PhD, author, creator of #thisgoldenlife website
Stephanie Knaak PhD is a sociologist and creator of the Motherhood Cafe (www.motherhood-cafe.com) website. She is currently writing a book on postpartum depression and the adjustment to motherhood.
For my son's birthday, a parent wasn't comfortable with my husband and I driving her child from a gymnastics centre to our house. Fair enough. But what of the consequences of such vigilance towards our fellow parents? To what extent do these kinds of parent-against-parent preemptive risk aversion strategies threaten the fabric of mother-to-mother relations?
Somewhere along the way, we've adopted some goofy misguided idea that children's psyches are inherently, staggeringly fragile, prone to devastating and irreversible damage from any number of relatively benign phenomena -- like honour rolls, sporting activities where only the winning team gets a trophy, or track and field days with actual competition (oh, the horror!).
11/03/2013 08:11 EST
The "no drinking pre or during pregnancy" rule is an inappropriate amplification of risk, and the cultural conversion of a guideline (in this case, the recommendation to abstain from consuming alcohol pre or during pregnancy) into a non-negotiable rule.
09/11/2013 07:49 EDT
"My daughter is 11 years old.The boys and the girls at school call her names that shouldn't even exist. They tell her she's ugly, that her face is like a pancake smothered in poop. They have created a 'We hate Brittany' club. I tell myself all the time -- 'this has to stop. And it has to stop now. Today.' But it never does."
05/05/2013 11:15 EDT
It turns out that breastfeeding doesn't actually protect against later childhood obesity. This comes as no surprise to those of us who have devoted much energy over the years trying to quell the 'breast milk as miracle food; formula as rat poison' polemic. Today's breastfeeding culture is a zealous one. The paradigm that guides our thinking is one where we are prone to believe everything about breastfeeding is good and everything about not breastfeeding is bad. Overstating the science to encourage breastfeeding and prop up its importance is not only not necessary, it's also false advertising.
03/21/2013 05:35 EDT
I'm forced to admit that Marissa Mayer's decision to make employers work in office makes good sense, especially given that she is dealing with an under-performing workforce and low employee morale. If Mayer's two main tasks are to rebuild the culture of the organization and to increase revenues, getting employees back together in one space is a good start. That said, there is little doubt that flexible work arrangements and family friendly employment structures are crucial for the success of modern organizations. The challenge for employers is to find a way to offer family friendly work structures that are also good for business.
03/15/2013 12:14 EDT
February 12 was Bell Let's Talk day. A day to talk about mental illness. A day to combat stigma. A day to say we need to allocate way more than 5 per cent of our heath spending dollars on a problem that affects over 20 per cent of the population. My friend Dawn is one of those people.
02/14/2013 12:07 EST
The call for more education about the benefits and safety of breast milk in the wake of last week's story about a couple suing Alberta Health Services for giving their baby another mother's breast milk is not only typical, it's also off-mark. The well-worn and highly favoured "lack of breastfeeding education" message is once again being paraded about to deflect the error and redirect attention.
01/23/2013 12:18 EST
The boy -- while certainly inconvenienced and perhaps disconcerted about being on his own in an airport at night -- was safe. It's not by definition a traumatic or "bad" thing for kids to be exposed to uncomfortable situations every now and again, or to be subject to something outside of their comfort zone.
01/20/2013 12:25 EST
Formula feeding and early introduction of solids are two big no-nos in the new parenthood order. Both deviate from the rule of six months exclusive breastfeeding. Susie's essential quandary is this: is it justifiable for her to prioritize her own need for sleep if it means breaking this sacred rule?
01/17/2013 08:06 EST
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