Crib notes

Crib notes: Do teens who cook have a stronger family bond?

Sep. 27, 2011 at 6:17 PM ET

Cooking -- the new teen sport? That's the proposal put forth by the author of a new teen cookbook. She believes that teens who spend time cooking with their family and friends develop stronger bonds and learn better eating habits. She suggests placing five fresh ingredients on the counter and challenging teens to turn them into a meal. Give them 40 minutes to plan and cook and 20 minutes for the family to eat the... concoction. She also recommends giving teens $50 on the weekend, then asking them to invite friends to join them on a trip to a farmers' market, where they select and purchase the ingredients for the evening's meal, which they will cook. Moms, if you can stomach their cooking, it could be one less nightly chore for you...

If you're giving birth in my cab, then you've reached the end of the line, lady. That was the message one cab driver in Honduras gave a woman in labor as he forced her out of his cab. The pregnant woman got the boot because the driver was afraid she'd get blood all over his car. Denied her transportation to the hospital, the poor woman gave birth (unattended) on the sidewalk. As the woman delivered her baby and wrapped it in her sweater, cars continued to drive right by her before someone finally had the heart to call the paramedics. Welcome to the world, kid...

What did you learn about in school today, dear? History, math and gun safety, mom. Gun safety could be part of the curriculum for many elementary school students in Virginia if the state's board of education gives it the okay. If approved, each district in the state will be allowed to decide whether or not to include the program in its curriculum. Some of the topics which would be covered include, how to identify people who use guns professionally and how to recognize guns on school property. However, many parents think that gun discussions have no place in elementary schools. What do you think?

California girls as young as 12 will be able to get the HPV vaccine without their parents' consent if the governor signs a bill put forth by the state legislature. The bill refers to vaccines for STDs, which at present, means the HPV vaccination. But, if vaccinations for other STDs are developed, they would be covered by the bill as well.

Hmm, those vaccinations are seeming especially worthwhile as news comes in that teens are having more unsafe sex -- we're talking about a 39 percent increase for U.S. teens in just three years. Admittedly, that scary number looks pretty good compared to France's 111 percent increase...

While a lack of reliable contraceptive information has been blamed, perhaps sleep-deprivation's the real culprit. A new study shows that teens who get less than an average of eight hours of Z's a night, are more likely to engage in an array of risky behaviors. All of the big baddies have been linked to sleep-deprivation: smoking, drinking, pot use, fighting, unprotected sex, lack of exercise and suicide contemplation. The one upside is that they don't watch more TV than their well-rested counterparts. But, given the other apparent options, parents probably wish their kids were just watching the old boob-tube...

Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. She is currently developing an alarm clock that will start an IV coffee drip 10 minutes prior to wake-up time. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.

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