Archive for January, 2015

Single parent or poverty? Study looks at which affects good parenting most.

Posted by on Wednesday, 28 January, 2015

Single parent or poverty? Study looks at which affects good parenting most.
News from Christian Science Monitor:

Income level, rather than family structure, has the greatest impact on whether parents read to their children, eat dinner together, or engage in any number of positive parenting practices, according to a new report put out today by the nonpartisan Council on Contemporary Families.

For years, studies have suggested that single parents lag behind married couples when it comes to providing children the sort of enrichment activities that child development experts say have long-term impact on kids’ emotional and cognitive health, such as monitoring media access and facilitating participation in extracurricular activities. But it turns out that those differences all but disappear when income disparities are taken away, according to today’s report.

In other words, single moms are less likely to shuttle their children to sports practices not because they are parenting solo, but because they have fewer resources, explains Sandra Hofferth, professor of family science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, who authored the paper.

“With a single parent, there’s only one earner…. When it comes to ferrying children to lessons or sports, they just can’t do it,” she says. “We found that parenting differs mostly because of resources – more so than by family structure.”

Take the sports example. Those children living in pove…………… continues on Christian Science Monitor

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‘Free-range parenting’ case unleashes national debate
News from Boston Globe:

By Donna St. George and Brigid SchulteWashington Post  January 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — Two days after the story of their children’s unsupervised walk home from a park became the latest flash point in an ongoing cultural debate about what constitutes responsible parenting, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv were still explaining their ‘‘old-fashioned’’ methods of child-rearing.

They eat dinner with their children. They enforce bedtimes, restrict screen times, and assign chores. They go to synagogue. More controversially, they let their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter venture out together to walk or play without adults.

Continue reading below

‘‘How have we gotten so crazy that what was just a normal childhood a generation ago is considered radical?’’ Danielle Meitiv asked in the living room of her Silver Spring, Md., home as yet another news crew dropped by to question the couple.

She and her husband are facing an inquiry for neglect, they say, after allowing their children to wal…………… continues on Boston Globe

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Parenting Perspectives: Let’s admit it; parenting not always fun task

Posted by on Tuesday, 20 January, 2015

Parenting Perspectives: Let’s admit it; parenting not always fun task
News from INFORUM:

Not all of it, not every day and not every minute, but there are times when being in charge of another human is awful.

This is the part, of course, where I have to explain that I do love my daughter a lot, that I’m grateful to have her and that I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

I have to explain that because it seems that as parents, it’s not OK for us to admit that our job is hard and that sometimes we don’t like it. I know it’s not OK to say that because it seems like every time I state this fact of parenting, someone makes sure to tell me that I shouldn’t say such things.

A few weeks ago when my daughter was going through a rough patch, I posted on Facebook about how frustrating it was to deal with a toddler who decided that her morning orange slices were for throwing at Mommy’s head. Then, right as I hit “post,” she figured out that if she picked up the pieces of orange, held them over my head and squeezed, juice would run all over me and my face would turn purple.

“First person to tell me to cherish this gets punched in the face,” I joked in the status update.

Inevitably, I got a message about it. “You SHOULD cherish this,” the acquaintance wrote. “And anyway, how would you feel if she read this later and knew you were sick of her today?”

The truth is, I’m OK with it if, when she’s older, my daughter knows that I had reall…………… continues on INFORUM

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Learning Parenting To Raise Healthy Children
News from

A JLI class in Potomac, Maryland.

A parenting course that looks to Jewish values that have stood the test of time may surprise participants as it cuts the sacrosanct “what are my rights” centered perspective down to size. In its place, The Art of Parenting course will consider the question Judaism teaches us to ask: “What is my obligation?”

“A parent does not have a right to be respected, but it is a responsibility for a child to respect the parent,” explains Rabbi Naftali Silberberg, editor-in-chief of the new course curriculum. The course will look at the differences that raising children with a sense of entitlement vs. a sense of responsibility makes to the children, the family and society.

Beginning this week at some 357 locations worldwide in seven languages, the six-session course explores Jewish teachings and parenting values as practiced by Jewish parents for thousands of years, and their relevance to today’s parenting.

“Jews have a very successful parenting record of tens of generations who successfully transmitted their ideas and values, even though it was under very difficult circumstances,” says Silberberg.

Developed by the JLI team in consultation with educational experts, talmudic scholars, psychologists and parents, The Art of Par…………… continues on

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Montgomery County neglect inquiry shines spotlight on ‘free-range’ parenting

Posted by on Sunday, 18 January, 2015

Montgomery County neglect inquiry shines spotlight on ‘free-range’ parenting
News from Washington Post:

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv let their children, 10 and six, walk home alone from a park a mile away from their house. Now, Montgomery County is investigating the couple for child neglect.

January 17 at 6:57 PM

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6 ways parenting advice has changed over the years
News from KTRK-TV:

This story first appeared on and is reprinted with permission.

