This week’s “On the Record,” like the one from last week, comes from the Wall Street Journal, the new, unsuspecting hot parenting publication. Again, I have to give credit to my husband for passing it on to me. The article, entitled “Challenging 100 Years of Sleep Guidelines for Children,” was the second most read post on the Wall Street Journal website on Valentine’s Day. How romantic! The whole piece is relevant, but here’s an especially telling snippet:
“For parents who feel like they’re failing to make sure their kids get enough sleep, this may be comforting: Your parents also failed, as did your grandparents and great-grandparents. A new study shows that kids get about half an hour less sleep than than recommended, the same deficit as a century ago, even though the recommended amounts have changed over that time. At least that’s according to a study released Monday in the journal Pediatrics, which found that children haven’t been getting the recommended hours of shuteye for at least a century.”
So there you have it. Parents, you may now, scientifically speaking, be released from your guilt about not getting your kids enough sleep. Read on by clicking here.
This week’s “On the Record” showed up in my Facebook news feed three times last week, and on Friday my husband sent the article to me in an email, thus marking the first time he’s ever shared a parenting article with me in our history of being parents. So it must be super important. If you haven’t yet read it, here’s the relevant clip, which is discussing how French parents “educate” their children rather than “discipline” them:
“One of the keys to this education is the simple act of learning how to wait. It is why the French babies I meet mostly sleep through the night from two or three months old. Their parents don’t pick them up the second they start crying, allowing the babies to learn how to fall back asleep.”
The Wall Street Journal, where this article, “Why French Parents are Superior,” was published has certainly struck a nerve with American parents–not unlike the stir it caused around this time last year when it published Amy Chua’s “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” However, Chua gave no input, in the article or in her book, “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” on how her girls slept as babies. Very well, presumably. Did they have a choice?
In August, the New York Times photography blog, Lens, published a beautiful, and sometimes haunting, piece of photojournalism created by James Mollison. In a series of 19 photographs, Mollison shares the bedrooms of children from around the world. The images are part of his book, “Where Children Sleep,” which was published in 2010. Kerri MacDonald of the Times had this to say about Mollison’s work:
“As much as the project is about the quirkiness of childhood, it is, more strikingly, a commentary on class and on poverty. But the diversity also provides a sense of togetherness. Everybody sleeps. And eventually, everybody grows up.
I encourage you to look through these riveting photographs of where children from all walks of life, and from all corners of the earth, sleep.
This one is hard for me to digest because it is absolutely, categorically not accurate for me, but according to an article based on *what appears to be* informal research, “You are at your most creative when you are tired.” The participants in the study discussed in the article were college undergraduates, not new parents, but maybe this holds true for some real grown-ups, too? Here’s the upshot of the piece, published on the Geekosystem website:
“So, next time you’ve hit writer’s block, science is telling you to deprive yourself of sleep and ruin the upcoming day by staying up way too late so you can get those creative juices flowing and finish your screenplay.”
Curious to read more? Click here.
In an article, “The Case Against Breastfeeding,” that surely stirred up some controversy when it was published in The Atlantic in April 2009, Hanna Rosin aptly describes that frantic, middle-of-the night urgency to find answers to your parent-related questions, and the vast amount of information that these late night searches can reveal. Rosin writes:
“One day, while nursing my baby in my pediatrician’s office, I noticed a 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association open to an article about breast-feeding: “Conclusions: There are inconsistent associations among breastfeeding, its duration, and the risk of being overweight in young children.” Inconsistent? There I was, sitting half-naked in public for the tenth time that day, the hundredth time that month, the millionth time in my life—and the associations were inconsistent? The seed was planted. That night, I did what any sleep-deprived, slightly paranoid mother of a newborn would do. I called my doctor friend for her password to an online medical library, and then sat up and read dozens of studies examining breast-feeding’s association with allergies, obesity, leukemia, mother-infant bonding, intelligence, and all the Dr. Sears highlights.”
To read the full body of this lengthy article, click here.