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Hot news this week from Parent land

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

As we continue to enjoy the unseasonally fine weather, we pause to present Monday's burblings from yonder Parent land.

Our goal, as ever this week is not to make you miss the bus, but to make you know that you are not alone, that there is an army of misfits and miracle workers all raising humans out there, and you are one of them. All of us furiously paddling beneath the water and attempting to make it all look completely effortless. Yes, you, YOU, are doing an amazing job.

*And as an aside ( but important note ), please know that by 'parent' we include guardians, grandparents, uncles, aunts, godparents and just about anyone else who regularly step up to the plate for a child.

1 Blessed be the fruit - Next stop Gilead?

For anyone who has read Margaret Atwood's extraordinary novel, The Handmaid's Tale and last year's incredible follow up The Testaments, this news made cause a shudder or two. Worthy though the aim is, the whole issue of legislating over a woman's Body is extremely problematic.

"Recording pregnant women's alcohol consumption is straight out of the Gilead rule book"

by Lebby Eyres, The Independent

A week before my daughter’s birth in July 2006, I went to the Savoy for my husband’s birthday. The staff made a fuss of me and my bump, before the sommelier wheeled over the champagne trolley, and I chose a delicious glass of chilled Ruinart Rose.

No one batted an eyelid – no dirty looks, no judgement, just an air of celebration. Back then, it was acceptable for a pregnant woman to drink one or two units a week, with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) guidelines in 2008 stating “at this low level there is no evidence of any harm to their unborn baby”.

Now, if the new Nice proposals go ahead, every drop of alcohol a woman consumes in pregnancy will be noted in her and her baby’s medical records, and pregnant mums toasting a birthday or final childfree days will be made to feel as if they have put their unborn baby’s life at risk.

The undoubtedly worthy aim of the new proposal is to prevent Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a range of syndromes thought to affect 7000 babies a year. But is this kind of policing of women’s bodies is not the best way to go about it. Are we edging towards an authoritarian approach towards pregnant women, reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale?"

Read more at The Independent

2 Swearing in front of children may not always be bad

My favourite swear word in our house is Shania Twain! You probably haven't heard it before, as I invented it along with a handful of other kid-friendly 'swears' which could be utilised when nothing else would really do. I'm not an expert, and this is not advice, it just works for us.

"Should parents swear in front of children?

It is always said that, be careful what you say in front of the kids because they will go out there and embarrass you. Hence, for the longest time swearing in front of the children was seen as a taboo. Many parenting experts felt that doing so gives kids the message that foul language is both acceptable and a passive encouragement to use it themselves. It seems that over the years, society’s views on swearing in front of kids has changed. Today, you frequently hear parents using these colourful expletives regardless of who might be around and listening. As a result, parenting experts are starting to shift their views as well. A number of them are now saying that the focus needs to shift from completely avoiding bad language to learning when it’s more appropriate.

One recent study at Keele University in the United Kingdom showed that swearing at times of extreme stress or pain may actually enable the person to endure the agony for a little longer. Dr Richard Stephens had groups stick their hands in freezing water.

Those people who were allowed to swear during this test were able to withstand the pain for up to 40 seconds longer than the group not allowed to use colourful expletives. This encouraged a shift in focus".

Read more at The Southcoast Heralld

3 This is what a working mother really looks like

You know that thing we said earlier about the swans gliding, while under the water they are paddling like mad (and trying to avoid swallowing little bits of lego?) Well here's the proof in the pudding from scientist Gretchen Goldman, PhD who revealed this week on twitter, the two sides of parenting: the intelligent, cool and brilliant above the surface glide, alongside the ever-muddy depths of typical parenting mess. Thank. you @GretchenTG you are not alone.

4 All my children are Pisces so we live in a pond

Parenting is now being done based on the astrological star signs of the children, according to some. While we can kind of see the logic, it does seem a little like clutching at straws. Although if it simplfies parenting, maybe it's worth a go? Wear protective gloves when handling Scorpio babies, pop the Virgo in the tower and get bunk beds for the Geminis.

Job done.

"Parents are raising their kids by their astrological signs now

Melkorka Licia, NY Post

Like father, like sun sign.

