Tag: columns

The best and worst states to have a baby in 2017 | Thinking: Parent

With a lot of concern around changing health care policy, tax increases impacting the middle class, benefit cuts to struggling families, and the fact that Americans already pay the highest birthing costs in the world, I was intrigued to check out WalletHub’s just-released 2017 study of the best and worst states to have a baby. The results are pretty fascinating. And yeah, troubling. Related: The best and worst states for working moms: A whole lot of surprises Click over to see the top states — Go Vermont, Minnesota, and New Hampshire! — and then…the worst states.  Oh man, Mississippi, do better,...

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We can’t believe the reason a kids’ softball umpire asked a deaf 10-year-old player to remove her hearing devices.

Parents of kids with special needs are used to having to fight for their kids’ rights. It’s part of the parenting territory. But when my friend told me what happened to her deaf child at her softball tournament this week, I was shocked. (Please note an editorial update below) Lexi, her daughter, is 100% deaf. She has bilateral cochlear implants, which give her the ability to hear. Coupled with the implants,  a lot of hard work has given Lexi the ability to speak normally. In fact, when she wears her hair so that you can’t see her devices, you’d...

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In memory of the 11 year old who died at summer camp from meningitis this week

“Were your kids vaccinated for meningitis?” my father asked as I picked up the phone tonight. He’s always asking me questions like this after seeing something or other in the news or on Facebook. He’s a good Grandpa that way. “Sure,” I said with some relief. “Our doctor strongly recommended it before camp. Turns out a lot of sleepaway camps require it if you go more than a few days. So both of my girls got them done. Why do you ask?” “Your stepmother is paying a condolence call to a friend,” he said. It was not at all what...

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What does being American mean to you? We love these artists’ answers.

In honor of the Fourth of July (happy 241, America!)  I’m grateful to our friends at Tattly Tattoos who put together this lovely photographic series, in which they asked all different makers, creators, and entrepreneurs to describe what it means to them to be American. While yes, it’s a promotion for Tattly tattoos, it’s just so interesting to read so many different answers to the question. The artists touch on topics from opportunity, to diversity, compassion, pride in your heritage, hard work, and the continued quest for equality. Related: The patriotic t-shirt that reminds us what makes America wonderful Robert Moy of...

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Bandages to heal kids’ emotional boo-boos: Helicopter-y or helpful? | Thinking: Parent

This post is written by guest contributor Anna Caudill, Executive Director of PALS (Post Adoptive Learning Services) and adoptive mom of two. Recently, Dutch bandage company Hanasplast created a limited time box of Hearts bandages designed to “heal emotional wounds.” Now before I became a parent, I’m pretty sure I would have laughed at the idea. In fact, some parents are probably laughing at the idea now. You’re upset? Here’s a popsicle. Moving on… My friend Kate, an associate editor at Cool Mom Picks, told me that her first reaction was to roll her eyes, thinking of the bandages as...

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Think you’re ready to become a theater parent? Ask yourself these 11 questions first.

This post is written in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures When our partner, THE HOUSE (Will Ferrell! Amy Poehler! Can you wait until June 30?) asked me if I had any stories to share about the lengths we parents sometimes go to help support our kids dreams, just like the parents do in the new movie — well, yes. Yes I do. Because my daughter’s dream is to be an actress. And oh man, am I in trouble. Thalia performing “Trailer Trash” from Cowgirls with perfect pitch, which she definitely did not inherit from me | At top: Sage and...

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Speaking up is hard to do: The N-word, the culture of complicity, and why we have to say, that’s not okay.

This weekend, Senator Ben Sasse issued a response to address the (rightful) outrage around his Friday night appearance with Bill Maher. He stated that he should have spoken up when Maher unacceptably used the N-word. He tweeted that “just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.” (Whether or not he looked to be cringing is up for debate, but I’ll take his word for it that he was cringing on the inside.) Only a few weeks before, Billy Bush finally broke his silence about the infamous Access Hollywood tape on which the president bragged about sexually assaulting women. Bush told The Hollywood Reporter,  “if a moment like that rose...

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America’s top misspelled words by state. Can Mississippi spell Mississippi?

Being a data nerd (as Spawned podcast listeners well know), every so often I find myself down the rabbit hole of Google Trends, a super interesting — if somewhat frightening — look at just what the world is searching for day to day. And with this being National Spelling Bee week (whoo!) Google provided this dandy — if somewhat frightening — list ofAmerica’s top misspelled words by state. Did I mention I’m also a word nerd? Now at first glance I think okay, I get Georgia’s top search; it’s hard to know if it’s grey or gray. (Answer: both are acceptable, though gray is...

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You won’t believe that an 11 year old wrote this Memorial Day poem

When a dear friend of mine published this poem for Memorial Day, I gasped when I realized it was written by her 11-year-old son (and nephew of our own associate editor Christina) who I’ve known since he was a baby. Lucas has always been a sweet, remarkable kid — and yes, I’m biased — but I think you’ll agree his writing is extraordinary, so I’m thrilled I have permission to republish it here. This poem would be an exquisite tribute to our fallen troops from any poet of any age, but the fact that Lucas wrote this in a competition for his sixth grade ELA teachers…well, wow....

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The danger of fidget spinners: Miniature death traps! Or…not.

THE DANGER OF FIDGET SPINNERS is appearing all over our newsfeeds and splashing across subject lines flooding our inboxes. Hm, why are we not shocked? It was inevitable that the number of articles about the fidget spinner craze (hey, our kids are fans too), would be followed by an equal number of fidget spinner backlash articles. It started with all the reasons the toys could be distracting in classrooms (wait, a toy can be distracting?) and now we’ve moved onto full-on imminent danger. In case you’re starting to panic about the danger of fidget spinners,  I’ve put together what I think are some common sense suggestions as to how...

