WEDNESDAY, 26 MARCH 2014

Are you loving or spoiling your kids?

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There are some pretty obvious things everyone knows about parenting: don’t drop the baby, better not feed them soft drink instead of milk, make sure to get some vegetables into their diet. But then there are the less obvious things that many parents miss –one of which would have to be blurring the fine line between taking care of your child and spoiling them to oblivion.

As a recent Time article put it, “the best intentions can sometimes create bad parenting habits that are difficult to break”. Looking at my own amazing parents and other couples I know, I see how easy it would be to act in the interests of your child’s immediate comfort, rather than acting in a way that will benefit them in the future. Here are a few tips of building character in your child, instead of turning them into a big softie (who would struggle to… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
 
MONDAY, 24 MARCH 2014

Marriage is good for your lungs

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The News Story - A perfect day to kick butts

Wednesday of this week was “National Kick Butts Day,” an awareness campaign devoted to encouraging young people especially either to stop smoking or avoid starting altogether.
 
A host of local news sources picked up the story, highlighting the dangers of smoking in their state.  The Daily Press, a Michigan paper, pointed out that “there are over 15,200 new youth smokers each year in Michigan, and nearly 300,000 kids alive in Michigan today will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease.”  The story, and many others like it, applauded “a number of evidence-based programs and policy changes, which are being implemented by local communities and the state tobacco program, that can help us reduce smoking rates.”
 
But as laudable as many of these programs surely are, they are mere Band-Aids compared with the research-proven benefits of a… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
 
THURSDAY, 20 MARCH 2014

Don’t hand the kid the phone

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It cannot be denied that technology has become like a compact pocket-sized babysitter, as much as we know in the back of our heads that kids really should be more active or getting some fresh air, rather than playing Angry Birds.

Well, best to obey your conscience - research shows that the excessive use of handheld devices is not having the best long-term effectsA recent article in the Huffington Post points out 10 reasons to remove or limit the use of technology by young kids:

Brain growth
An infant’s brain triples in size between the age of 0 and 2 years. An overexposure to technologies at this age has been associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and less ability to self-regulate.

Delayed development
Using technology usually means less movement. This can result in delayed physical development, which also has an impact on literacy and… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
 
MONDAY, 17 MARCH 2014

Housing strains, marriage and mental health

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The News Story - The foreclosure crisis is still burning years after the housing crisis ended

Though the media keeps harping on glowing stories about the improvement of the real-estate market, a large segment of Americans are still facing the threat of foreclosure.
 
Reports the Washington Post, about 800,000 Americans are in the middle of “transitioning out of” President Obama’s foreclosure-relief initiative.  According to thePost, “About 28 percent of the borrowers who qualified for the Home Affordable Modification Program (or HAMP) redefaulted since the government launched its effort in 2009.”  About 11% of program participants were in danger of defaulting as of November 2013 because of missed mortgage payments.  For remaining program participants, only time will tell.  When RAMP ends, these borrowers will see their interest rates—which had been dramatically slashed—slowly start to climb again.
 
Research suggests that as serious as the housing crisis was, however,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
 
MONDAY, 17 MARCH 2014

Shop-window porn violates children’s rights, so let’s fight it

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no no no

My sister Anna and her husband Jacob have four young children, all daughters whom they are trying to raise to value their own dignity and face the world with self-esteem and confidence.

This, they have discovered, is becoming a full time job, since today’s culture seems bent on actively hindering their efforts at cultivating these virtues in their girls.

If that sounds like a sensationalist spin on the challenges of parenting today, consider this example. While driving her eldest daughter Lucia home from her first piano lesson one afternoon, Anna stops at a red light on a busy intersection in Melbourne.

