To read or not to read: Parent research

Every day, I sift through my emails and review the latest parent research. Links have taken me to information about the importance of Mommy sleep to the idea that your child's name will indicate their future job. There is the research that is in conflict with previous research, like the latest info on breastfeeding, and the research that is still in its infancy.

But, no matter what, I enjoy it all.

There was this humor piece written for the New Yorker, making light of the contradictory nature of parent studies - and indicating that parents were going crazy from all the parent research. I smiled when I read it. And after I finished it, I continued reading another research article that was delivered to my inbox.

But why? Am I addicted to parenting research? Do I feel like I am missing out on the latest and greatest parenting advice to apply to my son?

Maybe. But maybe I also recognize that knowledge is power, and I want to make sure I have the power to have a happy and healthy family.

And now, a story:

I live pretty far away from my extended family - a multitude of aunts, uncles and cousins who I love dearly. Whenever I see them, I am completely happy and feel welcomed and embraced and loved. Their lives are intertwined and they share this collective knowledge of everyone's business, social lives and latest news.

And, as much as I love them, I am OK not being a part of the larger collective. I am fine just being part of my smaller family unit who visits them, trades stories and makes various attempts to keep in touch between the larger visits. But, I also recognize that I am missing out: Missing out on collective wisdom, or great parenting advice or even funny stories that relate genetic quirks of our family.

So, I read parenting research. And I learn. And, hopefully, I grow. And that's why I write this blog: To share what I've learned along the way.

What kind of family studies/news stories do you find yourself paying attention to the most and why?

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