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Aug 18 2014

Mom Invents App to Make Teen Call Her Back

By at 1:53 pm

Teen-cell-app

It’s the oldest trick in the book. Teenagers see “Mom” appear on the caller ID and they forward the call to voicemail–with the cellphone that Mom paid for! Well, one fed-up New York mama came up with a pretty sweet solution.

When her son refused to return her calls, Sharon Standifird worked with developers to create an app called “Ignore No More” that shuts down a kid’s phone unless he calls mom back and gets a password.

If you’re already worrying about how you’ll ever stay two steps ahead of your kids’ social media and Skype usage when they hit their teens, then this app is a godsend. “Ignore No More” is available for $1.99 on Google Play and is coming to iPhones soon. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 5 2014

“Apparently Kid” is (Apparently) Having the Best Day of his Life

By at 1:04 pm

noah_ritter

Here’s one kid that doesn’t take anything at face value.

Noah Ritter was (apparently) just minding his own business at the Wayne County Fair in Pennsylvania when (apparently) a local television reporter approached him to get his review of the rides. Though (apparently) it was the young fairgoer’s first time on live television, he managed to steal the show and (apparently) the internet’s collective heart.

WATCH: Read the rest of this entry →

How To Dissect The News With Your Kids

By at 11:13 am

CNN-news

My parents are in town. My dad watches the news. Constantly. CNN, BBC, DC (German), NHK (Japanese), Al-Jazeera. As a result, my kids, ages 15, almost 11, and 7 have also been watching the news. And we all know what’s been on the news the past few weeks. Constantly.

My master’s degree is in Media Analysis. In the past, I’ve deconstructed children’s cartoons and the messages they send about intermarriage, Christmas TV programming, and an infamous Cheerios commercial.

In other words, I cannot watch television like a normal person. And that includes the news. That especially includes the news. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 11 2014

How Do We Protect Children From School Shootings? Bulletproof Blankets, Apparently

By at 3:20 pm

bulletproof-blankets

It’s safe to say that security blankets have taken on a new meaning. Meet the Bodyguard Blanket, the latest bulletproof product on the market to protect children in schools from increasingly tragic events like school shootings and natural disasters.

Created by Oklahoma company ProTecht, the $1000 bulletproof blanket is designed to withstand being punctured by debris falling at 200 mph and protects against “90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States.”

Gun-control lobby groups say there were at least 44 school shootings in the U.S. between December 2012 and February 10th, 2014—that’s an average of about three per month. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 2 2014

News Roundup: The Shocking Truth About Steve From “Blues Clues”

By at 4:51 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.blues-clues

-Ever since he resigned from the show in 2002, rumors have been swirling about “Steve” from “Blues Clues.” One rumor claimed he had died from a drug overdose while another insisted he had died in a car crash. All have thoroughly been debunked. The real reason the indefatigable man-boy with a preference for striped polo shirts left the show was because 1) he joined a band and 2) he was starting to go bald–Oh, the scandal! (Huff Post)

-Judy Blume thinks parents need to chill out and stop worrying about what the kids are reading. The best selling author whose own books were banned in the ’80s, argues that kids will just “self-censor” or be bored by material that is over their heads. Her final word to her young fans: “I say go and read. Read what you like to read.” (Telegraph)

-In this cautionary tale, Julia Fierro writes about the suspicion and distrust that followed when a photo of her pissed-off daughter somehow turned up on a meme site–and went viral. In the end, her husband’s coworker fessed up to posting the meme on Reddit to earn “karma” points. (Huff Post)

-Let’s face it, coding is the language of the future. And by next year, it will be part of many K-12 classroom curriculum across the nation, thanks to Code.org, a nation-wide push backed by major tech companies and their founders like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. (New York Times)

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May 23 2014

Hummus Warning: Target & Trader Joe’s Issue Recall for Listeria Risk

By at 2:35 pm

Hummus recall from Trader Joe's and Target

Planning an Israeli-themed spread for your Memorial Day celebration? Make sure to double check your hummus, as nearly 15,000 pounds of the delicious chickpea dip from Target and Trader Joe’s have been recalled over possible listeria contamination. Oy!

Massachusetts-based Hot Mama’s Foods (good name, right?) recalled the hummus after potential for contamination was found during routine testing. According to the LA Times:

Some of the affected products were shipped nationally and include 10-ounce and 2-pound containers of Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus marked for use by June 11, and 8-ounce containers of Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus with April 28, April 29 and May 14 use-by dates. A full list of recalled products can be found on the Hot Mama’s Foods website.

So double check your hummus, folks. And when all else fails, make your own.

