Posts Tagged ‘ happiness ’

Is Shopping Good for Child Development?

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Taking a toddler shopping may actually help their social, intellectual, and even motor development, according to a new British study.  More from The Daily Mail:

The interaction between child and parent while shopping helps young people develop social skills and promotes happiness – even if a bawling toddler shows few signs of it at the time.

According to the joint study by Oxford University and the Open University, shopping trips are just as beneficial for the child’s development as painting or drawing activities.

The two universities made these conclusions after studying the results of an economic survey in Germany.

This survey looked into the daily routines and habits of 800 parents with two and three-year-olds.

It recorded higher perceived levels of happiness among the children who had taken part in activities such as arts and crafts, and shopping.

Researchers Professor Paul Anand and Dr Laurence Roope added that the more retail therapy the toddlers were exposed to, the happier they seemed to be, and the more developed their everyday skills became.

Shopping may be beneficial because it involves changes of scenery from shop to shop, which improves the child’s motor and social skills more than a sedentary activity, the report continued.

Image: Toddler shopping with father, via Shutterstock

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Window Washers Bring Superhero Surprise to Child Patients

Monday, October 29th, 2012

The Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee was the site of a fun surprise for patients recently–not something that often happens in the scary environment of a hospital.  A group of window washers amazed kids by dressing in superhero costumes which they donned while they clambered up the windows on the outside of the building.  ABC News has more:

“The kids always come up to the window and ask us, ‘Are you Spiderman?’” Steve Oszaniec, a 23-year employee of the Chicago-based American National Skyline window cleaning company, told ABCNews.com today.  “So I came up with the idea of, ‘Why don’t we just show up as Spiderman?’”

With the plan hatched, Oszaniec, son Danny Oszaniec and their colleague, Jordan Emerson, pitched the idea to their boss, Sean Conley, in the company’s Memphis office and to hospital administrators, who all quickly said yes.

The trio then purchased their costumes – two Spiderman suits and one Captain America – and Oct. 17 turned the hospital into a scene straight out of a comic book.

“We just went there, put them on and went up,” Oszaniec said.  “They [hospital staff] brought a lot of the kids to the little family room there so they could see us.  It was unbelievable. They just totally forgot they were sick for a minute.  They were just ecstatic about it.”

Oszaniec, who describes himself in real-life as “more Captain Old Country than Captain America,” says the dressed-up superheroes also shot silly string as they repelled up and down the 12-story hospital building for four hours to make their Spiderman takeover even more life-like.

Hospital administrators say what Oszaniec and his colleagues did was, all jokes aside, truly heroic.

“It’s a real thing,” hospital spokeswoman Sara Burnett said of the use of out-of-the-box therapies like this one to help kids heal.  “When a child’s mind gets off their pain and their sickness, it makes them heal, it makes them relax and it helps them recover and get better quicker.”

Image: Window washer, via Shutterstock

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Report Explores How Children Affect Marriages

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

A major new report from The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia is shedding new light on often-asked questions about modern family life–how having children affects happiness levels.  The report, “When Baby Makes Three,” is the 2011 edition of the “State of Our Unions” series, an annual examination of marital mores in America.  The report considered data from three nationally representative surveys, including a new survey of  1,400 heterosexual married couples ages 18-46.

The main findings of the report, according to its executive summary, are threefold:

  • Married parents are more likely than their childless peers to feel their lives have a sense of meaning and purpose.
  • Parents who are married generally experience more happiness and less depression than parents who are unmarried.
  • Parenthood is typically associated with lower levels of marital happiness.

Additionally, the report finds 10 factors that predict which marriages will succeed in combining parental and marital happiness.  Those factors include shared housework, good sex, marital generosity, date nights, and having a college degree, as well as what the report calls “institutional” marital values like shared religious faith, commitment, the support of friends and family, a sound economic foundation provided by a good job, and quality family time.

Taken together, these 10 factors suggest “a hybrid model of married life appears to be the best path to successfully combine marriage and parenthood for today’s parents,” said W. Bradford Wilcox, the report’s lead author, in a statement.

Image: Happy pregnant couple, via Shutterstock.

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