Parental divorce ups likelihood of marijuana use

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The News Story - Survey reveals new trends in teen drug and alcohol use

The good news about teen substance use is that it has for the most part decreased, according to a new report. The bad news is that marijuana is an exception to this trend.

CBS reports that the annual survey of 8th, 10th and 12th graders from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Drug Abuse “shows substance abuse among high schoolers is stable or down in most categories.” But teens are still using: “The researchers said one concerning area . . . is that marijuana use has not declined. Daily use remains flat at 6 percent—for the first time, it exceeds tobacco cigarette use among 12th graders (at 5.5 percent).”

In an interview with 60 Minutes last week, National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli “emphasized the need to rethink America's ‘war on drugs.’ .… click here to read whole article and make comments



Pregnancy: an everyday miracle

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A few weeks before I knew I was pregnant, something felt different. I avoided soft cheese when offered, just in case. And I continued to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, there might be a special little life growing inside of me.

When I did take the at-home pregnancy test, my husband and I both cried and laughed with joy. We were parents! After seeing a doctor the next day to confirm, we orchestrated a set-up for our families to come over the following week and kept our mouths shut until announcing the news then. Who would have known that this “bunch of cells” inside of me could cause so much jumping and shouting and so many happy tears?

On the other hand, who knew that this tiny thing could also change my body and my life so much? I guess I had never before paid proper attention to pregnant mothers in their first… click here to read whole article and make comments



Bet you won’t get divorced? Then here, have $10K for the wedding

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Consider this: a loan of up to $10,000 towards your wedding, which you don’t have to pay back - unless you get a divorce. And then, you’re paying it back with interest. Would you take it? This is the premise of new company SwanLuv, and yes, it’s for real (as reported by Business Insider UK).

The Seattle-based enterprise is taking applications from engaged couples and hopes to start doling out the funds in February. Using online data and algorithm software to assess the strength of your relationship, your interest rate will depend on their results.  

The catch? Your funds are being basically being provided by the payments of couples who haven’t made it. Awkward.

I’m not sure what I think about it all, but I do know that it does make me feel uncomfortable. On the one hand, the people behind this could be marriage advocates who want… click here to read whole article and make comments



Reducing youth aggression isn’t as easy as “Kumbaya”

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The News Story - Reduce violence, teach children compassion and peace

As crime rates continue to rise in many cities, the media continues to debate how to curb violent behavior before it starts. A Wednesday column entitled “Parenting with Pete” in a New Jersey newspaper exemplifies a typical response.

“Stopping violence needs to begin long before a teenager or adult picks up a gun and decides to shoot another human being,” writes Peter Herbst. Herbst argues that we should “commit to reducing the violence in our own lives and promote peace and compassion instead,” and makes a number of suggestions: “Don’t gift violent computer games”; “Learn, practice and teach conflict resolution skills”; “Express love for your children with hugs, kisses and nurturing words”; “Empathize with the suffering of other people.”

Fine suggestions, all, but research suggests that the “nurturing words” promoted by media are a band-aid for a problem that… click here to read whole article and make comments



The key to children’s intelligence and success in school

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You have heard that it is important to read to and with your children, and that is true.

But it is even more important to talk to and with your children. U.S. research shows there is an incredible difference between ordinary American families in the amount of talking they customarily do, and that difference is closely related to the children’s eventual intelligence.  

The parents of children who were developing particularly well, spoke 32 million more words to their children, by age four, than did the parents of the children who were learning the least and who went on to school failure.

The “good learners” heard almost four times as many words spoken to them in the home, by age four, as the poorest learners did.

The ‘good learners’ heard 45 million words spoken to them, in the home by age four. The children developing least… click here to read whole article and make comments



Depressed daddy-less daughters

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Who has benefitted from the war radical feminists have waged against marriage? Certainly not young women. A very large new Canadian study concludes that one of the strongest predictors of depression among young women is the loss of a biological parent. And it is the easy divorces that feminists have pushed for that have typically occasioned such a loss.

Conducted by researchers at the University of Northern British Columbia, this new study isolates the factors predicting depression among Canadians ages 16 to 20. The researchers limn these factors by scrutinizing data collected between 1994 and 2007 from a nationally representative sample of 1,715 individuals tracked during this 13-year period.

Predictably, the researchers adduce evidence that such things as parental rejection and childhood anxiety predict depression between a young person’s 16th birthday and his or her 21st.  But gender makes a difference:… click here to read whole article and make comments



Baby left in nativity scene’s manger

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Image from

Last Tuesday in New York, a church custodian set up the nativity scene inside Holy Child Jesus Church in Queens. He went to lunch and returned to the sounds of a baby crying, only to discover a newborn, with umbilical cord still attached, lying in the manger.

Surveillance footage revealed a young woman entering the church with a baby and leaving without one. And under NY safe haven law, which permits a parent to leave a child in a safe place (such as a hospital or church) with hope of their being taken care of, she will not be charged with child abandonment. And as it turns out, there are parents in the parish who have already asked to adopt the baby.

This story has a few aspects to it. On one level, it is so heartbreakingly sad that a young woman feels desperate, helpless… click here to read whole article and make comments



Millennials being “priced out of parenthood”

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Image from

I just read an article in The Guardian about how millennials have become “priced out of parenthood.” How, in the struggle to earn enough to pay off their tertiary education and buy a house, they have nothing left over with which to raise a child. It makes me wonder: what’s our obsession with being SO financially secure?

I mean, I understand that it’s important to look after your kids. And I empathise with couples living in shared housing or who don’t have the support of extended family to fall back on. But I do have to consider that this attitude is all over the place, even for people who could quite comfortably start a family. Is it even possible to get to a point of complete and utter financial perfection where all else is taken care of and you can 100% safely pay your child’s way?

click here to read whole article and make comments



Are your kids learning to think critically?

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In Intellectual Character: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Get It, Harvard’s Ron Ritchhart asks, “Does school make kids smarter?”

To answer that question, we need to define “smart.”

Nearly all educators would agree that being smart includes being able to ask good questions. Do schools teach that? How many instances can you recall, from all your years of schooling, of being taught how to ask good questions?

A personal story: When our older son Mark was in 5th grade, he came home from school one afternoon and said, “We learned today that the Chinese discovered America.”

“No kidding,” I said with sincere interest. “When I was your age, we learned that Columbus discovered America. Later, schools taught that Leif Erikson and the Vikings discovered America. How did they decide that the Chinese discovered America?”

“That’s what the textbook says,” Mark replied.

“Okay,… click here to read whole article and make comments



What will your kids remember of their childhood?

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When my parents tell stories of their childhood, they speak of wonderful things. They tell us of falls on their bikes, walks with their grandparents by the beach, using the grocery money for ice-cream, and of cricket on the street.

Sometimes I wonder – what will kids of today’s generation tell their children? How they sat on their iPads all day?

That’s exactly what this video looks at. It may just be a Nature Valley commercial but it makes you think: I’d like my kids to have a fuller childhood; one that involves more than staring at a screen. 

click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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