Friday, November 29, 2013

5 Great Ways For Dads to Spend Time With Kids

1. Go outside: Did you know that pediatricians are being advised to screen children for vitamin D deficiency because so many American children don't get enough vitamin D? The best way for the body to absorb vitamin D is through sunlight. Chances are you and your kids aren't getting enough, especially in the winter time! Going outside is good for you … and fun too.

2. Read books: You can cuddle your newborn on your chest while you read to yourself, read aloud to a toddler from a chunky picture book, and read more sophisticated novels, like My Side of the Mountain, Gregor the Overlander, or The Book of Jhereg, that you'll both enjoy to an older child. Even a child who is a really good reader enjoys being read to so don't stop reading to your son just because he's old enough to read to himself.

3. Wrestling match: It's Dad's job to roughhouse, even if Mom gets nervous. You can wrestle with your baby at any age! We're not sure you should do it quite as vigorously as the dad in this video that went viral last week, but that's up to you and your child to decide!

4. Play sleep: This was a favorite with my dad. Take off your shoes, climb on the bed together. The kids pretend to sleep. You actually do. Note to dads: Newborns love this game, big kids don't.

5. Play cards: A deck of cards is good for teething for small babies, toddlers can play a simplified version of Go Fish, but we say it's never too early to teach the kid how to play poker. And if their math skills aren't up for it, build card houses instead.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dad Puts His Baby in Freezer to Stop the Crying

It's hard to hear a baby cry.

It can be devastating.

If your baby is crying and won't stop, put the baby in a safe place, and take a break.

Call someone for help.


Do some jumping jacks.

Do not go back to the baby until you can handle the crying. Earplugs also help.

A dad in Washington did not do any of these things.

He put his 6-week-old in the freezer and went to sleep.

His 22-year-old partner came home to the trailer to find the baby in the freezer. The dad tried to stop her from calling 911.

He needs mental help.

From the AP story about the incident:

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Bail was set at $1 million Tuesday for a 25-year-old Washington man accused of putting his 6-week-old daughter in a 10-degree freezer for about an hour to stop her crying.
Doctors believe the baby will survive but it's too soon to know potential complications, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said.
The child's core temperature fell to 84 degrees in the freezer, prosecutors said. She also had a broken arm and leg and a head injury, medical staff determined.
Tyler James Deutsch pleaded not guilty to charges of child assault, criminal mistreatment and interfering with the reporting of domestic violence. He was represented by a public defender.
According to court papers, Deutsch gave Pierce County sheriff's officers several accounts but finally said he put the child in the freezer Saturday afternoon "because he was tired and she was crying."
Deutsch said he fell asleep, awoke as the baby's 22-year-old mother returned to their trailer in Roy, Wash., and was removing the baby from the freezer as the mother came in, according to the prosecutor's account.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dads Emotional Problems May Harm Their Toddlers' Health

A new scientific study from Norway suggests that dads need to get our mental health in order BEFORE fathering children

Dad's Distress May Make for Troubled Toddler

An expectant father's mental health problems may be linked to his child's behavioral and emotional difficulties early in life, researchers found.
A Norwegian cohort found paternal psychological distress was associated with a small but positive risk of a child developing behavioral difficulties, emotional problems, and impaired social functioning, according to Anne Lise Kvalevaag, PhD candidate, of Helse Fonna HF in Haugesund, Norway, and colleagues.
Higher levels of emotional distress in expectant fathers were associated with higher levels of emotional and behavioral problems in children, they wrote online in Pediatrics.
Earlier research has found ties between psychiatric disorders in mothers and "increased risk of socioemotional and behavioral problems in their children," the authors noted.
"The current study demonstrates that there is a consistent positive predictive association between fathers' parental mental health status and their children's socioemotional and behavioral development at 36 months of age," they concluded. "The findings are of importance for clinicians and policymakers in their planning of healthcare in the perinatal period because this represents a significant opportunity for preventive intervention."
The researchers examined associations between paternal mental health and children's socioemotional and behavioral development through a prospective, population-based cohort of 31,663 kids in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study.
Fathers' mental health information was acquired through the self-reported Hopkins Symptoms Checklist (SCL-5) at weeks 17 or 18 of gestation. SCL-5 is an indicator of level of global mental distress, mainly symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the cutoff point for SCL-5 is 2.00, they authors explained.
Data on the child's emotional and behavioral development -- as well as the mother's pre- and postnatal mental health -- were taken at 36 months after birth. Maternal mental health was evaluated through the same questionnaire fathers filled out. Child development was evaluated through three parental-response questionnaires on mental health, socioemotional problems, and behavior.
The mean SCL-5 score for the fathers was 1.13. Three percent of the fathers had a score above the cutoff of 2.00.
In a crude analysis with behavioral difficulties as the dependent variable, paternal psychological distress was significantly associated with a child's behavioral (odds ratio 1.28, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.58) and emotional difficulties (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.36 to 2.00) at age 36 months, as well as social functioning (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.62).
This association persisted after adjustment for age, education, marital status, somatic conditions, alcohol and tobacco use, physical activity, and maternal mental health.
When the model was fully adjusted, associations between behavioral difficulties and father's distress lost significance (OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.40, P=0.3), though the other associations remained significant.
The authors noted "a number of possible mechanisms could account for this association" including a prenatal genetic effect of paternal psychological distress, negative outcomes of depression on mothers resulting in negative outcomes for the child, and prenatal health predicting postnatal health, which "may account for some of the associations seen."
The authors noted several limitations with their study. The cohort had a 38.5% participation rate, which could have resulted in selection bias. Additionally, survey answers were self-reported and can be affected by rater bias.