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Showing posts with label Families. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Families. Show all posts

Jun 3, 2019

7 Things I’ve Learned Since The Loss of My Child

By Nyanchama

Child loss is a loss like no other. One often misunderstood by many. If you love a bereaved parent or know someone who does, remember that even his or her “good” days are harder than you could ever imagine. Compassion and love, not advice, are what’s needed. If you’d like an inside look into why the loss of a child is a grief that lasts a lifetime, here is what I’ve learned in my seven years of trekking through the unimaginable.

1). Love never dies.

There will never come a day, hour, minute or second I stop loving or thinking about my son. Just as parents of living children unconditionally love their children always and forever, so do bereaved parents. I want to say and hear his name just the same as non-bereaved parents do. I want to speak about my deceased child as normally and naturally as you speak of your living ones.

I love my child just as much as you love yours — the only difference is mine lives in heaven and talking about him is unfortunately quite taboo in our culture. I hope to change that. Our culture isn’t so great about hearing about child loss and children gone too soon, but that doesn’t stop me from saying my son’s name and sharing his love and light everywhere I go. Just because it might make you uncomfortable, doesn’t make him matter any less. My son’s life was cut irreversibly short, but his love lives on forever. And ever.

2). Bereaved parents share an unspeakable bond.

In my seven years navigating the world as a bereaved parent, I am continually struck by the power of the bond between bereaved parents. Strangers become kindreds in mere seconds — a look, a glance, a knowing of the heart connects us, even if we’ve never met before. No matter our circumstances, who we are, or how different we are, there is no greater bond than the connection between parents who understand the agony of enduring the death of a child. It’s a pain we suffer for a lifetime, and unfortunately, only those who have walked the path of child loss understand the depth and breadth of both the pain and the love we carry.

3). I will grieve for a lifetime.

Period. The end. There is no “moving on,” or “getting over it.” There is no bow, no fix, no solution to my heartache when dealing with child loss. There is no end to the ways I will grieve and for how long I will grieve. There is no glue for my broken heart, no elixir for my pain, no going back in time. For as long as I breathe, I will grieve and ache and love my son with all my heart and soul. There will never come a time when I won’t think about who my son would be, what he would look like, and how he would be woven perfectly into the tapestry of my family. I wish people could understand that grief lasts forever because love lasts forever; that the loss of a child is not one finite event, it is a continuous loss that unfolds minute by minute over the course of a lifetime. Every missed birthday, holiday, milestone; should-be back-to-school years and graduations; weddings that will never be, grandchildren that should have been but will never be born — an entire generation of people are irrevocably altered forever.

This is why grief lasts forever. The ripple effect lasts forever. The bleeding never stops.

4). It’s a club I can never leave but is full of the most shining souls I’ve ever known.

This crappy club called child loss is a club I never wanted to join, and one I can never leave, yet is filled with some of the best people I’ve ever known. And yet we all wish we could jump ship, that we could have met another way, any other way but this. Alas, these shining souls are the most beautiful, compassionate, grounded, loving, movers, shakers and healers I have ever had the honor of knowing. They are life-changers, game-changers, relentless survivors and thrivers. Warrior moms and dads who redefine the word brave.

Every day loss parents move mountains in honor of their children gone too soon. They start movements, change laws, spearhead crusades of tireless activism. Why? In the hope that even just one parent could be spared from joining the club. If you’ve ever wondered who some of the greatest world changers are, hang out with a few bereaved parents and watch how they live, see what they do in a day, a week, a lifetime. Watch how they alchemize their grief into a force to be reckoned with, watch how they turn tragedy into transformation, loss into legacy.

Love is the most powerful force on earth, and the love between a bereaved parent and his/her child is a life-force to behold. Get to know a bereaved parent. You’ll be thankful you did.

5). The empty chair/room/space never becomes less empty.

Empty chair, empty room, empty space in every family picture. Empty, vacant, forever gone. Empty spaces that should be full, everywhere we go. There is and will always be a missing space in our lives, our families, a forever-hole-in-our-hearts. Time does not make the space less empty. Neither do platitudes, clichés or well-wishes for us to “move on,” or “stop dwelling,” from well-intentioned friends or family. Nothing does. No matter how you look at it, empty is still empty. Missing is still missing. The problem is nothing can fill it. Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after heartbreaking year the empty space remains. No matter how much time has passed.

The empty space of our missing children lasts a lifetime. And so we rightfully miss them forever. Help us by holding the space of that truth for us.

6). No matter how long it’s been, holidays never become easier without my son.

Never, ever. Have you ever wondered why every holiday season is like torture for a bereaved parent? Even if it’s been [five], 10, or 25 years later? It’s because they really, truly are horrific. Imagine if you had to live every holiday without one or more of your precious children. Imagine how that might feel for you. It would be easier to lose an arm, a leg or two — anything — than to live without your flesh and blood, without the beat of your heart. Almost anything would be easier than living without one or more of your precious children. That is why holidays are always and forever hard for parents dealing with child loss. Don’t wonder why or even try to understand. Know you don’t have to understand in order to be a supportive presence. Consider supporting and loving some bereaved parents this holiday season. It will be the best gift you could ever give them.