As the car stands stationary, Anna notices Lucia quietly observing something outside her window. Following her gaze Anna sees, to her utter dismay, a large advertisement on the corner building depicting a pornographic scene in which two women, clad in nothing but scanty black lingerie, are sexually positioned. I… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
 
FRIDAY, 14 MARCH 2014

Bored? Hire a friend

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Question: If an underdeveloped country has economic poverty, what kind of poverty does a developed country have? Answer: a poverty of genuine friendship, judging by Friends For Hire - a new website that’s about to be launched in Australia. 

Similar to the USA’s RentAFriend, you can log on and hire a friend - platonic only - for a myriad of possibilities: to accompany you to the museum or that business function, to show you around a new city, to be your gym buddy, to fill in when a real friend cancels last-minute...

The thing about this is that it’s not some far-fetched idea that we can all laugh at, before getting on with our lives. No - RentAFriend is very popular, and caters to people who are, unfortunately, very lonely. Really, it’s identified a massive issue of isolation and hollow friendships, but is just putting a BandAid on it… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
 
WEDNESDAY, 12 MARCH 2014

Are you a lover?

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Since when did the word “lover” become used to describe a sexual partner, rather than someone in an exclusive self-giving relationship?

A Spanish website, imalover.org, is looking at questions just like this in an attempt to remind youth about what love really is. Their video, which shows a series of “lovers” and their stories, has had over 340,000 hits on YouTube.

The website makes it clear that love is not attraction (which focuses on the physical appearance of the person), and it’s not infatuation (an exciting time of genuine affection, but still the with the view that the other person can do no wrong). Real love still encompasses the physical attraction and the feelings of affection, but it goes deeper: it desires the best for the other person, is about selfless giving, and leads to a solid commitment that’s willing to take the hardships along with the happy.

Take a look -… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
 
MONDAY, 10 MARCH 2014

The link between student debt and divorced parents

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The News Story - Student loans are ruining your life. Now they're ruining the economy, too.

With graduation around the corner for the class of 2014, many students are beginning to ponder what kind of job will pay off their mountain of debt. And well they should. TIME reported last week that the average amount of student debt for the class of 2012 was $29,400. Over the past ten years, the amount of student debt nationwide has grown from an already staggering $253 billion to a suffocating $1.08 trillion—a 300% increase.
 
The problem, of course, is that debt keeps America’s young graduates from pursuing life as they otherwise might. In an economy driven by consumer spending, more cost-conscious young Americans spells troubled times ahead. And whereas student debt used to make it easier for college graduates to qualify for a mortgage, as it generally meant a higher-paying job, lenders… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
 
FRIDAY, 7 MARCH 2014

Is it wrong to tell your daughter that she’s gained weight?

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Would you tell your pre-teen or teenage daughter that she’d put on a bit of weight?

It wouldn’t surprise me if most readers would now be inclined to a resounding “no!” followed by a rant on the disastrous effects of such a manoeuvre - including eating disorders and body insecurities. This would probably be my initial reaction too.

But then I read a recent Time article by Charlotte Alter, whose mother did inform her when she’d gained a couple of pounds. As she put it, “This nugget of real talk was one of the best things my mother ever did... I have a good relationship with my body and my mother, partly because she told me when I was getting a little plump.”

Charlotte recounts how her mother mentioned her weight loss in a tactful (and never insulting) way,  how she helped her devise a two-week change to her eating and exercise habits, and… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
 
WEDNESDAY, 5 MARCH 2014

Homemakers are happier

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The News Story - Biden’s politically incorrect - but correct - assumptions

Joe Biden infuriated feminists this week when, in an appearance on The View, he touted the Affordable Care Act as a way for women to forego a career and stay home with their children.

Asked Biden, “How many of you are single women with children with a dead-end job . . . there because of your health insurance? . . . You would rather have the opportunity to spend the next couple years with your children, [but] you’re trapped in that job.”

Female bloggers and commentators quickly reacted, calling Biden’s assumption that women would rather be home “ridiculous.”  Women, they claimed, may work for any number of reasons—to provide for their children or for a sense of success or fulfillment, among them.
 
But wrong as Biden may be on so many things, he seems to have gotten… 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@ mercatornet.com


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