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Show 64: Romance & Sex After Kids

Happy Valentine's Day week! To celebrate the love, we're hosting a discussion about sex and romance after kids. Feeling exhausted, being too busy with work, caring for children, keeping non-stop schedules throughout the week or just feeling like the caregiver with little left to give at the end of the day - these are all real romance roadblocks that can keep moms and dads from being lovers. So, this week we're offering some practical advice, empathetic experience and a sexy recipe to heat things up. 


Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to discuss the issues that can keep couples from experiencing intimacy and how to reconnect are two guests who regularly counsel on this subject.   

- Chris Reynolds is a licensed professional counselor with a master's degree in counseling psychology from Alaska Pacific University. He's in private practice in Anchorage where he specializes in the areas of adjustment, couple's therapy and sex therapy. He has postgraduate training in the area of human sexuality and is one of two certified sex therapists in Alaska. (Chris originally guested on KTD on Show 48: The Sex Talk

- Rebecca Love is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in working with sexuality and couple's and women's mental health issues. She has worked in community mental health, inpatient care, OB-GYN, and is now in private practice in Anchorage.



- How's your sex life, parents?: Moms and dads tell us how it's going in the intimacy department for them. 

- Does sharing housework = more spark in the bedroom?: Our contributor, Jessica Cochran, gets personal when she reviews Equally Shared Parenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents by Amy and Marc Vachon.

- Chef KTD: Valentine's Decadence: Chef Liz Madsen shows producer Sarah Gonzales how to make molten chocolate cake and a "Persephone" cocktail that will bring out the springtime in you! (recipe and photos here)  


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Show 63: Alaska's Juvenile Justice System

When young people break the law and are then processed into the justice system, a sentence is only the very beginning of the correctional journey for juvenile offenders. Those who help these kids have a three-part goal that applies to every 10-17 year old who is in detention or treatment: 1) hold youth accountable for their actions, 2) promote the safety and restorization of victims and communities, 3) equip young offenders and their families with the skills to help prevent future crime.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining producer Sarah Gonzales in the studio are two guests who are each uniquely well-acquainted with Alaska's juvenile justice system.

- Rob Wood is the Deputy Director of Operations for the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice. He has worked with delinquent youth for over 34 years, initially in the State of Oregon, then in Alaska since 1980. During this period he was a youth counselor in a corrections facility, a clinical therapist for 10 years, a juvenile probation officer and a supervisor for 20 years.

- Brian Petrilla is a former juvenile delinquent turned juvenile probation officer who robbed an Anchorage credit union when he was 17 years old. Adjudicated and institutionalized at McLaughlin Youth Center in 1993, he returned to McLaughlin as a PO 14 years later to help kids.



- Transitioning Back Into the Community: One of the highest risk times for young offenders can be when they are finished with their treatment, their sentences are coming to an end and they are going back to the community. Contributor Jessica Cochran looks at how Alaska's juvenile facilities are helping kids make a smooth transition back into the real world.

- Alaska's Youth Court System: Youth courts are where young offenders face their peers in a real courtroom situation. They exist across the nation and have been a part of the Alaska juvenile justice system for more than a decade. Host Shana Sheehy visited North Star Youth Court in Fairbanks.

Watch a video from the Sitka Youth Court:



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Show 62: Work/Family Life Balance

With only so many hours in the day in which to balance a career, a family, a social life, and all the other obligations that go along with being a well-rounded person, it can be extra difficult when a life change occurs to unsettle that balance - like when a relative becomes ill and needs care, or when a new baby is added to the family. But, whether or not there's a life shift, how flexible are you in your everyday life and how flexible - and family-friendlyis your employer? 

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to explore this issue are two guests - each with an unique perspective on work/life balance. 

Kathy Day owns the Alaska public relations firm KD/PR Virtual - a full service agency where all the employees work "virtually" instead of in a traditional office. Mother to two sons, she opened her own business in 2000 when she had her first baby and realized she could no longer meet the travel and long-hour demands of working at a traditional agency. Now she employs many others who are seeking this same balance in their lives. 

