Parents Kathy Witterick and David Stocker welcomed their third baby into the world this year, but they won't tell anyone whether Storm is a boy or a girl. “We thought that if we delayed sharing that information, in this case hopefully, we might knock off a couple million of those messages by the time that Storm decides Storm would like to share,” says Witterick Storm's brothers, Jazz and Kio are also encouraged to wear their hair however they wish, and pick out clothing they like. [more inside]
"We were wondering if you would petition to be emancipated," he said in his lawyer voice. "What does that mean?" I asked, picking at the mauve paint on my hands. I later discovered that for most kids, declaring emancipation is an extreme measure -- something you do if your parents are crack addicts or deadbeats. "You would need to become financially independent," he said. "You could work for me at my law firm and pay rent to live here." This was my moment of truth as an objectivist. If I believed in the glory of the individual, I would've signed the petition papers then and there. But as much as Rand's novels had taught me to believe in meritocracy, they had not prepared me to go it alone financially and emotionally. I began to cry and refused.
One in every 8 babies born in the US is premature. A new study (pdf/via) published online Wednesday in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology indicates that vaginal progesterone gel can help women who are pregnant for the first time and at risk of premature birth extend their pregnancies, reduce potential complications and boost the health of their newborns. [more inside]
A growth chart for Star Wars fans.
Message With a Bottle is a pretty darned charming tumblr by a stay-at-home dad who writes post-it notes to himself about parenting and fatherhood.
The NYTimes profiles the "Queen of the Mommy Bloggers" Who is it? Why, Dooce, of course! The article also gives shoutouts to Nie Nie, Mama Pundit, Pioneer Woman, Selfish Mom, and Because I Said So, among others. [more inside]
When her son refused to do his school work, his mom had him stand out on a busy street corner with a sandwich board trumpeting his 1.22 GPA. [more inside]
"As a baby, Todd was fed only fresh vegetables, fruits, and raw milk; when he was teething, he was given frozen kidneys to gnaw. As a child, he was allowed no junk food; Trudi sent Todd off to birthday parties with carrot sticks and carob muffins. By age three, Marv had the boy throwing with both hands, kicking with both feet, doing sit-ups and pull-ups, and lifting light hand weights." The Man Who Never Was is a 2009 Esquire profile of Todd Marinovich, whose father programmed him from birth to be a great NFL quarterback. He almost succeeded.
"A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it." [more inside]
The Bateses of Tennessee are just behind the Duggars of Arkansas. Not even close to the 18th century Vassilyevs though.
Spiegel has an interesting article on the ol' Nature Vs. Nuture battle. They focus on 2 recent studies. One, looks at socioeconmic status and IQ, and concludes: "A person's intelligence can only truly blossom if the environment gives the brain what it desires." That is, IQ of the poorest in the study appeared to be almost exclusively determined by their socioeconomic status. In the meantime psychologists, neuroscientists, and geneticists have developed a very different perspective. They now believe that the skill we term "intelligence" is not in the least fixed, but is actually remarkably variable. "The low IQs expected for children born to lower-class parents can be greatly increased if their environment is sufficiently rich cognitively,"
(pdf) Chris Gottlieb writes in the "Baltimore Law Review" about judging parents. The article discusses instances of racism and classicism in the family court systems. An adaptation of the "Baltimore Review" article appears in the New York Times. [more inside]
Do we worry too much? Lenore Skenazy, who let her 9-year old ride the subway on his own and wrote about it, says yes. A lot of people were very unhappy about it. Now she finds herself at the head of a movement, complete with its own manual, to let kids be more self-reliant. [more inside]
Not satisfied with merely screwing up their kids, helicopter parents are swooping in, kicking ass and taking names. Having defeated such scourges as stickball, skipping, treehouses and the dreaded interwebz, they have turned their sights elsewhere. The next front in the War on Childhood? The Best Friend
A nearly 25-year study has concluded that children raised in lesbian households were psychologically well-adjusted and had fewer behavioral problems than their peers. Results were published this month in Pediatrics: the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Abstract. Free PDF. Scribd). [more inside]
UK adoption agencies are reporting "huge numbers of calls from 'deeply distressed' adoptive parents whose children have been contacted" through Facebook and other social networking sites, in violation of the traditional, confidential reunion process between birth parents and their offspring who have been placed with other families. Full report from Channel 4. [more inside]
The Florida Family Policy Council, a conservative Christian organization, sent out an alert to its members about judge’s ruling to allow a lesbian couple to adopt a relative’s child that they had been fostering. It included an image that was purported to be of the couple. It wasn't. [more inside]
The "Still Face" Paradigm (YT video) designed by Dr. Edward Tronick of Harvard and Childrens Hospital’s Child Development Unit, is an experiment which shows us how a 1-year old child will react to a suddenly unresponsive parent. It allows us to understand how a caregiver's interactions and emotional state can influence many aspects of an infant's social and emotional development. [more inside]
Deep Grief: Creating Meaning From Mourning (Article from NPR.) How some parents have channeled their grief over the loss of their children into memorial efforts that provide for others. [more inside]
As households across the world quietly deploy presents from St. Nick, Kate Beaton, author of the charming historical webcomic Hark, a Vagrant! (previ ously) remembers the tradition in a bittersweet light. In spite of venerable op-eds (and their animated offspring), such pain moves some to question whether parents should teach their children to believe in Santa Claus at all.
