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Crib notes: New research on why your kid is ignoring you

Good news: Your kid's not ignoring you on purpose -- they just suffer from "inattentional deafness disorder." You know the drill, your child's engaged in a video game, or engrossed in a book. You ask them to do something and... nothing. It can drive a mother crazy. Why must they ignore our pleas to take the garbage out? Why? It may not be a part of the typical parent-child struggle after all. It m

Good news: Your kid's not ignoring you on purpose -- they just suffer from "inattentional deafness disorder." You know the drill, your child's engaged in a video game, or engrossed in a book. You ask them to do something and... nothing. It can drive a mother crazy. Why must they ignore our pleas to take the garbage out? Why? It may not be a part of the typical parent-child struggle after all. It may be simple biology. New research shows that most of us simply don't hear things when we're focused on another task. Sorry, did you say something? We were busy typing just now.

You know the hapless parent, looking on helplessly (yet doing nothing), as their child throws a temper tantrum? Turns out, they're utilizing the most effective technique to end a tantrum quickly -- the act of doing nothing. Researchers have collected audio tapes of tantrums and analyzed the common childhood fits (having witnessed a few tantrums ourselves, we do not envy them that task). Turns out, tantrums have a fairly predictable pattern and rhythm to them. Along with the crying and the screaming, tantrums follow a natural progression and the quickest way to get them to end is to do nothing. The researchers found that even trying to ask questions to better understand what's upsetting a child, can actually prolong the tantrum.

Sexual harassment, once strictly the offense of adults, has left the halls of Congress and entered the halls of elementary schools around the country. First up? A nine-year-old boy who supposedly told a friend that a teacher was "cute." The incident, which has been declared sexual harassment on the part of the young kid, earned the kid a two-day suspension and a slew of media attention. Next up? A first-grader who was allegedly being bullied and kicked his tormentor in the groin after his bully stole his glove and choked him. The boy's mother later received a letter, stating that her son could either receive a suspension or be transferred to a different school. The district's spokesperson wouldn't comment on the case.

As moms, we sometimes find ourselves envying our childless counterparts -- often at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday, when we know, just know, they're still sleeping in, whilst we, are getting our morning started hours earlier than we'd like. After all, the childless amongst us can get away with things like sleeping in, or staying out late without having to pay a sitter. But, what about the things we can get away with now that we're parents? Running late? Blame it on the kids. Want to play hooky from work? Say your kids are sick. Secretly dying to play with that cool new toy? Get it for your kids. Kids, they're the ultimate excuse.

It really does get better and sometimes you don't even have to wait until you're grown before things improve. That seems to be the case with 14-year-old, Jonah Mowry, who's been bullied since the first grade. Back in August, he made a heart-breaking video, recounting how he started cutting himself and had contemplated suicide many times. Recently, the video went viral on YouTube. Jonah's received an outpouring of support and now, new videos have been posted, showing a much happier teen. He recently added a note to the original video, explaining that at the time the video was made, he was going through a particularly dark time and hadn't come out to his family yet. He explains that in the time since he shot the video, "everything came out in the open" and that he feels a huge weight off his shoulders. He also notes that since he came out, some people realized they had hurt him and now feel sorry for their actions. Hopefully things continue to get better for Jonah, and for teens like him everywhere.

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.