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The best and worst states for working moms: A whole lot of surprises | Thinking: Parent

Reading the results of today’s WalletHub study on the best and worst states for working moms, well let’s just say that this working mom’s eyes are wide open: 70% of moms with children under 18 are employed, so this is info that really impacts our country as a whole. There’s some great news in the study…and then some states that make me want to storm the governors’ offices and state legislatures, and go all Gloria Steinem on them. The WalletHub methodology is pretty fascinating, at least for a data nerd like me. (And for these purposes, let’s just establish that “working mom” means...

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A law to force parents to RSVP to kids’ parties: We’re in!

Who among us hasn’t sat around thinking, if I ran the world… Well, our newest partner, STARZ, asked me to do just that, and took me, oh, about a minute to decide what I would do if I assumed the throne. Don’t miss a fun giveaway below! Now of course I’d want to devote billions of dollars or pounds or yen or rupees toward ensuring my citizens were safe, healthy and prosperous. That should go without saying. But my very first act: Legislating timely RSVPs for children’s parties. (What? I’m a queen! I can totally make that a law. And if you’re a parent I know you support...

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Lunch-shaming stories from children who can’t afford school lunch will disgust you.

Yes, lunch shaming is a thing, as I just learned from this New York Times article from Bettina Elias Siegel that is so disturbing, I had to stop physically shaking after reading it before I could come here and write this. Evidently in a number of states, children in need are being publically humiliated and emotionally abused — by administrators — if they can’t afford to pay for school lunch or are behind on payments. One Alabama third-grader came home with an “I Need Lunch Money” stamp on his arm, with a happy face on it to presumably soften the blow. How kind of the...

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40 pregnant women in one prison forced to give birth in shackles and leg irons. Horrifying.

A new lawsuit, as reported by the Associated Press, alleges that more than 40 women have been forced to give birth in shackles in the Milwaukee County Jail over just the past six years. And the details are just horrifying. The plaintiff of this civil class action case was admitted for a 7-month sentence while pregnant. She was forced to endure all of her prepartum care in shackles, then give birth to her newborn baby while wearing a restraint called a belly chain, keeping her wrists tied to her waist, while her legs were attached with irons. Even as her own doctors and OBs demanded the...

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When words aren’t enough: A goodbye to Amy Krouse Rosenthal

It’s always a strange and complex feeling to feel the loss of someone you’ve never actually met, but that’s just what I feel right now, learning of today’s passing of author and mom of three, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This is one woman who definitely left us way too soon. F*ck cancer is right. While a lot of you may have learned her name recently, as the author of the unforgettable You May Want to Marry My Husband Modern Love column in the NY Times, we’ve known her for years as a remarkable children’s author who has filled our kids’ bookshelves with the kinds of titles you...

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Are you paying your babysitter enough? 9 surprising stats about childcare.

One of the questions parents are always asking each other is, “how much should I be spending on my babysitter or nanny?” The answer is so tough. The last thing I want to do is underpay someone with the important job of taking care of my kids, but I know that rates depends on the experience of the sitter, whether it’s a part-time high school student or an experience, trained full-time nanny, and of course, where we live. Related: 21 inspired ideas when you’ve only got a two-hour date night So I talked to the folks at UrbanSitter who recently conducted a national...

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A sweet 7 year old stripped of his bowling medal for the craziest reason. What is going on?

While I am not a fan of the “everyone gets a medal” school of thinking, I do believe in earned accolades. So I was startled to read a story about 7-year-old Canadian student Grayson Powell, a little bowling wunderkind who actually earned a trophy at a Canadian Youth Bowl tournament the old fashioned way — by kicking some pre-adolescent bowling booty in the lanes three times in a row. It wasn’t until the medals ceremony that he was stripped of his win. For a wardrobe violation. And no, he wasn’t wearing an OLD BOWLERS NEVER DIE [blah blah blah] BALLS t-shirt;...

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The one scene in Hidden Figures that every parent should be talking about | Thinking: Parent

Hi, nice to meet you. I’m one of the many parents who tries desperately to squeeze in a few last-minute Oscar nominated movie screenings just before the actual ceremony each year so I have at least a moderate shot at the family Oscar pool. You too? At the very top of my list was Hidden Figures, which I waited to see until my own girls could join me. Yay for February break! And while there are so many moments that will stay with me for a long time, there’s one scene in particular that doesn’t seem to get a lot of analysis, but to me, perfectly embodied why the story of...

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How children can write letters to the president: An American tradition

Children writing to our president and the First Family has always been a wonderful and important tradition. And with the inauguration of a new White House resident today, this is a great time to get kids thinking about their own hopes, their concerns, the issues that are on their minds, and letting them write to the president about them. In our weekly link roundup post this week, we linked to an NPR article about the number of letters from children that President Obama will continue to answer, even after today. Some favorite letters I’ve seen: The girl who wanted advice about getting a nose...

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Meet the cool dogs of Cool Mom Picks and the stories of what they’ve done for our families.

Update: This post was originally created on behalf of a brand that regretfully no longer aligns with our core values, and that we have removed from the content here. But we love the stories that our writers have shared, here and we hope you enjoy them too.   If you’ve ever had a dog in your life, you know they can be like your other child. They’ve taught us love, they’ve taught us responsibility, they’ve taught us that we may never need to sweep up around the dining table again. (Ha.) Clearly having a special dog in the house brings a special kind...

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