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About John Thompson

Here are my most recent posts

Study: Pair of daughters makes for harmonious family life

Dads who only have daughters may be bitter about being the only man in the house, but a new study suggests that they should be happy with the arrangement. Research conducted by Bounty.com indicates that couples that have two daughters are more likely to have a calmer life than those with other sibling combinations.

The UK-based website came to the conclusion by first examining more than 2,100 families. What they found was that two daughters were often less likely to fight and more likely to play nicely with each other. Furthermore, two girls tend to not annoy their parents with excessive noise and are more apt to confide in their parents and tend to like each other.

"The findings were absolutely fascinating – we often assume little girls behave like angels, and if you have two this certainly seems to be the case," the website's Faye Mingo said.

Interestingly enough, when the girl-girl combo was doubled to four daughters, it made life much more difficult. Researchers found that such large groups tend to find it harder to get along. Placing behind the girl-girl combo was the boy-girl pairing.

Additionally, a different study conducted by scientists from the University of Denver and Texas A&M found that some other factors may come in to play in the case of marital happiness and kids. For instance, couples who have been married longer before having kids offer experience a stronger relationship post-birth.  

Summer vacation ideas for dads

As summer approaches, you may be dying to take a vacation. As a dad, taking a week off is more difficult than it was in your younger days. But that doesn't mean you still can't go on a trip with your kids. All it takes is a little creativity and you and your family can be experiencing a little well deserved R&R this summer.

With that in mind, here are a few options for that perfect trip.

1. Disney World. It may seem cliche, but it's one of the most popular spots for a reason. It has something for everyone – you'll love the sun and warm weather and they'll love seeing their favorite characters up close.

2. Camping. What better way teach your kids the value of self-reliance than to take them into the wilderness? They'll learn firsthand about the beauty of nature, and you'll get to enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Win, win.

3. Hall of Fame road trip. Does your kids love sports? Yes? A hall of fame road trip is a great way to teach him or her about the history of various games. Going from the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts all the way to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio (with a stop for Baseball in Cooperstown) can be a great bonding experience. 

Study: Breast feeding may be crucial to brain development

There has long been speculation as to why human brains were among the biggest in the animal kingdom, but a new study is attempting to put the to rest. Researchers believe that duration of breastfeeding after birth has a correlation to brain development in certain species – including in people.

The research team was led by Robert Barton from Durham University in the United Kingdom, who examined the brains and breastfeeding duration of 128 different mammals, LiveScience reports. What they found was that the length of time offspring is breast-fed resulted in a relatively larger brain.

"Humans have the biggest brains for their body size." Barton the news source. "Things like dolphins and killer whales aren't that far behind, but there is a big jump between anything else and humans. We take a long time to mature and that seems that's directly related to the development of the largest brain."

What this emphasizes, Barton suggests, is that breastfeeding plays a larger role in brain development than originally thought and the data bolsters the World Health Organization's stance that new mothers nurse for at least six months. However, the team added that their study does not suggest a developmental disparity between breastfed and formula-fed infants. 

Tips to make your daughter a baseball fan

Opening day is quickly approaching. For many dads the first day of the baseball season is like Christmas – only better. And, as a bonus, you'll likely cherish the time spent with your son watching baseball during the summer. But what if you don't have a son? Don't panic. Your daughter can be an equally receptive viewing partner if you play your (baseball) cards right.

Here are a few tips to get your daughter headed down the right path

1. Start her young. Get her interested in America's favorite pastime before she's even able to recognize that it's somewhat slow moving. Begin with a ball and glove in the crib and work your way up to a Derek Jeter poster. Get her going on Little League, and before you know it she'll be begging to go to a game.

2. Education. There's nothing worse than a misinformed baseball fan and that's especially true with kids. Make sure she knows the greats before anybody else her age. If you're lucky, her first word will be Willie Mays.

3. Movies, movies, movies. There are plenty of great baseball flicks for kids. The Sandlot is a classic, and who doesn't love Rookie of the Year? Watching such films together will be a great way to build some father daughter bonding.  

Number of ear infections in children on the way down

For many moms and dads across the country, ear infections have been one of the most difficult aspects of parenthood. Youngsters who are stricken with the painful infections tend to have difficulty sleeping through the night and the condition can last for weeks at a time. However, The Associated Press reports that there was around a 30 percent decrease between 1993 and 2008 in doctor's visits for this ailment.

Healthcare professionals are not certain as to the cause of the decline , but some Harvard researchers believe that it has to do with a number of factors, including the lower number of smokers, the growing use of vaccines and an increase in breastfeeding.

"When people are smoking less around their kids, when homes are smoke-free, the rate of ear infections can and has decreased," Hillel Alpert the author of a study on the topic told the news source.

The lowered levels come after a period of rapid growth from 1975 to 1990, which saw the number of ear infections double. While there has been a decline, other children may not be as lucky. The Centers of Disease Control suggest parents should be suspicious of an ear infection if their son or daughter has difficulty balancing, is crying more than normal and is experiencing fever and sleep disturbances.