MEET THE NEWMANS. A few years ago, Dave and Amy lived in Juneau where they were both practicing lawyers. They’d been there for about seven years and they couldn’t really decide if they wanted to have kids - untill they decided that the time was right for them to start a family. It was that decision to try to get pregnant that would lead to their major life detour.
They told KTD contributor Jessica Cochran how their high-risk pregnancy meant a move to a new city and plenty of unexpected complications along the way...
AN ALASKAN NOVELIST gave us the idea for this program a few months ago. She wrote to us to pitch a number of story ideas and she ended the list with this: I can imagine an entire show about life detours, including ones that ended happily, which must be a strong Alaska theme, given how people often wind up here in surprising ways. Well, we wholeheartedly agreed and so we asked her to write something on the theme of "life's detours" to set the tone for this program.
Listen below to Andromeda Romano-Lax reading an original essay on her life's biggest detour so far - from Mongolia to Alaska...
Andromeda Romano-Lax is the author of The Spanish Bow, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and one of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2007, as well as her new novel, The Detour published in February 2012 by Soho Press. It's a novel about art, adventure, and second chances, set in pre-World War II Italy. She lives in Anchorage with her husband and two children. Visit her online.
THE MAJOR DETOUR in Cha'ron McCray's life happened a long time ago. Imagine being faced with a choice about who would raise you? And being given that choice when you were a still a child? Today, Cha'ron is a thriving, capable and beautiful young woman. She's a proud member of her family and a newly-minted East Anchorage High School graduate of achievement and a recent recipient of the 2012 Young People of Achievement Award presented by YWCA Alaska.
Cha'ron sat down with KTD host Shana Sheehy to share her personal story.
The Alaska Magazine article that started it all
A FEW YEARS ago our producer, Sarah Gonzales, took a dog sledding trip in Healy. There, she met the couple who owned the remote lodge and they told her about how they met.Their unique and bordering-on-miraculous story stuck in her mind for years. So, she recently revisited Jon and Karin Nierenberg at EarthSong Lodge to be able to share their story with our audience.
Jon & Karin Nierenberg with the letter she wrote to Alaska Magazine in 1990
Here's the tale of how unexpected love detoured a single mom in suburban Ohio to move north to marry a dog musher who had his named misspelled in a magazine. And how she, her rugged mountain man, three teenagers and dozens of sled dogs all came to live together on a remote Alaskan homestead.
MANY KIDS ARE first exposed to religion by their parents or caregivers. Religion can play a huge role in the how families choose to educate their kids, too.
Contributor Aviva Hirsch spoke with two families - both parents and teens - about what religion (or lack of) looks like in their homes.
Aviva had help producing this story for us from the Alaska Teen Media Institute.
AS A WORKING mom or dad, how good you feel about your work-life balance may have a lot to do with where you work. Some companies go out of their way to help working parents juggle all of the demands of raising kids along with full or part-time work.
We're talking about parental perks like on-site daycare, lactation rooms, child care reimbursement, health insurance for part-time employees and flexible schedules that make room after-school pickups.
KTD regular contributor Jessica Cochran spoke with a few of Alaska's family-friendliest employers…
In this story: Credit Union One, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Juneau Chamber of Commerce and Partnerships for Families and Children (a group that recognizes family-friendly employers in Southeast Alaska), Truth North Federal Credit Union, Shattuck & Grummet Insurance
NOT ALL ADOPTIONS involve a long application process or a home study. Some are more of a formalization of how a family is already working, like when a step-parent adopts their spouse’s child.
KTD contributor Jessica Cochran has more.
Alaska Family Law Self Help Center has all the forms for a step-parent adoption on line; it may not require a lawyer.
BOYS WILL BE boys, they say – but why exactly? We ask what makes adolescent boys 11-14 unique and what changes are their bodies – and their minds – going through at this developmental stage? Do boys and girls really learn differently? And what is necessary to help a boy become a good man?
IN-STUDIO GUEST: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to answer these questions is Michael Gurian, co-founder of the Gurian Institute, where he conducts field research, launches pilot programs, and trains professionals in gender diversity and effectiveness. He has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain science into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy and he and his colleagues have developed programs and models for helping schools and parents raise and educate boys and girls.
Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty five books including: The Minds of Boys, The Wonder of Boys, The Purpose of Boys and A Fine Young Man: What Parents, Mentors, and Educators Can Do to Shape Adolescent Boys into Exceptional Men.
He joins us from his office in Washington state.
DID YOU KNOW? For every 100 girls diagnosed with a learning disability 276 boys are diagnosed with a learning disability. For every 100 girls diagnosed with emotional disturbance 324 boys are diagnosed with emotional disturbance. For every 100 females ages 15 to 19 that commit suicide 549 males in the same range kill themselves. See more statistical comparisons at TheBoysProject.com
Rites of Passage - One of the challenges of adolescence is that everything is changing – minds and bodies – and boys and girls are moving from childhood to being “apprentice adults”. In ancient cultures that change was often marked by a rite of passage – a challenge that had to met. Today, more often than not, there’s no particular event to mark the change. Contributor Jessica Cochran spoke with two fathers who think that a rite of passage is an important step for children moving into adolescence to become healthy and functional adults. So they came up with challenges of their own.
Boys Speak Up - We wanted to hear from actual middle school boys about what they had to say for themselves. We asked them what differences they noticed at school between boys and girls of their age - how do they act and how are they perceived? Contributor Robert Stormo visited the boys in the combined seventh-eighth grade class at Pacific Northern Academy in Anchorage to find out.
Books for Boys - Reading advocate Pam Allyn has a whole book full of suggestions when it comes to boys and reading. Allyn is the founder and director of LitWorld – a global organization that advocates for children’s rights as readers and writers; her personal mission is to bring literacy to every child. Jessica Cochran spoke with her about her book - Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys: How To Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives.
A recent Pew Research study found that rates of childlessness among all women are on the rise, while rates of childlessness among women with advanced degrees are decreasing. We ask: could this be due to increasingly tolerant social attitudes towards women who aren't mothers?
The report refers to the General Social Survey data which examined social attitudes towards those without kids by asking (click statements for survey results):
A marriage without children is not fully complete: strongly disagree ... strongly agree.
People who have never had children lead empty lives: strongly agree ... strongly disagree.
Dr. Gretchen Livingston, a Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Foundation, spoke with producer Sarah Gonzales from her office in Washington D.C.
In addition to considering one's own physical and mental health when starting a family, financial health is also a serious consideration - whether it's your first child or you're planning for baby number three. Let's face it - kids are expensive - the USDA's Expenditures on Children by Families 2010 report estimates that raising a child from birth to age eighteen will cost around a quarter of a million dollars - and that doesn't even include college. How can parents best prepare for these costs?
Producer Sarah Gonzales speaks with Stacey Bradford, author of The Wall Street Journal Financial Guidebook for New Parents and Family Finance columnist for CBS Money Watch, to get her two cents.