Announcement! Smart moms go underground

In our media-lead world where fear is pushed as a means to sell more product, there is a movement brewing. Moms, who by definition have the best intuitive sense of any creature on the planet, are standing up and saying, “We won’t be played like that!” These moms are examining the current parenting culture that brings us baby knee pads, professional baby-proofers, and child-tracking devices, and they are saying, “We won’t buy it.” Those moms are going underground…

They are saying a lot of other things too, in the titles of their books… “Homework Is Hurting Our Children & What We Can Do About It”, and “We Should All Stop Worrying & Start Living”, and “Ignorning The Experts May Be Best For Your Child”

They are saying it in the titles of their blogs.. “Giving our kids the freedom we had without going nuts with worry”, and “There is no “right way” to rear a child”, and “Lose the Guilt, Love Your Instincts”.

undergroundmomswidgetIt is an underground movement of common sense that is raising the volume of the voice of reason. That movement now also has a homepage No, it isn’t another social networking site (one more of those and the internet might explode), it is simply a referral source of great reading for smart moms who share a common value, freeing themselves from baseless restrictions and “raising the volume of the voice of reason” If you are already reading this blog, you are probably an Underground Mom too. You will enjoy the reading referrals you will find there. Free the people! (At least free the moms.)

Myth 14: Video games encourage violent behavior.

Of 3000 parents surveyed by What They Play: The Parents Guide To Video Games, the majority said that they were more afraid of their children playing video games than seeing porn when away from home. Mitt Romney warned, “Pornography and violence poison our music and movies and TV and video games. The Virginia Tech shooter, like the Columbine shooters before him, had drunk from this cesspool.” Hillary Clinton said, “Grand Theft Auto, which has so many demeaning messages about women, and so encourages violent imagination and activities, and it scares parents.” Set aside for the moment that some politicians will just throw any sensational speculation into the oratory stew to make an impression (the roommates of the Virginia Tech Shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, said that Cho never played video games). Could so many parents and politicians be right? Does playing violent video games transform ordinary, well adjusted kids into violent maniacs? The FBI and the United States Secret Service don’t think so. In fact, it is has been observed by the most comprehensive study of kid gamers to date that playing violent video games can be therapeutic for many kids, enabling them to express teenage frustration, rebellion and experimentation in a safe, non-threatening way.

That’s crazy talk. Show me some proof. Continue reading

Myth 7: A married, live-in, biological father is always best.

ImageBarney was right. “A family is people and a family is love. That’s a family.” Research by the American Sociological Association shows that children receive the same benefits from any type of live-in father with very few exceptions. The study looked at how much time the youngest child spent with his/her biological mother in a variety of family structures that included biological fathers, stepfathers, or unmarried live-in partners. Across the board, children spend the same amount of time with the mother in all families. Children spent the least amount of time with live-in married stepfathers. And, oddly, they spent the same amount of time with live-in married biological fathers as they spent with unmarried live-in partners.

The study also showed that kids spend 5 hours per week more with mom than with dad, girls spend more time with mom and boys spend more time with dad. No surprise there. But this is interesting. When moms get especially busy at work and spend longer hours there, kids spend less time with her, but the same is not true for dads. When dad works unusually long hours in a week kids spend more time him. Read more details about this study…

A similar study was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. It looked an children born to unmarried parents and the roles fathers played in their lives. Results of that study showed that married stepfathers were considerably more positively engaged in the lives of the children than the unmarried biological fathers. The conclusion for this group was that marriage is a better indicator of paternal involvement than biological attachment. Read more details about this study…

Myth 4: I can’t “make” hubby be a better dad.

ImageA study was published in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of Family Psychology. It looked at 97 couples in the Midwest who were married or cohabiting, and who were expecting a child when the study began. The couples completed a survey that probed their beliefs about the roles of fathers in taking care of children. About 3.5 months after the birth, researchers conducted an in-home assessment. What they found was that regardless of the fathers beliefs about how much they should be involved in childcare, the mothers attitude determined how much dads would act on their beliefs. If mom encouraged dad’s efforts, he would be a more attentive father. If she was critical, he would be less attentive. It seems the old adage is as true for fatherhood as for everything else, “You attract more bees with honey than vinegar.”

Read more from Ohio State where this study was lead by Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan