Tag: child rearing

“Hey Mom, Watch This!” Even Olympians Work to Make Their Mothers Proud

Proud mom Debbie Phelps gives son Michael a kiss at the Beijing Olympics.

After pulling off an incredible gold medal win in the Olympic 100 meter backstroke, the bubbly 17-year-old phenom Missy Franklin announced to reporters: “I knew my parents were going to be proud of me, no matter what.” It struck me as somewhat odd that the accomplished young swimmer, still dripping wet after the performance of a lifetime, thought to proclaim her parents’ approval to the world.  On second thought, I guess it should come as no surprise.

Mr. Mom: Daddy Takes on The Mommy Role


Not to erase the afterglow from moms’ special day yesterday, but the Wall Street Journal reports in a story about fathering that more and more dads are taking on the child care role traditionally reserved for moms.

An excerpt:

Even a casual observer of American family life knows that dads now drive kids to more doctors’ appointments, preside over more homework assignments and chaperone more playdates. Research confirms the rise of co-parenting. A recent U.S. Census Bureau report found that 32% of fathers with working wives routinely care for their children under age 15, up from 26% in 2002. Popular culture has noted the trend, too. Involved regular-guy dads are now commonplace in commercials. In one AT&T ad, a dad diapers his baby while talking sports on his phone with a buddy.

Whether it is because today’s men were raised amid the women’s movement of the 1970s, or because they themselves experienced the costs of that era’s absent fathers, there is little question that the age of dads as full partners in parenting has arrived.

The topic of fathers’ roles will be the subject of a conference titled Fathers and Fathering in Contemporary Contexts to be held next month at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda.

What about you? Do you see more Baltimore dads taking on the primary caregiver role?

Read Are Dads the New Moms? at the Wall Street Journal online.


Attachment Parenting: Is it a Trend in Baltimore too?


The internet is going crazy right now with the above image of this week’s TIME cover. The cover story is about “attachment parenting,” the school of child-rearing popularized by The Baby Book, whose author Dr. Bill Sears recommends breast-feeding into toddlerhood, letting babies sleep in parents’ beds, and carrying babies around all day in a close-to-the-body carrier.

The cover features 26-year-old Jamie Grumet, who writes an attachment parenting blog I Am Not the Babysitter.  She breastfeeds her son Aram, who is four, and his brother who is five. Jamie was breastfed by her mother until she was six.

Is attachement parenting a trend in Baltimore?  Let us know in the comments.


French Lessons


Forget the Tiger Mom phenomenon. All over the internet now is Pamela Druckerman’s new book, Bringing Up Bebe, which asserts that French parents do a better job of raising children than their American counterparts.

Druckerman is an American who lives in Paris with her British husband and three children — in the book, she regales readers with examples of her own American “hyper-parenting” and asks why we Americans seem to be enslaved to our kids.

“Why was it, for example, that in the hundreds of hours I’d clocked at French playgrounds, I’d never seen a child (except my own) throw a temper tantrum? Why didn’t my French friends ever need to rush off the phone because their kids were demanding something? Why hadn’t their living rooms been taken over by teepees and toy kitchens, the way ours had?” she asks in story adapted from the book for WSJ Online.

Yesterday’s NYTimes review was lukewarm — “Much of the so-called French child rearing wisdom compiled here is obvious,” wrote reviewer Susannah Meadows. Really? I’ve seen too much of what Druckerman describes in my own home and around Baltimore (yes, I mean you, dad at Miss Shirley’s whose toddler kept coming up to our table) to not give it some consideration. Could we learn something from the French?