parenting

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. have reached historic lows, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, declining more than 40 percent from 2006 to 2014.

frankieleon / Flickr Creative Commons

Illicit use of prescription drugs has almost tripled among high school students in southeastern Connecticut. That's according to the Southeastern Regional Action Council.

woodleywonderworks / Creative Commons

Learning English can be tough for children whose parents speak a different language at home. But a new study suggests that, in Spanish-speaking homes, learning words and numbers in Spanish actually helps children pick up English faster.

frankieleon / Creative Commons

Illicit use of prescription drugs has almost tripled among high school students in southeastern Connecticut. That's according to the Southeastern Regional Action Council.

Copright Patrick Serengulian

Drew Magary is an interesting guy.

You might have one impression if you know him from his irreverent and wildly popular commentary in Deadspin, where he defends things like cargo pants and writes columns called "Why Your Team Sucks" and "Why Your Children's Television Program Sucks." Or, if you follow him in GQ, where he recently shared his wry observations on the Republican National Convention and strident views on Donald Trump. 

Mabel Lu / flickr creative commons

Last fall, Colin saw The Bloodstained Men and Their Friends demonstrating in New Haven.

They wear white coveralls with red stains on the crotches.

How Parents Can Help Their Underage Kids Resist Alcohol

Jul 6, 2016

While a sense of inevitability often surrounds the topic of teen drinking, adults can play an important role in preventing underage alcohol use.

Two recent studies provide guidance for parents. One finds that parents who set limits in a warm and supportive environment reduced the risk that their adolescent children would binge drink. The other study reports on the potential of a home-based program that educates parents and children about alcohol prevention.

William Neuheisel/flickr creative commons

As coverage of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida dominates the news, it becomes increasingly more difficult to shield children from these types of events. How much information is too much? 

One impact of the addiction epidemic has been a skyrocketing rise in newborns experiencing withdrawal after being exposed to opioids in the womb. 

From 2006 to 2011, the number of newborns in withdrawal more than doubled in New Hampshire, and hospitals say the problem is only getting worse.

I'm hanging out with my 4-year-old daughter in the early evening, trying to keep her entertained and pull dinner together, when my phone buzzes.

Normally I'd feel guilty for checking it immediately, and distracted even if I didn't. But this time it's not a Twitter mention or an email from my editor. It's a timely suggestion from an app called Muse.

Here's what it says: "Try playing 'Simon Says' with L, using directional words like: behind, around, between. (ex. 'Simon Says stand between the chairs.')"

Malglam via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

The first milk bank in the state has opened in Guilford. It's a place where mothers in Connecticut can donate their breast milk.

UW Health / Creative Commons

Like all pediatricians, Dr. Lori Smith keep tabs on many aspects of her patients’ health, but until recently the Westport-based doctor didn’t always consider whether the children she sees might be going hungry.

Connecticut Commission on Children / cga.ct.gov

Connecticut was the first state in the nation to pass a law in 2014 that aims to help get kids ready for school by also focusing on their parents.

After the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., advocates for children in the state put a renewed focus on special education and children who need help.

One challenge? Getting parents and school districts to agree on what to do.

At a house in West Hartford, a young man and his grandfather are watching movies. First, it's The Love Bug. Now, it's Aliens.

"There's a lot of action scenes in it," says the young man. He's still a teenager, actually, a big 19-year-old who loves comic books and martial arts.

Tatiana Vdb/flickr creative commons

Sitting around the studio recently, we recalled how much more freedom we had than today's children do. In fact, Chris Prosperi, Alex Province, and I realized our parents might have been arrested if today's standards were in effect back then. What has changed?

It's family vacation time, and I've taken the kids back to where I grew up — a small plot of land off a dirt road in Kansas.

For my city kids, this is supposed to be heaven. There are freshly laid chicken eggs to gather, new kittens to play with and miles of pasture to explore.

But we're not outside.

I'm sitting in my childhood bedroom watching my 7-year-old son and his 11-year-old-cousin stare at a screen. The older kid is teaching the younger the secrets of one of the most popular games on Earth: Minecraft.

Bill and Vicki T / Creative Commons

When I was a child in the 1960's, it was not uncommon to have friends with 5 or 6 siblings. I was one of 4.

