© 2012 Sedef Örsel Özçelik

Oct 19, 2010

More on 'caveman parenting'

I wrote about Darcia Narvaez and quoted her article couple of weeks ago: http://parentcoachsedef.blogspot.com/2010/10/here-are-2-great-articles-about.html

MSNC made also another story out of her work... It is a nice piece of news material to read...
An easy to read and very informative article. I hope you'll enjoy it. The article is titled as:

Oct 15, 2010

This came as "Beautiful sentences - Must read"

A friend of mine (Ozlem=http://pisikopati.blogspot.com/) sent me an e-mail with the quoted title above... There were 10 sentences in her mail. We don't know who wrote them... but they're fun to read... and they make you think!
So here they are:

1] Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout

Do you know why a Car's WIND-SHIELD is so large & the Rear-view Mirror is so small?
Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. Look Ahead and Move on

Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write

All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don't worry, they can't last long either.

Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!

6] Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end!

When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities;
when GOD doesn't solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.

A blind person asked Swami Vivekananda: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?"
He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!"

When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes,when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

WORRYING does not take away tomorrows' TROUBLES, it takes away today’s' PEACE

Oct 12, 2010

Here are 2 interesting articles about food and nutrition... FOR THE HEALTH OF OUR CHILDREN WE NEED TO KNOW!!!

First article is from USA Today:

Most American women underestimate their ability to prevent obesity in their children, according to a new survey.

Research has shown that mothers have a stronger effect than fathers on a child's weight. But this survey found that while 87% of women believe a parent's obesity affects a child's risk of becoming obese, only 28% "assign that responsibility to themselves."

The WomenTALK online survey of 1,037 women 18 and older also found that only 11% of respondents know that a child's risk of becoming obese more than doubles if the mother is obese during her first trimester of pregnancy.

The survey was released Oct. 4 by HealthyWomen, an independent health information source for women.

Mothers are role models for their children's eating habits and also act as "gatekeepers" of food, explained Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, the group's executive director.

"From an early age, children tend to eat the same foods as their parents, especially mothers, so exposure to nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables is not only setting a good example, but also positioning your child on a lifelong course of good health," she said in a HealthyWomen news release.

The survey was conducted in order to assess women's understanding about obesity and its impact on them and the health of their families. It found that most respondents know that obesity leads to an increased risk for health problems such as high blood pressure (93%), type 2 diabetes (89%), and heart disease (88%).

However, less than one-third of the women know that obesity is associated with increased risk of colon cancer (26%), gallstones (30%), and breast cancer (23%).

Most of the respondents (80%) agree that other people's obesity can influence their risk of becoming obese, but only 28% recognize the important role played by friends. Research has shown that a person is more likely to become obese if they have a friend who is obese (57% increased risk) than if they have a sibling (40%) or spouse (37%) who is obese, according to HealthyWomen.

"Women need to be their own advocates in the fight against all of these diseases, and understanding the influence that family and friends have on the likelihood that they will become obese is part of what's slowing them down," Battaglino Cahill said. "We need to help women understand that they have the opportunity to positively wield their influence by taking charge of their own nutrition and physical activity habits."

HealthyWomen has created an online resource center (healthywomen.org/womenTALK) that offers advice and health tools such as exercise videos, family-friendly recipes and calculators for body mass index and target heart rate.

"Empowering and educating women is the best way we know to break the cycle of obesity and promote healthy habits for the life of any woman and her loved ones," Battaglino Cahill said."

The next article is from Yahoo News:


McDonald’s Happy Meal resists decomposition for six months

Vladimir Lenin, King Tut and the McDonald's Happy Meal: What do they all have in common? A shocking resistance to Mother Nature's cycle of decomposition and biodegradability, apparently.

That's the disturbing point brought home by the latest project of New York City-based artist and photographer Sally Davies, who bought a McDonald's Happy Meal back in April and left it out in her kitchen to see how well it would hold up over time.

The results? "The only change that I can see is that it has become hard as a rock," Davies told the U.K. Daily Mail.

She proceeded to photograph the Happy Meal each week and posted the pictures to Flickr to record the results of her experiment. Now, just over six months later, the Happy Meal has yet to even grow mold. She told the Daily Mail that "the food is plastic to the touch and has an acrylic sheen to it."

[Related: 'Double Down' among the worst fast food of 2010]

Davies -- whose art has been featured in numerous films and television shows and is collected by several celebrities -- told The Upshot that she initiated the project to prove a friend wrong. He believed that any burger would mold or rot within two or three days of being left on a counter. Thus began what's become known as "The Happy Meal Art Project."

[DIY: Make happier meals for your kids at home -- just don't forget one key tip]

"I told my friend about a schoolteacher who's kept a McDonald's burger for 12 years that hasn't changed at all, and he didn't believe me when I told him about it," Davies told us. "He thought I was crazy and said I shouldn't believe everything that I read, so I decided to try it myself."