As astrology continues to make a comeback in popular culture — with related Instagram accounts and apps amassing millions of followers — millennial parents are now turning to the stars for tips on child-rearing. So instead of blaming tantrums on the terrible 2’s or happy highs on too much sugar, moms and dads are using their kids’ signs to help explain their behavior.

“When I got pregnant, the first thing I wanted to know was when the due date was and what sign was this child,” said Noho resident Ariana Martz of her 5-year-old daughter, Aurelie Mila.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God I’m going to have a Pisces’ and was so excited because so is my husband.”

Martz, 36, said that as a Scorpio, she’s familiar with Pisces’ description of being on the sensitive side. So she knew she’d have to take a gentler approach with her daughter.

“If me or my husband get stern with her in any way, she just gets hysterical,” said Martz, who founded the wellness jewelry and decor company using her first and middle names: Ariana Ost. “So we really try to work on how to better and more calmly react to her.”

It’s the ability to tailor a unique parenting approach that seems to be attracting 20- and 30-somethings in droves, astrologers say, and has led to a flurry of new books released on the subject with at least five published just in the past year.

“A lot of parenting guides give one-size-fits-all parenting advice, and kids’ temperaments and needs really do vary according to their charts and their zodiac signs,” said Ophira Edut, who wrote “Momstrology: The AstroTwin’s Guide to Parenting Your Little One by the Stars” with her twin sister Tali Edut. “One kid may need play-based learning, maybe one kid needs more structure and firm discipline and one kid works better with hugging it out, so astrology really helps you understand how to parent your kids individually.”

Read more New York Post

5 Bunk beds are a very terrible idea

From throwing things from the top to the bottom, bouncing on the top, poking sharp sticky things from beneath or just keeping eachother awake, one writer said what many of us have been thinking about the blessed, and cursed bunk bed thing.

"Opinion: Buying a bunk bed is the worst parenting decision you can make

by Shona Hendley, kidsspot.aus

The neverending battles

I will begin with what I have named the Bunk Bed Battles (or BBB). Essentially a very specific type of fighting or provoking that occurs within the bunk context.

In my home, it started when the usual instigator (cough, my youngest) decided that ‘accidentally’ dropping items from her top-level position, down onto her sister below, specifically on her head, would be funny. For the first few times when it consisted of a decorative cushion or soft teddy bear it was sort of humorous but when the items transitioned to harder objects like torches and drink bottles, it became something far less amusing.

But don’t worry, my eldest can hold her own and because all is fair in love and war or in BBB, she would retaliate using anything strong and pointy that would fit in the holes between her level and the one above and poke away into the mattress until she found the sweet spot AKA the nape of her sister’s neck". 

Read more on Kidspot, aus

6 Sorry Barbie, hello Glenfiddich

From swearing in front of children to giving them alcohol, the world, it seems is tilting on a previously unacceptable axis of new ideas. And yet, for one (male) parent, it was a stroke of genius. With the idea of getting our children on the housing ladder getting more and more distant, maybe a decent dram of the hard stuff once a year is the way forward.

"A man whose father gave him 18-year-old whisky every year for his birthday is selling the collection to buy a house.

Matthew Robson, from Taunton, was born in 1992 and over the course of his life his father Pete has spent about £5,000 on 28 bottles of Macallan single malt.

The collection is now worth more than £40,000 and has been put up for sale.

The 28-year-old said it "probably wasn't" the best gift for a young boy but with "strict instructions never to open them" they had become a nest egg.

"Each year I received it as a birthday present," Matthew said. "I thought it was quite a quirky little present as I was slightly too young to start drinking.

"But I was under strict instructions, never, never to open them and I tried my hardest and succeeded and they're all intact."

His father Pete, who is from Milnathort in Scotland, said the first bottle of 1974 whisky was bought to "wet the baby's head".

"I thought it would be interesting if I bought one every year and he'd end up with 18 bottles of 18-year-old whisky for his 18th birthday," he said.

"It wasn't the only present he got from us. It was just meant to be a unique present but it was a little bit of luck that we kept it going."

Read more at BBC News


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A tale of two twin births - private and NHS

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We are all about sharing and so we would love your recommendations of news and views from Parent-land. Just drop us a line at editorial@maggieandrose.com

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