Publisher's Note, April 2014

Happy 11th birthday to us!

Alayne Sulkin with Pat Kuhl and Andy MeltzoffParentMap was born 11 years ago this month, on the night I met Pat Kuhl and Andy Meltzoff (two of our 2014 Superheroes), the glowing married couple of 28 years who direct the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS). We met while attending a Foundation for Early Learning (FEL) meeting. Melinda Gates and Mona Locke, who founded FEL, startled people by introducing the groundbreaking brain and social emotional research of this dynamic duo and the I-LABS team.

My dear friend Yaffa Maritz, founder of Community of Mindful Parents, urged me to bring my then-6-week-old baby girl, Maya, to the meeting. Andy lovingly scooped her out of my arms and instantly proved that Maya’s early tongue-thrusting imitation did not vary from Mom to stranger — the findings of a study he’d become famous for years earlier. Our babies love to be copycats!

I entered the FEL meeting a happy new mom and left inspired to launch a media business. Since day one, ParentMap’s purpose has been to offer parents easy access to critical research, whether it comes from the rockstar thought leaders who sat before me at that fateful meeting or from universities around greater Seattle, the United States and the world.

The annual high point at ParentMap is when we select our slate of Superheroes. Every year, we find another new crop of astonishingly great humans who dedicate their lives to helping families and youth. As you flip through these pages, you’ll see poets, athletes, visionaries, doctors, advocates and activists of all ages whose zeal and ambition cause them to ask, “What if the world could be a better place for kids and families?”

ParentMap’s passion in 2014 is to foster the conversation around gun safety. There are 1.7 million children in the U.S. living in households with loaded and unlocked guns; 25,000 in Washington state alone. We implore you: Just ask the parents whose homes your kids play at, “Do you have a gun?” If so: “Is it stored safely?”

We’re determined to raise awareness of this critical public health issue. This month, we also explore how secure your child’s school has become 15 months after the Sandy Hook massacre — and why.

Be inspired to take action.


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