Phoebe Taubman is the Senior Staff Attorney at A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center, and mother to a toddler. There she works on expanding paid leave and flexible work options for families and combating discrimination against pregnant women, parents and other family caregivers. She joined us by phone from New York City.


DID YOU KNOW? Alaska is one of only two states with a civil rights statute that makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on parental status.


- Choosing Sweden for the Parental Perks - Candice Madrid-Dahlqvist, a US citizen married to a Swedish citizen, spoke with producer Sarah Gonzales from her current home in London about why her family decided to birth - and raise - their child in Sweden.

- Teens & Their Busy Schedules - It's not just adults who have too much on their plates, the life of an involved, college-bound teenager can leave little time to sleep as Alaska Teen Media Institute's Nikki Navio finds out.

- Alaska's Family-Friendliest Employers - Regular contributor Jessica Cochran takes us around the state to talk to employees and their employers about what makes them family-friendly, or not.



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Show 61: Starting a Family: Adoption

There are many ways to make a family - through pregnancy, via adoption or by blending existing families - and in this episode we're taking a closer look at adoption. There are many ways, too, to adopt - as an infant or teen, internationally or from right here in Alaska! Those who choose to adopt will have many questions about the process and we'll be learning about adoption all throughout the week.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: To continue the conversation in the second installment of our ongoing Starting a Family series, three special guests join host Shana Sheehy in the studio to discuss adoption in Alaska.

• Sarah Blanning is the Coordinator for the Infant Adoption program and the Waiting Child program at Catholic Social Services of Alaska.

• Dr. Susan Bomalaski is the Executive Director of Catholic Social Services of Alaska where she oversees all of the programs offered, including the Infant Adoption program, the International Adoption program, and the Foster Care - Adoption programs.  

• KariLee Pietz is the Social Service Program Officer that oversees the the Resource Family Unit at the Alaska Office of Children’s Services where she works with foster and adoptive famlies.



- Adoption Story: Dale, Kaerin and Maya - Open adoption is a choice that many who adopt these days choose to consider. It doesn't mean co-parenting, and it may not even include face-to-face visits with a child's birth family - instead it's all about sharing information. Meet Dale, Kaerin and Maya, our producer Sarah Gonzales' next door neighbors, they shared with us why open adoption makes sense to them.

- Adoption Story: Paula, John, Olive and Drew - Next we meet an Anchorage couple who have adopted two little girls through Catholic Social Services – both of them Alaska Native. 

- Adopting Step-Children - 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. Contributor Jessica Cochran has more.


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Show 60: Immunizations in Alaska & Around the World

THE PRACTICE OF routine vaccination has rid the world of small pox and nearly eradicated polio and has greatly reduced the incidence of many infectious diseases like pertussis and measles especially among some of our most vulnerable – our children.   

So this time on Kids These Days! we're learning about immunizations and vaccines and the many diseases they protect against. We'll also take a look at some of the concerns parents have and where we can all learn more information in order to make an informed decision when it comes to keeping our kids well. 

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio are two guests -

Dr. Tom Nighswander is Clinical Dean of the Alaska WWAMI Program and has been at the Alaska Native Medical Center since 1972. He and his wife Ruth, a nurse mentor for the Anchorage School District, have made annual visits to the sub-Saharan country of Malawi for the last 14 years working at the Malawi Children's Village and HIV/AIDS orphan program.

Laurel Wood was Immunization Program Manager for the Alaska Division of Public Health for 16 years. In that role she worked to coordinate statewide Immunization Program activities including vaccine distribution, coordination of Alaska’s immunization information system, monitoring of school and child care facility immunization requirements, and presentation of general immunization education. She is the former Chair of the national Association of Immunization Managers. Currently she is working part-time as the Coordinator for Public Health with the Immunization Action Coalition.