But, times have changed. For all sorts of reasons - economic, work, personal preference, religion - the majority of parents are having fewer children today than was common in the previous generation. And, as family size has decreased, societal attitudes about larger families have become increasingly negative.  The usual reaction goes something like this: "Why would you want to have so many kids?" Or, people might not ask at all and assume insanity or religious zealotry. 

Nothing like a good measles outbreak to get people thinking more kindly about vaccines.

One third of parents say they think vaccines have more benefit than they did a year ago, according to a poll conducted in May.

That's compared to the 5 percent of parents who said they now think vaccines have fewer benefits and 61 percent who think the benefits are the same.

Tatiana Vdb/flickr creative commons

Sitting around the studio recently, we recalled how much more freedom we had than today's children do. In fact, Chris Prosperi, Alex Province, and I realized our parents might have been arrested if today's standards were in effect back then. What has changed?

Robert Freiberger / Creative Commons

A panel of early care and education providers met on Wednesday in New Haven to discuss infant mental health with Congresswoman Rosa Delauro, who sits on the Congressional Baby Caucus.

Infant mental health focuses on the ways parents and caregivers can nurture the social and emotional development of children from birth to age three, a key time of brain development. 

Mindaugas Danys / Creative Commons

About half of all children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, also have serious behavioral problems, such as irritability, aggression, and non-compliance. A new study by Yale University and a consortium of five other universities shows that parents who are given a set of specific strategies and techniques can reduce disruptive behavior in their autistic child.

Howard County Library System / Creative Commons

A position created by the town of Vernon is hoping to bridge the communication gap that can develop between parents and educators. 

Diane Orson / WNPR

At least two groups are urging the Connecticut General Assembly to protect services that improve parent engagement and that help municipalities plan for early childhood education. 

Ep Huj / Flickr

Massachusetts doctors have seen an increase in the number of pregnant women addicted to opiates. Dr. Rachana Singh from Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield has said the number of babies withdrawing from opioids in their NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) has tripled since 2012. 

Meet Jenni Hofschulte, the 35-year-old mom who's one of the parents leading the charge against testing in Milwaukee.

"I have two children in Milwaukee Public Schools," Hofschulte says over coffee at a cafe near her home. "The oldest one is in eighth grade." She's interrupted by her fidgety 4-year-old son, Lachlan.

Hofschulte quiets him down, furrows her brow and begins again.

Hofschulte says that when she found out her son would have to take a diagnostic test next year that's required of all Wisconsin kindergartners, all kinds of red flags went up.

Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut

The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut released a report that examines how the state can strengthen the skills of professionals who work with infants and toddlers.

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.

PublicDomainPictures / Creative Commons

Parents in the town of Fairfield are locking horns with public school teachers over the best way to keep kids with food allergies safe. Part of that controversy is over who is responsible for reading food labels.

If you have a kid in public school, chances are you might have gotten a note from your teacher about what foods are okay to bring to class, like fresh fruit, and what foods aren't, like peanuts or cheese. But what about packaged or store-bought foods, where sometimes the food labels aren't so clear?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Some things teenagers have to deal with just don’t change. Heartbreak, hormones, heightened social anxiety -- it's all just part of the package. 

But things that are unique to the 2015 teen experience -- social media, texting, and ephemeral messaging -- take regular teen issues to a whole new level. This isn’t breaking news, but teens are saying that adults still don’t fully get it. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s not easy being a teenager today. Teens need to do well in school, give back to the community, participate in extracurricular activities, and keep up with a social scene intensified by social media. We also ask them to act responsibly, make good choices, and think about their future.

We're looking for "adult behavior" from people forced to live under our rules. It's a tough balancing act that comes with a lot of pressure.  

Sometimes, their friends are looking for something different and peer pressure can lead to bad decisions and risky behaviors.

It may not sound like they have to deal with much -- but that’s part of the problem. Adults have a tendency to underestimate what teens feel, and how powerfully they feel it.

And if kids have friends, don’t get in trouble, and get pretty good grades, parents and teachers don’t always notice the kids struggling to cope with emotions hidden beneath the surface.

The World Health Organization says depression is the most common cause of illness and disability for teens between 10 and 19 years old and suicide is the third most common cause of death in adolescents...just behind traffic accidents.

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