Parenting Style Affects Children’s Genetics


Most people think of genes as static.  For most people, genes are things we're born with that make up the basic programming that cause things--like traits, preferences & disorders--to happen to us.  But genes are actually more dynamic than this.  They do make up that basic programming that shapes who we are, but they also can be directly impacted by our environment.  Some genes can be turned on or turn off because of environmental factors.  Some genes make their presence more or less stro … [Read more...]

Spanking Decreases Gray Matter in Children’s Brains


CNN reports one more shocking reason corporal punishment isn't the answer....Researchers say physical punishment actually alters the brain -- not only in an "I'm traumatized" kind of way but also in an "I literally have less gray matter in my brain" kind of way. "Exposing children to HCP (harsh corporal punishment) may have detrimental effects on trajectories of brain development," one 2009 study concluded. (Click for link to the study abstract). Harsh corporal punishment in the study was … [Read more...]

Kids with Strong Bonds to Parents Have Better Relationships with Peers & Are More Adaptable


From Science Daily-Mind/Brain News.What social skills does a three-year-old bring to interactions with a new peer partner? If he has strong bonds to his parents, the child is likely to be a positive, responsive playmate, and he'll be able to adapt to a difficult peer by asserting his needs, according to a new University of Illinois study published in Developmental Psychology."Securely attached children are more responsive to suggestions or requests made by a new peer partner. A child who … [Read more...]

Marriage After Baby: Simcha Fisher Interviews Dr. Greg


Simcha Fisher, blogger extraordinaire and author of The Sinners Guide to Natural Family Planning is working on a piece for Our Sunday Visitor Newsmagazine on the marital changes that occur once a baby arrives on the scene.  She emailed to ask for an interview.  By happy coincidence, Lisa and I just turned in our upcoming book, Then Comes Baby:  The Catholic Guide to Surviving & Thriving in the First 3 Years of Parenthood to Ave Maria Press.   Between that and the things we had already writ … [Read more...]

Yeah! The Summer Issue of Tender Tidings E-Magazine is Out!


Check out this terrific (and free!) Catholic parenting e-magazine from More2Life Radio contributor, Kim Cameron-Smith!  It's chock full of practical, inspiring and interesting ideas to make your Summer more grace-filled and enjoyable!  Check it out!  Oh, and my Q&A column starts on page 25 if you want to skip to the extra good bits ;-)Seriously, Kim does a great job and Tender Tidings is a real treasure!  Go forth and be inspired!In this issue:FAMILY GAMES (playing our favor … [Read more...]

Both Controlling & Indulgent Parents Have Higher Risk of Chemical-Abusing Kids


Remember that the other day I noted that neither children from more authoritarian homes nor children from indulgent homes really feel that their parents really care about them?  This study really drives this point home.   (The original study was in Spanish and the translation isn't great so I'm cleaning it up a bit.  Hence the brackets).A scientific study in six European countries has analyzed the role that parents play in the risk of their children consuming alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. Bo … [Read more...]

Is It Time for a Catholic “Tenderness Revolution” In Parenting?–Updated


Disturbing new research suggests that by the time they reach age 18, about 12 percent of American children are maltreated: neglected, or abused physically, sexually, or emotionally.Researchers at Yale University say the numbers are even more sobering for black and Native American children, with one in five black children and one in seven Native American children experiencing maltreatment during the time period studied. The results are published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.   The authors … [Read more...]

Corporal Punishment. Morally Problematic for Catholics?


Most readers know I certainly think so, but fellow Catholic Patheosi, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has an outstanding piece laying out some points every Catholic parent should consider on his blog, Inebriate Me.Here's a sample:The facts are in, and extrinsic motivation just does not work. Period. And Christians should know that, since we know that is not how God made us. God made us to be free, that is to say to do what is right because of our own intrinsic motivation. God did not make us to be … [Read more...]