- Rural Alaska Immunization Rates - Overall, Alaska’s rates of immunizations are low; we rank 49th in the country for percentage of 2-year olds who have completed the recommended vaccine series. But among Alaska Natives the rates are around 80%, above the national average. Contributor Jessica Cochran spoke with some rural health care providers to learn more.

- Malaria Vaccine Initiative - In Africa malaria takes the life of a child every 45 seconds, but a new vaccine - hailed as one of Time Magazine's Top Ten Medical Breakthroughs of 2011 - is showing encouraging initial results. The RTS,S vaccine has reduced the rates of malaria by approximately half in children ages five to seventeen months. Producer Sarah Gonzales spoke to David Poland from the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.

- Power of One: Sudan Solar Suitcases - We meet one high school teacher who recently helped students learn a lot about the science of solar power as well as the power of giving when he helped a group of students build "solar suitcases" - portable power supplies that will benefit off-the-grid medical clinics.


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Show 59: Learning From Failure

FAILURE IS ESSENTIAL to the learning process, and learning how to handle failure appropriately without giving up or freaking out is all part of maturing. How can caregivers help kids to “fail” well? Studies show that kids who are praised for their effort instead of their intelligence are more likely to overcome failures, keep on trying and do better in school and life.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio is Dr. Carol Dweck, who, for the last 40 years, has been a leading international researcher in the field of developmental psychology and overcoming failure. She is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor at Stanford University’s Department of Psychology and is the author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

Dr. Maria Ippolito from the University of Alaska Anchorage's Department of Psychology also joins us; she is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and has studied psychological resilience in children. She credits her familial status as the eldest of nine children for originally motivating her interest in studying developmental psychology.



- Social Promotion vs. Repeating a Grade - All through our school years there’s are big potential “failures” lurking - flunking a test, or failing a whole grade and being held back. Regular contributor Jessica Cochran found out that like most things, the issue of social promotion versus grade retention isn’t so black and white. 

- Losing the 5th Grade Election -  Kids may not have many places these days where winning is not an option, but one holdout can be found each year in the form of the school election. Contributor Michelle Theriault Boots brings us the story of a kid who ran for office at Northwood Elementary school, lost and ended up teaching his family something about winning, losing, failure and grace.

- The College Rejection Letter - A big part of Senior year is getting ready to attend college - taking placement tests, touring campuses, writing essays, applying to schools... and then all that waiting to find out where you got in. But what if your top university pick doesn't pick you? Our teen blogger, Patrick Walgren, a notorious winner just found out what that feels like to lose.


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Show 58: The Giving Show

LEARNING TO GIVE starts at a young age. It’s the right time of year to think about generosity, compassion and kindness so we’re exploring how we can help our young people to become contributing members of a family and eventually, of their community.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: The Rev. Beatrice Hitchcock of the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Church and Prof. Paul Ongtooguk, Education professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage and co-founder of Alaskool join host Shana Sheehy to discuss teaching compassion and instilling generosity in kids; and how different cultures celebrate when children make their first contribution to the community.


An 80-year study finds that giving is at the root of living a happy life: "Generativity (the ability to give to others) can’t exist unless you have the sense that you can make a difference. We’ve found that empathy and warmth are important, so that you can feel the suffering of others. And it’s equally important to have a desire to give and help. But what leads the way is a healthy sense of self that allows you to mobilize and act productively upon the world." - Psychologist and researcher Paul Wink of Wellesley College


- Power of One: Pillows for Kids Foundation - Marilyn Parker and Valerie Kouvinen are two retired high school teachers who are making a difference in the lives of kids in the Mat-Su with their Pillows For Kids Foundation. As they told producer Sarah Gonzales, they sew and sell pillows, using the funds for "little scholarships" for kids in need to be able to participate in "brain-training activities" while engaging with their community.

- Books About Giving - Contributor Jessica Cochran asked four children's librarians to each select a book on the topic of giving to share with the KTD audience. They chose: The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy, and Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.

- 10 For the Troops - The Armed Services YMCA of Alaska's new fundraising campaign that began November 1, 2011 in Alaska seeks to raise $25,000 to support different services that help military families in Alaska. Visit 10forTroops.org to learn more. 

