As our society evolves more and more parents are adopting a new policy when it comes to child rearing after they divorce: collaboration. The old model of the weekend dad born from generations of rising divorce rates is giving way to a more thoughtful, and healthy form of parenting. Family lawyers are also jumping on board with these new ideas.
Even lawmakers are getting in on this trend. In many jurisdictions, the legislatures are considering bills that would encourage shared parenting or even make it the legal presumption in divorces.
One particular law this year made joint physical custody and equal parenting time standard for temporary orders while a divorce was finalized. One governing body passed a law mandating equal time for parents in custody plans. Others are considering laws requiring equal parenting time as a starting point when considering parent arrangements.
As lawmakers respond to the appeal of gender equality the legal push for equal time among parents is gaining strength. Fathers say that without equality they become alienated from their children and overburdened with disproportionate support obligations. There is a new constituency of men emboldened by the argument that they are being shortchanged.
Travelling long distances in the car with children can be less than pleasant because kids love to move around rather than sit for long hours. They get bored and restless sitting in their car seats so it is up to the parents to find some way of entertaining them. This is easier to do these days with the technology that is available.
Older children can listen to their music or watch a DVD, but there are other things they can do when they get sick of that. Games such as counting certain coloured cars or writing down place or river names are interesting to older children. Puzzle books or colouring in can also be a good choice so long as the road is bitumen and not a bumpy, dirt road.
But if your children are still toddlers it can be difficult to amuse them. Here are some tips to keep them happy in the car: –
There have been a number of articles about obesity and children, and frequently there are words used such as “surge,” “epidemic,” and “growing problem.” Let’s take a look at what the issues are.
Obesity has a popular meaning (just plain fat – we know it when we see it) and a technical meaning. Overweight (chubby) is the same. And here comes the interesting thing: official technical meanings of these two words have changed. They deal with the body mass index, or BMI, which is the ratio of weight to height, and is arrived at by the following method: multiply the weight in pounds by 703, then multiply the height in inches by height in inches, then divide the first number by the second. If using the metric system, the numbers are weight in kg divided by the square of height in meters.
Before 1998, a BMI of 27 or more was considered overweight. But in June 1998, new cut-off weights were implemented. The BMI for overweight became 25 to 30, and anything over 30 became obese. Thus, overnight a lot of people became overweight who were considered normal the day before.
We have nothing to fear of fever but our own fear. Fever is a very sensible, rational activity of the body when it is faced with certain types of stress. It is the activation of the body’s garbage incinerator, burning up debris and toxic matter that are of no use to the body’s normal functioning. These may be bacteria, virus, breakdown products of the body’s metabolism, or other extraneous proteins in the bloodstream.
In the case of children, fever can serve a very good purpose. Children are continuously rebuilding and remodeling their bodies as they grow. As with any renovation project, debris results. In Anthroposophic medicine, the theory is that childhood illnesses are simply a way of disposing of unwanted cells and tissues. Hence, colds, skin eruptions and fevers are normal expressions of a normal process. Parents sometimes get excessively concerned. According to Jane Brody, in her New York Times column “Too Many Parents are Afflicted with Fever Phobia,” the pediatric literature points out that “undue attention to a child’s temperature and mishandling of fevers generate a great deal of unwarranted parental anxiety, avoidable medical complications, and countless calls and costly visits to doctors, clinics, and emergency rooms.”
Riding the subways and buses of New York City, I have often encountered people with children in large baby carriages. These carriages are at times quite elaborate, with beautiful padding, a sun roof, lots of toys — obviously the parents are doing all they can to express their love for their child. The child, on the other hand, may not notice or appreciate the effort: it’s back is to the pretty padding, and it can only look out, without seeing the one pushing the carriage. In essence, the baby is alone in that carriage, wheeled about with no sense of connection to the adults. Sometimes I see children that look like they’re three, four, and maybe more years old, wheeled about still, not walking. What are these kids learning? When faced with stress, will they become crippled before their time, so as to recreate their infancy and be wheeled about by someone else? Will they too grow into couch potatoes, overweight people who do not exercise, people who are reluctant to do something for themselves because they’re so used to having someone else do it for them?