Posts Tagged ‘ parenting ’

Good Parenting Means Fewer Cavities for Your Kids!

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

girl at dentistAs many of you already know, a child’s first trip to the dentist is not always the easiest. But what if you have the ability to control the outcome of your child’s teeth more than you thought?

A new study suggests just that—children will have less cavities if their parents display a more authoritative parenting style, and they also behave better than children whose parents are more permissive.

Authoritative parenting style is defined by the study as parents who displine kids while also giving them guidance. Permissive parents, on the other hand, are more likely to ignore bad behavior and let children make their own decisions.

The study followed 132 groups of parents and children who visited Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The children were all between the ages of 3 and 6. Researchers gathered information about parenting styles and the child’s behavior in order to reach their conclusions.

Ninety-three percent of children with authoritative parents showed positive behavior at the dentist’s office and, versus only 42 percent of the children with permissive parents. In addition, “80 percent of children with authoritative parents had cavities, compared to 97 percent of children of permissive parents,” reports Fox News.

It’s safe to say that the correlation between parenting style and a child’s behavior does not only apply to dentist appointments—other public scenarios would most likely yield the same results.

“A good parent who hopefully does the right things at home and is developing a child who’s respectful and careful and curious, but within limits, is the kind of parent who’s going to provide a child who’s relaxed and knows how to behave,” said Dr. Paul Casamassimo, chief of dentistry at Nationwide Children’s and author of the study.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Dental Experts Remind Parents, Toddlers Need to Visit Dentist by Age 1
Dental Experts Remind Parents, Toddlers Need to Visit Dentist by Age 1
Dental Experts Remind Parents, Toddlers Need to Visit Dentist by Age 1

Image: Girl at the dentist via Shutterstock

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The Reason You May Lie More in Front of Boys

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

lying with fingers behind backWhen it comes to lying in front of boys and girls, it turns out parents are not equal opportunists.

A new study on dishonesty, released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, offered a surprising revelation: that parents are more apt to lie in front of their sons than their daughters.

The reason for the gender difference is uncertain, but it’s possible that “dishonest behavior is considered more socially acceptable for boys,” says Anya Savikhin Samek, a co-author of the study. Samek also speculates that cultural expectations (like ones to raise good little girls who are pure in heart) may feed into a parent’s decision to be more careful, or that parents may believe that girls suffer more consequences for lying when they’re adults.

Researchers conducted a simple experiment with 152 parents and their kids (ages 3 to 6). Each parent was asked to flip two coins, both with a blue side and a green side. A $10 reward would be given every time two coins landed green-side up. Each parent was then left alone or with their child in a room, to flip the coins a few times and record the results.

The researchers then compared the number of recorded wins (60 percent) to the probability of winning (25 percent), which determined that a majority of parents definitely lied about winning.

Of course, parents were more likely to lie when they were alone, but researchers discovered that when a son was present, a 40 percent win was recorded (versus a 25 percent win in front of a daughter).

This latest research adds to a wider conversation about perceived gender differences between boys and girls, gender stereotypes, and how boys may be raised differently. But it also shows that to prevent kids from lying, parents need to curb their own tendency to lie first.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea

Mom Confessions: Lies I've Told My Kids
Mom Confessions: Lies I've Told My Kids
Mom Confessions: Lies I've Told My Kids

Photo: Lying with fingers behind back via Shutterstock

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Should Schools Have Your Kid’s Facebook Password?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

SocialMediaIn an attempt to put an end to cyberbullying both during and after school hours, Illinois legislators recently passed a law that many parents believe is a breach of privacy.

Under the new law, school districts and universities are able to demand the password of a student’s social media account — especially “if school authorities have a reasonable cause to believe that a student’s account contains evidence that a student has violated a school’s disciplinary rule of policy, even if posted after school hours,” reports FOX News.

While this law’s intent is to send a strong, no-tolerance message about cyberbullying, some parents and students believe there are other, less intrusive solutions. For example, school authorities could obtain access to a social media account by having the student or parent sign into it for them.

According to, more than half of the nation’s teens have been a victim of cyberbullying, and about the same number have bullied someone else online. Because technology usage among children and teens is not slowing down, neither is cyberbullying. There are tips to stop cyberbullying, but the ongoing solution should involve a more collective effort between children, parents, and schools.

We want to know what you think! Do you think this law is an invasion of privacy? Do you think more states will follow Illinois’ lead? Let us know in the comments below.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

How to Identify Bullying
How to Identify Bullying
How to Identify Bullying

Image: Social Media Apps via Shutterstock

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Must-Know 2014 Pregnancy, Parenting, Health, and Safety News

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

child in childcare centerThere’s a lot to keep up on when you’re a parent (or parent-to-be), whether you’re in that exhausted-and-expecting stage, the exhausted-because-you-have-a-newborn stage, or exhausted because you’re chasing around your active kiddos. So in case you missed it, here are some of the most noteworthy and news-worthy pregnancy, parenting, health, and safety stories we covered in 2014:

The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 became law

Good news from Washington (yes, really!): Thanks to the signing of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, young kids in child care will now be safer. As Parents deputy editor Diane Debrovner wrote last month, “The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary federal grant program that provides child-care assistance to low-income families. The new law affects child-care centers and individuals who care for children with the support of federal funding, but all children in child care are likely to benefit from the new higher standards.”