7). Because I know deep sorrow, I also know unspeakable joy.

Though I will grieve the death of my son forever and then some, it does not mean my life is lacking happiness and joy. Quite the contrary, in fact. It is not either/or, it’s both/and. Grief and joy can and do coexist. My life is [richer] now. I live from a deeper place. I love deeper still. Because I grieve, I also know a joy like no other. The joy I experience now is far deeper and more intense than the joy I experienced before my loss. Such is the alchemy of grief.

Because I’ve clawed my way from the depths of unimaginable pain, suffering, and sorrow, again and again dealing with child loss — when the joy comes, however, and whenever it does — it is a joy that reverberates through every pore of my skin and every bone in my body. I feel all of it, deeply. I embrace and thank every blessed morsel of it. My life now is more rich and vibrant and full, not despite my loss, but because of it. In grief, there are gifts, sometimes many. These gifts don’t in any way make it all “worth” it, but I am grateful beyond words for each and every gift that comes my way. I bow my head to each one and say thank you, thank you, thank you. Because there is nothing — and I mean absolutely nothing — I take for granted. Living life in this way gives me greater joy than I’ve ever known possible.

I have my son to thank for that. Being his mom is the best gift I’ve ever been given. Even death can’t take that away.

This article originally appeared on A Bed For My Heart.

Apr 17, 2019

A sister is a gift to the heart

Let these sister quotes be ones that you share with your special sibling. Sisters may be a relative, but they always are a friend who encourages us. There is a special bond between sisters.

1. “A sister is one with whom we have a special connection, she is a support and an encourager, and an inspiration to be all that we can be.” Catherine Pulsifer

2. When you treasure your sister, you also treasure yourself. Dave Pipitone, Writing Treasuring Notes to Your Sister
Self Worth

3. Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship. Margaret Mead

4. Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship. Margaret Mead

5. Be kind to thy sister. Not many may know the depths of true sisterly love. Margaret Courtney
6. She’s always there for me when I need her; She’s my best friend; she’s
just my everything. Ashley Olse

7. “She’s always there for me when I need her; She’s my best friend; she’s just my everything.” Ashley Olsen
Being Strong

8. “A sister is the cure for swollen heads and ego trips. One may a star, a Chief Executive-famous and rich and beautiful. But one’s sister has the family photo album. And a long, long memory. And a tendency to wink at one on Top Occasions.” Pam Brown

9. Sisters make the best friends in the world. Marilyn Monroe

10. I thank God for a sister like you. Kate Summers

11. Life is too short to stay mad at your sister. Catherine Pulsifer

12. I see my sisters as one of the few constants in my life. Jane Isay, Mom Still Likes You Best

13. … everything is more fun when you do it with your sister. Lorraine Bodger, I’m the Pretty One, You’re the Smart One
Smile Poem

Mar 16, 2019

Teen Mom Chose Unborn Baby's Life Over Own Cancer Treatment, Dies Months After Losing Her Newborn Too

Briana Rawlings was on cloud nine when she learned that she would soon bring a new life into the world. But 17 weeks into her pregnancy, Briana received devastating news. The young mother to be was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in the blood known as NK cell leukemia.
The young woman was not far from the midpoint of her pregnancy when she was faced with the dilemma of deciding between the life of her child and the protection of her own health.
Briana chose to forego the treatment that could possibly save her life. She would instead continue with the pregnancy in hopes of providing her unborn baby with the opportunity to live a healthy life. The sad reality of the situation is that both mother and son would lose their life. However, some comfort can be taken from the fact that Briana was able to hold her baby boy and shower him with the love she possessed for him.

Brianna named her son Kyden and though the little boy lived only 12 days, he received enough love for a lifetime. It's hard to fight back tears while watching a weakened Brianna cradle the tiny infant in her arms. The love in her eyes when looking at Kyden is something you will never forget.
Brianna acted like a mother even before her son was born. She was even willing to trade her own life for the life of her child in order to give him a chance at life. In the end, her decision brought more pain to her as she would also have to suffer the pain of losing Kyden. However, Briana was not broken by the loss. In fact, losing Kyden caused her to renew her own fight to survive cancer.
Brianna promised Kyden she would fight to live. She finally lost her battle with the deadly disease on December 29. She died four days after her 19th birthday. Brianna's courage and the love she had for her son were a great source of inspiration for her family. The loss of the young mother and her child has devastated them.
Brianna's sister, Kourt, admits she cannot think about her sister without breaking down under the weight of the emotion.
The complications for Kyden began three months before he was due. Brianna contracted a blood infection that doctors feared could be passed on to her unborn son. Doctors decided to deliver the baby immediately through a C-section.
Kyden was endowed with the same fighting spirit that fueled his mother. He came into the world screaming and was able to fill his lungs with air long before it should have been possible. For Brianna, the 12 days she spent with Kyden were the best days of her entire life.
Brianna endured pain and sickness to become a mother. It was always her dream to have a family. Once her son was gone, he still provided his mother with the strength to continue her fight. Brianna believed that she would win her fight against cancer and felt like her health was better than it had been in a long time.
For a while, it seemed as if Brianna might win her fight against the disease. There was a marked improvement in her blood levels and she was working hard to regain the strength that would allow her to use her legs again. She even grew strong enough to take day trips away from the hospital.
Despite the spirit and fight Briana showed, her condition eventually took a turn for the worst. Doctors decided against a bone marrow transplant they considered for Briana. Instead, they opted to treat her condition with a new drug still in the trial phase.
Doctors believed the drug would succeed in saving Briana's life but the cost was a staggering $1000 a week. Brianna's family went to work at raising the needed money for the treatment so that she could receive uninterrupted treatment. Unfortunately, Brianna only received two doses of the medicine before she succumbed to her illness.

