WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 2014

The surprising benefit of a stay-at-home mother

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mom-son

 

Mothers are the great glue which binds society together. They organise, they volunteer, they nurture. And, when they are not around, you notice it. Look at any of those etiolated "communities" where every woman is a worker and you will see what I mean.

But the bigger (and bitter) argument for stay-at-home mothers concerns children. In Britain, in recent years, the debate has been closing down. Through tax and benefit changes, successive governments have made it ever harder for a woman to absent herself from the workforce to bring up her own children. 

Whitehall would much rather encourage the creation of an army of childminders and nursery workers (which it can, inter alia, not only conscript but heavily regulate).

Some of these women do sterling work. Others, perhaps a majority, are young women with limited prospects. The authorities recognise this. That is one reason the way… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 2014

Premature death linked to divorce

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The News Story - Top 7 worst states for divorce

An ABC News story this week highlighted the top 7 “worst” states for divorce, as indicated by the filing fee, length of minimum separation period, residency requirements, and length of processing period.  “Divorce can take an emotional toll on a family,” says ABC, “but the filing and legal process can add another headache in these seven states.
 
Topping this list, with a mandatory six-month separation period in which the couple must live completely apart, is Vermont.  Nebraska, New York, California, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Rhode Island also make the list.
 
With a filing fee of $157 and a processing period of 420 days, Nebraska “easily ranks in the top of the worst states to get a divorce,” according to divorce attorney Bruce Provda.  Interestingly, however, Nebraskans also marry around the age of… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 8 AUGUST 2014

To take or not to take, your husband’s surname

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I just read quite the charming piece on how a woman taking her husband’s name at marriage is a medieval, outdated and sexist tradition. And while I have nothing against a double-barrel name or the guy taking the girl’s name, I really quite like the tradition of a woman taking her husband’s name. I think it’s beautiful. So I’m going to defend it a little bit.

Some might see this surname tradition as a dictate of a patriarchal society. I see it as a gift. In marriage, a man and woman give all of themselves to each other, and in this case, the man gives a little extra - his name. Isn’t that kind of awesome? With that he’s also sharing his family with her, creating a visible sign of the fact that they’re a team for life, and providing the opportunity to start a new family who also share the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 6 AUGUST 2014

Husbands or birth control: which pulls women out of poverty?

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The News Story - Marriage promotion has failed to stem poverty among single moms

Given that there is a significant correlation between poverty and single-mother families, one might think that reducing poverty is a matter of simply increasing marriage rates among the poor.  However, a recent article in Phys.Org argues that this approach has not proved successful, for “research shows that single mothers living in impoverished neighborhoods are likely to marry men who won't help them get out of poverty. These men are likely to have children from other partnerships, lack a high school diploma, and have been incarcerated or have substance abuse problems.” Marriage – when it is to a successful and dependable husband – can protect a mother and child from poverty.  But, marriage, in general, might not be able to produce such desired effects.

Yet, the conclusion that Phys.Org ends with is that while we should not bother promoting marriage (which – as research indicates… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 4 AUGUST 2014

Mum, you’re hovering again

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Nobody wants to be that parent – the one who won’t let you hold their baby for more than 30 seconds, who can’t seem to talk about anything other than their children, and who seems to be in a constant state of anxiety as to their five-year old’s whereabouts and current activity and state of health and future career prospects.

Problem is, the person described is a portrait of way too many parents today (albeit perhaps not to that extreme). In the last week alone, I’ve seen at least three articles on the trend. Parents are devoting more hours a week to child care than paid work or housework. Less than 10% of kids walk or bike to school, even though this was normal in the 1950s when dying by the age of five was five times more likely. And mums are being arrested for allowing their kids to play in the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 1 AUGUST 2014

Pope Francis’ 10 tips for happiness

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Whether you're Catholic, another religion, atheist or agnostic, you've got to agree with one thing -- Pope Francis is one smart guy. Over the last week, he shared what he thinks are 10 ways to increase joy in life, and they're pretty awesome:
1. "Live and let live" 
This saying usually has a very "you live your life and I'll live mine" kind of attitude to it. This could be interpreted as not caring about others or how they choose to live, but I don't think that's what Pope Francis meant. I think he meant that we should each try to live our lives by sticking to our values, without wasting time on what others may think of us.
2. "Be giving of yourself to others" 
We live in a world where it's so easy to be self-focused. Even when we're out with others or walking… click here to read whole article and make comments

 

WEDNESDAY, 30 JULY 2014

Going on a date for extra credit

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The News Story - Would you ask a peer out for extra credit?  School offers dating classes
 
Recent research has shown that our current “hook-up” culture has proved unsatisfying, in particular for women.  Given this, some colleges have begun to reintroduce and reemphasize the possibility of dating and committed relationships.

A recent article in USA Today reports how Kerry Cronin, a philosophy professor at Boston College, gives an extra credit assignment to her freshman students, requiring that a student ask another on a date.  In order to insure that such a meeting is a healthy and legitimate date, some conditions apply: “You must ask someone you are legitimately interested in, alcohol cannot be involved and no physical interaction other than a hug is allowed.”

The article continues on to summarize the reasons the professor had for creating such an assignment: “[Cronin] says she found that most students… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 28 JULY 2014

Father-daughter bonding time

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We’ve talked about it before on FamilyEdge – father-daughter bonding is a wonderful thing. Dads have so much to do with the healthy development of their daughters.

In light of that, and the fact that we could all do with a bit of relief from Monday, here are two great videos of father-daughter bonding time. With lots of dancing. Enjoy!

 

click here to read whole article and make comments

 

FRIDAY, 25 JULY 2014

Here’s a sticky IVF situation

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IVF. Do you think it should be used for anything other than infertility? To fall pregnant after a husband’s death, for example, using his frozen sperm?

That’s what Katie Elfar did, after her husband, Karim, passed away from terminal cancer. His diagnosis, two weeks after the birth of their first child, wasn’t only awful in itself – it also shattered their dreams of a big family. So they made the decision to try IVF, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally after all the treatments.

Let’s be clear here: IVF is not something I agree with anyway. But this particular situation raises even more questions than usual. Is it fair to wilfully bring a child into the world who would never know their biological father? Whose father was already dead at the time of conception? It just doesn’t seem right.

Also, there’s the IVF process. As much as the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 23 JULY 2014

Gender gaps in college linked to divorce rates

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The News Story - How Dad's involvement can address the gender gap in higher education

While research has told us that the prevalence of divorce in our society can account for the gender gap within higher education, a recent article in The Huffington Post sheds more light on what the exact causal relation might be.  It may not just be the possibility of divorce, itself, that has such an impact on both female and male adolescents, but rather the lack of father involvement in the lives of male children.

This article states that “Father absence is at the heart of the educational challenges faced by boys and men. Boys are more likely to drop out of high school, for example, when they grow up without their dads.”  Additionally, a 2013 report explains that this gender gap – i.e. the increasing success of females in college along with a decrease (or, at best,… 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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