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Around the Green Parenting Web: Dora’s Home Birth, Sensory Tsunami, Holiday Safety Tips, Children & Climate Change, Commu

Posted Dec 17 2010 12:00am
Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to for updates on this topic.

Photo:   Attribution Some rights reserved by  Håkan Dahlström Was Dora born at home?

Was Dora born at home?

Dora was heading to her own home. I started watching because I had never seen her parents. Frankly, they appear to be pretty neglectful since their daughter is off on adventures with a monkey every day. Does she even go to school? I was curious to see her folks.

She walks in and there is a group of family members gathered in the living area with pins on, it looked like some sort of baby shower. Dora was a Big Sister! Her mother had just had a baby. Dora and Boots were pretty stoked and wanted to see the baby.

I was actually getting confused. Her mother just gave birth but she was visiting her at home. How could this be?! Does her country have an expedited hospital release policy of 10 minutes after birth?!…

Now, was this a Homebirth?!…
I don’t know if Nick Jr. is meaning to expose kids to an alternative method of having babies (doubtful) or if they are just avoiding any mention of “birth” by having the parents at home versus a hospital, where births take place for most people.

The babies are given bottles; you can’t win all the battles. However, while browsing for the episode I found a Dora doll where she wears both babies in a sling. It was small victory since the babies are a. facing out and b. being fed a bottle.

Here comes the Holiday Season. Something to look forward to and something that many parents also dread. “The whole thing is like being hit by a sensory tsunami,” commented one mom who was wondering if there was another way to do it. While our kids are living life at such a fever pitch through the school year is it possible to downshift the pace as we move into the holidays?

Too Much, Too Fast, Too Soon

We are now living in a post-excess era. We have seen what excess has done to our economy and to our environment. And hardly a day goes by when we don’t see another high profile article about the excess of screen time and digital overload our children are experiencing, most recently, the New York Times ‘Growing Up Digital, Wired For Distraction’…

It’s around this time of the year that we are given a chance to make some choices about the pace of life, and it’s not easy. Somewhere inside us we know this is a time of “peace on earth”, of family connection (maybe those two images don’t exactly line up) and yet the pressure to speed up, do more and brave the “sensory tsunami” of Holiday Season shopping and celebration is acute

Experts from the California Poison Control System offer 12 Holiday Safety Tips:

1 Don’t let babies chew on foil wrapping paper. It may contain lead.

2 Holiday gifts can have flat, coin-shaped batteries. If swallowed, these can cause serious burns, choking and lead exposure. Keep all batteries away from babies, kids and pets!

3 If using snow spray indoors be sure to open windows. Solvents in the spray cans may cause nausea, lightheadedness and headache.

4 Poinsettias won’t kill you. Ingestion may cause mild stomach upset, but aren’t fatal.

5 Pine needles can get stuck in the throat and cause choking in small children & pets. Keep swept up.

As  MoJo‘s Kate Sheppard discusses here , a new  report by international  humanitarian organization DARA finds that climate change could kill up to 5 million people in the next 10 yearsand most of them are  children under the age of 5 in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This predicted increase in mortality isn’t due to Hollywood-style tsunamis or apocalyptic winters. Instead, the killers are much more ordinary: malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition.

Of course, one way to help the planetand the families most impacted by the planet’s healthis to bear fewer kids in the first place. As Julia Whitty wrote in “ The Last Taboo ,” overpopulation is a huge climate change driver that’s rarely discusseduntil this week. During the UN-sponsored climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, media mogul Ted Turner suggested such radical ideas as one-child policies and monetary rewards for not reproducing. Turner was quickly shut down by former Irish president Mary Robinson, who  said , ”If we do it the wrong way, we can divide the world…A lot of people in the climate world could communicate this very badly.”

As a new or expectant mother, it is daunting to realize how many choices we are faced with that impact the future of our children.  From how we birth and feed our children, to the safety and toxicity of their surroundings, the decision-making can create uncertainty and fear.

One of the most powerful mechanisms for navigating the journey is through community.  It seems women have always known this.  We seek out support and find our tribe.  We connect with other moms and share our wisdom.  And it seems that we are biologically inclined to do so.  According to the research of  Shelly Taylor et.al. of UCLA , women have a biobehavioral mechanism that fosters a “tend-and-befriend” response, unlike the male “fight-or-flight” pattern.  As the researchers describe, “Tending involves nurturant activities designed to protect the self and offspring that promote safety and reduce distress; befriending is the creation and maintenance of social networks that may aid in this process.”

Women thus gravitate towards social support, characterized by tending to young children and allying with those around them to increase their likelihood of survival and success in stressful situations.

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