Fertility apps streamline natural family planning

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winkPhoto: Gizmag


Natural family planning is getting a technological boost with new advances that make it even easier for a woman to track her fertility cycle.

The company behind the Kindara app, which charts a woman’s fertility signs right on her phone and connects her with specialist support, has come out with an innovative thermometer.

Cheekily called Wink, the thermometer is linked wirelessly with the app in her cellphone and acts as an alarm clock - since taking basal temperature at the same time each morning is integral to most fertility-monitoring methods.

When the woman wakes up, she reaches for her Wink, which then turns off the alarm (without her ever having to touch her phone) and takes her temperature with the device. The thermometer takes a quick reading, vibrating when done, and instantly syncs the temperature and time it was… click here to read whole article and make comments



Troubles tend to multiply for kids in broken families

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Growing up in a family with a history of substance abuse, mental illness, or incarceration places kids at higher risk of childhood depression, anxiety, and conduct disorders, according to Nicholas Zill at the Institute of Family Studies.

That might sound self-evident, but Zill also shows how these factors work together with family structure to put some children at a greater disadvantage than others. As the following graph illustrates, US data show that children cared for by a divorced or separated mother are far more likely to also experience alcohol or drug abuse, or mental illness in the family, or the imprisonment of a family member.


It is noteworthy that young people in stepfamilies had family histories similar to those for kids living with divorced or separated mothers.

Also worth noting is the… click here to read whole article and make comments



Sweatpants are the #1 cause of divorce

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Image from

Last week, Eva Mendes was published in a TV Extra interview where she claimed that sweatpants (trackies, for the Aussies) are the number one cause of divorce in America. When the flood of indignant disagreement came in, she and boyfriend Ryan Gosling were quick to make light of the situation via Twitter, saying it was all a joke.

I know I’ll be going against the tide, but I agree with Eva Mendes. I get what she was trying to say. Not so much that trackpants themselves cause divorce, but rather that the “trackpants attitude” is certainly not strengthening to a marriage. And I understand the outrage too – trackies are undeniably comfortable and with a busy lifestyle, there’s not always time to look 100% perfect. But I still think we should avoid the trackpants attitude.

It’s not that relationships are all about the way people look: I’ll be the first… click here to read whole article and make comments



How to slim down super-sized kids

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family Photo: Christian Sinibaldi/Guardian


Every parent knows it’s tough getting kids to eat their greens. Even UK food writer Rose Prince claims to have been “quite undone by feeding children”, noting how easy it was for her mother, “a housewife in the classic sense”, to produce delicious from-scratch meals and keep a close watch on between-meal-snacking. By contrast, her own children “make toast and rampage through the biscuit supply as soon as they are sure I’m in my office working… The children of busy parents soon discover that you are too tired to argue”.

It’s estimated that Britain now has around 140,000 "super-fat" kids, who are likely to need gastric band ops in the future, at the taxpayer’s expense.

So much for government health initiatives, like Change4Life with its targets for ‘five a day’, reduced salt and sugar intake, and cutting back on fatty food.

Public money… click here to read whole article and make comments



Hello selfies, goodbye empathy

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“It would easy to describe the behaviour as self-obsessed and exhibitionist. But the issue is more complex than that. And far more troubling. If one is to take the word of experts who are looking into the behaviour of young people, we are looking at a selfie-led Armageddon. The end of society as we know it. We are breeding a generation of potentially ruthless narcissists who might not develop empathetic centres in their brains. Lack of empathy is what causes much destructive and aberrant behaviour in our society.”

This was one of the first paragraphs of an article I came across earlier this week in The Australian.  Yes, the selfie is something I have bemoaned before for its attention-seeking and over-sexualising properties. But an individual selfie is one thing. Seems like the culture of the selfie, on the other hand, is a whole other ball… click here to read whole article and make comments



7 tips for a happier home

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What makes for a happy home? Is it having plentiful sofas, nice neighbours, or perhaps super-fast Wi-Fi? Believe it or not, they all make the list according to a recent study cited on the Be Home Blog. As well as some (perhaps more surprising?) factors which would seem to make for less family time, but do play a part in preventing tension – for example, everyone having their own phones, or having a lock on the bathroom door.

These above points might seem trivial, but there are others on the list (of 50 – see the full list here) that do resonate with me. Here are my favourites:

Keeping the home tidy

Seems unnecessary? Not so! There’s something about being in clean, neat surroundings that calms a person. I’ve heard it said that the state of your wardrobe reflects the state of your soul – wouldn’t it make sense then,… click here to read whole article and make comments



Welfare reform needs strong families

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The Dutch Royal Family


Starting from the 1st of January, the Dutch youth care system has been reformed. Behind what might seem to be a simple organizational change lies the harsh reality of budget cuts. Given the ageing Dutch population, increasing demand for care is to be expected, and the government will have fewer resources to meet such demand. More will be asked of families, with a focus on “youth’s and parents’ own capacities” to decrease use of specialised services. But are families ready for such responsibility?

On New Years’ Eve, an acquaintance working in Dutch youth care told me he was unsure about his future employment, because of the reforms the Dutch government is implementing. The (anonymous) stories he told about couples he was dealing with, especially the rising numbers of “fighting divorces”, and the effects these have on children were quite sobering. Even though there are some people… click here to read whole article and make comments



Are men and women interchangeable?

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The News Story - 4,100 jobs opening to women in special operations units

“More than 4,100 officer and enlisted ‘men only’ positions in special operations units of the Regular Army, National Guard and Army Reserve will be opened to women,” reports the Army Times.
These changes, according to the story, are part of an ongoing effort to dismantle “policies that have barred women from serving in combat units below the brigade level. . . . The goal is to open most jobs to women by Sept. 30, the end of fiscal 2015.” In addition, six women have already completed Ranger Training Assessment, and the Army is “moving toward opening up Ranger School to women.”
At the root of such policy moves is the politically correct theory that men and women are essentially interchangeable beings. But research continues to reveal problems with such a… click here to read whole article and make comments



A darker side of the womb

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Two months ago, I had a baby. Two weeks ago, I was still meant to be pregnant. Our son, Reuben, was born prematurely. The most beautiful, if presumptuous, little being to come into the world. He spent five weeks in hospital, first in a humidi-crib, and after a time, in an open one- an upgrade my hubby and I celebrated with a cocktail.

Reuben's other milestones included having his IV drip removed, next his heart monitors, then his oxygen monitor, and finally, his feeding tube, which translated into a ticket home. He has been a little champion throughout the whole journey. It could have gone a very different way, or at least, at a much slower pace.

My sole experience of having a baby included a complicated pregnancy – involving a trip to emergency at twenty weeks, broken waters at twenty-nine weeks, and two weeks in… click here to read whole article and make comments



Divorced parents, increased drug use

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The News Story - Investigation reveals medical marijuana is getting into kids’ hands

A special investigative report by CBS Los Angeles revealed that it isn’t just sick adults who have access to medical marijuana.
Reporter David Goldstein uncovered “medical marijuana being sold to school-aged kids in broad daylight, within walking distance of local schools.” Hidden cameras caught kids talking to adults on the street outside a medical marijuana dispensary, handing over cash, and receiving small bags or pill jars in return. After the report, police took action—arrests have been made, and the manager of the dispensary assured Goldstein that the staff are doing all possible to keep marijuana out of the hands of children.
But research suggests that as laudable as such crack-downs are, they will likely be only a Band Aid to a problem that runs much deeper than law enforcement officials can handle.

The… 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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