The government took a stand on circumcision

Few topics are more hot-button that the decision parents of boys must make regarding circumcision. But earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weighed in on the issue in a draft of guidelines, saying that medical evidence showed the procedure can reduce the risk of HIV, STDs, UTIs, and even some types of cancer. The CDC says circumcision should be covered by health insurers, but still doesn’t go so far as to flat-out recommend it to parents.

Too many babies are sleeping with unsafe bedding

A shocking study published in the January 2015 issue of Pediatrics looked at infant bedding use from 1993–2010 and found that more than half of babies fell asleep with potentially hazardous bedding. Another finding: Teen moms were most likely to use soft bedding, altough, as we noted, “the study also found a link between use of bedding and mothers who were younger in general, a minority, or not college educated.”

We’re making car-seat mistakes from the get-go

Is there a parent among us who hasn’t fretted about the car seat being installed correctly? Well, as it turns out, we’re right to be worried. A study presented in October at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 93 percent of parents make at least one major mistake (such as a too-loose harness, a too-low retainer clip, or using the wrong harness slot) before they’ve even driven away from the hospital. And in almost 70 percent of cases, there were mistakes with both the installation of the seat and how baby was positioned in it.

Enterovirus D86, ebola, and flu were—and remain—causes of concern

Three different health threats caught our attention this year: enterovirus D68, which by October had more than 650 confirmed cases, ebola, and influenza. And while, sadly, both enterovirus D68 and ebola caused a loss of life, it’s the flu that causes the most harm, killing an estimated 30,000 Americans each year and causing the hospitalization of roughly 20,000 kids under the age of 5.

The EEOC updated its rules regarding discrimination and pregnancy

Unfortunately, accusations of pregnancy discrimination seemed to abound in 2014, from the Supreme Court’s hearing of Peggy Young’s case to the woman who claims she was fired for needing to take pee breaks. But one bit of good news: for the first time in more than three decades, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new, tougher rules regarding pregnancy discrimination and “related issues” (think breastfeeding and parental leave.) As we reported, one thing the EEOC made clear is that “adjustments may need to be made for pregnant workers—including providing the option of light duty.” Furthermore, employers can’t force a pregnant employee to take a leave of absence when she’s capable of continuing to work.

Yet another study disputed a vaccines-autism link

As we reported last summer, a study published in the August issue of Pediatrics reviewed “a large body of scientific findings and concluded that parents should be reassured about vaccines’ safety.” The study found no causal relationship between vaccines and autism.

Scientists may have discovered the cause of 40% of pre-term births

In October, we reportde that scientists at Queen Mary University in London “identified the chemical chain of events that they believe causes the preterm premature rupture of the fetal membrane (PPROM)—the condition that accounts for 40 percent of all preterm births.” The findings were published in the journal Placenta. Next up—we hope: a treatment that would actually repair the membrane.

The pre-term birth rate in the U.S. is way down

In Novermber, the March of Dimes released its annual Premature Birth Report Card, which revealed that the pre-term birth rate in the United States fell to 11.4 percent—a 17-year low. Good news, to be sure, but the organization stressed that there’s still work to be done to ensure more babies are born healthy, and at term. To that end the U.S. received a “C” grade on the report because it missed the group’s stated goal of a 9.6 percent preterm birth rate.

The autism rate was lowered to 1 in 68

In March came a shocking new estimate from a CDC report that 1 in 68 kids are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The previous estimate, made two years ago, put the prevalence at 1 in 88. As our Red-Hot Parenting blogger Richard Rende, PhD., wrote, “The estimated prevalence of ASD has gone up tremendously in the last decade, and it is assumed that improved recognition and diagnosis is the primary factor. The implication here is that we have underestimated the true rate of ASD and as such the new data suggest an urgency in mobilizing resources to understand the causes and accelerate the delivery of interventions.”

Early Signs of Autism
Early Signs of Autism
Early Signs of Autism

Image of child in daycare: Shutterstock

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Baby Talk: How Moms and Dads Differ When Speaking to Newborns

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Study Examines How Mothers and Fathers Converse With Their Infants

Hey, new dads: When it comes to talking to your infant, it’s time to speak up! A new study published Monday online in Pediatrics shows that mothers are much more likely to baby talk with their children in their first few months.

That may not come as a big shock, but the same study also found that moms appear to talk more to their baby daughters, while dads appear to talk more to their sons.

The study analyzed 16-hour sets of audio recordings collected from 33 late preterm and term babies’ communication with their parents: during the birth hospitalization, at 1 month old, and again at 7 months. reports:

Somewhat surprisingly, the researchers found that moms interacted vocally more with infant daughters rather than sons both at birth and 44 weeks post-menstrual age (equivalent to 1 month old.) Male adults responded more frequently to infant boys than infant girls, but the difference did not reach statistical significance, say the researchers.

The study also found that mothers responded to their babies’ vocalizations 88 to 94 percent of the time, while dads only did 27 to 30 percent of the time, according to

By the time a baby is born her ears and the brain area that responds to sound are well-developed, and previous studies have shown that the more you talk with an infant the earlier she is likely to talk.

“It seems to me that adults talking to children is absolutely the most cost effective intervention a family could do to improve children’s language,” Dr. Betty Vohr, study co-author and professor of pediatrics at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School told “The more we learn about it, the more we can inform parents of the power they have in just talking and interacting with their infants to improve the long term outcomes for their child and their school readiness.”

Is your little one just learning to talk? Track her development in our month-by-month timeline

Baby Development: Age 6 Months
Baby Development: Age 6 Months
Baby Development: Age 6 Months

Photo of mother with baby girl courtesy of Shutterstock.

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