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Archive for January, 2012

10 Studies About Whether Twins Really Can Feel the Same Pain

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

There have been many stories about twins feeling each other’s pain, but is there any truth to it? Twins and their parents relate tales of one twin feeling the pain of the other even when they’re miles apart. Skeptics are less inclined to believe anecdotal evidence and more likely to seek scientific proof. Scientists like to use twins to do research in a variety of areas because of their identical genetics, so have there been any studies to confirm this theory? Here are 10 studies about whether twins really can feel the same pain.

  1. Twins and Rheumatoid Arthritis – The University of Michigan did this study of rheumatoid arthritis in twins. There has been a long standing theory that RA can be hereditary, so studying genetically identical twins may answer this question. This study reveals that only 15% of identical twins will both develop this disease therefore most will not feel the same pain.
  2. Twins Study on Back Pain – There have been many studies done on twins and congenital back pain. This research done on 7000 pairs of twins from the Swedish Twin Registry shows that twins will indeed feel the same pain – in their back. Even if they live completely different lifestyles, twins often develop the same back problems.
  3. Twins Study on PTSD and CWP – This study about the genetic relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic widespread pain (CWP) was inconclusive. By studying twins with these disorders they found that there is a link but that it isn’t genetic. However, twins were 3.5 times more likely to feel the same pain of CWP.
  4. Twin Study on Fibromyalgia – A team of researchers from the Pain Clinic at Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland studied 12,502 like-sexed twins of the Finnish Twin Cohort for Fibromyalgia symptoms. This painful disease was found to be prevalent in both twins which suggests a genetic link.
  5. Influence of Genetics on IBS, GERD and Dyspepsia – The results of this study suggests that there is probably a genetic influence in the development of  irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) but may not influence the development of dyspepsia. This indicates that twins are likely to both have the same type of stomach aches.
  6. Determinants of PPT in Adult Twins – The pain pressure threshold (PPT) of twins was analyzed in this study and found that environmental factors unique to each twin pair had a significant influence. Though twins are likely to feel the same pain if raised in similar environments, it’s less likely if they’re separated.
  7. Recent study at University of Birmingham – This study didn’t have anything to do with twins, but concludes that some people can feel physical pain simply by observing it happen to others. This means that if one twin sees the other being hurt they could possibly feel it themselves.
  8. MPD Syndrome in Twins – The Myofascial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome (MPD) was investigated in 94 twin pairs to see if there was a genetic link. The findings show that twins with the same facial pain are likely because of similar environmental influences.
  9. Co-bedding as a Comfort Measure – This research is to determine whether twins who share the same incubator can handle pain and discomfort better than those who are kept apart. So this study is to find out if one twin can help the other to feel less pain.
  10. Research into Twins and Hereditary Disease – According to this article, twins often suffer from each other’s pain. A variety of studies are continually being performed on twins to determine if certain painful diseases are hereditary.

So what do all these studies say about twins feeling the same pain? The results seem to show that this is likely to happen, but for reasons other than something psychosomatic. Twins feeling the same pain is usually because they have inherited the same painful disorder. Though stories abound of twins feeling each other’s pain from an accident or illness, there have been very few scientific studies done to prove it.

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10 Ways to Avoid Sibling Conflicts After a Parent Passes

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

The loss of a parent is a painful enough experience, but the added stress and strain of handling an estate can leave you grieving the loss of your wits as well. If a parent has made prior arrangements, the process smooths out considerably, but not everyone plans ahead. Whichever situation you find yourself in, you’ll find some suggestions below that can ease your pain in more ways than one. Here then are ten ways to avoid sibling conflicts when a parent dies:

