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Hearing Loss Hits Home for More Tweens and Teens

I repeat myself a million times a day. Or so it seems — like all kids, mine have selective hearing. They always hear “Candy” but never “Can you please …” However, in some cases, it may not be the child’s fault — one in 20 kids ages 6 to 12 has hearing loss in one ear, according to a 2010 study from the Washington University School of Medicine.

Often these hearing deficits go undetected — parents may be worried about a child’s ability to pay attention, for example, when in fact the child isn’t hearing directions well.

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Is There a Quick Fix for Shyness

Back in my advertising days, the company I worked for forced us to take the Myers-Briggs personality test.

When the results were tallied, we were instructed on how to use the information to communicate more efficiently with one another. The extroverts were basically taught how to handle us introverts with kid gloves. The introverts, on the other hand, were provided with zero instruction on how to deal with extroverts – which pretty much told us that as introspective folks we were weird freaks of nature that needed to be put in a cage and studied by our louder counterparts.

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Lois Lowry's The Giver Comes to the Stage

When I heard last fall that Metro Theater Company would be putting on a performance of The Giver, one of my favorite books growing up, I was thrilled. It had been several years since I had read the book, and I wasted no time in revisiting it (again). I was a bit surprised to find that my perspective had shifted a little bit, with a more muddled mixture of hope and despair carrying me through the book than I remembered. It is a quickly engrossing novel, and I am excited for the day when I can share it with my own kids.

Lois Lowry’s book The Giver, which won the Newberry Medal in 1994, is a science fiction novel for children ages 10 and up. Set in a futuristic (though familiar) world, it is the story of a boy named Jonas who lives in a safe and seemingly perfect Community. Everything in it is well-controlled, from the climate to the genetics of the individuals to the very language they use with one another. They value sameness above all else.

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Doing Our Part for the Good of Science

In the mail the other day I received a letter asking if I’d be willing to sign my son up to be poked and prodded for the good of science. His clinic is participating in a study about asthma, and because he’s been treated for breathing problems a couple of times, they wanted to take a look at him.

He’ll get a free medical workup and I’ll have to answer a bunch of questions. But, because his clinic is in the control group, he won’t get any special treatment, drugs, or information. All we get (aside from a little stipend) is the feel-good knowledge that we have helped doctors learn a bit more about a medical problem that affects thousands of children around St. Louis.

If you have a baby younger than 6 months of age, you can do your own part for the good of science by signing up to be part of a control group in an autism study. Washington University is part of the Infant Sibling Study, a nation-wide look at babies who have an older sibling with an autism diagnosis as well as babies who have an older sibling who is typically developing.

The study’s local organizers are actively seeking children in that latter group, according to Beth Prusaczyk of the Washington University Medical Center.

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Eagle Fever Will Keep You Warm This Weekend

Your kids likely see images of bald eagles lots of places, but you can take them to see the real thing at several events this month in and around St. Louis.

Eagle Days is one of the most anticipated outdoor events of the year. Don't let the chilly weather stop you from venturing outdoors. The sights are well worth it (and there are warming tents too).

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From the Kennedy Center to COCA

If you’re looking for a delightful way to spend some time together as a family in January, especially if you have young children, take in COCA’s production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical.

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Art Was the Answer

Greg Miller and his wife, Heather, first founded My Handyworks in Broken Arrow, Okla., in the mid-2000s soon after the birth of their first child. At that time, the couple was creating lion and fish designs using handprints and footprints, and selling their creations via craft shows.

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My Application to Become a Real Housewife

To Mr. Andy Cohen, Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development for Bravo:

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Battle of the Video Games

Worried about how many video games your kids have played over the holiday break?  Based on conversations at the Y’s family swim this afternoon, my mom friends practically had to drag their sons out for some actual exercise.

My boys went to the pool willingly enough – probably because they’d had their fill of Wii hockey and Angry Birds (and they can’t find the Nintendo DS). It’s kind of amazing how much time they can spend with screens if you let them.

And while you should boot your kids off the couch now, there are plenty of benefits of computer games.

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Baby Blues and the Powerful Placenta

Like 85 percent of new moms, Erica Heslop suffered the baby blues after the birth of her first child. When she became pregnant with her second, this mom and nurse vowed not to let post-partum gloom steal a moment of happiness again.

Explained Heslop, “After I got pregnant with Drew, I looked back on my first weeks with Jay and realized that my mood swings, fatigue and tearfulness had clouded my early time with him. My husband even referred to the shower as my ‘sobbing box’ because every time I would shower, I would cry. I wanted the time after our second child’s birth to be less crying and more joy.”

Heslop’s solution: placenta encapsulation.

Now, in all honesty, when Heslop mentioned the practice to our moms’ group, I gagged a little. All I could picture was a placenta simmering in the crockpot with some Lipton’s onion soup mix. But the more she shared the benefits of encapsulation, the more I began to respect the practice. Instead of serving up the placenta with a side of au jus, Heslop explained, it’s cooked, dried and formed into caplets for taste-free ingestion, restoring necessary hormones that are lost within three to five days of giving birth and helping reduce the risk of the blues.

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Six Stories About Teens That Captured Our Attention in 2010

By Russell Hyken

My work with teenagers and their families provides a unique perspective on the state of the world. I spend days listing to the profound, as well as the improbable, reasonings of 14-year-olds, and I find that most teens have a sense of the bigger picture. I also believe that most will go on to do truly great things.

