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Archive for February, 2012

10 Ways to Get Parenting Lessons

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Have you ever caught yourself wishing that kids came with an instruction manual? You’re not alone. You may think, as many parents do, that you’re supposed to have all the answers, so you’re too embarrassed to ask the questions. Take heart. Not everything about parenting comes instinctively and, as luck would have it, there’s no shortage of places to go to find those answers. Most of these resources are also court-approved for satisfying certain legal requirements as described below. Here then is a list of ten ways that you can get parenting lessons:

  1. Parenting.comOne of the most comprehensive websites for parents on the internet. Here you can find advice and information on everything from fertility to single parenting. The community section includes a forum where parents can share stories and advice as well.
  2. Active Parenting™ PublishersA full library of parenting books for every stage of childhood, and every family situation. There’s a very helpful test available which reveals your individual parenting style. It’s a useful tool in determining what parenting aids are best suited to you. Links to find local and online parenting classes are provided as well.
  3. Parent Road InterventionsParent Road provides court-ordered counseling and parenting classes for clients of social workers, attorneys, and patients of mental health professionals. Professionals can also receive training through this website.
  4. ParentingChoice.comOffers a 4-hour certification course which is accepted in courts nationwide to satisfy the requirements of the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course that many states require for divorce.
  5. Fight 4 KidsOperated by Parent Road, this non-profit organization offers a full spectrum of online tools for parents looking for answers. Apart from court-ordered counseling, there are tools and professionals available who can provide assistance on topics such as drug/alcohol abuse and anger management.
  6. Online Parent Class™Self-paced, computer-based courses ranging from a 4-hour parenting class to an advanced 16-hour class. These classes range in price from $95 to $295, and are available to anyone who wishes to enhance their parenting skills or broaden their knowledge base.
  7. Parenting OnlineOffered by Nathalie Kretzmann, M.S., the parenting courses are short, inexpensive, and focus on maintaining loving, healthy relationships with your children as well as emphasizing child responsibility. The courses are divided into two series: Raising Happy Children and Raising Happy Teens.
  8. FamilyDoctor.orgSponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians, this site offers free advice and guidance on parenting. Learn tips for more effective parenting, how to parent twins, even tips on hiring and training a babysitter.
  9. KidsHealth.orgParenting advice on children’s health issues, teaching your child;a section that tackles tough topics like how to deal with bullying, etc. Other areas include pregnancy and newborns, nutrition and fitness, emotions and behavior, and general health.
  10. Centers for Disease Control And PreventionThe CDC website has sections for parental advice concerning every stage of child development, from infants to teens, Topics range from health and safety to behavioral issues,. Parents can search for answers on whatever topic concerns them via the site’s browse-by-topic listing.


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10 Studies About How Being a Middle Child Impacts Life

Friday, February 24th, 2012

There are many factors that influence our lives as we develop from children to adulthood, but how about our place in the family structure? There have been several studies done on this subject of birth order and how it affects people. We’ve all thought about the differences of the oldest child versus the youngest, but what about the ones in the middle of the pack? How does their place among their siblings affect them? Here are 10 studies about how being a middle child impacts their life.

  1. The Effect of Birth Order on Intelligence – This study done by Jessica L. Walton at Loyola University focuses on the affects of birth order on intelligence. It contradicts past research that indicated higher intelligence for first and last born siblings and has found a higher significance in the intelligence level of the middle born sibling.
  2. The Power of Birth Order – Time Magazine explores the effects of birth order on all siblings and concludes that the middle children get shortchanged. Family resources are more likely to be spent on the oldest and youngest siblings leaving the middle ones with little investment of time or energy.
  3. Birth Order – Frank J. Sulloway has done extensive research on birth order and briefly addresses the middle child in this study. He notes a consistent finding that middle children display lower self-esteem than their siblings.
  4. Birth Order and Political Rebellion – In this study Sulloway examines how birth order may determine a person’s propensity for political rebellion. Some psychologist claim the middle child tends to exhibit a more rebellious personality because they have a less established position in the family and seek attention.
  5. Birth Order, Sibling Competition and Human Behavior – In yet another study, Sulloway uses a Darwinian approach to how middle children cope with limited resources in a family. He concludes that these kids are more independent and are also likely to live further away from their parents.
  6. The Birth Order Book – Dr. Kevin Leman, an internationally known psychologist, wrote the book on birth order. He insists that the middle child is more likely to be secretive and feel isolated in the family. However, this does make them good listeners, negotiators and people pleasers.
  7. Birth Order, Educational Attainment and Earnings – This study by Jasmin Kantarevic and Stéphane Mechoulan indicates that middle children can get the shaft when it comes to education and earning potential. They examine the implications of being early in the birth order, especially in large families.
  8. Birth Order and Personality in the Workplace – Ben Dattner, Phd. did this study regarding the impact of birth order on personality in the workplace. He concludes that middle children tend to be more diplomatic and politically skilled. They are also good at negotiation, peacemaking and compromise while relatively closer to friends than family.
  9. Birth Order Effects in the Formation of Long-term Relationships – The Hartshorne study examines the possibility that middle children form more long-term relationships. This could also be because they feel isolated within the family and seek to fill that void with friends and marriage partners.
  10. Birth Order: It’s Influence on Personality – And finally, this study by C. Ernst and J. Angst concludes that the influence of birth order on personality remains unconfirmed. They feel any initial findings by these extensive studies have proven baseless and even misleading.

