Family & Parenting | KERA News

Family & Parenting

If you've ever had a little one at home with a fever, you might have noticed two options for Tylenol at the store.

There's one for infants and one for children. They contain the same amount of medicine — 160 milligrams of acetaminophen per 5 milliliters of liquid — but the infant version costs three times more.

What gives? It turns out, there's a backstory.

Susan Morrison was two years old when her dad left.

Her mother, Eleanor, was left to care for Susan and her two siblings. The experience led Susan on a journey to change the Texas Constitution to make sure other kids didn't have the same experience she did growing up.

Know a young driver who's ignoring your pleas to buckle up? Chevrolet suggests you might try to see if they'll listen to a different authority figure: their car.

The automaker is introducing a feature, specifically for teen drivers, that will temporarily block the auto from shifting into gear if their seat belt isn't buckled. A message will alert the driver to buckle up in order to shift into gear.

After 20 seconds, the vehicle will operate normally.

The U.S. birthrate fell again in 2018, to 3,788,235 births — representing a 2% drop from 2017. It's the lowest number of births in 32 years, according to a new federal report. The numbers also sank the U.S. fertility rate to a record low.

Not since 1986 has the U.S. seen so few babies born. And it's an ongoing slump: 2018 was the fourth consecutive year of birth declines, according to the provisional birthrate report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the eight-and-a-half years she spent in prison, Kristan Kerr looked forward to one thing every month: a visit from her daughter, Chloe. Visit by visit, she watched Chloe grow from a toddler to nearly a teenager.

"I just watched her grow all the way up," Kerr says. "One visit, she couldn't read, and then the next visit she was reading something to me."

Convicted for aggravated robbery in 2011 – she was the driver — Kerr says she wasn't making good choices back then, and it meant missing out on a lot.

The World Health Organization recommends limited screen time for kids under 5.
Associated Press

The World Health Organization has issued new guidelines on how much screen time young children should get: Less is better for children under 5, and infants — kids younger than a year old — shouldn't be exposed to electronic screens at all.

In this July 26, 2018 photo, a four-year-old boy is shown playing in a Spiderman mask, who is being cared for by Evelyn Zepeda at her home in Austin, Texas.
Associated Press

For decades, the traditional approach to raising boys into men has emphasized toughness and stoicism.

Today, there are updated ways to bring up boys that draw on new insights into psychology and neuroscience.

An analysis of shooting incidents in Houston that resulted in the death or injury of a child found that guns had been safely and securely stored in less than 2% of cases.

Big Bird, Elmo and stars of Sesame Street are leaving their quiet neighborhood and hitting the road.
Associated Press

To celebrate Sesame Street's 50th anniversary, the iconic educational children's program is throwing a free family festival and stage show in downtown Dallas on July 6.

The first time Jessica Calise can remember her 9-year-old son Joseph's anxiety spiking was about a year ago, when he had to perform at a school concert. He said his stomach hurt and he might throw up. "We spent the whole performance in the bathroom," she recalls.

Last year, 33-year-old Walker Hughes — who has autism and is minimally verbal — was rushed to the hospital after he tried a new medication that made him agitated.

"We're driving at rush hour and my sweet guy is screaming and grabbing me and we're just scared to death," Walker's mom, Ellen Hughes, now 69, said in a StoryCorps interview recorded in February. "This is not the guy I know at all."

How much money should the tooth fairy leave? It's an eternal struggle of parenting, but it's also an overlooked economic indicator. For the past two decades, the price of a tooth has been going up much faster than you'd expect with inflation.

Editor's note: If you like this article, you should check out Life Kit, NPR's family of podcasts for navigating your life — everything from finances to diet and exercise to raising kids. Our new sleep guide is out Monday. Sign up for the newsletter, or email us at lifekit@npr.org.

Six months ago, I found myself preparing for battle.

I was lying in bed at 5:30 a.m., going over in my head how to handle the next encounter with my 3-year-old daughter, Rosy.

Goodness knows, I love her so much. But there's a fire in that little belly. And to be honest, I have no idea how to handle all the anger — the tantrums, the screaming and, most of all, the hitting.