[Did you know? Before the Happy Meal, there was the Fun Meal]

Some observers of the photo series have noted that the burger's bun appears at different angles, and therefore aired suspicions that the Happy Meal may not in fact be as "untouched" as the project's groundrules stipulate. Davies says there's a simple explanation for the mobile-bun effect. "The meal is on a plate in my apartment on a shelf," she says, "and when I take it down to shoot it, the food slides around. It's hard as rock on a glass plate, so sure, the food is moving."

Click image to see more photos of the unchanging Happy Meal

Photo courtesy of Sally Davies

Davies' friend was the person who should have done the additional research. Wellness and nutrition educator Karen Hanrahan has indeed kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996 to show clients and students how resistant fast food can be to decomposition.

As for Davies, she said that she might just keep her burger and fries hanging around for a while as well.

"It's sitting on a bookshelf right now, so it's not really taking up any space, so why not?" she said. It ceased giving off any sort of odor after 24 hours, she said, adding: "You have to see this thing."

[Video rewind: Gay-friendly McDonald's ad goes viral]

In response to Davies' project, McDonald's spokeswoman Theresa Riley emailed The Upshot a statement defending the quality of the chain's food. Riley's email also blasted Davies' "completely unsubstantiated" work as something out of "the realm of urban legends."

"McDonald's hamburger patties in the United States are made with 100% USDA-inspected ground beef," Riley wrote. "Our hamburgers are cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else -- no preservatives, no fillers. Our hamburger buns are baked locally, are made from North American-grown wheat flour and include common government-approved ingredients designed to assure food quality and safety. ... According to Dr. Michael Doyle, Director, Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, 'From a scientific perspective, I can safely say that the way McDonald's hamburgers are freshly processed, no hamburger would look like this after one year unless it was tampered with or held frozen.'" "

Oct 10, 2010

'Getting kids used to different realities' Phil Borges

I love TED. It is a great pleasure for me to find out about different people and their work. This is how I first found out about Phil Borges.
Phil Borges is a dentist-turned-photgrapher and film-maker.
He gave a speech on TED in 2007. There are 2 sentences he uttered in that speech that won my heart besides the beautiful photographs he took:
  • "It is important to get kids used to different realities."
  • "We need to give kids a 'mental flexibility."
To achieve his goals Borges was involved in starting a very interesting website and project called "Bridges to Understanding". Here's how they describe their mission and vision on the www.bridgesweb.org :



Bridges to Understanding uses digital technology and the art of storytelling to empower and unite youth worldwide, enhance cross-cultural understanding and build global citizenship.

Our vision is a harmonious, interconnected world in which youth are actively engaged as responsible global citizens."

On this TED talk that he gave during the year that Bridges to Understanding project was found, explains the importance of this project with great pictures and stories.

So whenever you have chance, please see this talk below... You'll see that there's always hope and love that goes around our old planet Earth :)

Oct 9, 2010

Here are 2 great articles about children and empathy... my thanks are for INTEGRAL OPTIONS CAFE :)

'Integral Options Cafe' is a great blog! On October 7th there was a great post titled:
Alison Gopnik - 'Empathic Civilization': Amazing Empathic Babies
As I have been reading, learning and writing about empathy I felt over-joy! Alison Gopnik's article is dated February 2010. She is a professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. Her article is very interesting and it confirms what I have been achieved to put together :)
And besides this article by Alison Gopnik there was another little news piece I lately posted on my Turkish blog by Darcia Narvaez. Darcia Narvaez is also a professor of psychology. She's a scholar at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in moral and character development in children.

Here are both of the articles:

"Empathic Civilization': Amazing Empathic Babies

Alison Gopnik

Posted: February 24, 2010

One of the best ways of understanding human nature is to study children. After all, if we want understand who we are, we should find out how we got to be that way. Until recently most philosophers and psychologists thought that babies and young children were profoundly amoral creatures. They also thought that children were irrational and egocentric -- unable to think logically or take the perspective of others. Jean Piaget and later Lawrence Kohlberg, the founders of the study of moral development, argued that children did not have truly moral concepts until adolescence. Instead, children simply thought that whatever other people told them to do was right.

In the last thirty years scientists have completely overturned this view. Even the youngest babies imitate the facial expressions of other people and take on their emotions -- a kind of empathy. This ability is NOT just the result of the much-hyped "mirror neurons" since, for one thing, mirror neurons have been found in monkeys who rarely imitate others. But it does show that human babies, in particular, are tuned in to other people in an especially close way.