Brianna Rawlings did not get to spend much time on earth. However, she provided a unique light to the world for the time she was granted. Brianna taught those who were fortunate enough to watch her journey that strength could be found in courage. She also taught them that hope can be maintained even in the darkest of times.
What do you think about Brianna's choice of saving her unborn baby's life instead of getting cancer treatment? Would you have done the same? Let us know in the comments and be sure to spread Brianna's story – her courage will be an inspiration to others!

Mar 9, 2019

Isn’t being a grandma one of the best blessings in the world?

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old grandma quotes, grandma sayings, and grandma proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

1. Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.
Welsh Proverb

2. Grandmothers always have time to talk and make you feel special.
Catherine Pulsifer

3. We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me.
Phyllis Theroux

4. It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace.
Christopher Morley

5. When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window.
Ogden Nash

6. Grandmothers are voices of the past and role models of the present. Grandmothers open the doors to the future.
Helen Ketchum

7. A grandmother is one of those rare individuals who you may always depend on.

8. Grandmother” doesn’t mean that you have gray hair and you retire and stay home cooking cakes for your grandchildren.
Carine Roitfeld

9. Truth be told, being a grandma is as close as we ever get to perfection. The ultimate warm sticky bun with plump raisins and nuts. Clouds nine, ten, and eleven.
Bryna Nelson Paston

10. Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.
Alex Haley

11. Since the beginning of time, grandmothers have been the negotiators and peacemakers in their families. Grandmothers are voices of the past and role models of the present. Grandmothers open the doors to the future.
Helen Ketchum

12. A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.
Erma Bombeck

13. You are the sun, Grandma, you are the sun in my life.
Kitty Tsui

14. My grandmother always used to say, “If you know your past and you know where you have to go, why do you rehearse?” I always remember this and it’s true. You have to start each day again – you can’t repeat what you did.
Marian Seldes

15. Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grandchild’s ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details. Even when you are wrong. Especially then, in fact. A grandmother is both a sword and a shield.
Fredrik Backman

Mar 8, 2019

Dad agrees to photoshoot with ex wife’s fiance & daughter then sees fiance’s remark about them online

Until recently, people had been very judgmental when it came to non-traditional families. It’s not that they’ve accepted it as a norm over night, but many realized that everyone should live their life as they please, even if that means two daddies or two mommies raising a child together. 
That is pretty much the case with this little princess’ family. The five-year-old Willow shares two loving fathers who love her to the moon and back and will do anything for her happiness.
The world learned of this unusually beautiful family just recently when the photos of the sweet photoshoot of Dylan Lenox and David Mengon with their daughter saw the light of the Internet. 
Facebook/Dylan Lenox
Dylan is very happy he got the chance to welcome beautiful Willow in his life. She is the daughter he always wanted and now he proudly goes with the name of “Bonus Dad.” “Daddy David” on the other hand is happy his daughter will have another male influence in her life. Both David and Dylan agree how meeting each other means meeting their best friend. 
The thing is that the two really are just friends. Dylan will soon marry Willow’s mother, Sarah Mengon who is David’s ex wife. All the three adults agree how this “union” that they have created has a positive influence on the girl. Double the fathers, double the love, don’t you think so?
Facebook/Dylan Lenox
Everyone agrees how co-parenting can be exhausting and affect children’s happiness, especially if the parents went through rough divorce. Untying the knot is usually followed by harsh words being spoken to one another and long and costly custody battles. Luckily, not every couple that decides to go separate ways goes through these inconveniences. 
This family is a proof of how things can be done another way when children are involved.
After Dylan posted the photo of the two fathers posing with their cute princess, people realized that not every relationship of happy people conforms to the norm.
“When we care more about our children (on both sides of the party) than the way society has taught us to be towards (ex’s/baby mommas/daddy’s) then walls will fall, life will be free of hatred and remorse, and our children will conquer the foolish “norms” that media has shoved in our faces. He stays at our home when he visits, because family is always welcome. He is not an outsider, he is and will always be a part of my life for the simple fact that we share the same daughter!”
One would expect for a situation like this to be perceived as awkward by both men, but Dylan and David know better than that. They say how Sarah is the one to blame for the harmonious relationship between the three.
Facebook/Dylan Lenox
Actually, Sara was the one who took the picture of her ex and future husband and their daughter. It was a daddy-daughter dance day at school and guess who stole all the attention?
It’s amazing how three grown ups managed to put the girl’s well-being on the top of their list of priorities. We are sure Willow is one lucky girl, because she is surrounded with some extra love.

