Science of Adult Attachment + Making Memories w/Grandchildren + Babies and Screens

Amir Levine, author of Attached.
Topic: The new science of adult attachment and how it can help you find—and keep—love.
Issues: Three attachment styles (anxious, avoidant, secure); understanding your own (and your child’s) attachment style; what happens when styles conflict? How secure attachment is essential not just for emotional well-being but for physical well-being as well.

Sue Johnson, coauthor, and Rick Johnson, illustrator Grandloving.Topic: Making memories with your grandchildren.
Issues: How grandparents provide stability and security for grandchildren; fun, inexpensive things to do with the grandkids; staying in touch over long distances; tips for grandparents caring for or raising grandchildren.

Lisa Guernsey, author of Into the Minds of Babes.
Topic: How screen time affects children from birth to age five.
Issues: Why the concerns about television causing ADHD are overblown; why interactivity is not all it’s cracked up to be; how baby videos may be doing more harm that good; the damage done by having a television going in the background.

Reducing Screen Time–Even Just a Little–Makes a Big Difference

mrdad - screen time ripple effect

mrdad - screen time ripple effectDear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have an 11-year-old who’s very tech savvy and spends a lot of time on her phone and computer. A lot of experts—you included—talk about how we parents should cut back on our kids screen time. That sounds like a great idea, except that we both work full time and are exhausted when we get home, and neither of us has the energy to get into a battle with our daughter. We tried limiting her screen time, but after a few weeks, we didn’t see any difference in her behavior or her grades. Is there really any point in forcing the issue? Our home seems a lot more peaceful when don’t bug our daughter.

A: I love technology, and I’m constantly amazed at the marvelous things it allows us to do. But when it comes to kids (and many adults), there can be too much of a good thing. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that children spend an average of seven hours per day in front of some kind of screen (TV, computer, phones, and other devices). In addition, quite a bit of research indicates that there’s a direct correlation between screen time and obesity, eating disorders, poor academic performance, and other problems.

In our gut, most parents understand that we need to monitor our children’s screen time, but given how pervasive screens are in our daily life, limiting them is really hard. What makes it even harder is that, as you pointed out, it doesn’t produce immediate benefits. As a result, we can get frustrated, question why we’re trying in the first place, and simply give up rather than risk getting sucked into a knock-down-drag-out fight.
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Sperm Stories, Part II

In Part I of Sperm Stories, we talked about how temperature—both cold and hot—affects sperm production, swimming speed, and quality. In this article, we’ll take a look at several recent studies explore non-temperature-related factors. Turn off the tube. Men who watch 20 hours or more of TV have half the sperm count of men who […]

Want to Be a Dad? Turn off the Tube and Get Some Exercise

Men who exercise (moderately or vigorously) at least 15 hours per week have sperm counts that are 73% higher than those of men who get little or no exercise, according to researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health. At the same time, men who watch 20 or more hours of television have sperm counts that are half of those of men who hardly watch TV.

This fits right in with the steady, worldwide decline in sperm quantity and quality. Another factor here could be that watching TV isn’t usually the most romantic of activities. Time spent in front of the TV is time you’re not going to be spending having sex. And there’s plenty of evidence that, contrary to popular belief, frequent sex increases sperm production and quality.

If you’re not already a regular exerciser, don’t go overboard. Injuring yourself could put you right back on the couch, where you’ll be stuck watching too much TV again. Plus, there’s some research that suggests that overexercising could also reduce sperm quality.

The study was just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Your Lifespan. Not the Kind of Thing You Want to Talk about Sitting Down

watching tvTwo just-published studies have found that the more time you spend on your duff, the shorter and less-healthy your life will be. Even if you log plenty of hours at the gym.

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Kids need to lose weight? Let ’em sleep on it.

Anytime the topic of childhood obesity (or adult obesity, for that matter) comes up, the top two solutions are always diet and exercise. But here’s the problem. Even though everyone knows about diet and exercise, they just don’t work. Despite the scare tactics about eating right and getting off the couch, there are three factors that are actually much more successful.

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