For more on giving, see: 


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Show 57: Advertising to Kids

THE HOLIDAYS ARE almost here and that means toys, presents and shopping in many households. Kids know what they want and they'll let you know which toy/gadget/game/thing they absolutely must have this year. So, who and what inform these desires? In this episode of KTD we're learning about how our kids are marketed to and what strategies we can use to help them be more media savvy.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio is Joel Bakan, author of the critically acclaimed best selling book-turned film, The Corporation, and most recently, Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children. Joel is also a professor of law at the University of British Columbia; he joins us from Vancouver, B.C. Aliza Sherman, Alaskan marketing and web pioneer, joins us from Tok. Aliza is the author of Mom Incorporated and creator of the app, Girls Can Be Anything.


"Young people view more than 40,000 ads per year on television alone and increasingly are being exposed to advertising on the Internet, in magazines, and in schools. This exposure may contribute significantly to childhood and adolescent obesity, poor nutrition, and cigarette and alcohol use. Media education has been shown to be effective in mitigating some of the negative effects of advertising on children and adolescents."

- Via: "Children, Adolescents and Advertising" published by American Academy of Pediatrics


- Ad Industry Self-Regulation - Kids are bombarded by advertisements - on television, in those brightly colored toy fliers that make up the bulk of the Sunday paper delivery this time of year and on the internet year-round. Sometimes it seems like a free-for-all. Are there any rules governing all this marketing? Contributor Jessica Cochran looks into the world of advertising self-regulation.

- Advertising in the Schools - As education budgets continue to get slashed while the costs of schooling children continue to rise, some public schools in the United States are taking a closer look at advertising dollars to make ends meet. How do Alaskans feel about advertising in the schools? Contributor Aviva Hirsch has the story.



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Show 56: Children & Divorce

DIVORCE IS A REALITY for many families and couples will decide to split for a number of reasons. But, no matter the cause, breaking up is hard to do - especially when there are children involved. In this episode we ask: How can parents minimize their child's suffering when mom and dad are also in pain? Is it possible to successfully co-parent once a divorce is final? What are kids really going through when their parents end the marriage? And, how to share those holiday celebrations between multiple homes? 

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to discuss helping kids through divorce are two guests: Christina McGhee is an an internationally-acclaimed divorce coach, parent educator and author of Parenting Apart: How Separated and Divorced Parents Can Raise Happy and Secure Kids. She joins us by phone from Texas. 

Al Levy is a therapist in private practice in Anchorage at Generations - A Family Place. He focuses on children, families, parenting and relationships. He does court-ordered family therapy, co-parenting counseling, expert witness testimony and custody investigations as a part of his practice.


Alaska Legal Services

- AlaskaLawHelp.org

- Alaska Family Law Self-help Center 

- Alaska Native Justice Center

DivorceandChildren.com and ParentingApartBook.com

Alaska Family Law Handbook

Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA)

- Kids These Days! Show 24: Family Law 101


- Adults Remember Parents' Divorce - We sought out adults whose parents split when they were kids to find out what they say now about how the experience affected them. We spoke with four people ranging in age from 30 to mid-50s who recalled a range of emotions. [Listen here.]

- Divorce/Custody Law 101 -  Aside from all the emotional issues involved with a divorce, there are the technical and legal issues like custody, child support and visitation. Earlier this year, we spoke with Anchorage family law attorney Steven Pradell (Show 24: Family Law 101) about common legal issues for families; he’s the author of the Alaska Family Law Handbook. We excerpted part of that conversation for this show.

- Domestic Violence & Divorce - Co-parenting successfully with anyone after a separation or divorce can be challenging - after all, there’s a reason the parents got divorced in the first place. But in cases where there has been violence in a relationship, it can be more than tough – it can be dangerous. 


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Show 55: Favorite Featured Stories

Image source

DURING THE HOLIDAYS we get together with our loved ones to celebrate the season, eat good food, reconnect and to share our favorite stories again and again. It’s one of the best parts of this time of year, don’t you think?