Feb 21, 2019

Son Tells Mom He Wants Five Wives When He Grows Up. But What He Said Next Made His Dad Cry.

A mother and father in their 40s loved their children very much. They had three kids, two of whom were already grown up. Their third child, the youngest, was only 10 years old. They were tucking their young boy in to bed one night when they asked him what he wanted when he grew up.
Son: Mom, I also want 5 wives. One will cook, one will sing, one will bathe me.
Mom: And one will put you to sleep.
Son: No mom, I will still sleep with you.
Mom’s eyes filled up with tears. God bless you son.
Mom: But who will sleep with your 5 wives?
Son: Let them sleep with daddy.
Daddy’s eyes filled up with tears. God bless you son!

Daughter Accidentally Finds Mom Having an Affair. Then Dad Calls.

“Hello. Hi Honey. This is daddy. Is mommy near the phone?”
“No daddy. She is upstairs in the bedroom with uncle Paul.”
After a short pause, daddy says: “but honey, you don’t have an uncle Paul.”
“Oh yes, mommy says I do and he is upstairs with mommy in the bedroom right now.”
After a short time daddy says: “Okay, then this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door and scream that daddy’s car just pulled into the driveway.”
“Okay daddy, just a minute.”
A few minutes later the little girl comes back on the phone.
“I did it daddy.”
“And what happened honey?” daddy asked.
“Well, mommy got all scared, jumped out of the bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming. The she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn’t moving at all.”
“Oh my God!!!! And what happened to your uncle Paul?”
“He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too. He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool. But I guess he didn’t know that you took out the water last week and cleaned it. He hit the bottom of the pool and I think he is dead.”
*Long pause …*
The daddy says,
“Swimming pool? …. Is this 486-5731?”

Dad drops off baby medication to ex – heart breaks when he walks into apartment

Sometimes, unfortunately, it is necessary for couples to separate. I think this may indeed be the best option after all possible solutions are tested and exhausted.
This was the case of Brandon Carpenter and his ex. Despite sharing a child together, the two decided it would be best to go their separate ways.
However, as Brandon revealed later, separating doesn’t mean you are parting ways with an enemy. This becomes especially relevant when you are parents of the same child.
Brandon Carpenter has a beautiful young daughter. And although he and the child’s mother have separated, it certainly has had no impact on his love for his daughter — and respect for her mother. He proved this in a way that now has people everywhere cheering.
His ex asked if he could drop some medicine off for their daughter. When Brandon arrived at her apartment, he noticed something that left him concerned and saddened: her refrigerator was essentially empty and contained only some water.
This set him into action, which he would later recount in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

Facebook/Brandon James
Brandon noticed that his ex’s pantry was, however, thankfully full of baby food for his daughter, stocked with formula, baby snacks, and more.
As Brandon shut the fridge door, he just knew what he had to do.

Facebook/Brandon James

The Right Thing

Brandon went straight to the supermarket and purchased a long list of groceries for his ex.
“She works a full-time job and then has my daughter,” Brandon later explained on Facebook.
“She pays rent and all her bills plus she is paying off a car. So today I went shopping to make sure she had food for the next few weeks. Just because we aren’t together doesn’t mean I can’t provide for her if she needs it.”

Justified Reaction

Brandon explained that he did this out of respect for his daughter’s mom and understands that a happy mother makes a happy child.
“If my child’s mother is good then I know she is taking care of our daughter the best she can and that makes me happy. Some of y’all think I’m only going to provide for my child, but that’s thinking like a child. It’s time to grow up and take responsibility in all aspects of life!” Brandon concludes in his Facebook post.

Facebook/Brandon James
Disagreements come up in every relationship, but it’s important to try to remain civil, especially when there’s a child involved. Brandon’s fine conduct is really something that every parent can look up to.
Now there’s a father who certainly understands a thing or two about life after separation! Share if you think Brandon did the right thing, too.

Grandchildren are absolutely awesome

They are the apple of not just their parent’s eye but also that of their grandparents. The love of a grandparent for his/her grandchild will never cease, which is why Quotabulary celebrates this relationship with chosen quotes and sayings.

1. “Elephants and grandchildren never forget.” – Andy Rooney

2. “A mother becomes a true grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do because she is so enchanted with the wonderful things her grandchildren do.” – Lois Wyse

3. “Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.” – Lois Wyse

4. “A grandchild fills a space in your heart that you never knew was empty.” – Unknown

5. “Never have children, only grandchildren.” – Gore Vidal

6. “Your sons weren’t made to like you. That’s what grandchildren are for.” – Jane Smiley

7. “Do you know why children are so full of energy? Because they suck it out of their grandparents” – Gene Perret

8. “If I had known grandchildren were this much fun I would have had them first.” – Unknown

9. “For the sake of our health, our children and grandchildren and even our economic well-being, we must make protecting the planet our top priority.” – David Suzuki

10. “The grandchildren should not bear the debts of the grandparents.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

11. “You better arm yourselves to answer your children’s and grandchildren’s questions… no matter what the question is… without being judgmental.” – Josh McDowell

12. “With your own children, you love them immediately – and with grandchildren, it’s exactly the same.” – Kevin Whately

Nov 18, 2018

Fathers Have More Influence in A Daughter’s Life Than Mothers, Studies Show

When it comes to mothers and daughters we all kind of believe that this bond is the greatest one in the world. Many would even say that a mother is all a daughter needs, which according to research is not entirely true. Recent studies have shown that daughters not only benefit from a fatherly figure in their life, but that fathers which are emotionally involved and present in their daughters’ lives are essential for their proper emotional development.


