Curious Parenting: A Selection of Reads from Across the Parenting Media

Would you want him to father your baby? Katy Grannan, Time Magazine
Time magazine further confuses shyness with introversion, the former, a sometimes debilitating disorder characterized by anxiety, the latter, a personality trait found in those who find other people tiring in large doses and like their alone time. The recent magazine cover declares "The Power of Shyness" though the feature article calls it "The Upside of being an Introvert." Dr. Oz, celebrity cardiac surgeon, becomes a parenting expert in his health column ("Charms of the Quiet Child") in this issue. The Power of Shyness,Time Magazine, Feb. 6

A playwright  castigates psychology and its "pseudo-certainties of science" for pathologizing distraction, a trait that in his own life has led to the perfect sentence, self-discovery and other pleasures.  His contempt of attention-deficit medication ("the contemporary equivalent of the old practice of typing up children's hands in bed, so they won't touch their genitals") and those who choose it (e.g., "Ritalin boy" who may prefer "obedience to creativity") might not curry favor with parents.  The Art of Distraction, New York Times, Feb. 19   

Neuroscience wonks suggest American parents forget internationals trends (Chinese moms, French moms) and focus on, well, building focus as in self-control - a supposedly well-validated feature of successful children and adults.  How? Let kids play, pretend, run, spat with friends, make up with friends and otherwise follow their interests and passions.  Hours of drills and lessons out. Building Self-Control, the American Way, New York Times, Feb. 19

A plug for fluoride in water for optimal dental health.  Health writer Jane E. Brody argues towns should re-think removing fluoride in drinking water, one of the 10 top public health measures of the 20th century according to the CDC.  Says there's no good scientific studies providing evidence of harm.  Dental Exam Went Well? Thank Fluoride, Personal Health, New York Times, Jan. 24 

Twins births multiplying like crazy according to a new report by National Center for Health Statistics.  Over the last 30 years the rate of twin births rose by more than 75%. Today about 3% of US babies born is a twin. Favorite new phrase: spontaneous twinning. Twin Births Doubled in Three Decades in U.S, Discovery News, Jan. 5

Pediatricians breaking up with parents who don't vaccinate their children.  Recent surveys show up to a third of baby docs say they've fired families who forgo the shots. Unethical? Good medicine? Fodder for mommy bloggers? Check out the pumped up graphics on WSJ. More Doctors 'Fire' Vaccine Refusers, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 15 

Salacious story not to be missed: The 34-year old virgin who's fathered 15 children (and counting) by donating his sperm online. Is anyone surprised this selfless fertility agent is not only a media sensation, potential public health menace (says the FDA), exhibitionist, former internet hacker and germophobe but the son of a Pentecostal minister and a mother who's urged him not to give up "his seed." Evidence strict parenting might back-fire.  The Virgin Father, New York Magazine, Feb. 5


Fleur said...

Interesting post.

I read the Time magazine article...not sure that I believe Obama is an introvert.

Regarding international trends in parenting, I'd have to say I'm just a bit skeptical...especially in those who might try to define a singular American experience.

Regarding doctors firing families that don't vaccinate..I'm not sure what I think. It would be my thought that some of these parents might be contradicting whatever the physician says every step of the I can see how they might be ready to step out of the relationship.

Polly Palumbo, Ph.D. said...

Hey Fleur, I can completely see Obama as the closet-geek introvert that seems to be so chic these days. Speaking of which, did you read The Virgin Father? That photo? He looks like an overgrown dodge-ball pariah trapped in the fourth circle of perpetual gym class hell.

What Pale Blue Dot? said...

I am perfectly creative ON my ADHD meds. That guy is a whiner.

Polly Palumbo, Ph.D. said...

Thanks, WPBD! So I take it you don't feel like your hands are bond so to speak. Yeah the guy has it out for psychology and everything related to it.