 am
Wed September 25, 2013

MacArthur 'Genius' On Grit, Self Control And Success

Host Michel Martin speaks with psychologist Angela Duckworth, who was named a MacArthur "Genius" Fellow today. Duckworth's research shows how grit and self-control can predict future life success.

Parenting
10:48 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Should Parents Nix After-School Sports?

High school athletes devote a lot of hours to practice and games. Parents and coaches say playing sports builds character and teamwork. But do sports take too much time away from the classroom? In a recent article for The Atlantic, writer Amanda Ripley makes the case against after-school sports. She joins host Michel Martin, along with parents Dani Tucker and Glenn Ivey.

Shots - Health News
10:28 am
Tue September 24, 2013

How Will Exchanges Change Options For Kids' Health Coverage?

I've got some more health care questions for you.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 2:53 pm

As the scheduled launch of the state health insurance marketplaces on Oct. 1 approaches, many parents have questions about covering their children. Here are a few we got recently.

I am a divorced dad who has responsibility for maintaining my 15-year-old daughter's health insurance. It was easy when I was working and had a corporate health plan. Now that I am retired and covered by Medicare, I am looking for alternatives when the new exchanges open. Can I buy health insurance for just my underage daughter on these new exchanges?

Read more
Around the Nation
4:00 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

A Young Afghan War Survivor Touches Two American Lives

Arefa with Jami Valentine (left) and Staci Freeman. Arefa, who first stayed with the sisters while receiving medical care last year, came back to the U.S. this summer for follow-up treatment.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 7:38 pm

When Staci Freeman and her sister Jami Valentine first took in a child ravaged by war in Afghanistan last year, Arefa was a 6-year-old in Hello Kitty shoes, who quickly turned the daily routine of changing her head bandages into a counting game.

When Arefa arrived in Los Angeles from central Afghanistan, three years after being injured, Freeman says, third-degree burns mapped her body, and her head was an open bleeding wound.

"When she came, she came crying and in pain and her head hurt," Freeman says.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:34 am
Mon September 23, 2013

To Succeed At Breast-Feeding, Most New Moms Could Use Help

That's how it's supposed to work. But for most new moms, breast-feeding doesn't come easily, a study finds.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 7:58 am

The majority of new mothers try to breast-feed. But it's not easy.

Only 13 percent manage to breast-feed exclusively for the six months that are recommended for a baby's health. And, as you might expect, the moms who have trouble with breast-feeding in the first week with a new baby are the ones most likely to give up, a study finds.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:37 am
Mon September 23, 2013

How A Pregnant Woman's Choices Could Shape A Child's Health

Does a glass or two of wine during pregnancy really increase the child's health risks? Epigenetics may help scientists figure that out.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 7:58 am

Pregnant women hear a lot about things they should avoid: alcohol, tobacco, chemical exposures, stress. All of those have the potential to affect a developing fetus. And now scientists are beginning to understand why.

One important factor, they say, is something called epigenetics, which involves the mechanisms that turn individual genes on and off in a cell.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:55 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Study Finds Mixed Results For Back Braces To Treat Scoliosis

Scoliosis didn't keep golfer Stacy Lewis from becoming a top-ranked pro. She spent almost eight years wearing a back brace, yet still had to have surgery.
Jonathan Ferrey Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 2:38 pm

For decades, doctors have been recommending that children with scoliosis wear a back brace so that the sideways curve of the spine doesn't get worse.

But there was scant evidence to prove back braces really help.

And telling a teenage girl she's going to have to wear a brace 18 hours a day for 7 1/2 years, as pro golfer Stacy Lewis did, can be a tough sell for parent and child alike.

Read more
U.S.
10:48 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Frustrated Adoptive Parents Turn To Online 'Exchanges'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Later in the program, we'll head into the Barbershop to ask the guys about the video game Grand Theft Auto - once so controversial, now so lucrative. The new version is breaking sales records all over the place, and we'll hear what the guys have to say about that.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
1:00 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Parking Lot Pathos

It was a recent blistering hot afternoon.  A weary mother marched across the discount store parking lot with her three little boys.  She firmly grasped the hands of two of the stair-step tykes while the third trailed solemnly behind.

The two boys whose hands she held howled in complaint as she spoke to them seriously under her breath.  Noticeably, no bags of purchases accompanied this small group.  The purpose of the trip had obviously been aborted while the beleaguered mother dealt with the misbehavior of her sons.

Read more
8:00 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Let's Talk Kids Archive

Lead in text: 
Let's Talk Kids archive...
WUIS - your source for NPR & the Arts
Let's Talk Kids
11:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

A Challenge to Friendship

Amazingly, a wide variety of parenting styles produce healthy adults.  But the divergence of those styles may make for disagreement with other parents.

A young mother recently described a play date with her college roommate who has a baby about the same age as hers.  Amber had long anticipated getting their babies together to play, fantasizing about introducing these little girls to a life-long friendship. 

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
9:25 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Far From the Tree

Recently I wrote about children seeming to absorb by osmosis the characteristics of their families during the years of growing up.  But a new book explores the other possibility: Children sometimes turn out very differently from their parents.  In his book Far from the Tree, psychiatrist Andrew Solomon shares stories of hundreds of families whose children have very different lives from their parents.

Read more
Southwind Park
11:49 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Playgrounds for Everyone

Southwind Park accessible tree house.

Southwind Park in Springfield is on the NPR accessible playground list, Playgrounds for Everyone.  Do you know of other accessible parks in the area?