A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology has found that daughters who have great relationships with their fathers are at lower risk of developing depression and anxiety and are better at handing stress. In addition, they are more comfortable talking about their emotions and this allows them to be prepared for fulfilling relationships later on.
Thinks like relationships, sexuality, values, and self-image are additional things that fathers shape for their daughters. When a dad forms a healthy relationship with his daughter, he basically helps her create a positive self-image and boosts her self-confidence.


Aside from the emotional factor, fathers play a huge role in their daughters’ physical and financial health. Rutgers conducted a study which revealed that daughters who had a more involved father in their childhood were more likely to be well-off financially and physically healthier compared to those with uninvolved or absent fathers.
Fathers are usually perceived as a symbol of financial stability, which in combination with the physical and emotional well-being provides for a successful and financially established daughter.


Fathers who are involved from the very beginning and whose bond is stronger are able to reap and provide all the benefits mentioned above. Earlier involvement is relatively new concepts, given that about seven decades ago fathers couldn’t even be present in the room when their daughters were born.
These days, there are more opportunities for men to be involved from the very beginning. They can feed their girls using formula, rock them to sleep, change their diapers and many more, which allows them to build a special bond from the start.


Despite the greater opportunities for early involvement, there are negative effects from the media that men find hard to overcome. For instance, fathers are portrayed as idiots who are completely unaware of women and their needs. But, it is important for men to look at these poor portrayals as something insignificant and recognize them as stereotypes which shouldn’t be followed.


While having a dad around is of utmost importance, this s not to diminish the role of mothers. Mothers provide valuable advice about what it means to be a successful woman and are the ones that provide their daughters with information on puberty, menstruation, and so on.

Nov 1, 2018

Researchers Examine If The Youngest Sibling Is The Most Hilarious Family Member

Most families have who we all would consider the class clown. They are always doing or saying something funny, in some kind of manner. And, they are almost always successful at catching a laugh or two from everyone. It's likely thought that the oldest sibling of the family would be the jokester since they are older and have more experience. This simply isn't the case. Research conducted by YouGov found out that the youngest sibling mostly turns out to be the funniest. Most of the time, the oldest child feels a certain responsibility and tends to lead more of a serious life. As you know the more serious a person is, the less they kid around.
YouGov's Survey shows that families with more than one child, of the children, the oldest and youngest will have completely different personality traits. This is true in 86% of the population. The study goes on to show that more than 50% of the older siblings felt there are more responsible than their younger siblings. And with less than 50% percent, the younger siblings see themselves as easy going and more humorous.
Are you the youngest sibling? Do you find this to be true in your family? Let you siblings have a look at this and see what they think! 


Oct 15, 2018

New Study: The More You Hug Your Kids, The More Their Brains Develop

If you’re that kind of parent who can’t keep their arms off their children, hugging them at every moment possible, then don’t stop – your kids will thank you for it one day.
According to new research, hugging, as a form of physical affection, during the developmental period of the baby, is more important than you could think. The affection in the form of touch that these babies get triggers their brains to grow, and thus become smarter.
The research done by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio looked at 125 babies, born both preterm and full-term, and analyzed how light physical touch affects their brain development, as well as their perception, cognition, and social development.
They discovered that supportive experiences, such as breastfeeding, skin-to-skin care, affectionate hugs, and similarp; triggered strong brain responses which allowed the brain to develop faster and more healthily.
In other words, being gentle and loving to your baby is not only the humane and natural thing to do; but it also contributes to the development of their brain to such extent that you may as well say that your child will become smarter.
Dr. Nathalie Maitre, the lead researcher behind this study, explains that this simple activity; of providing body contact to your child or rocking them in your arms; makes a significant difference in the development of their brains.
“Making sure that preterm babies receive positive; supportive touch such as skin-to-skin care by parents is essential to help their brains respond to gentle touch in ways similar to those of babies who experienced an entire pregnancy inside their mother’s womb,” she explains to Science Daily.

What is Oxytocin?

Oxytocin, a type of hormone, was discovered in 1906 by Sir Henry Dale. This hormone is released in quite large amounts during childbirth; allowing the uterus to contract and milk to eject during breastfeeding. This hormone is also responsible for the regulation of social behaviors like the interaction with others and bonding with our loved ones; both of which are critical for reproduction and caring for our children.
The release of oxytocin helps mothers bond with their children due to an evolutionary sense; which allows humans to survive. Oxytocin is also referred to as “love molecule” due to its role in reproductive and maternal behaviors.