  1. Ideally, parents should have a will drawn up in order to establish the distribution of their estate at their passing. Taking the guesswork, or squabbling, out of the situation by stipulating exactly who gets what will alleviate a lot of tension.
  2. Parents should ask their children beforehand what they would like to have, with no guarantee that they’ll get it just for asking. It does, however, give the parent an idea of how to begin designating which of their heirs gets specific items.
  3. Hire an appraiser. A professional appraiser can determine the dollar value of the estate, item by item. This can help determine an equitable distribution of all of the parent’s possessions. If the parent hasn’t already done this, then it can be a starting point the siblings can work from.
  4. Let old grudges die with the deceased. In emotionally-charged circumstances like the loss of a parent, petty grievances dating back to childhood can easily surface. This can cloud one’s judgment and lead to arguments over even the most trivial details. Let that stuff go.
  5. In cases where more than one sibling wants to have an item, consider selling it and dividing the proceeds, or simply donating the item to charity. Alternately, everyone can agree how to determine who gets what and stick to that arrangement.
  6. If there is a will, it’s a good idea to wait a week or so after the funeral before its reading. Give everyone time to get their emotions settled, and allow for some grieving before dealing with estate issues.
  7. Items that have not been designated, or whose recipient is for one reason or another unresolved should be placed in a neutral location – a safe deposit box or storage unit for larger items – until the matter can be settled to everyone’s satisfaction.
  8. Get everything in writing. Whether in the form of a will drawn up by the parent in advance, or as a contract agreed upon by each sibling, make sure everyone is on the same page and sticks to the agreement.
  9. If no resolution can be made among the family, then as a last resort an attorney should be hired to act as executor, or to resolve disputes equitably among the parent’s children. Whoever may be employed to handle disputes ought to also be agreed upon by all siblings
  10. Above all, make sure everyone abides by the principle that the life and legacy of a deceased loved one is to be honored. Every decision should be made with this fact foremost in each sibling’s mind.

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10 Ancient Customs for the Oldest Son in a Family

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

The eldest son in the family has held a position of high status for centuries. The traditions of family hierarchy and inheritance centered around passing on the family name and property to the next in line. The firstborn son was commonly considered the most likely to be the strongest and most capable person to maintain the family fortune and name. Most countries and ethnic groups have established traditions regarding the first son. Here are 10 ancient customs for the oldest son in the family.

  1. Inherit title – European tradition has commonly been to pass any title such as Duke, Earl, or Lord from the father on to the oldest son. Of course this also held true for royalty and the lineage of monarchies. If the firstborn son were to die before the father, the title would go to the next son and so forth.
  2. Inherit family estate – Regardless of whether a title was involved, this sequence of succession also held true for the family estate. It’s been a long-standing tradition for estates to be passed down to the oldest surviving sons in the family.
  3. Japanese family – In Japan it’s custom for the oldest son to live with his parents and take over managing the affairs of the family. He has the responsibility to care for his aging parents and provide direction for the other family members. When he marries, his wife and children are also included in the household of his parents.
  4. Chinese family – The Chinese family structure is very similar, with the oldest son taking over the supreme responsibilities of the family. It’s up to him to arrange marriages and all private family matters. When a woman marries into a household, she can only speak to her husband’s family through her oldest son.
  5. Irish naming tradition – In Ireland there is an ancient custom of passing on family names. The oldest son would traditionally be named after his father’s father or grandfather. The second son was named after his mother’s father and it’s not until the third son is born that he gets named for his own father.
  6. Jewish tradition – A joyous event that is performed in Jewish families after the first son is born is called the Redemption of the First Born Son. This is an ancient tradition established in the Torah and is to be held on the 31st day after birth. The custom includes a large meal, a Kohain and the exchange of 5 silver coins.
  7. Roman death custom – In ancient Roman culture the patriarch of the family died at home surrounded by his family. At that time it was the duty for the oldest son to bend close to the body and call out his father’s name. This was either to make sure he was really dead or perhaps call him back to life.
  8. Samurai training – In ancient Japan higher ranking samurai sent their sons to be trained at a formal dojo, but lower ranking families passed the martial skills on from father to oldest son. If there were no sons, the tradition was to teach the oldest daughter instead.
  9. Funeral pyre – In India the Hindu’s practiced the ancient tradition of suttee where the wives of the deceased were burned with the body of their husband on a funeral pyre. It was the duty of the oldest son to light the pyre that would probably consume his own mother.
  10. Double share – In Second Temple Period Judaism it was tradition for the oldest son to receive double the inheritance of his younger brothers. Along with this preferential treatment came greater family responsibility.

This emphasis placed on the oldest son in the family was fairly consistent in nearly every culture or geographic area. This tradition known as male primogeniture has been prevalent until recently in most countries and religions. It’s theorized that this preference for males arose out of a desire to maximize reproductive success, and recent research lends some credence to the theory. However, modern culture and law has diminished most of these ancient customs giving younger sons and daughters equal footing with the eldest son when it comes to inheritance and property rights. In some families these traditions are hard to die and the oldest son still holds a place of authority and responsibility.

