Cash benefits, paid maternity/paternity leave regardless of work history, family-friendly work schedules, childcare subsidies for centers and at home, universal healthcare — families deserve it all

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Photo by Mladen Zivkovic

It’s impossible to overstate the extent to which the United States is an outlier in terms of providing benefits to families with children. As a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the US collaborates with 36 other high-income economies with very high Human Development Indexes. The purpose of the OECD is to level the global playing field by improving the performance of its members. According to the OECD, the US spends less than 1.5% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on family benefits. Only Turkey and Mexico spend less. In contrast, countries like Denmark, France and…


The Caldecott Medal, the Newberry Medal and the Coretta Scott King Book Awards honor the best books of the year.

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Photo by Raul Mellado

The American Library Association (ALA) was founded in 1876 for the purpose of promoting libraries and library education internationally. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members. Each January, the ALA gives out several prestigious awards for the best children’s books of the previous year. This year, the ALA gave out 20 awards.

The Caldecott Medal Winner

The Caldecott Medal is named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott and was first awarded in 1938…


Here’s what foods to worry about and how to make your own baby food

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Photo by M-image

On February 4, 2021, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy of the Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a report, “Baby Foods are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury.”

According to the report, the FDA received a “secret slide presentation” from Hain (Earth’s Best Organic) on August 1, 2020, which showed increased risks of toxic heavy metals in baby foods. …


Direct payments to families are socially just and economically sound

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Photo by Nattakorn Maneera

President Biden’s Rescue Plan has opened the floodgates of hope and everyone wants a drink. Among these who want more are unpaid family caregivers. I’m not talking about professional caregivers, who are well represented in the Rescue Plan, but those who work in the home everyday for no pay and who often live in poverty. These informal caregivers are unrepresented in the President’s plan.

Informal caregivers are mostly women and they move in and out of the workforce as the needs of their families change. We have seen this amplified during the pandemic, but it was going on before and…


It’s nature’s adaptive response to emotional stress

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There is nothing wrong with crying. A good cry, whether for a child or an adult, is a relief. The positive outcome of crying is a release of pent-up emotions and stress. The negative outcome of not crying, when crying is called for, is that suppressed tears can lead to suppressed emotions. When we experience extreme emotion but cannot release tension through crying, our feelings may overwhelm us, leading to depression and even despair.

Biochemist, William H. Frey II, author of Crying: The Mystery of Tears, says,

It is difficult to feel very sad or hurt without crying, and we…


How to be media savvy in the age of disinformation

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Photo by oatawa

I started out to write a piece on media literacy because I wondered what media was consumed by those who stormed the Capitol, but I soon came to realize that media literacy is impossible if one’s only source of information is social media. Not only does social media, by intent, create distinct news feeds for each user based on his or her previous viewing preferences, but it also blurs the distinction between news and propaganda in unique ways.

In traditional print journalism — think newspapers and magazines — there is a clear distinction between editorial content and propaganda. Sections are…


Choose a conflict style that aligns with your values

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Photo by digitalskillet

While anger is a normal, healthy emotion, and its expression can bring a tremendous release, it can also overwhelm the person on the receiving end. Nonetheless, it is far more constructive to air strong emotions and hurt feelings out in the open rather than bottling up anger, or expressing it indirectly through slammed doors or sarcastic remarks. When two people can listen to each other in anger and work through a conflict, their relationship is stretched and strengthened. Rupture and reconciliation are the cornerstones of relational resiliency.

Even if you understand the importance of protecting another’s self-esteem, and try to…


It harms students, targets minorities, and doesn’t work

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Photo by MarkPiovesan

My mother told me that, as a child, she was put in the closet as punishment. She was clearly traumatized by the experience because she spoke of it reluctantly and with great shame. I thought that this type of cruel treatment of children was a thing of the past until I read about Urijah Salazar, a special education student in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who has been restrained and secluded by his teachers over 150 times.

Urijah’s mother took him to the emergency room after school one day because he came home with bruises and scratches on both arms. The autistic…


What we know so far

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Photo by nevodka

According to reporting in the New York Times, more than 2.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered by the federal government and more than 556,000 people have received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in the US, one from Pfizer/BioNTech and one from Moderna.

Pfizer has agreed to deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine to the federal government by the end of March and Moderna is contracted to deliver 100 million by the end of June. …


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Photo: fizkes

The immune system works. Here’s how to give it a hand.

It’s generally understood that having a weakened immune system may increase one’s risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as well as from other illnesses, and yet we seldom talk about what we can do to enhance our immunity.

The immune system is one of many systems of the body, such as the circulatory system, the digestive system, and the nervous system. All of these systems operate without our really thinking about them, unless something goes wrong.

The immune system protects us from bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi, and from harmful substances in the environment. …

Peggy O'Mara

Peggy O’Mara is an award winning writer and editor. She was the Editor and Publisher of Mothering Magazine for 30 years. Her focus: Family, Health, Justice.

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