Currently viewing the tag: "parenting"

When it comes to child development for adopted children, whether they are raised by hetero or homosexual parents matters not.  All that matters is parenting style, not sexual orientation.  So says a recent study to be published in the August issue of the journal Applied Developmental Science.

The study looked at 106 adoptive preschool-age children living in different parts of the United States and found that they were all developing well regardless of whether their parents were gay, lesbian or heterosexual.

I want to say “no sh*t!” considering all that matters anyway is love.  But I guess some people need proof.  Case in point: some states like Michigan and Mississippi have laws prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting children, and the issue remains controversial throughout the country.

All I can say is “What?!?!”  Are you freakin’ kidding me?  With the thousands of children in need of loving homes, we are still actually debating this?  Holy hieroglyphics!  That’s cave-person morality.  You mean to tell me that there are children praying to be adopted and loved, and we need proof that sexual orientation has no effect on child development?  And what precisely are we afraid of?  Certainly not that they might be raised in a primitive culture, as this antiquated dilemma of whether or not same-sex couples can provide a child with love and a good home knocks us back into the Pleistocene.

I didn’t need this study, but I know some people do.  So I really hope we can get past this nonsense and allow all types of people to raise beautiful, healthy families without having to prove their worth–sexually–as parents or people.

When it comes to influencing your kids away from heavy drinking, is indulgent parenting better than being strict?  According to a new study, neither parenting style will keep kids from experimenting with booze; but as it turns out, one approach can prevent your children from becoming heavy drinkers, and that’s warm parenting.

Based on a survey of almost 5,000 teens aged 12 to 19, researchers at BYU found that parents that were both warm with their children and rigorous about wanting to know where their teen was spending time and with whom were less likely to have teens that engaged in heavy drinking (defined as more than five drinks in a row).  The findings are being published in the July issue of Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Indulgent parents, those that were warm but lacked holding their children accountable had teens that were three times more likely to engage in heavy drinking, while strict parents had twice the chance.

“While parents didn’t have much of an effect on whether their teens tried alcohol, they can have a significant impact on the more dangerous type of drinking,” said one of the study’s authors, Stephen Bahr, a professor in BYU’s College of Family, Home and Social Sciences.

Another of the study’s authors, John Hoffmann advises parents to, “realize you need to have both accountability and support in your relationship with your adolescent. Make sure that it’s not just about controlling their behavior–you need to combine knowing how they spend their time away from home with a warm, loving relationship.”

Word, Professor Hoffmann–a healthy counterbalance of disciplinarian and pussy cat–purrrrrrrr–that’s the way to influence best.  Too soft leads to mollycoddled cretins who don’t take their parents seriously, while too strict leads to rebels without a cause.  Either one of these parenting styles makes children more likely to get wasted.  And why not?  They know they are either going to get their butts kicked regardless, or be let off the hook as usual, so why not push the limits?

No doubt heavy drinking among teens, which can easily lead to problem drinking as adults, is something that every parent would be wise to be on top of.  As always, good sense is in the center, and knowing what your kid is doing, when and with whom is the best approach to showing how much you care.  And a good ol’ arse-whoopin’ (with a loving smile and hug) goes a long way.  Really, they’ll thank you for it one day.

Wow! Being a parent is tough. So much to think about–so much to know. My daughter has been sick for two weeks now with a cold, and it has turned into a pretty nasty ear infection. It’s been rough. Check out this months article titled, Putting a New Light on Illness, to see how I believe we need to approach such matters.But again, being a parent is tough. Take, for example, childhood learning. As parents we want to do the right things for our tykes. So we buy them Baby Einstein products, enroll them in music classes, and read them Goethe. But is it really doing anything or are we just fools for marketing? According to new research, one of the best things you can do to enhance your child’s language development is give them a set of blocks. Blocks? Wooden or plastic geometrically cuboid shapes? Not computer programs, DVDs, language tapes, or Graciela, the Guatemalan Spanish tutor? Just plain old blocks?

Yup! So says a study out of the University of Washington. Unstructured play with blocks stimulates thinking, memory and physical mastery of objects at a time when a child’s brain is growing rapidly, says Dimitri Christakis, the author of the study. Apparently blocks “are the precursors of thought and language,” he wrote in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, “Older children begin to make up stories or scripts for these objects …” And even better, such play may substitute for less stimulating activity like watching television.

Speaking of T.V., you must know how I feel about watching too much of this junk. Just call it brain Twinkies. It isn’t great for adults, but it’s particularly problematic for children. At a time when their delicate nervous system and brain are developing rapidly, children should really be engaging in stimulating activities like playing with toys, imitating Mom and Dad doing household chores, reading (if they are old enough), and listening to wholesome music (it doesn’t have to be Beethoven, but you probably want to lay off the Tupac for a while). Watching T.V. should really be minimal, if at all.

According to a recent study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, children younger than 2-years-old shouldn’t watch any T.V. at all, while children older than 2 should limit their viewing to less than two hours a day. These conclusions are the result of multiple studies showing high levels of television viewing in children leading to social and behavioral problems–like ADHD–later in life. This current study, though, is the first to point out that, even if television viewing is high in toddlers, parents can prevent problems by curbing the bad habit by age 5 1/2. That’s good news for parents who have been unaware. But now you know folks, so pull that Dummy Tube out of Junior’s bedroom tonight.

On a final note, yet another recent study shows that less than one third of all U.S. children are recieving nutritional supplements. Now c’mon people–getting adequate nutrients is essential to good health (it’s one of the key points in my upcoming book), and let’s face it, today’s American diet is severely lacking in nutritional value. So you’ve got to supplement, as do the kids. Saying that–supplements should never substitute for a nutritious and wholesome diet. They supplement. But to ensure both you and your child good health, you probably want to get a good vitamin and mineral supplement today. According to the study, “children using supplements were more likely to be thinner, from a higher-income family without smokers, and spend less time with television and video games.” What do you know? Sounds like these families know what’s up. You can too–just start today. As I said before, being a parent is tough, but keeping up with the latest information helps significantly. I hope this info has made your job just a little bit easier.

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