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About John Thompson

Here are my most recent posts

Tiger Dad an effective parenting technique?

There has been a lot of attention recently given to the concept of a "Tiger Mom." The term comes from a Chinese mother's strict parenting techniques as laid out in the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. Some have criticized the style, but others have applauded its disciplinary style and results.

But what about a Tiger Dad? Are men as willing to adhere to a no-nonsense parenting style if it means that their kids will be super-successful? Jed Rubenfeld, a Yale law professor and the husband of the book's author, seems to think so.

 "I’m in complete agreement with all the values by which Amy and I tried to raise our kids," he told The Wall Street Journal.

While many fathers may be looking to be buddies with their sons or daughters, establishing disciplinary boundaries is important as well. Specifically, having a consistent approach toward punishment and praise. If one's child knows exactly what will happen if they misbehave, or what they will receive for good behavior, it will pay dividends later.

While there are certainly benefits to the technique, the strict approach has earned its fair share of critics, many of whom insist it may be too extreme and rigid. However, every parenting method works differently depending on the person using it, and each dad should figure out what's best for him and his kids. 

Top 5 ways to be supportive during labor

The weeks and months leading up to the birth of a child are certainly stressful for moms, but the time can be difficult for fathers-to-be as well. Some dads may be clueless as to how best support their wives during labor, but according to the parenting magazine Babble, there are a number of ways that men can get ready for the big day.

1. Read a birth book. It may seem like soon-to-be dads may not need to know about the ins and outs of pregnancy, but there are a number of titles that will demonstrate how to help during labor.

2. Provide distractions early on. Early labor can last anywhere between 6 and 18 hours, so help that your wife's mind off what's happening. According to the publication "staying calm will help her reserve energy for when the harder part of labor comes along."

3. Hold her hand. Sure, it's a small gesture, but it serves a number of purposes. It's a way to show support while also providing her with something to squeeze.

4. Help vocalize concerns. The news source reports that women in labor may not be able to articulate their questions to a medical professional during labor. Be in tune with her needs and help her express them.

5. Be as supportive as possible. Whether its reassurance that she will be a great mom or respect for the pain she's going through, believing in her is what's most important.  

Researcher: Incremental sex talk may be best approach

For dads, one of the most fearsome moments in fatherhood may be having to talk to their kids about sex. It's awkward to broach and even more uncomfortable explain, but luckily for parents, there has been increasing research detailing what the best and most effective ways to have "the talk" are, The Associated Press reports.

The recent study, which was released in the journal Pediatrics, focused on which methods worked best for discussing the topic. What it found was that parents who took part in certain intervention programs were better equipped to have open lines of communication with their kids.

According to the lead researcher, Dr. Althea Akers, one of the best ways to create better sex talks is to spread the information out in small increments. It will allow you to foster more comfortable (and detailed) discussion later on.

"If they have regular and open and non-judgmental conversations at various ages, when kids are adolescents and have some serious questions, they're going to be much more likely to ask the parent," she told the news source.

Akers also recommends avoiding euphamistic language and judgement, and to take any opportunity to use teacheable moments on television or real life.  

Music will make your kids smarter, here’s why

It is widely known that musical talent boasts plenty of perks. Whether it be used to relax or attract women, learning how to play an instrument certainly pays off in the long run, and it seems as though it can help out with raising children as well. A new study indicates that children who take music lessons performed better in school than those who don't.

According to Men's Health magazine, the study was conducted by researchers at Long Island University, and focused on a group of second graders who were taking piano lessons twice a week through the school. What they found was that the students who took lessons typically fared well on vocabulary tasks. Scientists believe it has to do with improved listening abilities.

"The piano students improved their listening skills with music, and that may have helped them hear and store vocabulary words more efficiently for future use," study author Joseph Piro told the news source.

While your son or daughter may not necessarily become the next Mozart or Kurt Cobain, the benefits of reading music cannot be overlooked. According to the Florida Music Educators Association, the art is among the most important criteria colleges look for when admitting students.
 

Dads: How to deal with kids’ winter sickness

As any dad knows, having a sick child turns the whole day upside down. You have to take time off from work, cater to his or her every need (more so than usual) and find ways to help keep the illness at bay. This is especially true in the winter months, when colds are as common as ugg boots. But, make new sentence luckily there are several at-home remedies that can quell a sickness in-between trips to the doctor.

Of course, parents should only place medical care in the hands of professionals, but for the common cold, sometimes the best way to alleviate symptoms is to use products and items that can be found at home, WebMD.com reports. While it's impossible to cure the ailment, a dad's main role should be to make his kids as comfortable as possible.

For starters, menthol salves and rubs have proven to be an effective way to reduce chest congestion. Additionally, indulging your kids with some light snacks can improve their mood, but remembering to push fluid such as ice water, juice and even popsicles as well.

For more substantial sicknesses, such as ones that are accompanied by a fever, doctors suggest not calling a pediatrician until your child's temperature reaches 102 degrees. Similarly, for infants younger than 3 months, mom's and dad's should become concerned if their babies' body temperatures approach 100.4 degrees.