Parenting is tough enough as it is without having to field advice from every direction. Your best friend who had a baby 10 years ago, your mom who had children 25 years ago, your grandma, your mother-in-law, the stranger on the train — everyone knows just how you should parent, but everyone has something different to say. Why does everyone have such different parenting advice about the right way to care for a baby? Probably because parenting ideas have changed so much over the years. Your friends and family, and yes, even strangers on the train, usually mean well; it’s just that they’re doling out advice they received which is often outdated. As we learn more, experts update and revise recommendations. That’s why it’s probably not a great idea to listen to grandma (even though we love her and her heart is in the right place!). Your pediatrician is generally your best source for up-to-date, accurate, reliable information.

I was talking to a friend about how things have changed over the years in regards to parenting. We were specifically discussing bullying and how many different platforms…………… continues on KTRK-TV

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There’s nothing like putting your balls in a 4 year old’s face. ——————– Tour Taiwan with me: MY CAMERA: http://t…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Program pushes for better parenting

Posted by on Saturday, 17 January, 2015

Program pushes for better parenting
News from The Bakersfield Californian:

David Dooley wants to see the parenting of today’s children improve, even if it takes decades.

Dooley is founder of Advancing Parenting, a nonprofit organization that formed in 2012. The organization’s message and parenting tips can be seen throughout Bakersfield on cars, windows, billboards and lawns.

The mission of the organization is to reduce the rate of child abuse, neglect, crime and violence through short messages seen around Bakersfield.

Some include, “Hold education and hard work in the highest esteem,” or “Allow your child to make mistakes and see to it they learn from them.”

The signs are paid for through private donations and grants the organization receives.

Dooley’s doing his work on a shoestring budget. In 2014 his revenue (all from contributions) totaled $ 1,500 and expenses (all for program services) were $ 1,000, according to the website Guidestar, a nonprofit that publishes financial information about tax-exempt organizations.

“We want to improve parenting education in the community because it is a very, very powerful tool for the future,” Dooley said. “Now, (most) of parenting education is mandated by he court. A judge has compelled them to take a program.”

Dooley called the messages that Advancing Parenting posts on car windows and businesses “passive” messaging. Parents don’t have to take…………… continues on The Bakersfield Californian

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Free-Range Parenting: How Young it Too Young?
News from

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Children walk home by choice or out of necessity. Many call it an essential part of gaining independence, but it has parents questioning what’s the appropriate age to let kids go on their own.

Kerstand Tatum said the world she grew up in was much different from how it is today.

“It’s scary,” said Tatum. “You don’t know who’s out there, you don’t know what their intentions are.”

That’s why she drives her 10 and 12-year old daugthers to and from school every day.

“If I put them out there and they’re by themselves without my supervision, then I’m putting them out there for anybody and anything that could happen.”

Walking home or short distances is common for children in the Ozarks. It’s often thought of as a rite of passage.

“There’s a point at which parents can go overboard and create the context in which children don’t feel safe and secure,” said Barbara Brown-Johnson, Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center.

There’s no legal minimum age for kids to walk to school alone. Cases of child neglect are handled by police on a case-by-case basis. But state law requires students living more than 3.5 miles from school to have the option of being bussed to school. Local administrators say they’re going the extra mile to ensure safety.

“We have roughly four staff members that a…………… continues on

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Maryland couple practicing “free-range parenting” investigated for neglect

Posted by on Friday, 16 January, 2015

Maryland couple practicing “free-range parenting” investigated for neglect
News from CBS News:

A hot debate is unfolding in a Washington D.C. suburb over how much freedom is safe for young children.

It all started when a 6 and a 10 year old were taking a walk on a busy street and got picked up by police. Their parents had signed off on their trek, and now they are in trouble with Child Protective Services, reports CBS News correspondent Chip Reid.

Dvora Meitiv and her brother, Rafi, aren’t always with their parents. The two are allowed to walk around the block, visit the library and play in local parks — all on their own.

“We can walk anywhere in Silver Spring. And it’s really fun,” Rafi said.

Fun is what they were hoping to have in December when they asked their father to drop them off at a park a mile from home. It would have been their longest solo walk yet, but they only made it halfway.

“The police came and picked them up and brought them home,” their father, Alex, said.

Alex Meitiv and his wife, Danielle, said at one point there were six officers at their house. They now are being investigated for child neglect.

“They determined if there’s an imminent danger of harm to the children, they are authorized to come and take the children,” Alex said.

“And ask questions later,” his wife Danielle added.

State law in Maryland says, “A child under the age of 8 y…………… continues on CBS News

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My parenting resolution: Less praise, more presence
News from Washington Post:

January 16 at 10:54 AM

One little guy’s “trophy for nothing.” (Amy Joyce)

This past fall, my daughter returned home from her tennis lesson and proudly announced that she would receive a trophy the following week at class. The class had just begun, and no competition had taken place. During the first lesson, she and her teammates had not even begun using their tennis rackets; they had practiced their serves with just their hands. As she told me this, I pictured a symphony of 5-year-old hands swinging in unison, like the Rockettes.

