MEN AREN'T SLACKERS
One of the biggest bits of parenting news this week comes from Time Magazine, which has a cover story called: Chore Wars:Men are now pulling their weight--at work and at home. So why do women still think they're slacking off? (Ruth Davis Konigsberg - August 8, 2011. One can't read it on-line without a subscription, but the Motherlode Blog has a summation.) Konigsberg says:
According to data just released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, men and women in 2010 who were married, childless and working full time...had combined daily totals of paid and unpaid work--which is to say, work at the office and all the drudgery you have to do at home--that were almost exactly the same: 8 hr. 11 min. for men, 8 hr. 3 min. for women. For those who had children under the age of 18, women employed full time did just 20 min. more of combined paid and unpaid work than men did, the smallest difference ever reported.
Hannah Mudge of the Huffington Post addresses a similar subject in an essay called "Having It All": Why it's High Time the Media Changed its Tune - 7/23/2011. She wonders why the media isn't putting out more articles on whether men can "have it all."
Conveniently, insightful research such as this long term study on the effects of working mothers on children, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health last week, or the Fathers, Family and Work report from 2009, which found that fathers are happier when they do household chores, spend more time with their children, and are able to work flexible hours, is usually ignored in what often seems like a backlash against equality.
Tracy Clark-Flory has an argument for "raunchy" teen lit at Salon: The case for raunchy teen lit: A study warns parents about sex in YA novels, but these books can educate -- and spark a passion for reading - July 28, 2011
These books aren't a replacement for sex-ed but rather a way to begin exploring what it means to be a sexual being. Kids get to vicariously try on different roles in the safest way possible...Parents should be relatively ecstatic if their kids are getting their sexual know-how from books and not XTube....It isn't just that these novels can give kids a glimpse of a more mature world; they also reflect their actual reality, as good books tend to do. By the time they turn 19, 70 percent of teens will have had sex. More than half of American teens 15 to 19 years old have had oral sex. As Pam B. Cole, author of "Young Adult Literature in the 21st Century," has written, "Sexuality is a huge part of adolescence and drives a great deal of adolescent behavior, any realistic novel about adolescent development that does not include sexuality is incomplete."
Amy Schalet also has an opinion editorial in The New York Times on Dutch parents who allow their children to have sex at home:
The Sleepover Question - July 23, 2011
Normalizing teenage sex under the family roof opens the way for more responsible sex education. In a national survey, 7 of 10 Dutch girls reported that by the time they were 16, their parents had talked to them about pregnancy and contraception. It seems these conversations helped teenagers prepare, responsibly, for active sex lives: 6 of 10 Dutch girls said they were on the pill when they first had intercourse. Widespread use of oral contraceptives contributes to low teenage pregnancy rates — more than 4 times lower in the Netherlands than in the United States.
And the Motherlode blog posted an essay by Kathleen Volk Miller on talking with her daughter about sex:
plus another in response to the feedback she got on the blog about whether or not her conversations (at one point she tells her daughter the basics of cunnilingus, for ex) were appropriate:
Beware of cribs, car seats, old toys, and other hand-me-downs!
Bargains on Used Goods May Prove Costly - WALECIA KONRAD - New York Times - July 25, 2011
In the heat of summer, when yard sales and flea markets are in full swing, it is tempting to take advantage of sidewalk bargains on everything from toys to hedge trimmers. But caution is in order: Buying used can be hazardous to your health, experts say..."There are some things that should simply never be passed on," says Donald Mays, senior director of product safety at Consumer Reports.
Does using an electric pump hurt one's chances of successfully nursing?
Patterns: How Milk Is Expressed Affects Nursing - NICHOLAS BAKALAR - New York Times - July 25, 2011
When a newborn fails to latch onto the breast or suck successfully, mothers can express their breast milk by hand or by using an electric pump. A new study suggests that those who express by hand are more likely to still be nursing two months later.
A new Washington law now allows donor-conceived kids to find out crucial health information:
Offspring of Egg and Sperm Donors to Benefit From New Law - Tamar Abrams - Huffington Post - July 25, 2011
Washington State is the first to grant rights to donor-conceived offspring to gain access to critical health information and, in some cases, to the names of their donors. The law allows donors to choose to safeguard their anonymity if they so desire. This is a step forward for children...who wonder, "Who am I? Where did I come from?"
here's how to get kids to eat more vegetables:
Nutrition: Stealthy Vegetables: Getting Children to Eat More - NICHOLAS BAKALAR - New York Times - July 29, 2011