Three News Reports Show Parenting Ain't Easy
> 8/10/2006 9:22:14 AM

Nobody ever said raising kids was a walk in the park, but every once in a while a deluge of news stories makes it seem like our every move threatens to put our children in imminent danger. In reality, some psychologists believe that even "bad" parents can raise a well adjusted, successful child.

This week arrived with three separate studies all centering around child-parent bonds and the decisions we make as parents. Each is worth talking and thinking about, but parents need to make the decisions that are right for their family and their children. Understanding where problems can arise is a postive, but when we allow doubt and worry to distract us from enjoying the child-rearing process, that positive becomes a negative.

The first story, courtesy of the AP, has the headline "Mom's Dieting Habits can Rub off on Kids." Seems pretty simple. But the article takes a negative tone, citing recent research by Harvard University and The American Dietetic Association, that found that mothers who go on diets send subtle cues to their children that weight and body image are matters of utmost importance. Mentioned almost in passing at the end of the article, one might take a very positive reading of that same headline. If research has shown that parents' diet habits effect children, we should be encouraged because that means that we can pass along positive, healthy habits and practices simply by practicing them ourselves.

The second story, picked up yesterday by CNN, returns to the age old question of over-protecting children from the sting of rejection. Citing youth sports leagues that don't keep score or schools that forbid discussions of parties or gatherings where every child is not included, the story asks if all this coddling is a good thing. Folks weigh in on both sides, but again, the issue comes down to a matter of preference. Neither side is right or wrong, but just have different ideas about how children should be acclimated to rejection and defeat. The reality is that as long as we can avoid the extremes, say a vindictive bully or a youth league that only focuses on winning, chances of any irreperable harm are infinitesimal.

The third story, reported here by the CBC, addresses a study published in the journal of Pediatrics that found that a higher proportion of fathers than previously thought suffer from postpartum depression. The study of over 5,000 members of two parent familes found that 14% of woman deal with postpartum depression compared to 10% of fathers. Just as in mothers, researchers found that fathers who faced postpartum depression had significant decreases in attention to parenting related duties. Coupled with that fact is the worry that few pediatricians, who typically screen mothers for depression, have access to fathers or would think to ask about depression symptoms if they did. The take-away issue here is that families should be conscious of the fact that postpartum depression can hit fathers, just as it does mothers. The biology and presentation may not be the same, but it is depression and can be just as devastating.

No comments yet.

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy