Wednesday Links


Sleep Deprivation and Teenagers by Dr. Frances Jensen.   Okay, now I finally understand why my teenager hangs around in the family room when he’s supposed to be going to bed but acts like he has a hangover in the morning. “One reason is that melatonin, a hormone critical to inducing sleep, is released two hours later at night in a teenager’s brain than it is in an adult’s. It also stays in the teenager’s system longer, which is why it’s so hard to wake your high schooler up in the morning. Adults, on the other hand, have almost no melatonin in their system when they wake up and therefore don’t have the same groggy feeling.”

Babies Learn Best Right Before Sleep by Gwen Dewar, PhD.  Just like grown-ups, a new study suggests that babies learn and recall things better when they sleep right afterward.  Just think of all the good we are doing with bedtime stories!

Catholics and Family Size:  Dr. Greg wrote this thoughtful response to reports that Pope Francis said Catholics are not required to breed like rabbits.  Dr. Greg offers advice for discerning family size.


Downsides of Early Day Care by Matthew Fallon and Darcia Narvaez.  Distinguishes between “alloparents” and day care workers.  Alloparents are trusted adults in the mother’s circle who help out with the baby, but the mother remains nearby in case the baby is distressed  “This sort of environment allows an infant to become more comfortable away from mom while also developing a secure attachment because mom is always there when she is needed to calm the infant.”  The modern day care setting is far different from allocaring, because the mother is not accessible, the number of infants outnumbers adults, there is far less physical contact, and the children are not attached to the daycare workers.


Curiosity Questions:  Jane Nelsen over at Positive Discipline suggests exploring the consequences of a child’s behavior with her instead of immediately imposing consequences.  Nelsen believes this approach may lead to better problem solving skills in kids.

Limited Choices:  Another good tip from Jane Nelsen at Positive Discipline.  Instead of ordering your child around, offer her limited choices.