Hello Parents. Welcome to the end of your exhausting week and the beginning of your equally exhausting weekend! It's Inauguration Day. Maybe you heard? Whether the Trump presidency is a cause of mourning or celebration for you, it should also be a time to make note of the promises the new President has made. One of these was this: six weeks mandated maternity leave. Sure, it's not perfect. Family leave is much more useful for both families, employers and the economy. But it's a start and parents should make sure we get whatever runs we can on the board. Let's keep the man to his word. This newsletter is still in its slightly truncated form, since I'm on leave. But I'm still delighted to hear from you: email@example.com. Or follow @luscombeland on Twitter.
Acupuncture for babies: it’s a thing. A new study has found it seems to an effective way of treating colic. (Some of the babies didn’t even wake up during treatment, which makes me wonder why I’ve never tried acupuncture.) I’d like this study to be repeated with a bigger sample and published in a journal not called Acupuncture in Medicine, but colic can be incredibly distressing to parents and infants, so this may be worth a shot. TIME
Parents who always step in and help socially anxious kids may be contributing to their issues, says an interesting new study. On the one hand, moms and dads know their kids need more help, and so they offer it, which is understandable. On the other, this sends a message to the kid that they can’t do anything without help, which is also understandable. Parenting: it’s like threading a needle—with a live worm. Psych Central
Returning briefly to the subject of maternity leave, rates of women taking leave haven’t grown, but paternity leave rates have, according to a new study. I’m guessing it’s at least partly because new moms need their income. “The Department of Labor estimates that only about 12% of private sector employees have access to paid family leave, and [the] study showed that only 47.5% of the women who took time off in 2015 were paid for it.” TIME
If you're not alarmed by the drug abuse stats among young adults, then, respectfully, you're not paying attention. Here's how Iceland, which had a historically high rate of teens and young adults using alcohol and drugs, turned it around. MOSAIC
Don’t know if you’ve been following the story of this foster family who looked after a kid for a year before biological family members stepped in and took the boy with them. It’s worth a read, especially if you thought you could never be a foster parent. The experience was hard, but enriching for them. It makes something very clear about parenting. You don’t love kids because they’re your flesh and blood. You treat them as your flesh and blood and then you love them. In the latest installment, the family is considering fostering again. New York Times
Kids are consuming twice as much fake sugar as they did in the 90s. This is partly because of an awareness of the dangers of sugar. But nutritionists aren’t thrilled about the effects of fake sugar on kids either. TIME
Of all the social media my kids use, they love Snapchat the best. (Instagram runs a close second.) If your kid is the same and you don’t quite get what the snap story is, here’s a handy primer from Fatherly
PFFT: Parenting from Famous Types
In honor of the outgoing parents-in-chief, here are some parting words from the Obamas.
“So the next time we battle with our kids over those vegetables, or they refuse to join us for a walk to the park, the next time we struggle to change our schools or communities, we need to remind ourselves that parents everywhere are going through exactly the same thing. We have to remember that we’re all in this together. ” ― Michelle Obama, 2011
“Michelle and I know that our first job, our first responsibility, is instilling a sense of learning, a sense of a love of learning in our kids. And so there are no shortcuts there; we have to do that job. And we can’t just blame teachers and schools if we’re not instilling that commitment, that dedication to learning, in our kids.” ― Barack Obama, 2011
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