It can take a grandparent to raise a child

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grandmaPhoto: Austin Institute


“It takes a village to raise a child,” or so goes the saying popularized by then first lady Hillary Clinton in her 1996 book[1]. For many children, extended families are a major part of the “village” that raises the child.  As marriage rates decline in the United States, out of wedlock birth soars, and divorce rates remain high (although they have decreased slightly in recent decades), extended families have often stepped in to fill the gaps where stably married or even stably coupled parents are absent and two parents are not available to share childcare duties.  Sometimes circumstances make living with extended family necessary.

Data from the New Family Structures Study (NFSS), a nationally representative survey of nearly 3,000 young adults ages 18-39 reveals that 13 percent… click here to read whole article and make comments



Reading Fifty Shades linked to unhealthy behaviours

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A movie based on the pornographic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey is due for release this month. But a study published last year shows that young adult women who even read the title book are more likely than non-readers to exhibit signs of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner. Further, women who read all three books in the blockbuster series are at increased risk of engaging in binge drinking and having multiple sex partners. The following is a press release from Michigan State University where the study was conducted.


Young adult women who read Fifty Shades of Grey are more likely than non-readers to exhibit signs of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner, finds a study led by a Michigan State University researcher.

Further, women who read all three books in the erotic romance series are at increased risk of… click here to read whole article and make comments



Extravagant kids’ birthday parties

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Kids. Their birthdays. The parties. Ahh, the dilemma. Because as pointed out a recent Slate article, a few balloons, a homemade cake and some Pass The Parcel – or in my case, my dad dressing up as a magician and wowing us with his tricks - just aren’t doing it anymore. Even the fancier celebrations of my childhood (McDonald’s party, anyone?) seem over and done with.

To be honest, the “extravagant kids’ birthday party” is something I hadn’t really thought about before reading this article. But in hindsight, I’ve definitely seen it. My younger siblings have been to parties where they’ve recorded themselves singing and brought home their personal CD; where Nerf guns were provided for entertainment; where mini makeovers took place. And in the more extreme cases that you hear about, parties are happening at ski resorts, or involve limo rides, or take place at home but with the help… click here to read whole article and make comments



Does the Pill cause abortions?

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Even during the wildest times of my youth, I would never have wanted to be the cause of an abortion. Yet, there is a possibility that I have been responsible for one, unaware. How? Because of contraceptive methods that my wife and I used before we knew about the natural methods.

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While women’s positions on the legal and moral question of abortion vary, most would agree that full disclosure of the risk of abortion is a basic right of women using contraceptive drugs.

However, studies conducted among women 18-49 in the US[i] and in six European countries[ii] showed that about 8 out of 10 women do not know about the potential of some contraceptives to cause abortion.

The same studies shows that 75 percent of them would want to be informed about any reasonable… click here to read whole article and make comments



Child care and problem behaviour

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The News Story - Why does Obama want to help families pay for child care? Because it’s insanely expensive

One of President Obama’s targets in this year’s State of the Union address was child care—or the lack of “affordable” and “quality” child care. The President spent what Slate calls a “decent chunk” of this year’s address on the topic, promoting his plan to create a $3,000 tax credit for parents to help alleviate the tremendous cost of institutionalized child care.
Jordan Weissmann at Slate analyzes why subsidizing child care is so important. “How expensive is child care today? It can vary enormously state to state but looks an awful lot like a year of public college tuition.” So expensive is child care these days that “families are getting priced out of professional care.” Why is child care so expensive? “It’s fairly simple. You have to pay human beings to… click here to read whole article and make comments



Moving in, breaking up

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The News Story - Ready to room with your better half? Keep these things in mind
A story in the Washington Post offers some advice to couples considering moving in together.
"Go for a common ground," writes Rebecca Kern, advising couples who are considering cohabitation to find a new apartment or home together, rather than one moving in with the other. Kern also advises that it might be best to pay double rent for a while in order to snag that "perfect" location, and that couples should discuss things like a joint checking account or credit card, how to split chores, and preparing themselves for an adjustment.
Most important, though? Couples should "make sure they're on the same page about what [cohabitation] means"--whether it's a convenient living arrangement, a step to marriage, or a compromise. But in spite of such cheery how-to pieces such as this one, with… click here to read whole article and make comments



Did you make any digital resolutions?

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It’s nearing the end of January, so you’ve probably perused your fair share of articles on New Year’s resolutions. But what about digital resolutions? In a society where this is such a big focus, did you stop to consider your digital habits? All I’m saying is that it deserves a moment, as I took when I saw a CNN article on the topic. Here are my digital resolutions for 2015:

One device at a time

I have this terrible habit. I don’t watch a lot of television, but when I do and the ads come on, I immediately reach for my phone. It’s like a spontaneous, uncontrollable reaction, and it makes me somewhat angry with myself. At what point did I need at least two forms of entertainment at the same time? And to be honest it kind of hurts my head – I don’t get a complete TV watching experience… click here to read whole article and make comments



All your kids wanted for Christmas was…

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This is really cute. Ikea came out with this ad for the holidays, and what a result they got. It’s heartwarming, but it also makes you think – I think it’s a great one for parents to watch. Enjoy! 

click here to read whole article and make comments



Science says: eat with your kids

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Family meals nourish your body, but that’s not all. (Shutterstock)     

As a family therapist, I often have the impulse to tell families to go home and have dinner together rather than spending an hour with me. And 20 years of research in North America, Europe and Australia back up my enthusiasm for family dinners. It turns out that sitting down for a nightly meal is great for the brain, the body and the spirit. And that nightly dinner doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal that took three hours to cook, nor does it need to be made with organic arugula and heirloom parsnips.

Brain food    

For starters, researchers found that for young children, dinnertime conversation boosts vocabulary even more than being read aloud to. The researchers counted the number of rare words… click here to read whole article and make comments



Is life after divorce better?

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The News Story - A happier life after divorce

January 5 was this year’s “divorce day”— the first Monday after the holidays, when the number of people seeking a divorce jumps one-third. Couples who decide to suffer through one last Christmas and New Year together—whether for the sake of children, or because they can’t bear the thought of telling family of a split right after carving the Christmas turkey—jump on the phone first thing Monday morning.
And according to some news sources, that’s OK. Heidi Stevens, reporter at the Chicago Tribune, surveys the divorce “experts” and writes that divorce “can often be the beginning of a more tranquil, authentic, happier—indeed better—life.” Stevens writes of “reclaiming lost priorities,” forgotten in the mayhem of marriage. Says one expert, “Creating a vision for your new life is actually easier than staying in a soul-killing marriage.” Also important is “keeping it positive”—set aside old… 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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