Many Top 10 (or in this case, Top 6) lists mention stories about teens that have caught the nation’s attention. These are stories that caught my attention as a counselor – they got teens talking and shaped the culture of 2010.

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Counting the Calories in Three Glasses of Holiday Sangria

Last night my mom and I indulged in a pitcher of spiced apple cider sangria at Onesto in South City. It was so tasty that we each drank several glasses, and before we knew it, we’d polished off the whole thing. About three glasses each.

After the very pleasant buzz wore off, I started wondering if we’d overdone it. Not in terms of alcohol – it wasn’t that strong, and we left the alcohol-infused apples in the pitcher! – but in terms of calories. Would I have to short myself on cookies for a day or two to make up for all the sangria?

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Top Pop Culture Moments of 2010 According to Mom

It’s that time of year again. Magazines, newspapers and blogs are packed with Top 10 lists spotlighting the best and worst of 2010. As a mom who finds little time to break free from the house or crack open a magazine, my list probably isn’t as edgy or cool as others, but hopefully it’s one parents can identify with. Especially if you’re the kind of parent who thinks Real Housewives of Atlanta and a Hostess cherry pie is a rockin’ good time. And if you are that person, wanna hang out sometime?

Tangled hits theaters – It’s hard to find a “girl” movie that boys like too, but Tangled is packed with enough action, adventure and humor to thrill the Y-chromosome sector. I especially liked it for Rapunzel’s spunky hairdo at the end of the film. So much so, that I was about to take a picture of it to my hairstylist, but thought basing my look on a Disney character was borderline obsessive.

Miley smokes the salvia – Like many little girls her age, MJ is a huge Miley Cyrus fan, yet I rarely let her watch Hannah Montana because I’m disgusted by the way Hannah talks back to her dad. However, for any adult with a TV and Internet access, there’s no escaping Miley’s classy stripper pole dancing, 40-year-old man grinding and salvia smoking. MJ, what about liking that nice Demi Lovato? Wait – scratch that.

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A Healthy Holiday Season Despite Asthma

There are lots of reasons to grumble about the weather lately, but for those with asthma, this wintry weather is especially aggravating. Their airways went from 70-degree days to wind chills below zero in just a few weeks. Add that to the usual holiday asthma triggers — dust mites on decorations pulled from storage, mold spores on live trees, fragrances in potpourris and candles — not to mention the usual wintertime upper respiratory infections going around, and it’s no wonder Dr. Susan Berdy’s phone is ringing off the hook.

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The Top 3 Ways to Safety Proof Your Holiday

The season of joy and good tidings also brings some potential safety issues for children of all ages. Dr. Matt Dougherty, Dr. Matthew Doughertypediatrician at South County Esse Health on Tesson Ferry, has some tips for keeping kids safe while celebrating.
1. Mind the Decorations

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Things to Do

Toddler Tinker Time
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bring your little ones to Toddler Tinker Time at The Magic House for special experiences designed especially for preschoolers. Weekday mornings, families will enjoy hands-on activities in the Art Studio, plus private playtime featuring limited capacity in Wonder Works and Wonder Why.

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Snow Town at The Magic House

Plan your visit to Snow Town, an outdoor adventure at The Magic House complete with a Snowball Carnival, featuring whimsical winter outdoor games, a variety of snowball-themed carnival booths, snowball putt putt and lots more! This completely outdoor experience is SNOW much fun!



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Open Gym at Miss Kelly's Gym
Friday, February 26, 2021

Kids can work on existing gym skills, learn new skills or just play around during Open Gym at Miss Kelly's Gym. Space is limited to 10 kids per session. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

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How to Lessen the Impact of Social Isolation on Your Child's Mental Health

This need for regular socialization all comes down to nature – we are biologically human wolf packs who need to connect with each other, especially in our early years. We asked local experts how to help kids handle the isolation resulting from the pandemic and remote learning, and how it may impact their futures.

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Spring Break Camps Offer a Variety of Activities for Kids and Teens in St. Louis

Welcome 2021's much-awaited springtime with a variety of fun Spring Break camps for kids as young as Pre-K. From rocketry to wildlife, science to arts & crafts, sports to healthcare, in-person or virtual Spring Break camps offer kids a way to meet up with their peers, learn a new skill, or return to favorite fun activities. Here is a roundup of Spring Break camps available in the St. Louis area:

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How Are You Holding Up? Here's What Experts Say About Coping With Anxiety, Stress and Uncertainty

Telling children they shouldn’t worry about something doesn’t make that worry go away. Instead, we want to help them develop skills to manage worries so they can feel empowered to cope with future worries.

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The College School Announces Diversity Scholarship

The College School, an independent school for grades Pre-K through grade 8, has launched a new Upper Division Diversity Scholarship for students of color who are entering fourth through seventh grades. The scholarship award will include up to 100 percent of tuition and fees for the student's time enrolled at the school.

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SLSO's Soundlab for Families Offers an Exploration of the Power of Music

Families are invited to explore the science and emotion of music during the SLSO SoundLab, a month-long, free virtual experience from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Every Saturday in February, families can tune in to Soundlab host Alicia, who will lead them on a journey that begins with how sound can be heard, felt and seen.

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