API Links - April 2013

API Links you to...

News on how to honor your mom for Mother's Day, the value of family, a chart of how parents around the world view their children, pacifier use (yes or no?), and much more ...

Editor's Picks

How Parents around the World Describe Their Children, in Charts
A fascinating new study reveals that Americans are more likely to call their children "intelligent," while European parents focus on happiness and balance. Here's why.

"Napalm Girl": When Children Change the World (By Showing Up)
"Donít see a little girl crying out in fear and pain. See her as crying out for peace." - Kim Phuc

Your Phone vs. Your Heart
How much time do you typically spend with others? And when you do, how connected and attuned to them do you feel? Your answers to these simple questions may well reveal your biological capacity to connect.

Defeating the Formula Death Star, One Tweet at a Time: Using Social Media to Advocate for the WHO Code
Using the unprecedented capacity of social media for advocates to educate and mobilize concerned consumers, a rag-tag group of rebel forces - online WHO code activists - are working to protect the WHO code and breastfeeding mothers everywhere.

For the Health of Our Society: "Normal" Child Abuse Prevention
by Rita Brhel

"Many of the mothers and mothers-to-be that I talk to are young - teens and early 20s - a challenging group to promote healthy parenting practices to, as they are still growing and developing themselves. We know this anecdotally. We also know this scientifically. This 2010 UK study is among many that show that the brain doesnít reach maturity as once theorized until people are at least age 30. Executive functioning, such as planning and decision-making, social awareness and behavior, empathy and other personality traits, are the last bits of cognitive functions to fully develop."

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

Modern-Day Crystal Ball Could Revolutionize Neonatal Care
Searing experience led RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar to use "glass orb" technology to create a tool to detect premature infant pain.

Cesarean Delivery Rates Vary Tenfold among U.S. Hospitals; Reducing Variation May Address Quality and Cost Issues
Cesarean delivery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States, and cesarean rates are increasing. Cesarean rates varied tenfold across hospitals, from 7.1 percent to 69.9 percent. Even for women with lower-risk pregnancies, in which more limited variation might be expected, cesarean rates varied fifteenfold, from 2.4 percent to 36.5 percent.

Assessing Birth Settings to Improve Value and Optimize Outcomes in U.S. Maternity Care
Wendy Gordon, LM, CPM, MPH, Midwives Alliance Division of Research, shares some insights into some of the fascinating discussions that took place at the Institute of Medicine's workshop focusing on birth place settings.

Vaginal Delivery Recommended Over Maternal-Request Cesarean
The nationís largest ob-gyn organization recommends that pregnant women plan for vaginal birth unless there is a medical reason for a cesarean. In new guidelines, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says maternal-request cesareans are especially not recommended for women planning to have several children, nor should they be performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy.

Radio Dreams with Kimmie Rhodes & Friends!
With Special Mother's Day Guest Barbara Nicholson!

Listen from anywhere in the world through live streaming, every Sunday evening, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm! Or if you live in Austin, Texas, tune in to KOKE-FM on 98.5 and 99.3.

Feed with Love and Respect

Does Breastfeeding Protect against Substantiated Child Abuse and Neglect? A 15-Year Cohort Study
Breastfeeding may help to protect against maternally perpetrated child maltreatment, particularly child neglect.

The Secrets of Breastmilk
When we come out of the womb, we make our way to the breast. We enter the world with milk on our minds. But even as grown-ups, we have never known exactly what's in that milk - or, as strange as it may sound, what the point of it is. For decades, milk was thought of strictly in terms of nutrients, which makes sense - milk is how a mother feeds her baby, after all. But providing nutrients turns out to be only part of what milk does. And it might not even by the most important part.

Take Away Pacifiers Ö and Breastfeeding Rates Drop?
"We all have those things we said weíd never do when we had a baby which, once we actually had a baby, kinda went out the window. For me, one of those was pacifier use. Now, the more I learn about pacifiers, including what a recent study in Pediatrics shows, the more I support their use during a babyís first year."

Pacifier Use Can Lead to Emotional Problems in Boys
The emotional development of baby boys may be damaged if they use pacifiers, because using these common objects actually stops babies from experimenting with facial expressions when they are very young.

Prevalence and Reasons for Introducing Infants Early to Solid Foods: Variations by Milk Feeding Type
These findings highlight the high prevalence of early introduction of solids and provide details on why mothers introduced solid foods early.

API Reads!

Come join us as we read Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, by Dr. Laura Markham, through the end of April.

Here are some of the topics we're discussing: yelling, nurturing yourself through challenging times, special time, disconnection, and daily rituals. We look forward to seeing you online either through our API Reads forum or through our GoodReads program.

Any questions? Please email us. Happy reading! 

Ensure Safe Sleep, Emotionally and Physically

Responses to "Five-Year Follow-up of Harms and Benefits of Behavioral Infant Sleep Intervention"
Methodological concerns, unethical and unscientific conclusions, flawed methodology?

SPECIAL SECTION: The Importance of Healthy Family

The Importance of Aunties and Uncles
"I never had children and was excited when my siblings became parents. But as my nieces and nephews become teenagers, they seem busy with their own lives. I don't know what to do to get closer, other than friending them on Facebook. Do you think having relationships with their aunts and uncles matters to kids?"