By 18 months, babies have gone beyond empathy to genuine altruism, After all empathy just means I feel your pain, altruism means I try to make you feel better even when I don't feel that way myself. Betty Repacholi and I did an experiment with 14 and 18-month-olds. We showed them two bowls of food, one of raw broccoli and one of goldfish crackers. All the babies, even in Berkeley, like the crackers and don't like the broccoli. Then the experimenter ate some food from each bowl. Half the time she acted as if she felt the same way as the babies. But for half the babies she acted as if she was disgusted by the crackers and loved the broccoli, just the opposite of the way the babies felt themselves. Then she gave the babies the two bowls, held out her hand and said "Could I have some?" The 14-month-olds gave her the crackers no matter what she did. But the 18-month-olds actually went beyond immediate empathy to something more like genuine altruism. They gave her the crackers of she liked he crackers and the broccoli if she preferred the broccoli, They understood that the other person might want something different from what they wanted themselves, and they acted to make her happy. Other experiments suggest the same thing. Felix Warneken and Mike Tomasello found that 18-month-olds will crawl across a set of cushions to get a pen for a an experimenter who drops it out of reach -- and strains to get it back. But they won't do that if he purposely throws the pen to the ground.

By the time they are three children have taken these basic impulses towards altruism and empathy and turned them into a deeper and more genuinely moral kind of understanding. Judith Smetana and her colleagues asked children as young as two and a half about two kinds of rules in the daycare -- a rule about not dropping your clothes on the floor and a rule about not hitting other kids. Children said that breaking both kinds of rules would be bad. But they also said that the teachers could simply decide to change the first rule. They could declare that a messy room was OK and then it would be OK. In contrast, even the youngest children thought that it would NEVER be OK to harm another child, no matter what the teachers said.

If children are so good, if empathy and altruism are such a deeply-rooted part of human nature, then why are adults so bad? The impulse to evil seems to be as deeply rooted as the will to do good. Early empathy and altruism emerge in the close face-to-face intimate encounters between babies and their caregivers -- the most intimate relationships we ever have. But for genuine global morality we need to extend those feelings beyond our intimates to the six billion other human beings out there.

In fact, some studies suggest that by the time they are four, children already discriminate their own group from that of others, even when the groups are as arbitrary as Hutu and Tutsi or Serb and Croat. Children who are given a blue t-shirt rather than a red one to wear will then say that that they prefer to play with other children with a blue shirt. The human impulse to depersonalize "the others" seems as deep as the impulse to care about the people closest to you. Reestablishing that sense of personal intimacy with the "others" may be one of the best ways of bringing about global moral change."

This is the second article... Many newspapers printed parts of this article in different languages!

Mother Holding Baby, 1986
Keith Haring
One theory is to parent more like our distant ancestors did.
Monday, September 27, 2010

Darcia Narvaez is a professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in moral and character development in children. She looked closely at how we're raising our children these days and found that we've stopped doing a lot of the things our ancestors in foraging hunter-gatherer societies did, and it's changing our kids for the worse.

According to Narvaez, our distant ancestors raised their babies with lots of positive touch (constant carrying, cuddling, and holding); breastfeeding for two to five years; and warm and prompt responses to cries and fussing, which “keeps the infant’s brain calm in the years it is forming its personality and response to the world,” she says. They also raised their children among other adult caregivers and let their kids play more with other children. All of this, she says, resulted in children who had better mental health, greater empathy, and higher intelligence than kids do now. "The way we raise our children today in this country," she argues in a write-up of her research, "is increasingly depriving them of the practices that lead to well-being and a moral sense."

For one thing, infants are spending more time in carriers, car seats, and strollers than they used to, she says, and by the time babies are a year old, only about 15 percent of mothers are still breastfeeding. Children are less likely to live with members of their extended family, and, of course, children play outdoors less than they did only a few decades ago. And many parents worry that they will "spoil" their baby if they're too responsive, she notes. But as Narvaez explains in a video interview:

We're finding that 3-year-olds who have mothers who are responsive are more cooperative, they're more self-regulated, and they have greater empathy. We're finding that kids, or 3-year-olds, with mothers who touch them a lot, who report picking them up, who report holding them, are more likely to be empathic; they have greater empathy than children who don't have mothers who touch them positively. These children who are touched a lot also have greater conscience development, they're more self-regulated, and they have more self-control. These are also related to moral development and moral behavior as adults. Mothers who have breastfed at all have children who have greater empathy. Again, this is related to how they behave as adults. "

Oct 6, 2010

On myths...

Joseph Campbell has been a mentor, muse, and friend of mine across time through his books, articles and recordings. Below video is an all time favorite of mine.

Understanding and thinking of myths are quite important for us parents. As parents our jobs are not to control our kids' behavior, but to meet their needs. And when I say needs I am not only talking about their physical needs but all kinds! So myths are our great guides... and Joseph Campbell is a one of kind expert on this field... If you can't watch the entire video, please just watch the first 10 minutes. He talks about metaphors and how sometimes metaphors are granted as 'facts'... Just by understanding this little piece of knowledge we can raise children who respect each other’s differences :)



In case... the below video doesn't work here's the link: