From Mean Girls to Perfection Pressures to Baby Names
A roundup of essays, opinion pieces, and/or noteworthy news items about all things parenting.
THE MEAN SCENE
“Girls are not brought up to be assertive. They’re raised to be nice and pretty and have lots of friends. But they themselves recognize meanness as an integral part, even a normal part, of their growing up....It’s what girls do to get by. They need to dress the part and look the part and gather their army of friends around them. Their capital is their friends, their hair, their name-brand clothing – that’s power for them.”
- Nicole Landry, research coordinator with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, and author, The Mean Girl Motive: Negotiating Power and Femininity (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing), quoted in "Survival of the Meanest" by Marilyn Smulders at dalnews.dal.ca.
LITTLE MISS PERFECT
Researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax have come up with a theory to explain the vicious cycle that can link perfectionism to binge eating. Psychologists Simon Sherry and Peter A. Hall analyzed the daily behaviors of undergraduates and discovered that students who binge eat use the experience of eating to block out overwhelming feelings of loneliness, failure, and sadness. The relief is only temporary, however, as those emotions are replaced with longer-lasting feelings of guilt and shame. Learning to modify goals and expectations to better reflect what's realistic and achievable can reduce the desire to binge eat as a way of coping, leading to a happier and healthier individual, they concluded. The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Noteworthy research from the world of parenting.
GREAT NAME, HAPPY LIFE
There's a lot on the line when it comes to naming your baby. A recent study conducted by researchers at Cardiff University has confirmed what kids on the playground have known forever: it's easier to lead a happier life if your parents gave you the gift of a great name.
The researchers also found that people who really, really, really liked their name (like who were totally in love with their name) tended to score highly for self-deception. So if your friend Toaster insists that he absolutely adores his name, you might conclude that the dude protests too much.
The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Parenting resource swap.
Let's continue the chit-chat about baby names by making it the subject of the first Resource Swap.
If you've written a blog post on the subject of baby names and you're particularly proud of it OR you've got some baby naming resources to recommend, email me so that I can include your recommendations in the initial roundup of resources.
If you miss this initial call for posts and resources, don't panic. You can add your links/resources once the post goes live on Thursday. In the world of parenting, deadlines have to be flexible, right?
PS: Thanks very much for the comments on Thursday's post. I really appreciate your feedback on the new blog format. I also received some very positive tweets. Those were much appreciated, too. Hope you're all enjoying a fabulous Canadian Thanksgiving holiday weekend with friends/family. Thank you for being part of my blog family year in and year out (and, in the case of many of you, for many years running, from blog to blog). I am very grateful for your loyalty and your friendship.