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May 15 2014

The Firing of Jill Abramson is a Scary Wake-Up Call For All Working Women

By at 1:18 pm

NYT

Somewhere buried in my archive of VHS tapes is a video yearbook of my graduation class from college. I have never seen it, but have promised myself that I will watch it next year, at my (gulp) 20th reunion. In it somewhere is a video interview with me at a black-tie formal, sitting on my then-boyfriend’s lap, holding a glass of champagne. “Where are you going to be in 20 years?” the videographer asked me. “Happy and editor of the New York Times,” I confidently replied.

Well, at least I’m happy. And it sure looks like being executive editor of the New York Times is no good way to get to “happy”–if you’re a woman. Jill Abramson, the paper’s first woman executive editor, was unceremoniously and suddenly fired from the paper this week–and it’s entirely unclear why.

In The New Republic, Rebecca Traister’s piece titled, “I Sort Of Hope We Find Out That Jill Abramson Was Robbing the Cash Register,” exemplifies what most women, particularly women journalists, are thinking right now: hopefully there was another explanation for her firing, other than the fact that Abramson reportedly had the audacity to demand equal pay with what her male predecessors received. Equal wages for women, ironically enough, is a cause célèbre of the Times editorial board. Read the rest of this entry →

May 12 2014

News Roundup: Noah Beats Jacob as Most Popular Baby Name of 2013

By at 1:32 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.500-names

-Noah beat Jacob as most popular baby boys name of 2013, after a 14-year reign, according to the Social Security Administration’s recently released list.  Sophia remained in the favorite girl name spot for the third year in a row. Noah was followed by Liam, Jacob, Mason and William. Sophia was followed by Emma, Olivia, Isabella and Ava(AP)

(Shameless plug: If you need help choosing a name for your new baby, try Kveller’s new baby name app!)

-Doctors may be cutting you open for no reason. According to a New York Times piece, a San Francisco hospital which serves the poor has drastically lower C-section rates than other hospitals. But somehow San Francisco General has the same birth outcomes for infants and better outcomes for the mother than other hospitals. The possible reasons for this disparity are chilling. (New York Times)

-A Toronto Library denied a request to pull the Dr. Seuss classic “Hop on Pop” from shelfs after a complaint argued the children’s book encourages violence towards dads. And, thank goodness–where would children’s lit be without Dr. Seuss? (CNN)

-Literature and television fans rejoice. Anita Diamant’s ground-breaking book, “The Red Tent,” is about to become a Lifetime Network miniseries. Diamant’s best selling novel about Dina, daughter of Jacob, made waves for being a rare literary interpretation of the bible through the eyes of a woman. (JTA)

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May 5 2014

News Roundup: The Academic Gap Between Boys and Girls is Growing

By at 1:49 pm

 All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this weekclassroom

-The learning and behavior gap between girls and boys is growing even faster than the gap between rich and poor children–with boys falling far behind. This has some scary implications for boys’ future earning potential. But the reasons for this trend are unclear. (New York Times)

-On a related topic, the number of stay-at-home dads in America is once again declining. One writer speculates the short-lived rise in hands-on dads was mostly a result of the bad job market during the recession. (Slate)

-Tennessee is a terrible place to be a pregnant woman. First the state declined to expand its healthcare program, and now women can be criminalized for their birth outcomes. It’s a catch 22. Seriously, ladies, stay the hell away from Tennessee. (Salon)

-Oops, your kid’s in high school and you’ve saved nothing for college! No worries. Here are eight great tips for giving your kid a great education on the cheap, from Ron Lieber, the New York Times’ money columnist.  (New York Times)

-Not all mohels are the same! This great new series interviews eight of America’s most popular mohels, highlighting their humor and individual styles. (JTA)

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Apr 8 2014

After Emergency Rescue, Is it Fair to Judge the Couple Who Brought Young Daughters on Sailing Journey?

By at 12:10 pm
kaufman family sailboat rescue

via Eric Kaufman/YouTube

 

A story on the cover of the New York Times this morning has stirred quite the parenting storm–pun completely intended.

2 Tots, a Sailboat and a Storm Over Parenting” is about the Kaufman family, who decided to go on a months-long journey in a 36-foot sailboat from Mexico to New Zealand with their 1- and 3-year-old daughters in tow. Less than two weeks later, 900 miles off the coast of Mexico, the adventuresome family had to call for emergency help when they could no longer steer the ship. Their younger daughter, Lyra, was covered in a rash and had a fever, but everyone is safe and stable now.

Cue the opinions. Read the rest of this entry →

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