Thursday, May 27, 2010

How to raise a heart rate in a baby.

At the time I wrote this my grand daughter was 2 years old ; Mikayla. She spent a lot of time with my (now ex- wife) Heidi and myself. I have came to the conclusion that she needed us for different reasons. When she was tired, she wanted little if anything to do with me, in fact she appeared to hate me. When it came to playing she wanted to spend time with me, even to the point she couldn't get candy without getting something for "GanPa."  Now this did not bother me in least. The fact that Mikayla would rather spend time with me when it came to playtime despite the fact that my ex-wife constantly gave her comfort, did bother my ex-wife . I simply put it all down to a biological nuance. Turns out that research says I am right.

       As the Scientific American Mind
                                             June 2010 states:

"Together two parents may strike a nice balance in which mom acts as a 'lifeguard' and dad functions as the 'cheerleader.' "

You see dads are biologically programed to challenge children. In a study done in Australia it turned out that dads spent approximately 40 percent of their child-watching time playing interactive games like reading or simple physical playing as apposed to approximately 20 percent of the same child-watching time for mothers. I know that most of my interaction with Mikayla is either outside on the swings or playing hide and seek, holding her up by her feet and basically treating her like a monkey, in a good way that is. I don't do diapers. In fact at the age of 2 shealready uses the toilet because I simply told her to so I would not have to change her nappies. The women in the family all say, "all in good time." To me "good time" is "quick time" when it comes to stinky diapers. When my kids were very little (prior to most TV's having TV remotes), I taught my kids the joy of being a human remote. I turned it into a game, they loved it and I did not have to get off the couch. For a while my kids did a pretty good imitation of me, "change the channel, change the channel, back, okay change the channel." Yeah, I would say I challenged my kids.

Kids as young as eight months old learn these pattern differences between a mother and father to the point that when a child is picked up by dad or a male, their heart rate increases yet when picked up by mom or a female they calm down. Fathers tend to be more physical in their play compared to mothers.

Researchers think that a lot of this stems around the fact that fathers traditionally are the breadwinners in a family and as a result spend less time on the caring aspect of child; like diaper changing, feeding, putting a child down for a nap, bathing, cuddling.  I must admit, I have found a way to get my granddaughters attention and love when she is tired. It took a while but I found the magic answer, Chocolate Swiss Miss Rolls. It is like crack for children.  She can't throw the bottle down fast enough :-)  Hey, I'm "GanPa" and it is my job to spoil her.

As said earlier, dads tend to challenge their kids. In fact the same article states that even though fathers speak less to their children, it was "the father language use that predicted the child's language development by the age of three. Mothers use more emotional words whereas fathers use more complex words to talk to their child." The other thing is that women will tend to play the games that a child chooses, men on the other hand tend to select the activity for a child to play (like my TV remote game), thereby challenging the child by causing a child to experience play outside their comfort zone and as a result experiencing growth.

The other amazing fact about fathers and children is that during pregnancy fathers go through many of the pregnancy biological changes too. Their testosterone levels go down ( a good thing as it quietens their physical tendencies males have), they have elevated levels of prolactin (which has many effects including regulating lactation, orgasms but primarily during pregnancy increases the size of mammary glands and produces milk) and men can even experience postpartum depression.

One thing in this article that I found of particular interest is the fact that it has been known that mothers can locate their babies blindfolded just by touch alone. Now turns out fathers can do the exact same thing. Sounds like a pretty good introduction line for a new blindfold routine.

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  1. The picture of you and your Granddaughter napping satisfies the doctor recommended daily supply of precious. She is a beauty, no doubt will grow to be a remarkable person, especially with such a great Granpa.

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  3. actually that is my one grandson. But who can tell with babies that age, they all look the same till you take the diaper off :-)


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