Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Feedback: Parenting 101


Friday Feedback is a new feature to the blog, where I will be featuring comments or emails sent to the Baby Head Diaries.

Tiffany said...

This is the first I'm hearing about this term, but it sounds like parenting 101 to me. That fact that it's based on some development psychological theory is a shame. It seems like common sense to me. My mom was nurturing and reassuring. As a result she reared 4 confident, caring, and intellectual children. I intend to do the same and I don't need to study API theories to do it.

Tiffany,

I am glad that you were raised in a home where AP values were the norm, many of us were not and many more right now are not being raised in that way. I, too believe that this should be an inherent part of parenting and because IMO, it's the biologically correct way to parent, is why there is developmental psych. theory behind it. Science is just a way to explain the way things should be. It's like someone saying, "Well, everyone should know that eating vegetables and exercising is the best way to stay healthy and fit." Yes, we know that instinctively, science tells us it's so, yet we have an American population that is 31% obese (35% for blacks) and 63% overweight .

The purpose of this site is to reinforce this method of parenting and enlighten those who do not know about it, especially in the black community. Here are some basic AP issues and how black families fare with them.

Breastfeeding: “In 2001, only 52.9% African American women breastfed their infants in the early postpartum period, compared with 73% of Hispanic mothers and 72% of white mothers. The proportion of African American mothers continuing to nurse 6 months after birth was only 22%, compared with 33% of Hispanic mothers and 34% of white mothers. These rates underscore a significant racial/ethnic disparity in breastfeeding rates.” - Oyeku, S. (2003). A Closer Look at Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding. Public Health Reports.

Discipline: Researchers found that black children were spanked and verbally punished the most, possibly because of cultural beliefs about the importance of respecting elders and in the value of physical discipline, or because parents feel they have to prepare their children for a racist and potentially dangerous world. - Thomas, J. (2009) Early Spankings Make for Aggressive Toddlers, Study Shows.

Her study found that about one-third of the 1-year-olds, and about half of the 2- and 3-year-olds, had been spanked in the previous week, according to mothers' self-reporting to the researchers. At all three ages, African-American children were spanked significantly more frequently than those from white and Mexican-American families, and verbally punished more than the other children at ages 2 and 3, the study said. Landau, E. (2009) Spanking Detrimental to Children Study Says. CNN
For this reason this site exists and I hope that you are able to enlighten others through your site as well about the way you parent, some people just need to see a living example of what to do to change their minds. :)

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