Moms vs. Dads???

Overlapping Toronto parenting conferences agree on little…

In two recent events in Toronto it was again re-interated motherhood and fatherhood scholars might not concur on every domestic issue, but they do agree on two things: mothers are stereotyped for doing too much, and men for doing too little.

A motherhood conference this weekend at Toronto’s York University conveys that very message, invoking revolutionary goals of maternal independence, creativity and spontaneity- all in an effort to push moms out of the house and onto streets.

Across the city at a downtown hotel, however, scholars at a groundbreaking conference on fatherhood discussed topics that sounded a little more domesticated: “the importance of infant sleep for first-time dads”, “how children children affect fathers’ health” , as well as other topics.

Article published in National Post on Saturday October 25, 2008 by Craig Offman

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Babies learn similar first words

A study in the July 2008 issue of Developmental Psychology examined the first words uttered by hundreds of English-, Mandarin-, and Cantonese-speaking infants between the ages of 8 and 16 months. Interestingly, 6 of the top 20 first words were heard in all three languages: Daddy, Mommy, Hi, Bye, UhOh, and WoofWoof. The three groups learned words describing objects found in their homes that could be manipulated, rather than the names of large objects or things that would be found outside. “People terms” were the most commonly reported in all three languages (e.g., kinship terms, names, categories), with Mandarin and Cantonese speakers using a wider variety of words and types of people terms.

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How happiness makes your life better

HappinessMost of us would agree that people who are successful are usually happier. What may be surprising is that a large body of research shows that happiness comes before financial success, mental health, supportive relationships, coping skills, and physical health! The question for researchers is, “How does a positive emotion such as happiness link to so many positive outcomes?” Research published in the June issue of the journal Emotion tests the theory that happiness leads people to build up positive resources.

The “broaden and build” theory of positive emotion proposes that, while negative emotion leads us to narrow our focus to address a specific threat, positive feelings lead to new thoughts and ideas that are not critical to survival. These broad-ranging thoughts, feelings and actions combine over time and lead to an accumulation of positive resources. Michael Cohn and his colleagues provide this example in the article:

… idle curiosity can lead to expert knowledge, or affection and shared amusement can become a lifelong supportive relationship. Positive emotions forecast valued outcomes such as health, wealth, and longevity because they help build the resources to get there.

Anatomy of Three Things (Episode 139)

FamilyDoctors Brian and Giuseppe talk about three recent research stories, including:

  • Do the popular people on Facebook have different brains than everyone else?
  • How telling people about your vacation can ruin your fun
  • What can parents do if their children’s friends are a bad influence on them?

Find out the latest news this week!

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Note: Posts on Family Anatomy are for education only, and are not intended to replace professional or medical advice. If you need to talk to someone about family or mental health issues, you can get a referral from your family doctor. Doctors Brian and Giuseppe discussed kids in general in this episode, but every child is unique; your experience may vary from those discussed in this episode.