This week’s family-related news included a reminder that it is important for kids to confront challenges, research as to the best time to start kids in kindergarten, findings on the link between loneliness in childhood and loneliness later in life, a social media campaign in India supporting transgender parents, the birth of the first NYC girl scout troop for girls living in a homeless shelter, findings regarding the helpfulness of cognitive empathy skills for teens, a call to colleges to avoid scheduling classes early in the day, a positive approach to co-parenting, findings that high-quality early childcare can be extremely beneficial to parent and child, a fact sensitive case that interprets the recent NYS Court of Appeals ruling regarding non-parents’ right to seek custody, and a personal account of how to thrive in a long term marriage.
One of Our Toughest Jobs as Parents is to Allow Our Kids to Weather Life’s Storms Glennon Doyle Melton, Huffington Post, April 7, 2017 A divorced mother feels like a failure because she cannot protect her kids from the pain of family separation. She soon learns that life is not safe, and so our task is not to promise our kids there will be no turbulence. It’s to assure them that when the turbulence comes, we will all hold hands and get through it together.
Ready Or Not (For Kindergarten), Some Research Says, Enroll Anyway Sophia Alvarez Boyd, NPR, April 14, 2017 Even though kids won’t start kindergarten until the fall, many parents have to decide now whether to enroll them. What should parents keep in mind before making their decision?
Why Addressing Loneliness in Children Can Prevent a Lifetime of Loneliness in Adults Elizabeth Tillinghast, PBS, April 15, 2017 Loneliness is now recognized as a major public health problem. People who suffered from emotional neglect as children have a high risk of reliving that experience as well. When chronic loneliness comes from childhood neglect, social outreach programs are not likely to be sufficient. We need to think more carefully about what causes loneliness. Then we can tailor interventions to address the cause, rather than just the condition of being alone.
“Mummy” Is Transgender: A New Commercial Is the Talk of India Chhavi Sacdevnpr, NPR, April 15, 2017 “Motherhood has no gender” is a comment that’s been repeated across all social media in India. Gauri Sawant was one of the original petitioners to challenge the government for equal rights and recognition for transgender people, resulting in the passage of a law by the Supreme Court of India. For Harrish Iyer, an equal rights activist in Mumbai, the best thing about the ad is that it, “does something even our mainstream media hasn’t managed: This ad normalizes [people who are transgender]. So many times if there’s a gay or trans person portrayed, they’re a caricature or a cause.”
Living by the Girl Scout Law, Even Without a Home Nikita Stewart, The New York Times, April 16, 2017 Troops for homeless girls are rare… At one point during the 1990s, a number of untraditional troops were created to reach girls in shelters, migrant worker camps and public housing. Troop 6000 is the first in New York City designated solely for homeless girls. All of the members live at the Sleep Inn in Queens, where the city has taken over all 10 floors to accommodate about 100 homeless families.
‘When I Was Your Age’ And Other Pitfalls of Talking to Teens About Stress Juli Fraga, NPR, April 16, 2017 When adolescents are distressed, most parents are inclined to try to solve their problems, but often what teens really need is help developing problem-solving skills of their own… In a 2016 longitudinal study of 497 Dutch teens between the ages of 13 and 18, researchers found that cognitive empathy skills help teens regulate their emotions, improve their listening skills and strengthen their ability to tolerate conflict.
Down With 8 A.M. Classes: Undergrads Learn Better Later in the Day, Study Finds Sara Sarwar, NPR, April 19, 2017 There has been evidence … from specific studies indicating that teenagers’ body clocks are set at a different time than older folks, … Medical research suggests that this goes on well into your 20s, so we decided to look at college students. It has nothing to do with laziness. It’s not in their control. It’s to do with their bodies.
This Viral Soccer Game Photo Shows Co-Parenting at its Finest Taylor Pittman, April 19, 2017, The Huffington Post, Let go of any past feelings you may have and make it work for the sake of the child. Stay strong. It is work every single day to keep this going. One of the most important parts of co-parenting is setting the best example for the child… Always respect the people involved because how you treat the other parents is a reflection of who you are.
How Child Care Enriches Mothers, and Especially the Sons They Raise Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times, April 20, 2017 A powerful new study — which demonstrated long-term results by following children from birth until age 35 — found that high-quality care during the earliest years can influence whether both mothers and children born into disadvantage lead more successful lives… More than parental leave or flexible schedules, it was government spending on early childhood care and education that had the single biggest effect on boosting women’s employment, earnings and fertility rate and on decreasing gender pay gaps.
Woman Cannot Assert Custody Rights Over Child Adopted by Ex-Partner, Judge Rules Joel Stashenko, The New York Law Journal, April 21, 2017 In Gunn v. Hamilton, Judge Nervo of the New York Supreme Court held that the non-adoptive ex-partner Petitioner did not have standing to sue for custodial rights. “She has failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that she has standing as a parent under Domestic Relations Law Section 70,” he wrote.
To Stay Married, Embrace Change Ada Calhoun, The New York Times, April 21, 2017 Several long-married people I know have said this exact line: “I’ve had at least three marriages. They’ve just all been with the same person.” I’d say Neal and I have had at least three marriages: Our partying 20s, child-centric 30s and home-owning 40s.
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