Do Children in France Have a Healthier Relationship With Alcohol?

Can cultural attitudes toward wine affect our propensity for problem drinking?

Children in Italy, France and Spain know from an early age that drinking wine is commonplace. Drinking wine to excess is not.

Though some studies have suggested that offering children small tastes of alcohol is associated with problem drinking, countries where drinking wine at meals is standard, including Italy, France and Spain, rank among the least risky in a World Health Organization report on alcohol. Can cultural attitudes toward wine affect our propensity for problem drinking?

Source: Do Children in France Have a Healthier Relationship With Alcohol?

Instilling grit in kids means being demanding and supportive, AND sometimes letting them quit.

The rule at the “grit” expert Angela Duckworth’s house? You can quit. But you can’t quit on a hard day.

Very young kids, she says, should be allowed to explore, even if that means abandoning projects and even practices.

The reason it’s sometimes all right to let a child quit, Dr. Duckworth said, is that the predecessor to developing grit is the kind of play that leads to passion. Parents shouldn’t be discouraged by those early starts and stops.

“Kids don’t work hard on things they don’t care about,” she says. 

As children grow older, seeing things through becomes more important.

Instilling grit in your child requires a combination of being demanding and supportive, said Dr. Duckworth.

And parents need to “model” grit. Talk about the challenges you face now, or have faced in the past, and how you persisted. Tell family stories about the ways your clan just doesn’t quit.

And never discount the importance of fun. Children should be allowed to try the things they gravitate toward, and those sometimes don’t appear until a child has had time to explore and understand what makes him or her happy.

Source: Raising a Child With Grit Can Mean Letting Her Quit

36 Questions for Valentine’s Day

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[stag_intro]Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re tired of the crowded unoriginal restaurant dates or can’t score a babysitter, here’s an alternative date for you.[/stag_intro]

New York Times contributor Mandy Len Catron recently created buzz among singles and couples alike in her Modern Love essay “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This”. In her essay, Catron refers to a study by the psychologist Arthur Aron that explores whether it’s possible to accelerate the intimacy between people by asking a series of 36 personal questions.

The 36 questions are broken up into three sets, with each set consisting of more probing questions to elicit deeper reflection and responses. Catron tried this experiment herself with a stranger. She reveals at the end of the article that she later ended up marrying him.

“We all have a narrative of ourselves that we offer up to strangers and acquaintances, but Dr. Aron’s questions make it impossible to rely on that narrative,” Catron says in her essay.

Catron’s words remind me of some dating advice I took from Laurel House, a dating coach and former college roommate of mine. House suggests screwing the rules while dating to find the perfect partner. In Screwing the Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love, House says “the best way to create connection is to be open. Be revealing. Get raw. Talk about your core values and express who you are.”

House’s first rule to screw is don’t reveal too much on the first date. I had terrible luck finding the right partner as a single mom until I started following House’s advice. This is why Aron’s love quiz makes sense to me. The sooner you get real and raw, the faster you’ll find the right person.

This is how I ended up with my partner. We’ve been together for a few years now, but decided to take Aron’s quiz for fun. We went to one of our favorite bars and cozied up next to the fireplace with some cocktails and 36 questions on our iPhones.

It took us about two hours to go through the questions. The final part of the process is to stare into your date’s eyes for a full four minutes. We left the bar for that awkward step.

We didn’t learn anything shockingly new from one another, but the questions did lead to meaningful conversation and reconnecting. It was a fun date, and staring into your partner’s eyes for four silent minutes is a powerful and intimate experience.

Single parents will find Aron’s questionnaire helps them screw the rules and weed through mismatched partners faster. Couples will discover the 36 questions help them reconnect and deepen their relationship.

If you’re looking to ditch the ordinary and crowds this Valentine’s Day, Aron’s 36 questions may just be the perfect date for you.

5 Links: World’s Worst Mom, Glitter Bombs, Evermotion

1 – The never ending debate about kids safety vs independence became a reality show from Discovery Life. Go behind the scenes with the New York Times article “Parenting Advice From ‘America’s Worst Mom.’” More about the show and its star Lenore Skenazy from Reason magazine.

2 – This video is funny. A dad gets glitter bombed for reading his kids mail. This video is uplifting. Kid President addresses the nation: “When life gives you lemons, you gotta make lemonade. And drink it. And then you dance.”

3 – Another New York Times link in the Well – “The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk” The mood and brain-boosting benefits of a lunchtime walk are legit. Even here in bitter, frozen Vermont I make this happen most days of the week. I’m cheating a bit though –  it’s also to walk the dog.

4 – Here’s a fun and slightly educational new coloring book about robots and computers. Buy it for $10 or download and print pages for free.

5 – I love the new Guster album Evermotion. Love it. The Boston Globe calls it “terrific,” rooted in three key Bs — Beatles, Beach Boys, and Bacharach. You can play it around the kids; none of the song have swears, guns or overt sex talk, just a ton of great melodies. It also sounds great through headphones, which is how I’ve listed to it every other hour for the past couple of weeks. http://www.guster.com