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Oct 17 2011

Weekly Roundup: Performance Birth, The Cost of Kids & More

By at 2:36 pm

All the Jewish parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read last week.

Aviva Shalit

– Debra Nussbaum Cohen details the deep sense of kinship she feels with Aviva Shalit, the mother of the longtime Hamas captive Gilad Shalit. (The Sisterhood)

– Performance artist Marni Kotak says she plans to give birth before an audience of Brooklyn gallery-goers. (The Daily Mail, via Mom365)

– Raising a child through age 18 costs the middle-class American family an average of $226,920 — and that’s apparently without a Bugaboo Donkey. (CNNMoney)

– Room for Debate has a lively discussion (though one in which female voices are glaringly underrepresented) about the repercussions of declining birthrates on the Earth and the economy. (Room for Debate)

– More than one in 10 families don’t adhere to the vaccine schedule set out by the Centers for Disease Control — with many parents delaying, or skipping altogether, inoculations that protect against such illnesses as chicken pox and measles, a new study shows. (The Associated Press, via NPR)

– After three years, and more than 1,200 posts, Lisa Belkin, the writer who has helmed The New York Times’ Motherlode blog since its inception, packed up her diaper bag, and headed to The Huffington Post. (MotherlodeWWD)

– While many European countries limit the number of children that single sperm donors can father, there are no such restrictions in the U.S. or Canada.  And one Toronto-based filmmaker, conceived with the help of donor sperm, believes that he may have as many as 1,000 biological siblings. (Montreal Gazette, via Babble)

– Dr. Perri Klass explains how a bilingual baby’s brain processes language, and why children exposed to two languages from an early age are “more cognitively flexible” than their monolingual peers.  (The New York Times)

– And “Dragon Mom” Emily Rapp writes poignantly about raising a child with Tay-Sachs, a genetic disorder prevalent among Ashkenazic Jews (though Rapp is not Jewish). “[My son] won’t prosper or succeed in the way we have come to understand this term in our culture; he will never walk or say ‘Mama,’ and I will never be a tiger mom,” she writes. “The mothers and fathers of terminally ill children are something else entirely. Our goals are simple and terrible: to help our children live with minimal discomfort and maximum dignity.” (The New York Times)


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