U.S. Divorce Rate Continues Downward Trend
The divorce rate in the United States continues to fall, but a large percentage of couples still call it quits despite their vows of "for better or worse."

Telling Tales Can Be a Good Thing
Mothers tell better, more emotional stories about past experiences, which help children develop their emotional skills.

Each Family Dinner Adds Up to Benefits for Adolescents
Parents have heard it for years: Family dinners help kids avoid risky behaviors and may even help them in school. But new research shows that the more frequent these dinners, the better the adolescents fare emotionally.

Parent-Child Violence Leads to Teen Dating Violence
Teens today are involved in intimate relationships at a much younger age and often have different definitions of what is acceptable behavior in a relationship. Violence is something that is all too common and according to researchers at Iowa State it is a reflection of the relationships teens have with their parents or their parent's partner.

The Secret to Fixing School Discipline? Change the Behavior of Adults
If fixing school discipline were a political campaign, the slogan would be, "Itís the Adults, Stupid!"

Against Rising Poverty, Children Show a Stiff Upper Lip
America's children and their families are showing greater resilience and support in the face of rising poverty that has now wiped out the historic financial gains of the 1990s.

Parents' Unemployment Affects Students at Home, School
Although the unemployment rate in many places in the country is dropping, the recent recession and jobless state that lingers for many parents is having a profound effect on children and their education.

Provide Consistent and Loving Care

Arguments in the Home Linked with Babies' Brain Functioning
Being exposed to arguments between parents is associated with the way babies' brains process emotional tone of voice.

Future Criminals Can Be Identified as Early as Age 6
Conduct problems and hurtful and uncaring behavior in children as young as 6 years are accurate predictors of violent and nonviolent criminal convictions in young adulthood.

Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

Positive Family Relationships Linked to Healthy Marriages
Adolescents who have positive relationships with their parents tend to have stable and satisfying relationships in their early adult marriages as well as romantic relationships.

In Defense of Parents: A Child Therapist's Dissent
Perhaps it has always been this way, but recently, it seems that parents are under attack. The criticisms come from all sides. We are over-involved or overly permissive. We fail to teach traditions and values. We over-diagnose, over-medicate, and over-accommodate our kids, often to excuse our own poor parenting.

Children Should Be Allowed to Get Bored
Children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their innate ability to be creative.

Emotional Responsibility and Parenting
How owning our inner selves can help us become better parents.


Dear Supporter,

When is your crazy-making time? For some, itís the holidays. For others, vacation. Or the beginning of the school year. For my family? Spring. Hands down.

Spring is when we have science competitions, AP exams, recitals, demonstration days, end-of-year projects, geography competitions, and a bunch of other stuff. And as homeschoolers, we have to drive to everything. Itís exhilarating ... and exhausting.

As crazy as this time of year is, I  love it! While some families may find that this hectic activity might fracture their family and strain tenuous ties, it does the opposite for us.

This is one of the times Iím most grateful for the AP path we chose. For us, all the goals and deadlines bring us together. We sit shoulder to shoulder hunched over balsa wood and glue, poring over topographic maps, analyzing guitar riffs, dropping eggs (on purpose), and plotting data.

And my kids talk ... to me ... about things that are important to them. (How many parents of teens can say that?)

Yes, tempers flare. Very last nerves get frayed. Frustration and impatience make their presence known. But all those episodes are interspersed with laughter, games, and jokes. And memes of cats, of course.

No matter how scattered we seem, we all come back together.


This month we have some great articles for you! Learn about

- neonatal care and vaginal v. Cesarean birth in Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting,

- the astounding benefits and effects of breastfeeding in Feed with Love and Respect,

- some surprising comments to a study on sleep training in Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally,

- babies' brains and future criminals in Provide Consistent and Loving Care,

- bored kids in Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life, and

- all kinds of good stuff on families, education, and poverty in our Special Section: Importance of Healthy Family.

Please welcome our newest Leaders: Sara Rust, API of Louisville, Kentucky, and Kelly Shealer, API of Frederick, Maryland.

Camille North,
API Links Editor

Please let us know what you like and what could be better about Links.

API is a free enewsletter, dedicated to bringing you information to support you in your parenting journey.

Want to Honor Your Mom on Mother's Day?

API Special Tributes - Honor Your Parents and Help Parents in Need this April, May, and June!

In the months of April, May, and June, API celebrates Mothers and Fathers.

Make a donation to API and we will post your tribute to your honoree, notify them of your message, and enlist you to learn more and share about API by sending you these materials (limited quantities available; tribute message is optional):

Donations of $25 or more receive a past issue The Attached Family or The Journal of API and a dozen API mission brochures

Donations of $50 or more receive two more publications, for a set of three past issues of The Attached Family or The Journal of API and a dozen API mission brochures

Donations of $100 or more receive the set of publications, a copy of Attached at the Heart by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker, and a dozen API mission brochures

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Photos by Vinoth Chandar from here and by Vince Alongi from here.

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