My daughter was delighted at the idea of this “prize.” I worried that the promise of a trophy might eclipse her focus on learning how to play the game well.

“Why are you receiving a trophy?” I asked.

“Because they said I am doing a good job,” she replied.

The author’s daughter’s…………… continues on Washington Post

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Don’t criticize the parenting skills of a mother with teenage daughters

Posted by on Wednesday, 14 January, 2015

Don’t criticize the parenting skills of a mother with teenage daughters
News from Joplin Globe:

I don’t want Mike Huckabee to take this the wrong way, but I don’t think he should be president of the United States.

It’s not just that I disagree with Mike on just about everything, it’s that I question his judgment.

Mike, who is thinking about running for president, has been doing interviews and the other day he said something that convinced me that he shouldn’t be president.

What Mike did was question the parenting skills of Barack and Michelle Obama.

I know!

Look, questioning a dad’s parenting skills is one thing, but questioning a mom’s parenting skills? Two words: UH. OH.

I’m pretty sure that when the Obamas heard that Mike criticized them for letting their two daughters — 16-year-old Malia and 13-year-old Sasha — listen to Beyonc?’s music, Barack probably said something like, “Oh well, what are you going to do?” and Michelle probably said something like, “HE SAID WHAT? ABOUT THE WAY I RAISE MY CHILDREN? BARACK, YOU GET OUT OF MY WAY, I’M GOING TO KICK HIM BACK TO ARKANSAS. DON’T YOU TELL ME TO CALM DOWN. HE SAID I DON’T KNOW HOW TO RAISE MY GIRLS. I WILL RIP HIM APART”

continues on Joplin Globe

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On Parenting: Meghan Leahy and Amy Joyce took questions about parenting
News from Washington Post:

Oh dear.


20 months. NOT EVEN TWO. Right?

I have red flags waving all over the place on this one…and so do you.

Your instincts are dead-on.

First flag. “Following directions.” A toddler doesn’t really follow directions. They move from one activity to the next. They are literally living in real time. They are experiencing waves of emotions, and not as thoughts, but as true MOVEMENTS of emotions. There is no following directions.

What does a toddler do?

MOVE. Some toddlers move a ton, some move less, but they all MOVE.

PLAY. All learning is play and all play is learning. Experiencing the world with all of their senses is a FULL TIME JOB, so…

TODDLERS SLEEP. They need it like fish need water. Toddlers don’t know their fatigue and hunger cues so they….

THROW TANTRUMS. All of the time. They don’t often know WHY they are crying, but they do.

And eating. A toddler will begin to prefer and love certain foods. This is fun and powerful for them. And frustrating for us.

SO! Playing in the sink? NORMAL.

Not helping clean up toys? NORMAL.

Tiring and exhausting for caregivers? NORMAL.

How angry and frustrated they are with him? NOT NORMAL.

Call some meetings, STAT.

If you sense that they “don’t get” toddlers, you have some hasty decisions to make.

…………… continues on Washington Post

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Ned Holstein: Remove obstacles to shared parenting

Posted by on Friday, 2 January, 2015

Ned Holstein: Remove obstacles to shared parenting
News from Berkshire Eagle:

BOSTON >> The great news is that 2014 produced a marvelous advance in our ability to help troubled children. But as a unique study released last month by Boston-based National Parents Organization shows, political obstacles stand in the way of using this knowledge for the benefit of our children.

After decades of child development research, this year, three different groups of experts reached the same sweeping conclusion: shared parenting after parental separation or divorce has substantial positive effects on the development of children. For instance, 110 child development experts signed a paper published by the American Psychological Association titled “Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report” that concluded, “shared parenting should be the norm for parenting plans for children of all ages, including very young children.”

Similarly, experts from over 20 countries at the International Council on Shared Parenting concluded, “There is a consensus that shared parenting is a viable post-divorce parenting arrangement that is optimal to child development and well-being, including for children of high conflict parents.”

It is exciting to learn that after years of frustrating failures, there is something we can do about educational failure, substance abuse, violence, bullyi…………… continues on Berkshire Eagle

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Can good parenting raise your child’s IQ?
News from

It’s natural to think that things like reading bedtime stories, posting the alphabet of the wall of the nursery, playing Mozart at bedtime should all boost your child’s intelligence. But does it really do anything? (AP Photo/file)

It’s natural to think that things like reading bedtime stories, posting the alphabet of the wall of the nursery, and playing Mozart at bedtime should all boost your child’s intelligence.

Well, Professor Kevin Beaver, who teaches criminology at Florida State decided to test that idea.

“You have sort of two different perspectives, one is that parenting has a causal effect, the other is that different dimensions of parenting is really just a proxy for genetically how smart an individual is,” says Beaver.

Beaver says he first examined the techniques used by parents who have children with high v…………… continues on

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