11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. A small, red, furry mammal called an olinguito lives in the trees of South America. (Learn more at Smithsonian Magazine) 2. A popular use of the phrase “organ recital” has nothing to do with music. (Learn more at AARP) 3. The guy who wrote the famous headline “Headless Body in Topless Bar” was axed. (Learn more at AARP) 4. Boomers would most like to revisit the 1980s. Americans 65 and older prefer the ’50s and ’60s. (Learn more at …

Making Sense of Alzheimer’s: 9 Books for Kids

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be mind-boggling and confusing to kids. Their grandparents, great-grandparents or family friend may act “weird” and yet look normal. How do you explain what’s happening to children? A 17-year-old college student recently emailed me about a children’s book on Alzheimer’s he has coauthored. Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? is based on Max Wallack‘s experience with his great-grandmother (“Great Grams”).  She lived with his family from the time he was 6 until …

$241,080: The Cost to Raise a Kid

Dear Adult Children, If you don’t appreciate your parents by now, perhaps this will change your mind: Raising a kid today costs $241,080 – and that doesn’t even count spiraling higher education expenses, according to a new government report. (By the way, you’re welcome Bloomberg’s Zara Kessler.) That figure represents an increase from the $219,500 (inflation adjusted) that we boomer parents shelled out to raise your generation (born around 1990), says Mark Lino, an economist who did the calculations for …

Record 21.6 Million Young Adults Live With Parents

Perhaps you thought that by your 50s and 60s you’d be relishing the peace and quiet of an empty nest. You might have been wrong. Boomerang kids are back, along with the kids who never left the nest. A record 21.6 million young adults ages 18 to 31 (36 percent of that age group) lived in their parents’ homes in 2012. That’s the highest share in 40 years, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew …

Cool New Tech Gifts for Grandkids at CES

Calling all grandparents! My first day at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas has proven to be pretty overwhelming but also totally exciting! The most fun I had today was checking out some of the cool tech items geared for kids. There are literally hundreds of toys, learning tools, games and other entertainment for kids on exhibition here. As I went through the exhibit hall, here are just a few items I loved in a variety of price …

Maurice Sendak: “Live Your Life, Live Your Life…”

Writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who died last year at the age of 83, loved his regular conversations with NPR host Terry Gross, who many consider the best interviewer in public radio. In late 2011, illustrator Christoph Nieman stumbled upon a discussion between the two that was, as they say in public radio, a “driveway moment” in which Sendak considered his mortality, while paying the highest compliments to Gross. The New York Times was smart enough to run Nieman’s drawings …