Let's Talk Kids
1:21 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Sunrise, Sunset

Among my favorite memories is a lovely evening in late May of 1984.  Just home from the hospital, I sat outside with my newborn son, listening while his two older sisters and dad played in the yard.  Other happy memories stand out around this little boy, including his third birthday where he sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” wearing a football helmet and one of his sister’s ballet tutus. 

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
1:47 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Blind Trust

A recent summer storm provided an object lesson for a family I know.  Making their way along an interstate highway on a weekend outing, the family drove into a violent storm moving erratically across the state.

Within minutes, hailstones pelted the car along with heavy rains.  Visibility was seriously compromised.  The parents prayed for safety and watched for an exit where they could get off the road to wait out the storm. 

Meanwhile, the four-year-old in the back seat was alarmed by the noise of the pounding rain and hail.  She asked her parents if they were safe.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
9:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Raising an Heir

Every parent worries about making mistakes in raising children.  Imagine the pressure you would feel if you were raising the future King.  This is high-stakes parenting, indeed.

And yet William and Kate have started down this path with little Prince George, and they are doing it under a microscope through which they are being viewed by the whole world.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
11:00 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Starting Preschool

Preschool provides a safe venue for kids to learn some hard lessons about the world.  Is your preschooler ready?

Lesson# 1:  What do you mean you’re not going to stay?  For kids who’ve been home with parents, preschool may represent their first major separation.  You can prepare your child with visits to friends, playdates in other homes and seeing the classroom before the first day of school.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
11:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Making the Most of Summer

As summer winds down, parents see the start of another school year lurking around the corner. Summer freedom has been a blast, but academic expectations lie just ahead.  Here are a few suggestions to rev up your kids’ learning power.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
11:00 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Unexpected Gifts

A family of five I know has had a heck of a year.  They’ve lost a grandfather, suffered the loss of a job, and now struggle with the serious illness of their mother. 

This family’s three children have missed out on the carefree days of youth in the last year.  Instead, they’ve attended a funeral and mourned the loss of one who played a significant role in their lives.

They’ve listened in as their parents strategized about how to make do with less in the face of a lost salary.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
11:00 am
Thu July 18, 2013

A Matter of Life and Death

“Don’t sweat this deadline,” commented the longsuffering contractor.  “It’s not a matter of life and death.”

Reflecting on his words, I was thinking about how we use that phrase—“a matter of life and death”—to denote the singularly most essential issues in our lives.  Our very language respects the importance of the experiences of life and death, but this honor dims in the reality of our expectations sometimes.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
11:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Potty Power

If there’s one thing I know about parents of toddlers, it’s this:  They would give their signed Michael Jordan basketball if their child would pee in the toilet.

Parents who’ve faithfully changed diapers for months run out of patience for this task which becomes more heinous by the week.  Changing the stinky diaper of a thirty-five pound toddler begins to feel just plain wrong.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
5:00 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

I Pledge Allegiance

Recently I attended a fifth grade “graduation” ceremony.  Stuffed like sardines into the hot multi-purpose room typical of public schools, proud parents and grandparents grinned and waved as their kids walked across the stage.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
3:19 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Painful Lessons

I recently joined Dr. T. Berry Brazelton in the celebration of his 95th birthday.  A great storyteller, Berry regaled me with tales from his long, interesting life, including stories he shares in his new autobiography, Learning to Listen.

 

He’s studied families around the world.  One story is from the Mayan babies of Zinacantan in southern Mexico.  Nights are cold in this mountainous region, so families live in small round mud huts, warmed by a fire in the middle of the floor.

 

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
11:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers

The plane had touched down, but the young mother was still flying high.

She was traveling through three airports with her one and four-year-old children to visit relatives several states away.

 

Hauling a diaper bag, car seat, and other paraphernalia needed for two little ones, this mother had her hands full.  She had thoughtfully prepared snacks, activities and everything else she could think of to make their trip go smoothly.

 

So an unexpected encounter with a fellow traveler was especially gratifying to her.

 

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
3:00 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Dads Matter

It was surprise to me when I heard a gifted young man comment that he will never be successful because he’s just “not smart enough.”

Startled by his observation, I asked him what he meant.  By the end of his explanation, I learned his father had raised him frequently observing that he really wasn’t “smart enough.”

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
12:00 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Being the Baby

Two-year-old Gabby strode confidently into the play group.  When I asked where her big sister was, she replied soberly, “At ‘chool.”  Gabby was more than glad to have a “’chool” of her own to attend that day.

As a “little sister” myself, I understood her angst.  Its the work of the baby in every family to watch from the sidelines as older siblings leave home and do exotic-sounding things like go to preschool.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
12:00 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Postponing Parenthood

Ann Patchett's bestselling novel "State of Wonder" tells the story of medical researchers studying an Amazonian tribe in which woman routinely bear children into their seventies. The idea of developing a pill to replace exhausting and expensive fertility treatments has this fictitious drug company seeing dollar signs.

The novel's timely release addresses the growing number of couples who are postponing parenthood for a variety of reasons. Many folks are waiting longer to marry (if they marry at all) and likewise they are putting off bearing children. 

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
12:00 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Connectedness

From our first breath, we seek connection. Newborns blink against the bright lights, then scan their surroundings until they catch sight of their parents' faces. Their eyes light up as they fix their gaze on a loving countenance, investing themselves in this growing bond.

They use their hearing in the same way, listening through the noisy din to recognize the sounds of familiar voices they have come to know already. 

Read more

Pages