I was planning to have a super duper analytical piece this time but I gave up that idea (for today) after reading this one. The article is about an adopted Chinese girl talking about both sets of parents of hers – the biological ones and the foster parents. It talks about her (and her parents’ search) for her biological family. Her biological family did not want to give up on her but the way Chinese society (and ours too) depends on (and therefore prefers) a male child to take on family and financial duties once he grows up put pressure on the biological parents to give her up. Well, she got adopted, did well, and best of all, feels thankful for whatever happened.
Talking about great teachers, one of my students spoke about a strict English teacher. The teacher was a strict perfectionist and expected the same from her students; she wouldn’t take an ungrammatical sentence, a spelling mistake, or incorrect methods. So that student concluded that her language skills were great because of that strictness and discipline. The students hated all the hard word and rewriting they often had to do but they reaped the rewards. Sometimes the lessons don’t come the way you would want them to. You learn from them but you hate the teachers and you hate those memories. In the article today, a son talks about the nasty surprise his father gave him when he was ten years old. For years, the memory agonized him but now he know why his father did what he did.
This one is an old article that I bounced on after trying to find more about The Nurture Assumption – a book by Judith Rich Harris who challenges the assumption by her contemporary and earlier psychologists that parents play the most important role in shaping a child. In other words, if a child turns out wayward and deals with bad things as drugs and theft, earlier psychologists believed that it was a result of poor parenting. On the other hand, earlier psychologists believed that good children are a result of responsible parenting. Ms. Harris gives an example of a parent who encourages a timid child to try a courageous act and discourages her other bold child to not try a similar act. Harris says that these differing responses from the same parent were shaped by the temperament of the respective child. Not vice versa – that is, the child shaped the parent’s response. The writeup is on Harris’ child development theory. Even if you are not a parent, the article is going to tell you a lot of bitter-sweet things.
The Prosecutor’s Fallacy
Numbers can be highly impressive. An up-to 50% sale gets shoppers rushing to that store even when most items aren’t on that high a discount. Citing statistics as evidence in law courts has its own issues. They may sound like good evidence and even get ruling in the favour of those citing lofty statistics. However, without using proper statistical tools and applying them appropriately, wrong decisions can be taken. So, how should the law go about using statistics?
You have no idea what happened
I remember feeling the tremors while I was taking a bath. And, I stopped pouring water over myself. I thought it was a mild earthquake and it would pass. But, it didn’t – my world shook for at least a minute – and I quickly dried myself, dressed up, and came out to see what had happened. My father had already helped our old neighbours down nine floors through the stairs. The milkman remembers watching the entire building oscillate. It was a major earthquake – as I would find out later; entire villages were wiped out and many buildings sunk in the ground burying the residents alive. When something catastrophic, big, or emotional happens, our brains store that memory a little differently. So, the brain remembers that central event but the peripheral details – such as whether I was bathing or what the milkman told me – are confused. Therefore, what we may remember about the activities surrounding the event may not be accurate.
biochemistry, daddy months, equality, gender discrimination, gender disparity, Maternity leave, mother’s brain, mothering, mothering behavior, neurology, oxytocin, parenting, Paternity leave, Sex discrimination
We come programmed with certain instincts – for instance our instincts of love towards kin and children. Now, it is known that mothers’ (and even fathers’) brains get a bit of more programming before, on, and after the arrival of the baby.
The importance of “Daddy Months”
We assume that only mothers need maternity leave to bond with their babies. Fathers need some time off with their children too. Arguing this case is a lawyer turned stay-at-home dad: he explains how being a full-time caretaker for his daughter adds meaning and value to himself; he explains why it is difficult for men to take a longer paternity leave or be a stay-at-home dad because of ingrained cultural beliefs, and not-too-well-thought-out policies at work; and he explains why he would be willing to give up on a great professional career with a fat pay for more personal time with his family and a less-than-great professional career.
[Link recommended by a reader]
What informally happens in families by the way of reading bedtime stories,
taking a vacation together, or having books available for reading creates
more equalities (compared to children who do not have these privileges)
than say bequeathing property. In any case, policy makers do not define
these informal practices. There is an assumption that what children can’t
have informally from their families can be accommodated with a good
education. On the other hand, is there a requirement to define certain
areas of what families must or must not do? For example, if parents make
their children to strictly follow a faith/religion and keep them away from
alternative possibilities, is that alright? What other views can become
strict diktats for their children and what would be the case if children
have autonomy in such cases? Here’s a fine debate on navigating this thin
line and answering these tough questions:
I seem to be inspired by people stories this week. Some say that Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory Television series has Asperger’s, a disorder in which individuals have various troubles such as trouble with social interaction. Often, parents of children who are challenged in certain ways become “brave-hearts” and “warriors” for the society. In today’s article, the author depicts his insecurities in parenting his child who has Asperger’s: