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July 16, 2017

This week’s family-related news included research showing that breast-feeding takes learning and practice, findings that holding children back a grade will not necessarily keep them from succeeding, tips on how to raise a bilingual child, musings on making the choice of raising a child in the city or suburbia, the importance of letting a child zone out, “rooming in” — a successful model that keeps drug addicted babies and their mothers together, the continuing controversy over the safety of cell towers — especially around our children, and finally a federal judge in Hawaii rules that grandparents are considered close relatives of a child.

Secrets of Breast-Feeding from Global Moms In The Know Michaeleen Doucleff, NPR, June 26, 2017 In a survey a few years ago, 92 percent of women said they had problems in the first few days of breast-feeding. Women have problems breast-feeding everywhere… Moms have evolved to need help, to be taught.

Holding Kids Back a Grade Doesn’t Necessarily Hold Them Back Anya Kamenetz, NPR, July 10, 2017 Our education system has favored grouping kids by birth date — rather than by intellectual ability, achievement or interest. However, research suggests that developmental pathways are as individual as kids themselves.

Raising a Truly Bilingual Child Perry Klass, M.D., The New York Times, July 10, 2017 The steps along the road toward bilingualism can help a child’s overall facility with language. And early exposure to more than one language can confer certain advantages, especially in terms of facility with forming the sounds in that language.

I’m a City Mom But I’m Test-Driving the Suburbs Carla Bruce-Eddings, The Cut, July 11, 2017 Two months ago Eric’s co-worker asked him to house-sit for a week. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, a rapidly growing town some 22 miles from New York City, often dubbed “the new Brooklyn” This seemed like the perfect opportunity for our family to give the suburbs a test-drive.

How Goofing Off Helps Kids Learn Lea Waters, The Atlantic, July 12, 2017 Letting children rest and play gives their brains an opportunity to reboot. In the 1990s, neuropsychologists began to delve into free-form attention and found that it has many benefits, including for children’s learning and their brain development. To shift instantly into free-form attention, all an individual has to do is goof off.

A Tide of Opioid-Dependent Newborns Forces Doctors to Rethink Treatment Catherine Saint Louis, The New York Times, July 13, 2017 From 2003 to 2012 …the number of babies born dependent on drugs grew nearly fivefold in the United States. A growing body of evidence suggests that what these babies need is what has been taken away: a mother. Separating newborns in withdrawal can slow the infants’ recovery, and undermine an already fragile parenting relationship. “The model of care that’s being touted now is really that the mother is the first line of treatment for the baby,” said Dr. Debra L. Bogen, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The strategy is called “rooming-in.”

Cell Towers at Schools: Godsend or God-Awful? Julie Depenbrock, NPR, July 14, 2017 School districts — hard up for cash — are turning to an unlikely source of revenue: cell towers. The multistory metal giants are cropping up on school grounds in Chicago, Ill., Milpitas, Calif., Collier County, Fla. and many other places across the country. The big reason: money. As education budgets dwindle, districts are forming partnerships with telecom companies to allow use of their land in exchange for some of the profits. But are they safe?

Grandparents Win Reprieve from Trump Travel Ban in Federal Court Miriam Jordan, The New York Times, July 14, 2017 A federal judge in Hawaii ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration’s temporary ban on travelers should not prevent grandparents and other close relatives of residents from entering the United States. Judge Derrick K. Watson of Federal District Court in Honolulu wrote “Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members.”

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