Baby-bedtime debates: cry it out vs no-cry

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baby sleep

Chronic sleep deprivation is no picnic, as any new parent can tell you. One mom interviewed by ABC News called it “torture” and she’s not far off. Most parents have, at one point or another, contended with babies who just don’t want to go to sleep at night. How to solve this dilemma has been hotly debated for decades by parents and ‘experts’ alike (these groups needn’t be considered mutually exclusive, but sometimes are).

Traditionally it’s been the “cry it out” camp versus no-cry, ‘attachment parenting’ methods. Disclosure: I’m in the latter group. I could never listen to my babies cry when it was in my power to alleviate their distress—even when I actually couldn’t, and ended up walking the floor for hours with an inconsolable infant. (Occasionally my husband woke up and relieved me, which leads me to wonder why no research has gone into extracting and… click here to read whole article and make comments



How do American moms feel about working outside the home?

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mom at home


Re-posted from the latest Family In America newsletter:

A recent survey hosted by ForbesWoman and attempts to capture how American women feel about the economy and working outside the home. It found that working moms are, in general, “an unhappy lot,” further supporting the fact that men and women are not interchangeable cogs in the employment and domestic worlds.

Of the 1,000 women surveyed, 67% worked outside the home. The remaining 33% were stay-at-home moms. The majority of both groups agreed that staying at home with the children was a luxury few could afford. Most (69%) of working moms said their families needed the extra income. But the conflict between children and finances left all women feeling pressured: “ . . . more than half (52%) of the women surveyed say their partners or others sometimes make them feel that… click here to read whole article and make comments



Forget “two mommies” - France will have only “parents”

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french minister

France's Justice Minister Christiane Taubira Photo: Telegraph/Reuters


Mothers and fathers would officially cease to exist in France if draft gay marriage legislation promoted by the new socialist government goes ahead. Instead, all references to "mothers and fathers" in the nation's civil code will be swapped for the non-gender-specific "parents". This would apply equally to heterosexual and homosexual couples in civil marriage ceremonies.

The draft law, due to go before President Francois Hollande's cabinet for approval on October 31, states that "marriage is a union of two people, of different or the same gender". It would also give equal adoption rights to homosexual and heterosexual couples.

But the Catholic Church is fighting back -- with prayer. Reviving a custom that dates back to 1638 the bishops authorised a “prayer for France” to be read in all churches on August 15. Among other things it prayed for:

those… click here to read whole article and make comments



Kids and chores: start young

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The amount of time children spend helping around the home has been dropping for decades. Even since 1981 -- when kids were probably not doing much -- their chore time has dropped by 25 percent, to 24 minutes a day, researchers say. Of course readers of this blog probably won't have allowed their offspring to get off so lightly. Still, most parents probably have to struggle to train their children to contribute at home, but, as Brett and Kate McKay write on The Art of Manliness blog, this effort is essential not only out of fairness to the family but for helping the child grow to become a fully-functioning adult eventually.

Their article, "The Art of Dadliness: How to Get Your Kids to Do Their Chores (And Why It's So Important They Do Them)" is longish but full of good sense, pictures, quotes and practical tips. It begins:

click here to read whole article and make comments



Music and baby talk

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As one of those moms who started her kids on classical music shortly after birth, I don’t need to be sold on the importance of music, but it’s always nice to have one’s educational priorities validated. Music’s legendary charms don’t just soothe the savage breast; they also stimulate the language centres in the brain, which may not sound as romantic, but it’s perhaps more important in the long run. As Science Daily informs us:

Contrary to the prevailing theories that music and language are cognitively separate or that music is a byproduct of language, theorists at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) advocate that music underlies the ability to acquire language. 

That makes perfect sense, music being the universal language after all. Music is also a first language for baby. Though all new mothers certainly talk and coo to their… click here to read whole article and make comments



Women Speak For Themselves - the faces

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The Women Speak for Themselves movement sprang up in February in response to th Obama administration's health rules enforcing coverage of contraception by all employers. When Representative Carolyn Maloney demanded to know “Where are the women?” at a congressional hearing on religious freedom, it was too much for law professor Helen Alvare:

I couldn’t believe it. I knew plenty of women like myself stood with religious institutions and individuals as they defended their right to run their hospitals, schools, and other businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs.

I knew there were women all over the nation just as frustrated as I was at the continual coverage that opposition to the Health And Human Services’ mandate was a “war on women.” 

An open latter to government leaders was launched and has gathered nearly 34,000 singatures. Here are some of the faces and voices behind those names:

click here to read whole article and make comments



All girls schools have the edge

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Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark attended Auckland Girls Grammar School

A New Zealand researcher suggests that the persistence of the gender pay gap may have something to do with co-ed schools, the New Zealand Herald reports. Professor Ananish Chaudhuri of Auckland University has looked into studies from around the world on this issue and says:

… recent research comparing the behaviour of women who went to single-sex versus mixed-sex schools has found that women from all-girl schools are as competitive as men, while those educated alongside boys are less so.

"This obviously has implications for the nature of schooling that we provide our children."

In a joint study between the Australian National University and Essex University in England the behaviour of 260 students of both sexes was compared when they entered a competition with a small financial reward.

Girls from single-sex… click here to read whole article and make comments



Working moms spend less time on kids’ diet and excerise

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shoppingMy heading, borrowed from this Newswise article, is somewhat self-evident. Moms who are employed full-time outside the home simply have less time for everything outside of working hours. It’s a logistical reality, not a moral judgment.

The article informs us:

When it comes to cooking, grocery shopping and playing with children, American moms with full-time jobs spend roughly three-and-half fewer hours per day on these and other chores related to their children’s diet and exercise compared to stay-at-home and unemployed mothers, reports a new paper by a Cornell University health economist. 

Long before I had children, I knew I would stay home full-time with them. I made this decision for a number of reasons, one of which was that I witnessed what life was like for kids when both parents were consumed with other things. During a hiatus from university, I worked as a full-time caregiver for the children of… click here to read whole article and make comments



Mothers Matter: Who on Earth Cares?

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african mother

MaterCare International, a Catholic medical charity working in sub-Saharan Africa, has produced a 25 minute film showing the primitive and dangerous circumstances in which hundreds of thousands of rural women give birth -- and often die. At least 85 percent of these deaths could be prevented, says Matercare, by access to essential obstetric services (not high tech) during pregnancy and delivery.

And yet these deaths are only the tip of the iceberg. For every woman who dies in childbirth, another 30 suffer damage from the complications of delivering a baby when the mother's plevis is too small for normal delivery due to malnutrition or chronic illness. “This results in the horrifying lifelong condition of a ruptured bladder and/or rectum, known as obstetric fistula, which causes shameful and permanent incontinence,” the film narrator says.

“Shunned by husbands, families and communities, these women become social pariahs, cast out to wander alone. Fending… click here to read whole article and make comments



Marriage - a miracle cure

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Doctors have discovered a cancer treatment that outranks all others – marriage.

It helps patients with lung cancer live significantly longer than if they were single, giving them a threefold higher chance of surviving at least three years.

On the basis of these results, if marriage were a drug it would be hailed as a miracle cure.

Coming from the UK’s lefty Independent those are three remarkable sentences.

But they only summarise the facts of a US study of 168 patients with advanced lung cancer who were treated with chemotherapy and radiation over a decade from 2000 to 2010. Researchers found that a third of those who were married were still alive after three years compared with 10 per cent of those who were single.

Previous research has shown marriage benefits men more than women, but among these survivors it was women who fared… 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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