This month's postings, September 2010

I’m stuffed!
Expecting a baby? Expect to spend about $1,400 before your baby turns 1! A survey by eBay Classifieds found that 62 percent of new parents spent that much or more, and most (93 percent) say their babies accumulate more stuff in a year than they themselves did in five years. In fact, 6 percent of parents say they have so much kid clutter, they can’t even park their car in the garage! Do babies really need all this stuff? Do you? Ponder along with us; read our feature story.

Young and restless
Startling news about ADHD: Nearly 1 million children may have been misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in kindergarten — because they are the youngest in their classes. Two studies in the Journal of Health Economics find that kids who are the youngest in their grade are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than are their older classmates. The reason? Could be because younger kids tend to act “younger” — and be more disruptive in class. Read more on this story at

Young and breastless
I’m worried about a new report in the journal Pediatrics that suggests the average age at which girls hit puberty is still dropping. Now, almost 25 percent of African-American girls experience the onset of puberty by age 7, as do 10 percent of white girls and 15 percent of Latinas. Those rates are much higher than they were in 1997, when we first started hearing about early puberty. Some scientists think a rise in obesity is one possible reason for the trend; others suggest exposure to chemicals called endocrine disruptors might be to blame. Link to more on this at

I hear that
Ear budsOne in five teens now suffers from some sort of hearing loss, according to new research in the Journal of the  American Medical Association. That’s an increase of 31 percent in just 15 years. Reasons for the increase include — you guessed it — iPods and other devices, but also include obesity and general health problems. Loads more info on teen hearing loss is at Listen to Your Buds.

You know all those news report that say teens are texting way too much? Turns out, parents may be to blame! More than half the teens answering a survey by texting app textPlus — 66 percent — say their parents text them during the day, even when they know they’re in class! Forty-three percent of teens say they themselves text during class — and only 26 percent think it’s wrong to do so.

Snore wars
A funny new study suggests a new sort of naughtiness in bed. No — not that, silly! — I’m talking about being mean to your bed partner! A big survey in Great Britain found that one in four women admit to deliberately waking up their husbands — just because they are jealous their spouses are able to fall asleep so easily! The study found that men tend to fall asleep in less than 10 minutes, while many women — 25 percent — take a full hour to nod off. To carry out the dastardly deed, most women say they just toss and turn until their husbands wake up; the next-most-common strategy is the “accidental” poke in the ribs. Other women just make noise — by talking or turning on the TV — to wake up their mates.

Fuzzy, was he?
In other snooze news, another survey in England finds that one-third of adults in that country take a teddy bear or other cuddly toy to bed with them. The survey — carried out by Travelodge — also found that 51 percent of adults still have some kind of stuffed critter from their childhood. Oh, Mr. Purpleface Bear, we are not alone!

Be direct
Here at ParentMap, we’re taking the direct approach, thanks to our super-expando shiny new online directory! The trained lemurs here at PM World Headquarters have been working furiously, adding thousands of new listings (thanks, Jen!) and fab new features, such as discounts, user ratings and much more! Visit

Are you happy enough these days? Work on that at a special daylong event, coming up on Nov. 5. The Greater Good event offers strategies for cultivating compassion and strengthening relationships, and features a special talk by Dr. John Gottman! Read more at See you there!

—Kristen Russell

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