For some time now, agreement has seemed near-universal that there is a growing chasm between those with great wealth in this country and the rest of the population. That recognition has even bridged our otherwise entrenched political divide, with both Republicans and Democrats tackling the problem, especially on the campaign trail. But despite the recent urgency, there are differences.

Mikko Tarvainen via flickr Creative Commons /

Parental leave has been shown to benefit infant health and early development, but Jennifer Senior argues that if we truly care about our kids’ well-being, the policy should not stop after the first 12 weeks. On today’s show, the case for taking parental leave when kids are teenagers. 

Plus, we wax nostalgic for the days of the one-hour photo and test a new app that turns your smart phone into a disposable camera.

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

Sean Hurley

There's no shortage of advice if you want to hike the rugged trails of the White Mountains. But there aren't many guides for those interested in the gentler, family friendly paths that cut through our forests. NHPR's Sean Hurley recently took a walk in the woods with New Hampshire trail expert Steve Smith to compile a list of 10 magnificent - and magnificently easy - wilderness walks.


Imagine this: a family of six, living for more than 40 years in an isolated tiny cabin on the vast Siberian Taiga. If this were the 19th century, it might not be so far-fetched. But, it was 1978 when four geologists prospecting for iron discovered the Lykovs. Patriarch Karp Lykov and his wife, Akulina, fled the Soviet purges of the 1930s and headed for the forest where they raised their children, completely unaware of WWII, the moon landing, the cold war, or the advent of television.

For more than 27 years, Mike Ostrowski has served as president of Child and Family Services of New Hampshire, an organization that serves some 15,000 children and families in New Hampshire each year.

He’s stepping down from that role as the year comes to a close, but before he does he joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson in the studio to share some of what he’s learned on the job.

A story in the Boston Globe this week highlighted the difficulties employees and workplaces sometimes face when it comes to policies around breastfeeding. 

In 2011, author Dan Szczesny and his wife unexpectedly became caretakers to two nine-year-olds. One of them, a girl named Janelle, joins Dan on a quest to hike the New Hampshire mountains known as the “52 with a view.” That quest is the basis for Dan’s book The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie.

Meet Lance and Aaron Rice, whose project “Lance’s Brewery Tour” will be taking them across the country to some the best breweries in North America. Since launching “Lance’s Brewery Tour; A Beer Genius with Autism and His Dream.” on Kickstarter on May 13th, they have begun to receive national attention for the project.

Lance Rice is a brewery historian, who for forty years has been becoming an expert on all things beerish. He plans to write a book about North American breweries and their history, based partially on the trip he hopes to take with his nephew, Aaron. The kicker in all this is that Lance has autism.

Virginia Guard Public Affairs Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Mac McClelland about the spread of the invisible disorder that somewhere between 100 and 300-thousand veterans brought back from war …trauma. “Secondary traumatic stress” does not have its own entry in the DSM, and is often called compassion fatigue, a more euphemistic title. Sufferers experience PTSD symptoms, but are often faced with even more hurtles than veterans when seeking help. The important difference people see between the victims of PTSD and secondary traumatic stress is that the latter’s trauma was not originally their own. Mac McClelland wrote an article for Mother Jones’ about the phenomenon of secondary traumatic stress and its affect on the families of returned soldiers. She’s also working on a book about PTSD.

The Family Place

Jul 28, 2012

The Family Place provides a variety of services to help young families through a myriad of challenges. Jennifer Smith learned about the Family Place when her daughter was a newborn and in neo-natal intensive care.

The past week's political firestorm in the presidential race focused on stay-at-home moms, but two-thirds of women with young children now work. Nearly half are their family's primary breadwinner. What some feel is being lost in the political debate are the challenges they face in the workplace.

When Kids Get Sick

Last in a four-part report

Surrogacy is an idea as old as the biblical story of Sarah and Abraham in the book of Genesis. Sarah was infertile, so Abraham fathered children with the couple's maid. Today, there are many more options for people who want to grow their families — and for the would-be surrogates who want to help.

