Blogging with my daugther on my lap about cool and contoversial things happening in kids and parents lifes and spice it up with some shopping happenings from Cool Junior

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Clayeux summer treats!

I admit, I love to put my girl in summer dresses and I should do it a lot, before she grows up and starts assessing her own opinion of what she wants to wear. Made of pure cotton and combinig beautiful fun collours, Clayeux delivers great knitted dresses and cardigans to dress your girl for a summer day in the sun.

Get this summer treats dresses from Clayeux at Cool Junior, at very cool prices!

Men unite: fatherhood is good for your brain!

Our world is still pretty unfair to women, but men, as dads have their own struggle with the society stereotypes. Usually they have to chose between a label that portraits them as somebody who pays the bills and has no clue about taking care of a child or being the guy who likes children and people are wondering wheather he's pervert or wuss.

More than often we refer to parenting only in relation to mothers, but what about men who are hands on their children, buying and changing diapers, feeding their babies, evaluating schools? Aren’t they feeling left out by the society?

New researches initially held on mices, monkeys and now on humans show that, although men don’t go through the labour ordeal, loving a woman and being the father of their children can change his body and brain making him more resourceful while improving his ability to handle stress.

Peter Gray, a anthropology professor at Nevada University, finds testosterone, one of the important factors that influences the ‘daddy brain’. He’s been working with an international team, trying to analyse the neurochemistry of a man’s brain when he is dating and settle down. These studies found lower levels of testosterone in married men, while other studies found increased levels of prolactin (the hormone of lactation) and lower levels of sex steroids in men after their baby has been born. Prolactin helps new fathers to hear their baby cries, whereas lower level of testosterone makes them more sympathetic and more ready to respond to their babies.

Understanding how fatherhood process is triggered, we can have a more understanding approach of new fathers who take in their arms their new pink and screaming bundles and say ‘Eeou!’. I mean… new mothers have nine months of preparing for this motherhood role, whereas dads can start this process only once the baby has arrived.

Jay Fagan, professor of social work at Temple University believes that the best thing for future fathers to become more committed to their partner and their child after its been born is to be more involved during their partner's pregnancy and have an active role in birth preparations.
As for society and us, mummies, we should see men who become fathers, not as unmanly Mr. Mom, but as Super Dads.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

What if...? The future of reproduction

Science is heading into a new territory by creating the means to let a father carry a baby to term.Could women give up their natural right to be mothers?

by Andreea Lofgren

Two people find love, than follows marriage (or just leaving together) and than comes the baby. But what if the mother is a man?

The fact that a man who used to be a woman can become pregnant is old news now. He, Thomas Beatie and ex-she, gave birth recently to his second child, a baby boy, after giving birth last year to his daughter Susan Juliette.After going public with his second pregnancy, he said “The only thing different about me is that I can’t breastfeed my baby. But a lot of mothers don’t.” The news of a man giving birth to a baby stirred a lot of attention and some of it negative, making him declare that "We are a man, woman and child. It's ironic that we are so different but yet, we're just a family, just the same as anyone else,"
But things can become even weirder than this…male pregnancy! Now, the technology to create a baby from the DNA of two men is just one step away.Shinya Yamanaka, one of the world famous regenerative medicine scientists, outlined the idea of reprogramming stem cells to allow creating a new baby. How? A skilled biologist can take skin cells from one dad, reprogrammed it with a virus and transform it into an egg. Than take the sperm from the other dad, and bam!…you have a baby!
The only problem now is to keep the embryo healthy, as a baby made from DNA of two dads will most likely not develop properly. Rudolf Jaenisch, the co-founder of Fate Therapeutics, explains that with sperms and eggs, some genes are switched off through a natural process named imprinting. Men and women do the imprinting process differently. For the moment, Jaenich said there is no solution to this problem.
Another matter would be uterus. Well…scientist may have taken this problem out of the way too. Scientists from Edinburgh University consider there are two ways of getting a womb: building one from scratch, or import one from a willingly donor.Both scientists agree there are serious ethical issues here and they wouldn’t allow these experiments to take place under their supervision.
But, they cannot stop technology from developing either.When this will happen, scientist will get their answers, but I cannot help wondering if another battle of sexes will begin.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

To have success in life: Don’t eat that marshmallow!