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10 Reasons to Never Parent through Fear

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

When raising children, parents have been tempted to use all manner of  options at their disposal in order to maintain discipline in the home. Particularly when raising children in a single-parent home, resorting to fear tactics can seem like a viable alternative for keeping a child in line. If you make children fear the consequences of their actions, after all, they are less apt to behave wrongly. While that technique may seem expedient on the surface, there are myriad reasons to avoid using fear as a motivator for your kids. Here’s a list of ten:

  1. Children who are taught through fear and intimidation frequently have confidence issues as adults. They will question their own decisions and conclusions, having been taught by their parents that their own judgment cannot be trusted.
  2. Fear leads to resentment, which ultimately leads to distance and distrust. A child who continually operates out of fear will eventually begin to look elsewhere for compassion and emotional support.
  3. When the underlying motivator for all of your rules and decisions is fear, your children are liable to wonder if there is no other reason for accepting your decisions. So you can tell your teen that pot is dangerous because it leads to stronger drugs, but what happens when he makes friends with someone who only smokes pot? He’ll need more than the fear you’ve instilled in him to make the right choice.
  4. Fear can paralyze a child from making decisions later in life. If the child is led to believe that every choice entails dire consequences, she may develop an aversion to taking any form of risk, including those necessary for growth.
  5. The natural response to situations that induce fear is the fight-or-flight instinct. A child who is raised in such an environment will tend to react in kind to situations which they were taught to fear, either with hostility (fight), or avoidance (flight).
  6. If you demonstrate a pattern of making every decision and command about fear, then your kids will gradually become desensitized to your admonitions and learn to ignore them altogether.
  7. A certain amount of fear is healthy, when it’s appropriate to the situation and proportionate to the actual risk or danger involved. Too much fear creates a boy-who-cried-wolf scenario, at which point the child will be hard pressed to distinguish between real threats and imagined ones.
  8. An unhealthy atmosphere in the home often prompts children to run away. Living in constant fear creates an environment that suffocates growth and stifles freedom. A child cannot develop properly under conditions of terror and distrust.
  9. In order for a child to develop strong decision-making skills, it’s important that you establish a template from which she can work. That means showing her how to process information logically and rationally in order to determine the proper course of action.
  10. Parenting through fear is really just a transference of your own fears onto your children. This is doubly damaging because it not only leaves unresolved issues in your own life, but perpetuates them for at least another generation.

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10 Signs Your Sibling Likes Your Significant Other Too Much

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Maybe you’ve just been watching too many episodes of Jerry Springer, but you can’t seem to shake this nagging feeling that your sibling is just a little too into your significant other. You aren’t 100% sure, because you haven’t got solid proof, so you suffer in silence. Well, allow us to point out a few ways you can be sure. After all, we’ re here to help. Here’s a list of ten signs that your sibling likes the one you love, almost as much as you do:

  1. Intimate gifts, at Christmas or birthdays. There aren’t a whole lot of good excuses for getting this personal, so we’d have to say that the Victoria’s Secret collection your wife got for Mother’s Day probably should have come from you and not your brother.
  2. If your sister is spending a lot of time with your boyfriend, without you around, let’s hope they’re planning your wedding – and not theirs. Especially if they’re secretive or defensive about it, you’ve got good reason to be concerned.
  3. You visit your brother’s apartment, and he’s got photos of your girl all over the place. This is generally not a good sign for you. If he’s got a darkroom on the premises, then it’s officially time to get creeped out.
  4. Your boyfriend and sister call each other almost as much as, or even more than, you talk to either one of them. Bonus dilemma points if they tend to leave the room when you’re around in order to talk on the phone.
  5. You’ve got friends who actually think that your girlfriend is dating your brother. After all, they see those two together more often than they see her with you. Not to mention that they seem so happy together and make a cute couple.
  6. If your sister tells your beau embarrassing stories about your past whenever you’re hanging out together, it could be an attempt to lower your stock in his eyes. You can confirm this, if it tends to be in combination with #7…
  7. Your sister always dresses seductively when she plans to be around your boyfriend. Even when she hasn’t got a date, she picks out the sexiest outfits she owns whenever she comes around.
  8. Your brother has been inviting you to go out, or to his place, more now since you’ve been dating your girlfriend than he ever has before in your lives. This sudden interest in your company may in fact have nothing to do with male bonding, or even you.
  9. Your friends remark to you how frequently your brother talks about your girlfriend, and about the glow in his eyes whenever he does. You hope the feeling isn’t mutual, but it’s still an unhealthy situation.
  10. You find the two of them in bed together. Now you’re officially eligible for your own episode on the Springer show. For dress rehearsal, we recommend that you practice your hair-pulling and chair-tossing techniques with your girlfriends.

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