We at Kids These Days! gathered up the favorite featured stories that we produced throughout the year and brought them together for a very special episode. These are the pieces that you listened to the most according to our website stats and just like that priceless story your older sister, grandpa, or aunt likes to tell about that one time way back when... we’re telling these stories again. 


- Hannah Goes to College (Show 46: Special Education)

Hannah was born with cerebral palsy and has been in a wheel chair her entire life, even so she is starting her first semester at the University of Washington with a full scholarship that she received from the Stamps Foundation for her leadership skills. Contributor Ann Kaiser spoke with Hannah.

Teen Boys Talk About Manhood (Show 21: Dads These Days)  

Contributor Ben Anderson went to Service High School to find out what teenage boys have to say about being a man. He spoke with seven teen boys, ages 15-18, asking the following questions: When do you become a man? How do men provide for their families? What if your wife makes more money than you? Would you ever be a stay-at-home dad? 

- Assistive Technology Helping Deaf Students Succeed (Show 39: Deaf & Hearing Impaired Children)  

At the Linguistic and Assistive Technologies Laboratory or LATLab at the City University of New York in Queens, lab director Dr. Matt Huenerfouth is studying how to produce software that would generate animations of sign language for the deaf and hearing impaired population. There is a need for this type of technology because for those who have been deaf their whole life, reading written English is a challenge. Producer Sarah Gonzales reports on his work, and the local technology available via UAA.  

- Singer/Actress Shanae'a Moore (Show 47: Young Artists & Arts Education in AK)

Recently graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School, Shanae'a spent part of her summer working with kids at a fine arts camp and this fall she’s working as an activities coordinator with the elderly to whom she often sings. She’s saving up some money to start theatre school in Texas. Shanae'a spoke with host Shana Sheehy before graduation.

- Singer/Songwriter Selah Rees (Show 18: The Value of Music

You will very likely be hearing about "Selah Rees from Alaska" in the music news within the next few years. This talented young musician and graduate of South High School, has peformed all over Alaska and her new full-length album (including the song "Ballad of the Heart" heard on KTD) is now available for purchase.   

- The Princess Marketing Phenomenon & Young Girls (Show 38: The American Kid

Kids are the targets of a LOT of marketing. Each new kid movie comes with a whole line of merchandise around it – with pictures on everything from tooth brushes to cereal boxes to bathing suits. The Disney “princess phenomenon”, especially, has been the subject of much parental hand-wringing and writing. Contributor Jessica Cochran took a closer at the whole “princess” thing.  

- Teaching the Yup'ik Language in the Lower Kuskokwim (Show 2: The Infant Brain and Early Language Acquisition)  

Abby Augustine is the Yup'ik Language Education Specialist for the Lower Kuskokwim School District. She shared with producer Sarah Gonzales what she knows about getting kids excited to speak a second language - hint, it involves humor and acting...

Family Wellness Warriors (Show 30: Suicide Prevention)  

The Family Wellness Warriors Initiative has an ambitious goal: end domestic violence, child sexual abuse and child neglect in Alaska in this generation. It’s a program of Southcentral Foundation, the native non-profit health care organization for the Cook Inlet region. As contributor Jessica Cochran tells us, it’s all based on sharing stories.

- Chef KTD: Chocolate Ganache (Show 20: Love and Family Relationships

Chef KTD Liz Madsen (formerly sous chef at the Crow's Nest and currently pastry chef at Kinley's Restaurant) along with her 5-year old son, show producer Sarah Gonzales how to make an interactive, assemble-your-own dessert that has more uses than just dipping fruit. Chef KTD says you can save the leftover ganache for up to a month in the fridge and use it to frost cupcakes and fill cakes; or let it re-soften, cut up more fruit and you've got an impromptu and elegant dessert.

You can listen to any or all of the KTD episodes (and featured stories!) produced to date by checking out this complete list. 


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