When she's angry and I pick her up, she has a habit of slapping me across the face. Sometimes it really hurts. I've even started ducking like a boxer when I lift her up.

stack of diapers
Shutterstock

Diapers Etc. hands out around 10,000 to 12,000 diapers per month to families in need, for free. For those families on the financial edge, the necessary baby-care staple would be a crippling cost otherwise.

Bri Rodriguez buckled her son Rocky into his car seat. “Little grumps,” she said, teasing the 1-year-old as he scrunched up his face, unhappy at having to be in the car.

Shutterstock

Baby's first year is full of milestones, like first smile, first steps and first round of shots.

Everything about the first 12 months is new — including a major new line item in the family budget.

Even though they are only 8 and 5 years old, the Carrico sisters knew something about wilderness survival, having been trained through 4-H, according to the Humboldt County sheriff. They may have put those skills to use after getting lost during a walk in the woods Friday afternoon in pursuit of a deer trail.

Once the girls failed to return to their Benbow home, located in Northern California's rugged region near the South Fork Eel River, a rescue operation was launched.

Death first visited me on a Thursday.

I had a brown 'n' serve roll in my hand and a Vesuvius of buttered mashed potatoes on my plate. It was Thanksgiving and my 7th birthday, 1983.

If you’re a new parent trying to communicate with your infant, you may have tried baby sign language: specialized gestures babies can learn to communicate words like “hungry,” “thirsty” and “more.”

There’s a huge market for books, classes and smartphone apps that teach baby sign language and claim that it can speed up spoken language development — and even boost a baby’s IQ. But there’s not very much research to support those claims.

Marina Kuperman Villatoro / Flickr

In the 10 days after the election of Donald Trump, nearly 900 incidents of harassment and intimidation were reported around the country. And in a new nationwide survey, educators report the election results have had a negative impact on students.

Shutterstock

Sunday’s deadly attack on a nightclub in Orlando has kids across the country asking questions. And with school out for summer, that leaves a lot of pressure on parents to come up with answers. Here's a range of resources to talk about tragedy death and loss with children.

Disney Channel

Of all the goals a parent hopes to meet, gaining the favor of a child should be least among them. So what to do when your third-grader’s the only one in her class without an iPhone? Dr. Leonard Sax sees evidence, in wider culture and at home, that American moms and dads hand over the reins too often. He told Krys Boyd why they should resist. 

Alan Zarembo / meghandaum.com

For years, Los Angeles Times columnist Meghan Daum wanted to write about her choice to not have children. No editors would take her pitches, she says, even as attitudes toward sexuality and marriage became more progressive in the mainstream.

Commentary: Continuing Education

Aug 25, 2015
Shutterstock

The start of a school year for many students means new beginnings. For the family of commentator Tom Dodge, call it a case of continuing education.

Study Up for 'Think': Infertility 101

Sep 9, 2014
Jenn Raynes / flickr

More than six million women have trouble getting pregnant. At 1 p.m. on Think, reproductive experts Dr. Satin Patel and Dr. Bruce Carr will talk to Krys Boyd about the options available to couples facing infertility.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Let me say off the top that I’m not complaining. No new mom getting as much nighttime sleep as I am has the right to complain. I’m lucky, I know I am. My 10-week-old only wakes up once to eat between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.  And it has been like that for a while now. I dare to say it feels like a pattern; almost a schedule. But when the sun comes up in earnest, my little guy is ready to party. All day long.

Lewis Collins

In 1981, before maternity blogs with snappy names like “Pregnant Chicken,” a young mom-to-be wrote a column for her local newspaper.

Reporter Mary Alice Collins loved crafting stories about Lamaze class, uninvited parenting advice and that magical day when baby made her way into the world. Thirty-two years later, our own Courtney Collins pores over her mom’s articles, looking for guidance and compassion as she prepares to welcome her first child in March.

Lifetouch / Lifetouch

Otha Thornton, the new president of the National Parent Teacher Association, is in town this weekend attending the state PTA's Summer Leadership Seminar. 

He sat down for a few minutes with KERA News to talk about his goals for the 117-year-old organization.

3 Ways To Get Your Family Out Of The House

Nov 23, 2012
Derek K. Miller / Flickr

You can make it through the weekend without touching off controversy. All you need is a little rare vinyl, a couple of movie tickets and a long walk.

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