The Defiant Ones. In today’s picture books, the kids are in charge.
Wired profiles pediatrician Paul Offit, co-creator of the RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine and a primary target of the anti-vaccination movement. Dr. Offit published a book,“Autism’s False Prophets” in 2008 but didn't tour, because he had received too many death threats. [more inside]
The titles grabbed me - Why I am going to give my 9-year-old Pot. and the four month follow up, Why am I giving my 9-year-old Pot. But, my mind was changed, and heart softened, by the articles. via
“She’s just so pretty. She’s just so...blond.’ A friend said, ‘I heard that Jaycee Dugard story and I thought of your daughter.’ And they say, ‘I’d never do that with my kid: I wouldn’t trust my kid with the street.’”
Anita Tedaldi shares her experience terminating an adoption at the NYTimes blog Motherlode. Her response to the support and criticism in comments is here; in a subsequent Motherlode post Lisa Belkin muses on the ethics of blogging about children.
My Baby Is Like a Narcotic. Reflections on the "opium den" of new parenthood by New York University professor, author and journalist Katie Roiphe.
Thinking about becoming a parent? You might find the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's list of recalled items fun! It looks like there's just under a zillion things out there that might harm your new tot. And that doesn't include ... y'know ... toys.
Negative reviews prompt author meltdowns: Alice Hoffman. Lee Oi-soo. Alain de Botton. Ayelet Waldman. Previously on MeFi. [more inside]
'Either way, he doesn't have authority over this child anymore. She sued him because she doesn't respect his rules. It's very hard to raise a child who is the boss.' A Quebec father who was taken to court by his 12-year-old daughter after he grounded her in June 2008 has lost his appeal. via
"The monster inside my son" A moving testimonial of a mother's struggle w/ her son's autism and violence. [SALON]
The novlist Julie Myerson has written a book, The Lost Child, about her son's addiction to cannabis, the violent behaviour she says this caused and her tough love policy. Extract. Her son is angry that she's published it, and says his parents over-reacted: "I wasn't doing anything that most other teenagers do, but such was their naive terror of drugs they were acting like six-year-olds". It comes out through MumsNet that Julie Myerson was the anonymous author of a Guardian column, "Living with Teenagers," which described her children's behaviour candidly without their knowledge. Extract. Myerson first denied this. The Guardian discusses whether it was right to publish the columns. Myerson is interviewed about whether she was right to publish The Lost Child. Her partner, and son's father, Jonathan Myerson supports her: This is an emergency. Her son says she's addicted to writing. [more inside]
In 1977, Nolan Bushnell allowed Gene Landrum to bring Chuck E. Cheese [yt] to life as a family-friendly access point to Atari games. This, perhaps, explains the pizza. [more inside]
“The Disappearing Male” is a one-hour documentary about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the male reproductive system. The whole documentary is on Google Video.
I Am Capable of More Than I Think I Am - Gregg Rogers discusses his introduction to being a parent of a child with Down syndrome for a segment of NPR's This I Believe. [more inside]
The Kindergarchy: An essay on modern parenting.
Kids at school in nappies. Another report claims the average age of toilet-training is now 3 or 4, compared to the former norm of 18 months. Teachers don't want to change diapers; parents say they don't have time to toilet-train. Is our future a continuum of diapers to Depends?
CBC Filter: I guess parenting in Canada ain't what it used to be. The Senate wants to make spanking your children illegal and a Quebec judge quashes a dad's grounding of his 12-year-old daughter.
Under current proposals, parents to be fined or prosecuted if their children drink underage Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has proposed that parents of children caught drinking underage would be subject to prosecution. text of speech [more inside]
"My Fake Baby" is a Channel 4 documentary exploring "the lives of women who spend hundreds of pounds on life-like baby dolls. Loved like real babies, they're taken for walks, cuddled and even have their nappies changed." Parts 2, 3, 4, 5.
Insightful, sociological, bitter: A scholar reflects back on her entry into the academic 'mommy track.' An interesting blend of meditation-on-resentment and just-plain-resentment, worth a read both intentionally and un-. [via] [more inside]
So he didn't read the baby books! BFD says Judith Rich Harris, author of the "No Two Alike", and originator of a controversial theory about personality development. Namely, that when it comes to our kids' adult personalities, what we did as parents doesn't really matter much at all.