Weekly Parenting News Roundup

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

Good morning fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

I am back with your weekly parenting news update. Here are some topics we recently discussed here at MotherTalkers:

This week we sadly mourned the loss of one of our moms, Janet Carol Lane Eaton, who was known as “Janetle” at both MotherTalkers and Daily Kos. She died of colon cancer at the age of 56.

For those of us fortunate to have known Janet either virtually or offline, she was an attorney by trade who left a job at a law firm to raise two children who are now in their 20s. She was smart, thoughtful and not afraid to hold back on her opinions. She was an inspiration to all of us and will be missed.

We were also shaken by the death of actress Natasha Richardson who died at the age of 45 from a freak skiing accident. She left behind her husband and two teenaged boys. While there is much talk in the media whether a helmet would have saved her, one thing we can all agree on is to hold our children as often as we can and never hold back from our loved ones.

Another topic that dominated the news this week, was the birthrate in the United States. More children were born in 2007 than at any other time in our country’s history, even at the peak of the baby boom 50 years ago. Some of the increase was due to the number of babies born to single, teenaged and Hispanic mothers. About 40 percent of those births were to single moms, again, more than at any other time in our history. But analysts expect less people to have children now that we are in a recession.

Also, in case you missed it, Eric Carle’s famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is 40 years old. Newsweek had a story about the author, who is now 80-years-old and living in Key West, Florida. Anyways, La Oruga Muy Hambrienta, Colores and Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿qué ves ahí? are three of my children’s favorite books. I found two of the three books in the foreign language kid section of Barnes & Noble. They also like the Dr. Seuss books, the “dinosaur” series by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, and some “junk” books we found at the Scholastic Book Fair like Star Wars and Dora. What are your children’s favorite books?

Speaking of Dora, what do you think of the new doll to be introduced in the fall? Here is a picture of her at 10-years-old.

Also, we discussed the desperate measures some schools are taking to make up for budget shortfalls such as leasing cell tower space on school premises and selling ad space on exams. You have got to read some of our reader comments especially in regards to the ad space. They are funny!  

Finally, we discussed at what age children should receive allowances. There seemed to be agreement, at least on our site, that children should learn to earn and save money at around 7 years of age, but no money should be tied to household chores. This made sense to me.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

10 thoughts on “Weekly Parenting News Roundup

  1. On Jantele’s blog

    her daughter wrote a beautiful tribute.  She talked about the way her mother had taught her, since childhood, to derive joy from the memories of lost loved ones.  What a gift.

    It is in this confidence that I am able to deal with the loss of my mother – because she gave me myself, she blessed me with the ability to deal with hardship. This, with my father’s incomparable optimism and his glorious sense of humor, both of which I can proudly claim inheritance, equip me for whatever the world will throw at me next. In my mother, I saw first hand what a human being is like when they have embraced loss; my childhood was peppered with stories and thoughts of her own father, whom she lost at an age not much older than my current age. But never did she speak of him without a smile, and a truly joyful grin at that. When I looked in the mirror this morning, smiling at the thought of my mom, I saw that exact same grin come on my face when I pictured her finally reunited with her beloved father. Her and I, mirror images of each other; now both spending our futures with our daddies.

    A pretty high compliment to Mr. Jantele, too.

  2. Madeleine Albright on Real Time

    I know there isn’t a lot of Bill Maher love here- this show is definitely my guilty pleasure, but the fabulous Ms Albright was on yesterday and said this, which I thought was astounding.

    Madeleline: The question now is whether a man can ever be Secretary of State… People often wondered whether a women, I especially, at the beginning, could deal with men in foreign governments, the Arab leaders, but I have to tell you frankly I had more problems with the men in our own government.

    Not surprising in some ways, but to hear it spoken out loud in 2009 like that, it’s upsetting, I think. We have a long way to go.

  3. I saw Eric Carle at

    a lovely puppet theatre performance of three of his stories, Hungry Caterpillar among them.  We live in the keys and the theatre was in Islamorada. He signed books for my two girls. He’s a lovely guy with a cute german accent. I complimented him on his awesome children’s art museum in Massachusetts and he seemed delighted we had been there.

        • So much that I like…

          But I love the Bahia Honda State Park.  It is a long beautiful natural beach on the Atlantic side.   They only let in a certain number of cars so it is never too crowded.  They have shelters and bathhouses, kayak rentals, snorkel trips, even camping spots if you want.

          It’s really a great place to go with kids and sand pails.  Plus you can walk the beach for a long, long way. It costs our family of four $7 for the day.

          I’ve been visiting the keys since I was 8 years old- and I’ve still not run out of things I/we want to do.  We always leave with a “next time” list.

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