childhood | WAMC

childhood

We are in the middle of a cultural revolution, where the spectrum of gender and sexual identities is seemingly unlimited. So when author and journalist Lisa Selin Davis's six-year-old daughter first called herself a "tomboy," Davis was hesitant.

Her child favored sweatpants and T-shirts over anything pink or princess-themed, just like the sporty, skinned-kneed girls Davis had played with as a kid. But "tomboy" seemed like an outdated word--why use a word with "boy" in it for such girls at all? So was it outdated?

In an era where some are throwing elaborate gender reveal parties and others are embracing they/them pronouns, Davis set out to answer that question, and to find out where tomboys fit into our changing understandings of gender.

The name of the book is "Tomboy: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different."

Trenton Doyle Hancock and Frank Oz at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

It is the final two weeks to visit and inhabit artist Trenton Doyle Hancock’s world of characters seen in drawings, paintings, and installations at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. Hancock has transformed his childhood love of comic books, toys, and superhero culture into his own creation myth. That mythology and the multimedia iterations that it has sparked are on display in the exhibition "Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass." The exhibition is curated at MASS MoCA by Denise Markonish.

Hancock tells the story of the Mounds protected by Torpedo Boy, and their enemies, the Vegans. These narratives explore good and evil, authority, race, moral relativism, and religion, all while creating a truly unique body of visual art.

Dr. Dean Haycock is the author of "Tyrannical Minds, Psychological Profiling, Narcissism and Dictatorship." The book tells readers that not everyone can become a tyrant. It requires a particular confluence of events to gain absolute control over entire nations.

First, you must be born with the potential to develop brutal personality traits. Often, these are combined in “The Dark Triad” of malignant narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, as well as elements of paranoia, and an extraordinary ambition to achieve control over others. Second, your predisposition to antisocial behavior must be developed and strengthened during childhood. You might suffer physical and/or psychological abuse, or grow up in trying times. Finally, you must come of age when the political system of your country is unstable.

If you are the parent of a toddler or preschooler, chances are you know a thing or two about tantrums. While those epic meltdowns can certainly be part of "normal" toddler behavior, they are still maddening, stressful, and exhausting--for everyone involved.

What can you do to keep your cool and help your child calm down? Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, child psychologist and mother of two, has a unique understanding of both the science behind tantrums and what works in the heat of the moment to nip blowups in the bud.

Her new book is: “The Tantrum Survival Guide: Tune In to Your Toddler's Mind (and Your Own) to Calm the Craziness and Make Family Fun Again.”

Jesse Costa/WBUR

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a national survey of children's health that shows almost half of American kids experience traumatic experiences.

  As written and read by Joe Donahue:

I was obsessed with books, even as a kid. And my favorites were those by A.A. Milne about a very special bear – Winnie-the Pooh. As an adult, I became obsessed with the place where Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends live and play. The Hundred Acre Wood—the setting for Winnie-the-Pooh’s adventures—was inspired by Ashdown Forest, a wildlife haven that spans more than 6,000 acres in southeast England.

I went trekking through the forest last December – one of the most meaningful adventures I have ever been on. So, when I first learned of Kathryn Aalto’s new book - The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh – I felt like it was written just for me.

In the pages of the book you can visit the ancient black walnut tree on the edge of the forest that became Pooh’s house, go deep into the pine trees to find Poohsticks Bridge, and climb up to the top of the enchanted Galleons Lap, where Pooh says goodbye to Christopher Robin.

  The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives. The St. Baldrick's Foundation is the world’s largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, making more than $24.5 million in new grants last year.

This Saturday, May 2nd, from 10am-4pm, this year’s annual head-shaving event and fundraiser will take place at Proctors in Schenectady, NY.

We are joined now by Mike DeBritz, the founder and Volunteer Event Coordinator for the St.Baldrick's headshaving at Proctor's and Tina Lee, 4 year shavee, captain of team Cue Balls for a Cure, Committee volunteer, and co-emcee of the event. 

  When ADHD first appeared in the DSM in 1987, 3 percent of U.S. children were thought to have the disorder. By 2000, the number increased to 7 percent. In 2014 that number jumped to an alarming 11 percent of children and 15 percent of high school students. Two-thirds of these children are on medication. In contrast, in countries like France, Finland, the UK and Japan, the number is a half of one percent, and far fewer children taking medication.

In the new book: A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD Became an American Epidemic, Dr. Marilyn Wedge brings together the latest developments in neuroscience and clinical research, a history of big pharma and psychiatry, and cultural studies of educational systems around the world.

    Neil Gaiman, one of the world's most beloved fantasy authors, is known for his eclectic work including: The Sandman, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline and The Graveyard Book.

Now he's written his first novel for adults in eight years, The Ocean at the End of the Lane - a bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic which makes the impossible all too real.