The Biology of Love

Social bonding is critical for our survival for two reasons. First, because it helps enrich our experiences and second; as it helps facilitate reproduction and boost brain development by reducing stress and anxiety. In terms of evolution, group exclusion leads to developmental and physical disorders; which in turn increased the risk of death in animal models.
In other words, humans are meant to be social and social isolation is not a well-programmed concept for us. Oxytocin levels are linked with trust as well; a behavior needed for social bonding and building emotional relationships.
Close up of a mother and daughter having fun at home

The Mother-Infant Bond

During pregnancy

When it comes to mother-infant bonding, healthy bonding releases oxytocin, which affects positive social behaviors. Actions like hugging, breastfeeding, and mother`s milk can induce the release of this hormone in both the mother and the baby, stimulating the bonding between the two.
Abnormal bonding, like lack of hugging, might negatively influence the child`s confidence and ability to interact with others as social factors heavily depend on body’s oxytocin levels. For instance, stressful events during pregnancy might be linked with behavioral deficits in later adulthood. Multiple rats done on mice have shown that when prenatally stressed mothers were paired with offspring, an increase of anxiety was noted.

After the child is born

After the child is born, positive social experience and maternal bonding is the basis for healthy emotional; and social development and is linked with increased resilience during stress. Oxytocin levels in mother and fathers of 4-month children were associated with child’s level of bonding with their parents and higher oxytocin levels in mother were linked with increased mother-infant bonding.
Bonding with one`s child through hugging increases oxytocin levels in the body; which in turn helps develop healthier relationship between the child and the parent; reduces stress, and lowers the risk of social deficits later on.
The bottom line is that each time you hug your spouse, child, or any loved one, you are not showing them affection only, but you are also boosting their oxytocin levels and improving their overall mental health.
All in all, love and affection are the key to one’s development in every stage of life. Start early and never stop! Your children will thank you for it in so many ways.

Oct 13, 2018

Grandparents Who Babysit Grandchildren Are Less Likely To Develop Dementia And Alzheimer’s

While babysitting little ones can be stress-inducing, a study has found that it can actually add years to your life. According to recent research, grandparents who acted as caregivers were more likely to extend their lifespans than grandparents who didn’t. Cleveland Clinic doctor Ronan Factora, M.D., says that the physical activity, social connectedness and mental stimulation that come with caregiving all play a role in aging gracefully.
The study looked at 500 people who were 70 years old or older over a 20-year time frame. Grandparents who had a role in babysitting for their grandkids had a lower risk of dying during that period than those who didn’t.
The reason why caring for grandkids can improve your health is that it can relieve stress. If this is surprising, remember that grandparents can usually give the kids back to the parents when things get too stressful. That seems to be the key to caregiving. Too much of it can be overwhelming, but taking on the responsibility in moderation can help you stay young.
Although you may think that physical health is what helps you live long, mental health plays a major part.

As you get older, your risk for cognitive decline increases. Caring for grandchildren provides social interaction that can help your mind stay young.

If your grandparents have lived to a ripe old age, you might have some beautiful memories of them playing with you. You don’t have to be a grandparent to take advantage of these benefits, though. The study showed that people who care for anyone else also get the physical and mental boosts that can extend their lives.
Parents who rely on the grandparents for babysitting duties should remember that caring for kids shouldn’t feel like a burden. Grandparents should enjoy spending time with the grandkids, and caregiving shouldn’t be a source of anxiety.
What do you think about this new research? Show this to a loving grandparent you know to let them know what a positive impact their grandchildren have on their life!
Source: Apost

Study Says Grandparents Who Babysit Their Grandchildren Live Longer

It turns out that grandparents who babysit their grandchildren get more than just good memories — they might actually live longer, according to a new study.
The study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, examined data from the Berlin Aging Study of over 500 people at least 70 years old, according to Action News Jax.
Seniors who provided a child with some type of care had a significantly lower risk of death over a 20-year period than their counterparts who did not watch over a child, according to
There is one fairly important caveat, however: Grandparents who were the primary caregivers for their grandchildren were not included in the study.

Dr. Ronan Factora, of Cleveland Clinic, who was not a part of the study, said “there is a link between providing this care and reducing stress and we know the relationship between stress and higher risk of dying.”
“If providing care to grandchildren and others in need is one way that can actually reduce stress,” he said, “then these activities should be of benefit to folks who are grandparents and provide this care to their grandkids.”
There are also several other benefits that come with taking care of a child, Factorsa said.
“We know that as you age, you want to stay physically active,” he said. “You want to stay socially engaged; you want to be cognitively stimulated; and all those things allow you to age well.”
But he added that devoting too much of your energy to taking care of your grandchild can actually increase your stress levels — which would counteract the health benefits found in the study.
“You want to make sure that you find that right balance between getting the positive benefits of doing enough of an activity to help those in need,” he said, “and avoiding doing too much and getting to the point where the activity makes one overly stressed.”
Another study from researchers in Australia found that a moderate amount of time spent babysitting grandchildren could actually prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, according to WFAA. That’s thought to happen because babysitting can amp up brain power and lower the chances of developing depression, according to USA Today.

