Stories tagged kids

Jun
07
2010

Why does this baby appear so well-adjusted?: Difficult to say.
Why does this baby appear so well-adjusted?: Difficult to say.Courtesy Manda
A recently published, 25-year study suggests that children raised by two lesbian parents may actually be behaviorally and psychologically better adjusted than their peers.

The study tracked mothers from pregnancy or insemination, interviewing them and their children multiple times over their development, until the kids were 17 years old. The kids were asked questions focusing on their psychological adjustment, peer and family relationships, and academic progress. The research found that despite occasionally being stigmatized for their parents’ sexuality, the kids tended to rate higher than the average in “social, academic, and totally competence,” and displayed less problem behavior (rule-breaking, aggression, etc.).

The researchers behind the study propose that the difference may have to do with the fact that lesbian couples often choose to become pregnant later than most people, and, being older, are more mature and better prepared for parenting. Growing up in households with “less power assertion, and more parental involvement” is tied to healthier development, and more mature parents may fit this model better.

The research was funded by a variety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy groups, which some people consider to be evidence against its validity. Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, “a group that supports biblical values,” says that the source of the funding “proves the prejudice and the bias of the study.”

Wendy Wright is, of course, wrong. There may or may not be aspects of the study that are biased or invalid, but the source of the funding doesn’t prove that at all. She’s seeing a causal relationship where there is none. Consider the following: JGordon buys a plum. Does this prove that JGordon will be eating a plum? Nope. Plums are frequently acquired for the purpose of being eaten, but there’s nothing about my getting a plum that necessarily means I’m going to eat it. Perhaps I will give it away. Or I might just be adding it to my plum collection.

The mystery of what JGordon does with all his plums, however, has far fewer social implications than a study on what makes for good parenting. So it’s important that we consider what actually “proves” what here.

Mrs. Wright also claims that the outcomes of the study “defy common sense and reality.” Common sense, though, may not be the best standard for judging scientific results. And, as for “reality,” how exactly do we figure that out? Careful observation, I suppose.

The study may still need more scrutiny, but it’s an interesting piece of potential evidence in the discussion of what constitutes a good environment for raising kids.

What do y’all think?

May
11
2008

Plenty of kids, but not actually the Duggars: The Duggar children have fewer liberty spikes and less black lipstick
Plenty of kids, but not actually the Duggars: The Duggar children have fewer liberty spikes and less black lipstickCourtesy gruntzooki
JGordon! What a horrible thing to think! Shame on you. You read a story about a 41-year-old woman in Little Rock becoming pregnant with a her 18th child, and all you can think about is this.

No! No! They are a family, not a brood. Shame.

Anyway, in honor of mother’s day, why don’t y’all sit down and think about what it would be like to have 17 brothers and sisters. Because if Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were your parents, you would. The Duggar children range in age from 20 years to 9 months, and all have names starting with the letter J: Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, and Jana. The name of the fetus has yet to be announced.

The family, naturally, is going to be the subject of a reality show, currently being filmed by Discovery Health. I can’t decide if this will help or hurt my own Duggar-themed one act play.

What’s that? You really want to see a sample of my play? No, I couldn’t… Really no. Oh, fine. I’m so embarrassed. It’s not finished.

Act one (of one), scene six

A phone rings. Jim Bob wades through a crowd of toddlers to answer it.
Jim Bob: Yo?
Michelle (at hospital): Jim Bob, honey, you’re a dad again!
Jim Bob: …Great!
Michelle: So?
Jim Bob: So what? I said ‘great’ didn’t I?
Michelle: No, I mean, what should his name be? You said you’d thought of one already.
Jim Bob: Oh, yeah. I have, I have. His name is, uh, John.
Michelle: We already have a John.
Jim Bob: I know that. I was just testing you. You passed.
Michelle: So?
Jim Bob: Right… Juh… Juh… Jing…er?
Michelle: Jinger? Did you say Jinger?
Jim Bob: Yes.
Michelle: ‘Jinger’ is not a name.
Jim bob: Sure it is.

Act one (of one), scene seventeen

Michelle, lying in personal hospital bed: Oh, Jim Bob, we’ve been blessed again! A beautiful baby girl.
Jim Bob: She sure is. Sweet little…
Michelle: Jana.
Jim Bob: Sweet little Jana.
Michelle: You know, J.B., I’ve been pregnant for eleven years of my life, but it’s all worth it when I look at our wonderful, loving family.
Jim Bob: Yeah…
Michelle: …
Jim Bob: So… What did you feel like doing tonight?

The End…?

Mar
20
2007

Malaria isn’t even on the radar screen of most people in the US, but it is a huge global problem! Did you know that a child dies from malaria in Africa every 30 seconds? That is seven jumbo jets of children everyday. A powerful video has been produced by the Against Malaria organization.

Malaria is spread through mosquitoes that bite at night and can’t be spread person to person without a mosquito vector. This means using bed nets is an effective way to prevent the spread of malaria. Using bed nets is something that can be used right now while scientists continue to work on other methods (like vaccines, GM mosquitoes, better treatment options…)

A team of us at the Science Museum of Minnesota is developing an exhibition about infectious diseases called Disease Detectives which will open in the Human Body Gallery in January 2008. We feel stopping the spread of malaria is very important and have started our own page to encourage others to help too by donating funds for the purchase of bed nets. Each bed net costs only $5 and 100% of the money goes to purchase bed nets. For more information go to www.AgainstMalaria.com/DiseaseDetectives.

Apr
22
2006

Today was Earth Day. Did you celebrate?

Here are some Earth Day resources:

Want to know your ecological footprint? (The Frequently Asked Questions page at the end is particularly interesting.)

This is a kids' Earth Day site. You can play games, download a coloring book, crafts, or recipes, adopt a rainforest animal, and learn the history of Earth Day.

Visit the US Government's Earth Day portal. It lists environmental highlights, suggestions for how you can make a difference, and volunteer opportunities. It also has teacher resources.

The Yahoo! web portal has a list of 10 easy things you can do to slow climate change.