July 16, 2006 |
YOU can't choose your parents too carefully. This useless bit of advice is usually uttered behind the backs of people who have inherited something widely considered desirable -- wealth, talent, charm, superior intelligence or good looks. The cliche is pregnant with the envy and contempt often reserved for those whose genes and circumstances seem to put them at the head of life's race.
July 3, 2006 |
ARITHMETIC flashcards at the age of 3 won't unleash the next Einstein. Nor will choosing a precise combination of educational toys guarantee a future good job and happy life. It's attention and play with adoring adults that stimulates brain development -- not just in individual infants, but in the nation's future workforce.
June 18, 2006 |
A woman wearing her baby in a sling across her chest like an indigenous mother in Zambia considered the selection of $130 car seat covers and $200 diaper bags at the Pump Station, a high-end boutique for breastfeeding moms in Santa Monica. Moving inland to Silver Lake, a group of new mothers compared the failings of their own 1970s-era parents -- Playpens! The horror!
June 5, 2006 |
Comforting babies is better than letting them cry and ultimately results in fewer tears, at least during the first few weeks of life. British researchers who compared the benefits of soothing bawling babies or letting them settle themselves found that holding and comforting them minimized the crying. "The hands-off approach appeared to backfire: Babies fussed and cried 50% more at two and five weeks," New Scientist magazine said Wednesday.
December 30, 2005 |
Young children live in their own worlds. They see the same people every day, do the same things and eat the same foods. Maybe they put ketchup or ranch dressing on pasta or pancakes and that's considered normal -- in their little worlds. Generally, all this routine is considered good because it makes children feel safe and comfortable with themselves and their loved ones. A sheltered life, though, can have consequences later, both socially and academically.
December 1, 2005 |
Scientists have found startling differences in a hormone linked to social bonding in children who spent their first years in some foreign orphanages. These changes remained two years after they went from an environment of neglect to one of love and attention. The finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that early experience can leave a biochemical mark that can shape lifetime experience. The hormone, oxytocin, has been called the peptide of love.
July 11, 2005 |
If the cliches about only children held true, the Gantt family of Sherman Oaks should be a psychodrama of selfishness, self-involvement and maladjustment. After all, Leanna and Bradley Gantt both are only children. And so is their daughter, Riley, who will be 5 in August.
July 6, 2005 |
Too much TV watching can harm children's ability to learn and even reduce their chances of getting a college degree, three new studies suggest in the latest effort to examine the effects of television on kids. The separate findings are published in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. One of the studies involved nearly 400 Northern California third-graders.
July 6, 2005 |
It was a dilemma faced by parents of many 'tween-age girls. Addie Swartz's daughter, Aliza, was moving out of dollhouses and into -- if she had her way -- a penthouse. She was surrounded by little girls flashing their navels and asking for pedicures. They had crushes on boys, they were planning careers in Hollywood -- and, like Aliza, they were 8 years old. "I saw my child being bombarded with stuff that I thought was totally inappropriate," Swartz said.
June 12, 2005
Re "Scary Preschool Utopia," Opinion, June 5: Karin Klein did not do her homework. The Reiner initiative's "statewide preschool content standards" won't affect her kids. They're for children who currently have no choice but to attend a substandard preschool, if any. Universal preschool is about equal opportunity for quality education, a hard thing to come by in L.A. Klein had choices for quality early childhood education, but many families do not. Preschools in the Pacific Palisades look a lot different from the preschools in East L.A. Klein probably reads books about parenting and knew what to look for in a preschool.