Tag Archives | Parenting

Kids need to like what they’re reading to progress

Kids need to be interested in the book they’re reading, so it’s better if they choose it themselves. Flickr/Mike Mantin, CC BY-SA

Kids need to be interested in the book they’re reading, so it’s better if they choose it themselves. Flickr/Mike Mantin, CC BY-SA

Ryan Spencer, University of Canberra

When we think of reading for our children, we are often misled into thinking that we need to focus on one type of book, such as picture books or novels in order to practise specific, reading-related skills. However, this narrowly-focused approach to reading instruction can often have undesirable benefits, such as turning kids off reading altogether.

As parents, we often feel that when we select children’s books for them we are supporting them to achieve at their level – though this frequently has the opposite effect.

When we restrict choice, particularly to contrived, boring texts, children frequently see this as an indicator of their reading capability and therefore meet that low expectation. Once we take the restrictions away from what children read, their self-efficacy towards reading increases, therefore leading to an increase in their reading ability.… Read the rest

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Should prospective parents have to apply for licences? An Ethical Debate

parent_child-191x300This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

Should prospective parents have to apply for parental licences? The argument seems obvious. Having children is a serious business. Negligent or irresponsible parents risk causing long-term harms to their offspring, harms that often have spillover effects on the rest of society. A licensing system should help us to filter out such parents. Therefore, a licensing system would benefit children and society at large. QED

Of course, I’m being somewhat facetious here. The idea of prospective parents applying for parental licences will strike many as both absurd and offensive. But there is no idea so absurd and offensive that at least one philosopher has not defended it. And when it involves something as contentious as parent-child relationships, you can rest assured that there will be more than one.

In this post, I want to review the philosophical debate about parental licensing. I start by looking at Hugh LaFollette’s now-classic argument in favour of parental licences.… Read the rest

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The Politics of Spanking

vastateparksstaff (CC BY 2.0)

vastateparksstaff (CC BY 2.0)

Dr. Susan Block, writing at CounterPunch, from 2011:

“I got so mad at my wife,” Oswald told Charlie in their Grand Ole Opry routine, “I turned her over my knee and lifted up her skirt to spank her. Then I forgot what I was mad about.”

Did Oswald go on to actually spank his wife or did he switch gears and have sex with her? It really doesn’t matter. What makes this old joke timelessly funny is that we all recognize the inherent eroticism in spanking an upturned, ceremoniously unveiled, bared butt, as well as the innate absurdity of the old-time “wisdom” that spanking will solve a real problem? Or whatever it was that made Oswald “so mad.”

What is it about spanking, and/or being spanked, that turns so many of us on so much?  Why does spanking have the power to revive an otherwise jaded libido and/or destroy a robust career?

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No, Pope Francis, There’s Nothing ‘Beautiful’ about Hitting a Child

"Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped)" by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped)” by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Dr. Stacey Patton writes at Al Jazeera America:

Pope Francis has officially lost his revolutionary cred. Known for his willingness to challenge church doctrine, to bring religion into the 21st century and to speak truth to power, he clearly hasn’t gotten an updated parenting manual. He appears to still be reading from a 17th-century edition that advised Europeans that children could be possessed by a devil that should be driven out with a rod of correction.

During a recent general weekly audience, the pope decided to offer some advice to the world’s parents. “One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say, ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face, so as to not humiliate them,’” he told the audience.

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Money Makes Parenting Less Meaningful

310px-K.V.Lemoh_(d.1910)._Parent's_Joy

Pic: “Parents’ Joy” by Karl Lemoch (PD)

According to this study, having a higher socioeconomic status makes parents value the experience of raising children, particularly so for women. In contrast, poverty is associated with an increased risk of child abuse.

Via EurekAlert!:

Money and parenting don’t mix. That’s according to new research that suggests that merely thinking about money diminishes the meaning people derive from parenting. The study is one among a growing number that identifies when, why, and how parenthood is associated with happiness or misery.

“The relationship between parenthood and well-being is not one and the same for all parents,” says Kostadin Kushlev of the University of British Columbia. While this may seems like an obvious claim, social scientists until now have yet to identify the psychological and demographic factors that influence parental happiness.