All Parents MUST Know This: Never Use These Phrases When You’re Talking With Your Child

It is a fact that no one is perfect and all people make mistakes. But, parents should be aware of the fact that in the eyes of their children, they are not only humans, but they also are guardians, creators and caretakers. In a specific way, parents are superheroes.
Psychologists explain that the behavior of the parents is crucial part of a child’s psyche. Children learn every possible step in their life from their parents and they watch, listen and remember how to deal with problems and their mistakes and how to behave in certain situations.

Psychologists advice you to pay special attention to the phrases you use while you talk to your child. These are the phrases which you should NEVER say to your child:

“Stop crying right now”

Children cry when they fall and they feel pain, but they also cry when they know that they are going to be punished. Crying is an emotion that comes out even if there is no reason to cry. The reason for that is because children don’t have full control over their emotions and psychologists explain that children have the right to express how they feel.
If you tell your child to stop crying, it only will suppress its emotions and keep everything inside and that is much worse.

“I’m disappointed in you”

This is usually said when the child already feels bad. You can be disappointed in everything in this world, but never in your own child because you are there to lead them on the right path. Guide them back when they do something wrong and teach them and explain then what was done wrong and why.

“You are worthless”

It may be the worst thing that a child can hear, especially when you’re its mental figure and they expect most of to be approved. In this way you’re putting the child on a journey that never ends to seek approval from the outside world. You’re letting them to believe that they have nothing instead of helping them. Instead of saying this, you can say ‘It is not your day, but you will do better the next time’, or ‘nobody is perfect’, or ‘you can do better’.

“You’re not (something) enough”

You should never say to your child “you’re not good enough” as on that way you will paint a restricted picture of themselves in his/her head. This phrase only will make the child feel as if they are lacking something in order to be good enough for themselves.

“Big boys/ girls do not get scared”

Fear is an emotion which reminds people to be more careful. So, if you tell your child that “big boys/ girls do not get scared” the child will try to suppress the fear and that will teach him/her to run away from the thing that scares them.

 “I do everything for you”

Well, as children they expect you to do everything for them. You are responsible for them and should be able to provide for them. They are under your protection and guidance, not the other way round. You could foster a sense of responsibility in them but don’t expect them to become your right hand so soon.

“You’re fat/dark/ugly etc.”

Whatever or however your children are, ultimately they are your reflection.
It’s not their fault if they are dark or have more moles than other children. If your child is fat then they probably know it as chances are that they already suffer from name-calling/bullying at school or playgrounds.
Psychologists explain that this phrase will teach the child not to face the fear or problem in later life. Parents should tell their children that it is completely okay to be scared and also they should encourage children to do the right thing whenever they are scared of something.

Doctors Reveal Yelling At Your Kids Can Cause Depression And Low Self-Esteem

Parenting can be frustrating sometimes because children can get wild. While parenting isn’t easy, you shouldn’t constantly scream at them because it can cause permanent damage.
As humans, of course we all have tempers at times. The Journal of Child Development published a study that regular yelling can have the same effects as hitting on your children.
Children that are yelled at regularly have more depressed and anxious feelings. If you scream at your children, your setting them up to yell at people or to expect that they will get yelled at when they get older, according to Positive Outlook, and that is just how they are psychologically impacted.
Parents have power over their children because they provide everything for them like providing food, shelter and love. Being implicitly frightened affects their sense of security, according to Dr. Laura Markham. She founded of Aha! Parenting and is the author of Peaceful Parenting.
Yelling can change the neurological pathways in a child’s brain to thinking they are in danger, making them fight, flight or freeze. Then, these types of responses get etched into the child’s brain and affects their personality.
Yelling is usually ineffective. It makes children not want to listen to you. Yelling is how parents that are too weak or tired to healthily emote treat children.
If they are trying to be cathartic, that works for the parent but it’s not the way to change the habits of the child, Dr. Alan Kazdin (a professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale) shared with the New York Times.
Calm conversation is how a parent should instead approach their children. Using a sense of humor while being authoritative and still connecting with them can also help, but they need to know what they’ve done wrong.
This is where positive and negative reinforcement happen. Praise them if they’ve done what they are supposed to do. If not, they must be given consequences without you yelling at them or being too aggressive. Yelling once in a while is fine like when things like hitting of siblings happens. They need to get shocked so that the potentially dangerous situation will not occur. There is a risk so creating a neural pathway for the fight, flight or freeze response is justified.
However, after getting their attention, you should calm your voice as you remedy the situation.
What did you think about this article – do you agree? How do you handle your anger when your child is frustrating you? Let us know if you have any tips, you might be helping another parent!
Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation with your doctor. Your health is important to us!

Oct 11, 2018

10 Reasons Why Your Big Sister Is The Most Important Person In Your Life

There’s nothing quite like having a big sister. An ally in life, who you have shared all your experiences with, a big sister can be your best friend, your most honest critic, your second mom and a personal hero.
Who else is going to help you sneak in when you miss curfew or give you their brutally honest opinion on your new haircut?

