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The Week in Parenting: What You Missed While Buying a Million Glue Sticks, Sharpies and No. 2 Pencils

Published on: December 30, 2013

Dads debate aging sperm and their toddlers’ leftover mac, apprehensive parents send their kids off to summer camp and college dorms, twenty-somethings happily return to crash on mom and dad’s couch because — this just in — their brains actually aren’t done developing: It’s all part of the parenting spectrum, where worry is never in short supply and second-guessing is written into the bylaws.

Hickory dickory dock, the dads will wind their clock. The findings of a new study in the journal Nature presented evidence that older dads are more likely to father kids with autism or schizophrenia. News last week of the research got tongues wagging and online comments piling, and posed the interesting question: What would happen — socially, economically, psychologically — if men began worrying about their biological clocks the way women are required to?

Always controversial: The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with revised circumcision guidelines, showing support for the procedure. A personal decision for many families, a community health concern for others, this topic always elicits many opinions and debates. In recent years rates of circumcision for baby boys in the U.S. have been declining.

Dear Mom and Dad, camp rocks. You’ll love this mom’s story about a camp letter home from her daughter for many reasons — the nostalgia, the cute idea of code words, the window into tween-hood. Not the least, I love these parents’ fantastic idea about what camp tradition they’re going to require their middle-school daughter to continue throughout the year in order to get a cell phone. Brilliant.

Smile, tiny baby, you’re on camera. Many brand new parents have half-jokingly complained about those middle-of-the-night feedings and near constant demands of our little bundles of joy. But for some parents whose children go straight from the womb to the ICU, it can be incredibly painful not to have full-time access to their babies. That’s why webcams, apparently at use in more and more hospital ICUs, are just so cool.

Take cover. Discrimination against nursing mothers is on the menu, at least in Seal Beach, Calif., where waitress Kristen Joseph was apparently told by her boss that she could not be allowed to pump her breasts at work because she might "spray all over" the office. Seriously? Come on, breastphobes.

Sit down, this is going to be a shocker. Science confirms what college already taught us: Human brains are better equipped to make major life decisions in their late twenties that in their early twenties. Apparently, “emerging adulthood” is a new life phase that involves high rates of depression, risky behavior and anxiety.

Can we put this one on credit? Living off of one income in today’s economy is hard. Though you don’t need a healthy bank account to make a child, it definitely helps to raise one. These six tips for saving money when dropping to one income are practical and useful.

You have exactly five minutes to get into the car or I’m … Back-to-school is upon us, bringing a chaos of messed-up routines, forgotten sleep and grumpy mornings. Get a handle on it with video tips from our Parent to Parent segment.

Dads, step away from the dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. Ever since my husband pointed out that most parenting stories that hit the news seem to be about moms, I always get a little excited when I see a dad-focused story. Turns out moms aren’t the only ones making meals out of little Aiden’s leftovers. Hello, cholesterol.

And the seasons they go ‘round and ‘round. ‘Tis the season of back to school, and of empty nests. Jennifer Finney Boylan revisits her own unfussy departure to college and muses on today’s permanently attached parents as she prepares to send her own son off to school.

Another thing to worry about. Apparently a new study tells us that infants who receive antibiotics before 6 months of age are more likely to be overweight later on. Add it to the worry list. Next …

natalie-redIn between glue-stick runs and coffee binges, Natalie Singer-Velush is ParentMap’s Web Editor. In her former life she wrote for newspapers and once sprayed milk all over the bathroom of the King County Superior Courthouse while covering a murder trial. She was also once chased by rabid raccoons. Natalie lives in Seattle with her husband and two school-aged daughters. When the time comes she might actually go off to college with them.

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