So there you have it. Being a middle child could explain why you’re smarter, rebellious and a good companion. It could also reveal why you always felt so unloved and constantly seek attention. Does your birth order really have that big of an impact on your life or does it depend more on the personality you’re born with? You can study the studies and draw your own conclusion.

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10 Siblings That Started Successful Businesses Together

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Finding the right partner to operate a business can be a challenge. Co-managing requires complementary skills and good communication. Such is not often the case when a business is family-owned, where separating personal issues from business matters presents an even greater challenge. So when a company that is run by siblings succeeds, it’s no small matter. We’ve put together a list of ten examples of siblings that overcame the odds and started successful businesses together:

  1. Catherine and David Cook – Co-created the website MyYearbook.com in 2005, at the ripe old ages of 15 and 16 respectively. The social discover site now boasts around 20 million members, and the Cook siblings recently sold it for a nice round figure of $100 million.
  2. Ernest and Julio Gallo – These two brothers co-founded E&J Gallo Winery in 1933, after Prohibition had ended, with less than $6,000 in start-up capital -which they had borrowed. It is today the largest family-owned winery in America, worth billions.
  3. Walt and Roy Disney – Founded Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923.In the midst of the Depression, six years later, they reincorporated into Walt Disney Productions, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  4. George and Ira Gershwin – From 1924 until George’s death from a brain tumor in 1937, these songwriting brothers made musical magic – and history – together that would last forever. Together they scored over two dozen Hollywood and Broadway productions, such as An American in Paris, Porgy and Bess, A Star is Born; Strike Up the Band, and Funny Face.
  5. Bob and Harvey Weinstein – Founded Miramax Films in 1979, which was known for its distribution of independent and foreign films during the period the brothers owned the company. It was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 1993, after which the Weinsteins garnered even more success before leaving to start up another venture of their own.
  6. Max, Mannie, Charlie, and Eddie Brandenstein founded MJB Co. in 1889. It was originally named the M. J. Brandenstein Co., but was changed to avoid sibling rivalries and to hide the fact that the brothers were German Jews. MJB Coffee is still one of the biggest coffee makers in the U.S.
  7. Georges, Armand, Paul, and Maurice Marciano – These four Moroccan brothers, raised in France, moved to California to co-found GUESS, the clothing line brand in 1981. Their trademark black-and-white ads won them numerous awards, and helped earn them a huge share today in the fashion industry.
  8. Stephen Messer and Heidi Messer – This brother-and-sister team co-founded Linkshare, which, according to their website, is a leading provider of full-service online marketing solutions specializing in the areas of Affiliate Marketing, Search Marketing, and Lead Generation. Linkshare is now owned by Rakuten, which acquired it in 2005 for $425 million.
  9. Roy and Bertrand Sosa – Established NetSpend, a leading provider of reloadable prepaid debit cards and related financial services for a market which the brothers believed was under-served by traditional banks and lenders. They parlayed their initial $750 investment into a market value  of over a half-billion dollars.
  10. Moses and Aaron – According to our records, this sibling duo co-founded Exodus, a rather successful moving business, quite some time ago. It lasted for just three months, but the business guidelines Moses introduced to his clients are still in practice today.

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10 Studies About Triplets and Multiples Other Than Twins

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

The birth of twins is fairly common in the human race, but births of triplets and higher-order multiples have historically been very rare. With the introduction of fertility drugs and practices, this incidence has greatly increased although still fairly rare. Humans are not as well equipped to handle the stress involved with these multiple births and so they pose some very special challenges. Extensive research has been done to help physicians and parents cope and here are 10 studies about triplets and multiples other than twins.