She Is Your Best and Most Loyal Friend

Who can you trust more than your sister? She’s known you your whole life and been with you on every step of your journey so far. Even the best of friends have a hard time competing with their loyalty and you know that whatever happens, they have your best interests at heart. Unlike other friends, the family usually stick around, so there’s no chance of this friendship drifting apart.

You Share the Same Closet

Have you ever noticed that her clothes always seem to look somewhat better on you? Big sister equals big closet, and I for one am not ashamed to admit to borrowing a T shirt or two from my big sister’s closet when we shared a room back in the day.

She Knows How to Deal with Your Parents.

Whatever the problem is, the big sister is the best you have to save you from any problem. You can navigate the problem smoothly and have you saved from any trouble. She is your experienced wingman. You can discuss family with her. She is the best person to share everything on earth, cause she understands you.

Anything Goes

In your relationship with your sister, there are no boundaries. That means that you can feel the freedom which only comes with siblings.
There are no weird moments between you. You can walk around in your underwear and feel cool about it. Or moreover, one might sit on the toilet while you are talking. You are sisters, for you it’s normal.

She Is the Go-To Person for Cool Movies, Music and Fashion Trends

Growing up, it’s a constant battle to try and unearth the coolest band, movie, and fashion and having an older sister is a huge advantage. Not only will she likely get to the hottest new trends before you, she understands how important it is for you to try and appear with it, so is usually willing to help you out.
This is where big sisters come into their own, as they’re so much better at this type of stuff than moms. Your big sister will sort out the terrible haircut your mom got you, warn you to ditch that awful outfit you picked out for the big party and give you unlimited access to her music collection.
If you had a big sister, chances are she was the one to take you to your first concert or helped you pick out make-up when you had no idea what you were doing.

She Will Not Sugar-coat the Truth

Friends tend to withhold their real opinion about you or something about you simply to avoid confrontation. Big sisters? – not so much! They will slap the truth right in your face. We all need a reality check every once in a while and your big sister will do just that.

She’s Got Your Back

When it comes to sticking up for you, none of your friends can compete with a big sister. She will be in your corner from day one and you can bet if anyone tries to mess with her little sister, she will sort it out. This kind of protection comes in handy when it comes to trouble with bullies or even arguments with friends.

She Knows What You are Made Of and Gives The Best Advice

No matter the self-doubts, your lack of faith in yourself, the big sister will reassure you and offers you strength to follow things through. She knows what your best strengths are and will be there to support you. She is your biggest fan!
Got a problem? Chances are you will speak to your sister about it first. Like an unpaid therapist, your big sister is an expert in dishing out advice and just listening to your problems, without judgment. She’s the person who knows you best and knows the most about the different relationships in your life. So whether you need to vent about your friends, family or work, a chat with her usually makes you feel a whole lot better.

Affordable Therapy

Big sisters will always have the right words to say. Her magic power will allow you to work things out in the end. She will always be there for you: Your big sister will never walk out on you regardless of the problem and help hold your hand during the dark hours. Big sisters often appreciate their younger siblings and let them know how much she loves you!

She Is always There for You

Try as you might, you will never make your sister walk out on you. Regardless of your ‘crime’, she will always have your back, even if you’ve failed to be there during her dark hours. That’s what big sisters are for! Big sisters are really the best and having a big sister sure is a gift. So, if you have a big sister, make sure you let her know how much you appreciate her.

6 Struggles Of People In Toxic Families That Make Them Hard To Find Happiness.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes we have a lot more in common with other people than we initially thought we did? In one way or another, we can all find means to relate with one another.
People who come from toxic families often have many things in common even when they don’t realize their homes were toxic in general. Toxic families are a lot harder to deal with than toxic relationships or toxic friendships. The struggles of overcoming this kind of thing are very unique in their own ways. Below I am going to go over some of the things people who come from toxic households tend to have in common with one another. These are struggles I think more people that we might assume can identify with.

6 Struggles People From Toxic Families Share:

6. They might not always be able to understand what they are feeling.

They don’t often understand the way they are feeling and how it should or shouldn’t be. They feel one thing and pretend to be feeling something else. They are not good at letting people in, at all.

5. They let toxic people far too close for comfort.

People who are used to toxic families don’t know much else. They seem to chase toxicity like they’re addicted. They are forever letting toxic people much too close for comfort.

4. They struggle with being confident in all possible ways.

People who are used to being around toxic people often don’t have much confidence. They don’t trust themselves like they should and they are always second guessing their thoughts and ideas. This is because of the things they have been through, they have had their confidence torn down time and time again.

3. They become anxious for no clear reason, quite often.

People who have toxic families tend to be a lot more anxious than the rest of the world. They often cannot identify where their anxiety is coming from but they know it is present. Pinpointing the cause will do people like this a world of good.

2. They struggle to have proper functioning relationships.

People who come from toxic homes tend to really hurt themselves when it comes to friendships and relationships. While some of them are not what you would consider being toxic they are still not properly functioning. They just really struggle with opening up.

1. They have a hard time communicating with people who matter.

People who come from toxic families tend to struggle with really talking things out with the people in their lives. They don’t stand up for themselves and they let everyone walk all over them. Communication is not their strong point.