New research being presented today at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) conference in Austin offers not only insight into the link between money and parental well-being but also a new model for understanding a variety of factors that affect whether parents are happier or less happy than their childless counterparts.

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Florida “Psychic Nanny” Helps Children With Paranormal Abilities

Can you afford NOT to give your child the advantage of a nanny who will cultivate their sixth sense? The Mirror on a so-called "psychic nanny":
Single mother Denise Lescano, from Florida, US, is a much needed support for parents of children who show worrying signs of having a sixth sense. Denise uses her psychic abilities to 'speak to' the spirits and instructs families on how to approach life beyond death. Denise, who believes she has been psychic since the age of nine, said: "My biggest mission in life is to get rid of the fear around what I do. This is not a scary thing, this is a very healing and comforting thing." Often Denise is called to determine whether youngsters are seeing spirits or displaying signs of mental illness: "Sometimes the parents don't know how do deal with their children's abilities."
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Canada’s First Child To Be Born With Three Parents On Birth Certificate

babyWill the two-parent default come to be regarded as a quaint relic of the twentieth century? Suppose that three-plus parents is superior? Via CBC News:

A Vancouver baby has just become the first child in British Columbia with three parents listed on a birth certificate. Three-month-old Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards is the daughter of lesbian parents and their male friend.

B.C.’s new Family Law Act, which came into effect last year, allows for three or even more parents. B.C. is the first province in Canada with legislation to allow three parents on a birth certificate, although it’s been achieved elsewhere through litigation.

“In the old days, we looked at biology and genetic connections. And that’s no longer true. We now look at the intention of the parties who are contributing to the creation of the child, and intend to raise the child. And that’s a really, really big shift.”

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How To Potty Train Your Child By Demonic Exorcism

demonic exorcismCould parenting difficulties be attributable to Satanic possession of your children? Top anti-demon website DemonBuster reveals:

We received the following email about a woman learning DELIVERANCE, and practicing DELIVERANCE on her young child:

“Well my baby boy has been difficult to potty-train. I would sit him in the toilet for a long time and nothing would happen. So I got really mad, sat him in the potty and told him he had to “go”. The baby started screaming and I got the idea that it was a demon. So I commanded it to manifest and give me his name. The baby continued screaming and saying: “You can’t make me, you can’t make me”. I insisted in the demon telling me his name, so the Holy Spirit said: “That’s his name, “you can’t make me”. I commanded it out. The baby had deliverance and he has been potty-trained since.”

Praise the Lord!

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Study: Parents Lie Frequently To Their Children To Control Their Behavior

And we wonder why grown-up society looks the way it does. BPS Research Digest reveals what you suspected:

We teach our kids that it is wrong to lie, even though most of us do it everyday. In fact, it is often our children who we are lying to. A new study, involving participants in the USA and China, is one of the first to investigate parental lies, finding that the majority of parents tell their children lies as a way to control their behavior.

Gail Heyman and her colleagues presented parents in the USA and China with 16 “instrumental lies” in four categories – lies to influence kids’ eating habits (e.g. “you need to finish all your food or you will get pimples all over your face”); lies to get the children to leave or stay put (“If you don’t come with me now, I will leave you here by yourself); lies to control misbehaviour (“If you don’t behave I will call the police”); and lies to do with shopping and money (“I did not bring any money with me today.”).

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Why We Should Take Fewer Pictures Of Our Children

Via the New York Times, David Zweig has a harrowing observation on the first generation of children raised under constant digital surveillance:

“I want to look at pictures on daddy’s phone!” I can’t recall when this entreaty started. I only know it has been repeated like a mantra nearly every day by my 3-year-old daughter for as long as I remember her being able to speak in sentences.

On the surface a child’s preoccupation with personal photos seems quite benign, or even beneficial. And yet I fear her photo obsession may hasten her self-consciousness to a degree that’s no longer constructive.

Our children’s lives are being documented to a degree never done before. I often have over 100 new pictures per month added to iPhoto on my computer. Like adults, kids often act differently when they know the camera is on. There’s a reason posed shots almost always seem so awkward and artificial compared with candid ones.

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