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Weekly Reader 2.22.10

 Grandparents Make Kids Fat

Fast food, junk food, too much of the tube.  Granny daycare may solve one problem but apparently often contributes to another: childhood obesity

A British study looked at 12,000 children and found that when granny was the nanny the child was 34 percent more likely to be overweight than children in daycare or watched by a non-relative babysitter.  

 The lead researcher on the study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, blamed “indulgence of children and lack of physical exercise” as  two possible explanations for the findings,  according to the BBC.  

News stories and blog postings abounded including in the  Mommy Files blog  which asked young parents whether they “let it slide or do you put your foot down and ask your parents to put away the candy dish and turn off the TV?” 

The question generated dozens of responses including an admission of guilt from a long-distance grandparent:

I allowed my grandson, on a trip to the zoo last May, to subsist for one entire day on three ice cream bars, a bag of potato chips and a coke.

But. This kid lives 7,000 miles away, and I see him twice a year. This was a one-time event. (Even a kid deserves a vacation! Who here, among all you responsible adult healthy eaters, never takes a day off, not even once a year, and just eats chocolate cake?)

Good luck parents! 

Children Lower Your Blood Pressure

We all can recall  times when parenting caused our blood pressure to spike.  But the reality, according to a recent scientific study,  is that parents have lower blood pressure levels than childless people. 

As writer Susan Brenner notes in  Kids:  Just What You Need for Your Health:

The job of being a parent changes over time, but doesn’t really end.  Our worries go from, “Will my child ever eat vegetables,” to “Will my child learn to read,” to “Will my child get into college,” to “Will my child have the right job,” and so it goes.

Give Advice or Not?

What happens when grandma is an early childhood educator?  As noted last week in “Say Everything or Say Nothing,” even experts must carefully choose their words.

 In “Grandparents must learn to let it be and follow parents’ lead,” childhood expert Martha McClellan writes:

My most difficult challenge has been knowing when to intervene and make suggestions to the parents, or hold my tongue and respect their rights to make their own mistakes and learn from them. There are many tough decisions for me in the areas of food choices, bedtimes, discipline, TV and DVDs, routines, etc.

She  goes on to enumerate other “problem” areas:  gifts, long-distance grandparenting, play, competition with the other grandparents, and on. 

Her takeaway?

Grandparenting is a wonderful chance for us to open our hearts, share that unconditional love, create more strong and lasting relationships and grow a little ourselves

Adult Kids Need Prayers Too

Author Stormie Omartian sold 1.7 million copies of her book, “The Power of a Praying Parent,” which focused on teens and younger children.  But, as she notes, parenting does not stop at the end of the teeange years so she has written a new book,  “The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children.”

A Publisher’s Weekly review notes,

She offers 14 things to pray for adult children, including that they find freedom, restoration and wholeness; have a sound mind and right attitude; and be protected and survive in tough times…Fans of Omartian will find more of her chatty, personal style mixed with lists and myriad subtopics throughout; new readers may be put off by repetition and that same chattiness. But all readers will know that Omartian’s heart is dedicated to prayer, God’s redemptive love and a healthy future for all adult children.

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