Family is on trend

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As pointed out by a recent article in The Federalist, “parenthood is having a cultural moment”. And I think it’s wonderful!

Just in my own context: in the last few weeks, I have found out that two newly-married friends of ours are pregnant, as well as a cousin and a few acquaintances. On social media, celebrities are sharing their excitement about babies on the way (such as Ivanka Trump recently), and more are proud to call their family their number one role (Natalie Portman did this back in 2011 and was criticised for it!), even over very successful careers.

Why is this happening? To be honest, it might be a bounce back from the last decade or so. Perhaps a past generation, where smaller families were more socially acceptable, has left the current generation keen to experience a larger family. Maybe the common decision to delay kids has led to… click here to read whole article and make comments



Large families are happiest, Australian study shows

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Here’s something we missed in August: large families are the happiest, according to an Australian study.

Dr Bronwyn Harman of Edith Cowan University spent five years interviewing hundreds of parents from a range of family set-ups to ascertain what life is like for different families, and how resilience, social support and self-esteem contribute to parents' happiness.

Parents with four or more children were the most satisfied with their lot, enjoying, rather than feeling overwhelmed by, the chaos of a big family.

Although they said they have to deal with comments such as "are they all yours?" or "do they all have the same father?", large families benefit from lots of support from each other, and are rarely bored. Children learn responsibility from an early age, and older ones help out with their younger siblings.

"[The parents] usually say they always wanted a large family,… click here to read whole article and make comments



“When my parents got divorced”

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“Everything thinks that divorce is so common and not a big deal. And yeah it is common, and it is a big deal, and it can completely affect your life…”

That’s one line from this BuzzFeed-produced video and it pretty much sums up what I wanted to say. Divorce may be common, but that doesn’t mean that it should be, or that it has less impact on the people affected.

In this video, I appreciate the raw, real feelings of those affected by divorce, rather than the “yay for divorce parties” or “new relationship time!” angles that we more commonly come across. Have a watch!

click here to read whole article and make comments



Teen sex linked to dating violence

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The News Story - The birds, the bees, beers, and STDs: Sex 101 begins at Northwestern University

While students settle into their dorms, university administrators worry about their sex lives.

That, apparently, is the motivation behind Northwestern University’s new online class, “Sex 101.” Says Teresa Woodruff, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NU and creator of the course, “This is everything first-year students need to know about sex and reproduction, and didn’t know to ask.” The course will cover the typical information on STD transmission and unplanned pregnancy, but the Washington Post reports that one reason for the course is to help students understand what precisely constitutes consent. According to the story, “experts worry that college freshmen arrive on campus with vastly different concepts of what constitutes consensual sex and gaps in their knowledge that can leave them vulnerable to assault.”

Given their concern about violence, university administrators would do… click here to read whole article and make comments



Raising children of character in a toxic culture

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In theory, the character education movement has always recognized what Principle 10 of the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education affirms: Parents are the first and most important character educators of their children.  

If we take that principle seriously, we’ll do everything possible to honour the importance of parents and support them in their vital role. We need to tell parents, again and again, how important they are in their children's lives.

Schools should share with families what the research shows. For example, the National Study of Adolescent Health found that “family connectedness,” a feeling of closeness to parents, was the most important factor in keeping teens from engaging in anti-social or high-risk behaviours such as juvenile delinquency, violence, substance abuse, and sexual activity. Regarding sexual behaviour, the study found that teens who believed that their mother disapproved of their engaging in sex were more… click here to read whole article and make comments



What to do when someone calls your daughter “fat”

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It goes without saying – in a day and age like ours, I fear for my future daughters. For the things they’ll see and hear, and for the influences that could wreak havoc on their sense of worth.

So when I read a short but wonderful article called “Four Reminders for My Daughter After She Was Called Fat,” I was thrilled and very keen to share it. It shares the points of author Justin Ricklef’s wife, after their daughter revealed that a school mate had called her fat. The following is taken directly from the article:

  1. Your Beauty is Internal – Rowan is a strikingly, physically beautiful little girl. Huge hazel eyes, thick curly hair, a contagious smile. But more than that, my goodness so much more than that, she has the biggest heart this side of the Mississippi. Her heart is what makes her beautiful, not her looks.
  2. You Will… click here to read whole article and make comments



Housework versus obesity

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The Mirror newspaper put it starkly: “Not doing enough housework is making women fat, study claims”.

The Daily Mail sweetened the pill slightly. Its page three headline ran: “Sorry, girls…you need to do more housework!”

The cause of these headlines, and several others in a similar vein, was a joint study from Manchester University and Royal Holloway, part of the University of London.

It found that the average woman now spends a fifth less time on household chores than her counterpart in the early 1980s.

Having come to adulthood in the 1980s, I can testify that many homes were still places of domestic graft. Dishwashers were a luxury item, only found in the mansions of the rich and famous. Fewer women worked away from the home and there were more children around – because of higher birth-rates back then – so there was more to do and more of us to… click here to read whole article and make comments



Domestic happiness: it’s not all about the division of labour

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Jamie Henderson / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


One of the burning gender equity issues of the day is the division of labour in the home between wife and husband/partner.

According to research aired on The Upshot blog at the New York Times recently, millennial men (ages 18 to early 30s) “have much more egalitarian attitudes about family, career and gender roles inside marriage than generations before them … yet they struggle to achieve their goals once they start families…”

Despite their desire to share earning and caregiving equally with their spouse, young men and women tend to find this is impractical and fall back on traditional roles. The inflexibility of workplace policies seems to be the culprit.

One researcher has called it an “unfinished revolution”, but a big international study released this week raises the question of whether this revolution is really… click here to read whole article and make comments



Now here’s a dad who takes bonding time seriously

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Image from

Here’s a bit of wonderful for your Wednesday – a Virginia father has crafted a three-person rocking chair to make sure that none of his kids are excluded when it comes to story time.

Hal Taylor loved to read to his two kids in their rocking chair, but when Baby #3 arrived he couldn’t fit all three onto his lap. Well, what else would a rocking chair carpenter like himself do but build a new one, complete with two child-sized seats to either side of him. Problem solved!

As one article said: “Of course, he could just read to his children on the sofa – but where’s the fun in that?”

And if you’re interested, Hal sells more chairs just like it on his website.

click here to read whole article and make comments



Do women need to have periods?

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Using birth control to eliminate menstruation isn’t unsafe, even if some worry it’s “unnatural.” That, readers, is how a recent opinion piece in The Atlantic started, and obviously I was curious to know where this was going. Turns out that more women are keen to use birth control not only to prevent pregnancy, but as a long-term way to avoid their period.

Now this is probably something that women have fallen into over time, without really thinking about what they were doing. But to hear it said like this – basically turning their period on and off as is convenient – scares me. And not only because I’ve heard of so many cases of women who have been on birth control, then stopped taking it to fall pregnant, and it has hasn’t happened (in my opinion, pumping your body with hormones that aren’t supposed to always be there worries me). Why are we so… 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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