Articles on Parenting

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Intellectually disabled children who undergo the “Ashley procedure” are stunted to prevent the onset of puberty. flickr/visions by vicky

Ashley’s treatment: the arrested development of a disabled child

A growing number of parents are seeking the “Ashley Treatment,” a highly experimental medical intervention designed to arrest the physical and sexual development of severely disabled children. This invasive…

Child hunger level underreported

A new study has shown that addressing child hunger at an individual and family level may not be enough, with only 70% of…
We can reduce rates of childhood obesity but it requires a coordinated, consistent approach. Sean Dreilinger

Healthier kids requires more than getting them off the couch

Seventeen years of our research into childhood obesity is starting to deliver dividends. We now know what kinds of interventions are effective for reducing the number of overweight and obese children in…
Children’s brains are plastic and sensitive to their environments. annagarcia

Nature and nurture: why do boys and girls behave differently?

New evidence is emerging that confirms what parents and children have reported for generations: boys and girls behave differently, and parenting practices vary depending on the gender of the child. Boys…
The victims of forced adoption want an apology from the Commonwealth government. Nikkirk

Re-writing Australia’s history of forced adoption

A long-awaited Senate Committee report will tomorrow reveal whether the Commonwealth’s policies and practices played a role in coercing young, unwed Australian women to give up their newborn babies for…
It’s the quality, not quantity, of the time spent with children that counts most. Sean drillinger

Work keeps mums happy and children well-adjusted

Conservative commentary often attempts to reinstate the primacy of stay-at-home motherhood, prompting feelings of guilt among working mothers. But a recent study might help to finally lay this issue to…
Parents under the most pressure are those who have to work but would prefer to be looking after their kids. Big Grey Mare Back But Barely

Stay-at-home or working mum? It’s the choice that matters most

The question of whether a parent – in most cases, mothers – can or should return to paid employment and in what capacity, is once again in the spotlight thanks to a recent study in the American Journal…
Infants should sleep alone without bedding or toys that could cover their face. Flickr/dontshoot me

Don’t believe the hype: sleeping with your baby is not okay

In a recent visit to Australia, US Anthropologist Professor James McKenna claimed that under the right circumstances, breastfed babies could safely sleep in the same bed as their mothers. This was a perfectly…
Home births for high-risk pregnancies and where a registered midwife isn’t present are risky. Deannster

For some women, unassisted home births are worth the risks

We live in a world with many different perspectives on risk. Entire professions now exist to advise us on how to recognise, avoid and manage risk. And the maternity and obstetric professions are no different…
Children should be taught to play music themselves rather than just listening to it. Naruco

Monday’s medical myth: play Mozart to boost your baby’s IQ

What parent can pass up the chance to boost their child’s intelligence by putting on some nice classical music? The popular idea that IQ scores can be raised by listening to Mozart is a case study in how…
Many extremely premature babies will have lifelong physical and intellectual deficiencies. kqedquest

Balancing hope and fear for babies born at 24 weeks gestation

Imagine how frightening it must be for a woman to go into labour when she is just over halfway through her pregnancy and her baby has only had 23 or 24 weeks to grow. She and her family are overcome with…
The frequently cited Netherlands study doesn’t show it’s safe to give birth at home in Australia. Assy

Thinking about giving birth at home? Look at the evidence on safety

We’re fortunate to live in a society where robust evidence forms the basis of the information health-care professionals provide to patients – and home birth should be no exception. But the evidence about…
Parenting programs need to actively include fathers. Jason Coleman

Do parenting programs work for dads?

It comes as no surprise to see that parenting programs attract mothers. Drop into a “toddler taming” discussion, a workshop on parents and literacy or a seminar about communicating with your teenager and…
Fruit juice contains as much sugar as soft drink. Gail M Tang

Monday’s medical myth: fruit juice is healthier than soft drink

We often hear, from health experts and well-meaning parents, that soft drink is terribly unhealthy and we should opt for fruit juice instead. But apart from a few additional vitamins and minerals, there…
Social realities have a bigger impact on when women have babies than “medical facts”. ECohen

Are older women selfish for having babies?

It seems we have a new “barbecue stopper” about women and families, after comments last week by Perth obstetrician Barry Walters that it is selfish for older women to have babies. Defending himself from…
NRL player Craig Wing has a sister with Down Syndrome. AAP

How come you don’t want one? Living with Down Syndrome

“Fuck you, Wing, your sister has Down syndrome!” These words were once hurled at NSW rugby league star Craig Wing while he was playing for the Sydney Roosters against the Canterbury Bulldogs at the Sydney…
The benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks by 100 to one. Jeff Dickerson

Male infant circumcision: ‘safe, convenient, cheap and fast’

Medical circumcision of baby boys has plummeted in Australia, with only 20% of male infants now undergoing the procedure, down from 90% in the 1970s. Meanwhile, HIV infections continue to rise in the broader…

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