Wednesday 18 October 2017

Child-rearing conundrums

Breast is best. Or is it?

The World Health Organization recommends that mothers nurse their children for two years but what works as international policy may not work for every single mother on the planet, says parenting expert Ada Calhoun.

American professor Joan Wolf has reignited the breast feeding wars with a new book that questions whether the benefits of breastfeeding are exaggerated.

To snip or not to snip?

Circumcision remains relatively uncommon in Ireland but some 80% of US men are circumcised -- a rate among the highest in the world.

Now, despite a worldwide campaign that circumcision prevents the spread of AIDs, many American parents are opting out of the procedure. Last year, a new report suggested that fewer than half of all boys born in conventional hospitals in America between 2006 and 2009 were circumcised.

Fearing the Needle

Although a new report last month has thoroughly debunked the damning 1989 paper by British medical researcher Andrew Wakefield about the long-term effects of vaccinations, roughly one in five Americans still believe that vaccinations cause autism.

Now I know my ABCs

Controversial tiger mother Amy Chua argues that children should be "hothoused" at an early age to ensure academic excellence.

But psychologist Oliver James argues that successful children are those who can self-motivate. "Children who are coerced by parents end up 'introjecting' their values -- mechanically adopting them without understanding, out of fear and obedience, making them like hypnotised subjects who feel they have no volition," he told the Irish Independent.

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