  1. Multiples Born to Older Moms The National Institute of Health or NIH has released this study to examine the effects of multiples born to older women. They conclude that these infants fare about the same as those born to younger moms. In fact, triplets born to older women actually fare better than triplets born to those who are younger.
  2. NIH Study on Triplets and Birth Weight – This study conducted by NIH has found that triplets born with very low birth weight are at greater risk than twins or singles of the same weight. The research shows higher death and disability rates for low birth weight triplets by the age of two.
  3. Test-tube Multiple Births Declining – Reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, this study shows that the incidence of multiple births in test-tube babies has declined in recent years. The advances in fertility procedures has allowed for fewer embryos to be implanted with a higher success rate.
  4. Does Triplet Birth Pose Special Health Risks?Pediatrics published this study that examines whether triplet births pose special health and development risks for infants. They concluded that this is indeed the case after assessing cognitive development in relation to intrauterine growth and mother infant interaction for the first 2 years.
  5. What Factors Influence Twins, Triplets and Higher-Order Birth Rates? – This research by Kathleen Early tries to explain the increase in higher-order multiple birth rates in the United States. What factors have influenced this skyrocketing trend?
  6. Breast-feeding and Bottle-feeding Study – Mothers who want to breast feed their infants have a greater challenge with triplets and higher-order multiples than those of twins or singles. This study by NCBI shows that moms of multiples or much more likely to bottle feed their infants.
  7. Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Triplets or Higher-Order Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants – Another study published in Pediatrics examines the special problems associated with extremely low birth weight in higher-order multiple births. These infants may have an even higher rate of death or neurodevelopmental impairment than singles or twins.
  8. Triplets and Higher-Order Multiple Births – The NCBI conducted this research on time trends and infant mortality. They conclude that ovulation-inducing drugs for the treatment of infertility have influenced the increase in multiple births. This plus the decline in mortality risk have created a much greater need for medical and social services for these families.
  9. Higher-Order Multiple Births in Abakaliki – This study was done in Southeast Nigeria regarding the high rate of higher-order multiple births for the Igbo women of Ebonyi State. Because most of these are vaginal births there is an increase of intrapartum stillbirth and birth asphyxia among triplets.
  10. Triplet Morbidity and MortalityThe Journal of Perinatology published this study about triplets in a large case series. They found that there are low morbidity rates and excellent survival rates with contemporary neonatal care.

Higher-order multiple birth families face unique challenges not only related to medical problems and care. Raising these kids to be happy, healthy adults is a tough but rewarding job. Most parents of multiples need special help in order to cope. Hopefully these studies provide some insight to parents who are expecting triplets or more. They need all the help they can get.

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8 Infamous Sibling Criminals

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Of all the notable criminals throughout recorded history, some of the most notorious have been siblings. There’s something about crime families that simultaneously chills and fascinates us,  some  even having passed into the realm of legend. We’ll let you decide which ones. Read on, for our list of ten of the most infamous sibling criminals:

  1. The Dalton GangGratton, Bob and Emmett Dalton were bank and train robbing brothers extraordinaire from the American Old West. Their older brother Frank was a Deputy U.S. Marshal, as were the younger boys briefly before becoming outlaws. Yet another brother, William, was a member of the infamous Wild Bunch.
  2. The James-Younger GangAnother gang of family outlaws from the Old West, this group included, among others, two sets of brothers: Bob, Cole, Jim and John Younger; and of course Frank and Jesse James. They robbed banks, trains and stagecoaches from 1860 to 1876, after which Jesse led another gang until 1882.
  3. The Barker-Karpis GangDepression Era gang whose members included brothers Fred and Arthur “Doc” Barker, and Alvin Karpis. The Barker boys were the sons of George and Kate “Ma” Barker. Their criminal reign lasted from 1931-1935 and included kidnappings as well as robberies.
  4. The Kray TwinsReggie and Ronnie Kray were two of the biggest names in organized crime during the 50′s and 60′s. Ruling London and even garnering celebrity status through their entertainment connections as night club owners, they were larger-than-life gangsters during the swinging 60′s.
  5. The Menendez BrothersLyle and Erik Menendez were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of their parents on the night of August 20, 1989.  The brothers’ affluent social status and free-spending lifestyle immediately following their parents’ deaths led to a  very high-profile televised court trial.
  6. The DoughertysThree siblings – two brothers and their sister – set out on a multi-state crime spree before being apprehended in Colorado. They had been accused of  firing at a Florida law enforcement officer and robbing a bank in Georgia.
  7. The Clarke BrothersAustralian bushrangers Thomas, John and James Clarke are credited with committing 36 holdups, killing five police officers and fostering a reign of terror that outdid Ned Kelly himself across the Australian Capital Territory of New South Wales.
  8. The Hoaks TwinsBirdy Jo and Becky Jo Hoaks, twin sisters who are aptly named, have an infamous history of scamming churches and other victims across the country. Their favorite targets tend to be churches, where they employ their wiles to hoodwink pastors and congregations alike of all manner of valuables.


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