Macy Widofsky, 40, is eager to be a surrogate.

"I have very easy pregnancies. All three times have been flawlessly healthy, and I wanted to repeat the process," she says, "and my husband and I won't be having more children of our own."

Part of the Family Matters series

The Great Recession slammed into all age groups, flattening the career dreams of young people and squeezing the retirement accounts of middle-aged savers. It financially crippled many elderly people who had thought they could stand on their own.

145,000 businesses start-up each year in the US.  Many launch in garages, home offices, or in the case of Stonyfield Farm, a drafty old farmhouse on a New Hampshire hilltop with seven cows, and a dream. Like most entrepreneurial ventures, the company also had vision, tenacity, some capital, market research, and an understanding of expenses, competition and supply chains. How a new business will affect the personal lives of its leader, or the lives of their families and spouses, however, rarely figures into a business plan.

One night in 1995 completely reshaped the lives of Phil and Laura Donney. Their parents were arguing, and their father stabbed their mother, killing her. Phil was 7; his sister was 4.

Ken Donney was sent to prison, and the children went to live with their mother's sisters.

Phil, 23, recently sat down with his aunt, Abby Leibman, the twin sister of his mother, Nina Leibman.

"What was it like becoming a parent to my sister and I overnight?" Phil asks.

So-called helicopter parents first made headlines on college campuses a few years ago, when they began trying to direct everything from their children's course schedules to which roommate they were assigned.

With millennial children now in their 20s, more helicopter parents are showing up in the workplace, sometimes even phoning human resources managers to advocate on their child's behalf.

Megan Huffnagle, a former human resources manager at a Denver theme park, recalls being shocked several years ago when she received a call from a young job applicant's mother.

Photo by earlycj5, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Every family has its secrets. Few compare to the Lickteigs. Steve Lickteig was adopted by a devout, Roman Catholic family. Growing up in a small house on a Kansas farm, Steve was adored by his eight older siblings, but sheltered from a painful secret about his identity. And everyone in their small town knew the truth before he did. Steve is a producer for NPR and now filmmaker.

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Good Beginnings of the Upper Valley pairs trained volunteers with new parents to help them with day to day needs after a child's birth. Ruth’s story is the mother of four, including triplets. Sally Wood is a Good Beginnings volunteer.

RUTH: When I found out I was expecting triplets I figured I would need some help, so I contacted Good Beginnings. They set me up with Sally, my volunteer.

Court-Appointed Special Advocates of New Hampshire provides advocates in court for children who are abused or neglected. Chris placed in foster care at age 16, was assigned a CASA worker to advocate for him. Antonia Andreoli was Chris’ advocate, and was a constant presence for him through the court and foster care process.

CHRIS: Through all the judges and foster parents and case workers and everything that I was dealing with, Antonia was the one person that was stable throughout my two years in the foster care system. I absolutely love her.

risdmuseum / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Community Child Care Center of Portsmouth provides child care, early education and before- and after-school programs. When Christine Hegarty’s husband passed away, the center provided support to her and her children, Erin and Quinn.

CHRSTINE: What had really appealed to both my husband and myself was the care the kids got and the feeling that was provided by the staff.  And what happened was going to community child care, that really was their neighborhood. My kids loved it. They never wanted to leave.

Judiciary committee votes 11-6 to replace same-sex marriage with civil unions for any unmarried adults – even relatives. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports

By an 11 to 6 margin the house judiciary committee voted to undo the state’s 15-month-old gay marriage law and replace it with civil union for any unmarried adults – even relatives. The bill’s lead sponsor, Republican David Bates of Windham, says he expects the full House to endorse the proposal as drafted.

The official end of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ is barely a month old. But the circumstances around Chief Warrant Office Charlie Morgan reveal inequities still exist within the U.S. military. Gay rights advocates hope Morgan’s story pressures the Department of Defense and Congress to keep leveling the playing field.

Now that ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ is gone, Chief Charlie Morgan can be as OUT to friends and co-workers at the New Hampshire National Guard as she wants to be.