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Posts Tagged ‘Breastfeeding’

Would Good Parents Ever Sign Up for a Reality TV Show?

July 13, 2012

A good parent, like a good teacher, makes mistakes on a regular basis. The difference is, that they reflect on their mistakes and work on strategies for continuous improvement.

I am not convinced that good parents would ever feel comfortable advertising their skills to a prime time television audience.

But there are many out there desperate for their 15 minutes:

Those who believe their parenting skills are worthy of an audience have many chances to be seen in the near future. Apparently reality show producers also think the whole world needs to weigh in on different ways to raise children, based on the sample of casting calls made recently.

The latest, from the people who bring you “Dance Moms” and “American Stuffers,” will be called “Extreme Parenting” (if one of the “multiple” cable networks bidding on the show come through, says producer Jeff Collins).

He was inspired to create the show, he says, after watching the national paroxysms of outrage over the Time magazine cover showing self-described “attachment parent” Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeding her 3-year-old son.

“I think it is fascinating when Americans find something to be provocative and upsetting,” Collins explains. “We are a country of extremes. The shows I do peel back the curtain on the choices people make — some of them will outrage other people.”

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Mums Who Blame Their Kids for Anything Should Think Twice

July 11, 2012

It would be highly unfortunate if women started thinking twice before having children due to the risk of minor weight gain as a result:

MUMS who blame their children for their weight gain now have evidence to back their claims.

UK researchers have found that the more children a woman has, the greater her body mass index (BMI) is likely to be later in life.

I hope mothers are not blaming their children for weight gain, or anything else for that matter.

The Difficulties of Parenting

February 6, 2012

This afternoon I met a colleague outside her eldest child’s school. She had just picked him up from school and was struggling to get both him and his younger sibling inside the car. Her youngest child was making life very difficult for her by having a temper tantrum by the side of the road.

When she saw me, she apologised for the commotion and looked terribly embarrassed by the behaviour of her screaming 2 year-old. I tried putting her at ease, by explaining that I know what it’s like when young children are hot and tired, but it was no use. The whole ordeal clearly embarrassed my poor colleague.

This got me thinking. Society, women in particular, are so judgemental when it comes to parenting and “proper” parenting styles. They are so good at making a poor young mother feel insecure about a whole range of related issues. Any parent can tell you that tantrums are part of the job description. No matter how good or bad your parenting skills are, your kids are a good bet to have a public tantrum every once in a while.

The same goes for parents that feed their kids the odd candy bar or take them out for fast food once in a while. The needn’t feel judged, but they are.

That is why I would like to start a movement. It’s called the “Mind Your Own Business” movement.

You think I’m too lenient on my child? – Mind Your Own Business!

You object to what I put in my child’s lunchbox? – Mind Your Own Business!

You think I should work less and be home more? – Mind Your Own Business!

What’s that? My child is too young to go to child care? – Mind Your Own Business!

I shouldn’t have given up so easily on breastfeeding my baby? – Mind Your Own Business!

You think I’m an over protective parent? – Mind Your Business!

Parenting is a might hard job. Getting a healthy balance between work and home as well as not being too strict or too lenient is so difficult. People should avoid giving parenting advice unless they are specifically called on to do so. People shouldn’t go around thinking they are better parents than everyone else, because chances are they’re not.

And most of all, people should learn to mind their own bloody business!

Cramming the Curriculum With Nonsense

August 20, 2011

I’m sick of losing valuable curriculum time for the purposes of teaching yet another program or peddling yet another campaign.  Whilst I believe that women should be able to breastfeed whenever and wherever they choose to, I don’t see why that message has to interfere with a literacy or maths lesson:

TEENAGERS may be taught in school that it is OK to breastfeed in public.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association wants future generations of mums and dads to view public breastfeeding as acceptable as seeing breasts on TV, in movies and in advertising.

Melbourne TV presenter Andi Lew is joining the awareness campaign, addressing a group of female students at Lalor Secondary College during an ABA presentation this week.

The ABA said research had shown exposure to breastfeeding at an early age positively influenced attitudes later in life.

“The evidence is accumulating that breastfeeding needs to be promoted in schools,” ABA spokeswoman Karen Ingram said yesterday.

“Despite every national and international health authority recommending exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, the latest research suggests that the mums and dads of the future don’t fully grasp the importance of breastfeeding.

Please stop taking the workload of teachers for granted by making them continually stop what they are doing in the name of yet another campaign?  Our primary job is to teach literacy, numeracy and science, please let us leave the breastfeeding advice to parents and doctors?

“They are unlikely to breastfeed in public because they feel it’s embarrassing.

Breast-Feeding Benefits Academic Achievement

December 21, 2010

Findings from a recent study in the journal ‘Pediatrics’, show that breast-feeding infants for at least six months appears to give kids’ an advantage in school.

This is not a new finding in itself.  However, what was of particular interest, was that boys appeared to benefit the most.

The researchers, from the University of Western Australia in Perth, have followed 2,868 children since the early ’90s. The study showed that, at age 10, boys who were breast-fed for six months or longer scored higher in math, reading and spelling compared with boys who were breast-fed for less than six months. Girls who were breast-fed for at least six months showed a small improvement in reading. The researchers controlled for other factors that could influence school performance, such as family income and education and how often the child was read to.

There were two reasons given for the link between breast-fed babies and academic performance:

1.  Breast milk is rich in long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids that are critical to brain development. It’s not clear why boys showed the largest gains from being breast-fed, but the authors explain that male babies are known to be more vulnerable in infancy than females. They speculate that breast-feeding “accelerates the rate of maturation in boys.
2.  Boys may also benefit more from the mother-child relationship facilitated by breast-feeding. “A number of studies have revealed that male infants are more reliant than female infants on maternal attention and encouragement for the acquisition of cognitive and language skills,” the authors wrote.


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