The secret of self-control

In the late 60’s , psychologist Walter Mischel started a classic experiment. He would invite 4 years old in a room called ‘the game room’ at the Big Nursery School on Stanford University campus. The room was relatively small with a table and a chair. On the table you could see a tray full of sweet treats. The researcher made an offer to each participating child: you can eat a marshmallow right now, or you can wait a few minutes, while I will step out of the room, and when I will come back you can eat two.

Watching the experiment you see all kinds of reactions, while the children try to keep self control. Some of them gave in after just a few minutes and others, while kicking and hiding their eyes, managed to wait for 15 minutes until the scientist returned.

Analysing the results, Mischel discovered that children that were low delayer had problems in school and at home. They got low scores at SAT tests, they had problems maintaining friendships, struggle in stressful situations and to pay attention. On the other hand, higher delayer have better results in life. For example, Carolyn Weiss (one of the children participating in the experiment), attended the undergraduate programme at Stanford University and got a PhD diploma.

For decades, scientists argued that raw intelligence is the secret of success in life. But Mischel’s experiment tell us that self control is essential and that raw intelligence is at the mercy of self-control as even the most intelligent children have to do their homework.

“What we’re really measuring with the marshmallows isn’t will power or self-control,” Mischel says. “It’s much more important than that. This task forces kids to find a way to make the situation work for them. They want the second marshmallow, but how can they get it? We can’t control the world, but we can control how we think about it.”

So Mischel’s experiment and everyday life shows us that kids who delayed gratification is correlated with socioeconomic status and parenting styles. Children who have self-control skills, can attend boring classes in order to get a degree and avoid drugs and alcohol. On the other hand, children that don’t have them, most likely will be a drop out and have a lifetime of foolish decisions such as teen pregnancy, gambling, drug use and crime.

Some scientist argue that, children coming from poor families exercise less self control skills as their life has been disrupted by violence , marital breakdown, etc and have the tendency to think short term rather than long term.

So, making sure that by creating a stable and predictable environment for kids in which good behaviour is paying off, will work in improving our children’s self control skills and give them a good start to have a successful life.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Do you think our children will ever get married?

by Andreea Lofgren

Watching Philip Weiss video about teenagers having sex at the Big Thing makes me wonder if our kids will ever get married .

Weiss is wondering if teenagers will be more creative when it comes to relationships models. The ‘Hooking-up model’, where teenagers just have sex, taking the emotional element out of this equation, creeps me out.

According to census data, the average marriage age jumped half a decade for the past 50 years. So why people take longer to tie the knot? Is it because it takes longer to grow up? Looking at our generation, this doesn’t come as a surprise, as it takes longer to finish school, longer to find a good full-time job and even more difficult to actually buy a house comparing to our parents opportunities. Also, seeing more people getting divorced over the past years, makes you wonder if marriage needs an image makeover?

Coming back to Weiss video, will our kids get hitched? I think they will, but the number will decline. And this is not because marriage needs a brand makeover, but because they will create new relationship models that fits better with their life style. I do hope they come up with better names than ‘Hooking-up model’!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Is there an IQ limit for being a mother?

by Andreea Lofgren

Yesterday, I read this story in Times Online about a woman who is denied the right to keep her three year old daughter for reasons of being ‘ not cleaver enough’ to be a mother. The court has informed the mother that her baby will be placed with an adoptive family within three months.

According to the news, the baby was born prematurely and the authorities felt that the mother , named Rachel, lacks the knowledge to take care of the baby’s medical conditions.

The Times reports that Rachel feels: “I have been totally let down by the system. All I want is to care for my daughter but the council and the court are determined not to let me.

“The court here has now ordered that my contact with my daughter must be reduced from every fortnight until in three months’ time it will all be over and I will never see her again.”

This situation forced Rachel to take her appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, that can help her keep the child.

This story raises serious questions whether if there is an intelligence limit that women need to have in order to become mothers. Even more, how do you define this intelligence and how do you measure it?

The way this woman was treated by the justice system is appalling and the authorities in their crusade to secure an adoption family for the child, forgot instead to take measures to preserve the natural one.

I wonder, if this woman is consider not clever enough to raise her child, who sais that another woman is smart enough to do it?