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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

family travel = school success

Dreaming or dreading a family vacation? A new study will make you appreciate having your children in tow on your next family trip - according to their findings, family travel may make your kids more successful at school. The study indicated:
  • 74% of teachers saw travel as "a very positive impact on students' personal development"
  • 56% think that "travel has a very positive impact on students' education and career"
  • 79% said that it's important to "increase cultural awareness of students"
Overall, the survey found that children have a greater willingness to learn and explore, are more independent and confident, are more intellectually curious, are more tolerant, respectful, and sensitive - all as a result of traveling. These are things that could benefit children throughout their lives. And, you do not necessarily need to leave the country or fly on a plane to benefit - there's tons to learn and explore in your own area. romper

homemade play-dough

Yes...  Slime is still the queen of the play date, but do not forget about good 'ole fashioned play-dough.  One could argue that it is more organic than slime .  All you need is flour, salt, water and food coloring (totally optional, but makes it more fun - try organic food coloring if you are worried about food sensitivities.) learn create love
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • food coloring (optional)
If you are interested in a salt-free, gluten-free recipe, find it at learning 4 kids

"love is love"

In October, totz+today highlighted an article about two gay penguins who were helping to raise a baby chick. In a follow up article, the nytimes expanded on how the parents and baby are faring.  While other penguins are off trying to find new partners for mating season, parents Magic + Sphen continue to stay together while they try to figure out this whole new world of parenting.  “Magic is the younger one, and he would try to pawn off the parental duties in the first couple days.  Sometimes he would be like, ‘You feed the chick today’ and hop off and go swimming.”  (I feel you Magic!)  The cute end to this story is that he learned how to co-parent because his partner Sphen would come and sing to the baby and his partner whenever Magic was tending to the baby.  "He was singing to encourage him.  So Magic would know he was doing the right thing.”  Adorable.    more

technology effects on well-being

There are many conflicting messages about the effects of technology on our children’s well-being. Studies showing significant negative effects are followed by other studies revealing positive effects - sometimes using the same data! Of course the negative findings get a lot more attention - creating panic among parents and educators and massive debates between parents and teens.  A new study by scientists at the University of Oxford, published this week in Nature Human Behaviour, tries to clear up the confusion. According to their research, technology use has a negligible effect on adolescent psychological well-being (depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts, pro-social behavior, peer-relationship problems, etc.) These scientist see technology as barely "tilting the needle" away from kids feeling emotionally sound. They put their findings into context - they say the degree technology is associated with negative effects on one's emotions is the same degree eating potatoes effects someone's emotional well-being and wearing glasses has a more negative impact on adolescent mental health than technology. scientific american more

mama is going back to work

What's a parent to do when mama goes back to work after having a newborn?  One dad's perspective in the washington post sheds light on the transition of becoming a stay-at-home-parent.  Initially, he had this "growing panic" thinking how he was going to keep his "tiny human alive."  His emotions ranged from pride to horror as he worried about nipple confusion to doubting his parenting abilities.  And when his daughter's shrill scream would take over in the middle of the day, he wondered how he would survive.  When he finally settled into his new role, he learned that patience and persistence wins out.  Words that will continue to help him as he reaches new milestones together with his baby daughter.    more

January babies born to be famous?

January babies start their lives in the spotlight by kicking off the new year and, according to science, continue to have the potential to stay in the spotlight. What does science say about their potential?
  1. They may grow up to be doctors: Researchers within the UK Office of National Statistics determined children born in January have an increased chance of becoming either a doctor or ...  a debt collector (interesting).
  2. They could become famous: A small study published in the Journal of Social Sciences found January and February babies – or those born under the sign of Aquarius – have a higher chance of becoming a celebrity than any other zodiac sign.
  3. They're the boss: Babies born in January are more likely to grow up to be CEOs. A study of S&P 500 companies found that 10 percent of CEOs were born in January, ranking them among the top five CEO-producing months. (March, at 12.5 percent, was the highest.)
  4. They have an athletic advantage: Children born in January, February and March have an advantage because of Canada's junior hockey structure, which has a cutoff date in January - giving them a 10- or 11-month head start on growth and playtime over kids born in the latter months of the year, NHL.com points out. Other studies show that this athletic advantage can apply to other sports as well. usa today

medically assisted reproduction

Doctors often warn prospective parents who are seeking medically assisted reproduction (MAR) about the possibility of preterm birth and low birth weight.  However, new research suggests these risks don't actually increase with MAR. These elevated risks have nothing to do with the medical intervention - couples with conception difficulties always have this problem, regardless of their choice for or against fertility treatment. "Couples with an unmet desire for children don't have to decide against MAR anymore, because they might allegedly increase the health risks for their child," says Mikko Myrskylä, author of the study and MPIDR director, "When deciding for medically assisted reproduction nobody has to have the feeling anymore that she or he is deliberately putting her or his child at extra risk."  medical xpress  more

bribing your kids to eat well

University of Southern California researchers suggest that using incentives can help improve your child's diet. They found that kids were willing to cut portions in half, and potentially eat more vegetables, when offered inexpensive headphones. The study also found adults were just as eager to eat less if given just the chance to win a prize, such as a gift card, frequent flyer miles or a small amount of money. What's more, eating less did not lead participants to compensate by eating more later in the day.  So set an incentive goal for not only yourself but your children, if need be. Make a list of the rewards your child would like and a options on how they can achieve that goal - either by eating one less cookie or eating more broccoli, you decide. medical xpress more

adult allergies on the rise

Roughly 1 in 13 children have food allergies and adult onset allergies are more prevalent.  "Adult food allergies impact one in 10, and half of these are food allergies starting in adulthood."  Nearly 10% of all adults in the USA (over 26 million) have a food allergy according to JAMA Network Open, a study run by the Lurie Children's hospital in Chicago. "We were surprised that adult-onset food allergies were so common. More research is needed to understand why this is occurring and how we might prevent it."  More research is needed to define the scope of the allergy epidemic in the USA.  webMD more

coffee, tea + pregnancy

We all know that coffee is a significant source of caffeine but it is less understood that tea also contains a substantial amount of caffeine as well.  Currently, the recommended caffeine intake level during pregnancy differs across health organizations and countries. The World Health Organization recommends an intake of less than 300mg per day, but The Food Safety Authority of Ireland and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend an intake of less than 200mg per day.  However, recent shows an increased risk of adverse birth outcomes when mothers consumed even lower levels of caffeine while pregnant.  The most recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , shows a consistent link between both coffee and tea caffeine and adverse birth outcomes. In the highest caffeine consumption group, the risks of delivering babies with abnormally low birth weight or short gestational age at birth were about two times higher.  The results were similar regardless of the caffeine source. Until more definitive evidence emerges, it is recommended to limit caffeine intake during pregnancy or when planning to conceive. the conversation more
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