Categories
Linguistics Parenting

Baby is a four letter word

Fleur doesn’t like my pet name for her: Baby. It earns an instant protest about not being a baby.

My mother claims to Fleur that I am her baby. Taking in this information became a game changer. Until recently, Fleur rejected even that.

She slowly but surely has come around to accepting that she is and will always be my baby.

My other argument is when she asks me to carry her, I remind her that babies get carried. So as long as she wants to me to carry her, I get to call her my baby.

Baby steps.

See also: Help is a four letter word

Categories
Behavioral Economics

Loss of possession is 9/10ths of the screaming 2022

The original post on this is worth quoting.

Humans have a well developed and easy to exploit sense of loss aversion. (Kahneman and Tversky) We experience far more pain when losing something than the pleasure we experience from gaining.

https://polymathparent.com/2019/05/23/loss-of-possession-is-9-10ths-of-the-screaming/

Three years ago, it was easier as we could just give Fleur another thing we agree on her having to negate the loss aversion. Today, we have many conversations a day about why she cannot have something. The most difficult are the ones resulting in her not getting something she already decided she would get.

Examples:

  • We want her to eat dinner before dessert, expecting her to fill up on the dessert.
  • There is a toy at the store she wants, but we don’t want.
Photo by mohamed Abdelgaffar on Pexels.com

The strategy is still to give her something that she wants. For meals, we strive to make sure it is something she likes plus is nutritious and are not hard-set on eating it all. Which, of course, means quite a bit of “just two more bites” and “that was a half-bite.”

I also find myself reconsidering how strict I want to be on a specific confrontation. Sometimes, in the evaluation, I realize that her having the thing is not so bad, so I let her keep or get it. But, I encourage her to explain why she should. I hope to foster a habit of argumentation.

Not argumentation as in constant confrontation, but using logic and persuasion to get her way instead of fussing. Negotiation also works in this space. The brain is built for this, so I want to foster her using it to the fullest. (More about Dunbar.)

Her Elementary School teachers are going to despise me as a parent as

Categories
Evolution

Dunbar’s Number

I am continually fascinated with Dunbar’s Number.

In monkeys and apes, there is correlation between primate brain size and the size of their social groups, and by extrapolating this relationship we would expect humans to have a natural upper limit to the number of people in their group to about 150. This is what is known as Dunbar’s number, and turns out to be surprisingly common in human social organisation.

R.I.M. Dunbar, Dunbar’s Number, NewScientis.com, https://www.newscientist.com/definition/dunbars-number/
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Hunter-gatherer groups tended to split into smaller groups around this size. English villages tended to be about this size.

It is key to remember, though, that the family should not be counted as biology has different rules for kinship. Natural selection rewards behaviors increasing the success of one’s genes and family drive ensures one’s genes thrive.

Acquaintances are not the same as friends.

Another hack humans use: rules to get around our inability to adequately know everyone else in our society. Read my Shortcut: rules post. Though other shortcuts like labels apply.

I need to read more science on this, but my feeling about the mechanics behind this comes from argumentation. We need memories from our experiences with individuals to anticipate their behavior. We need common experiences to share stories, bond, and trust. The ability to persuade others is tied to our understanding of them, which works best when we know something about them, which works best when we know them well. Dunbar’s number was important for survival.

In the age of social media and the quest to accumulate followers, the trick is to create false friendships. There is one-sided information shared from celebrities to followers, where the followers know a curated version of a person and the person knows almost nothing about the followers. That’s another fake form of friendship.

Acquaintances, aka weak links, are also important. It is how we obtain jobs, romantic connections, and cultivate new friendships.

We should also strive for quality friendships. Shared experiences. Shared stories.

More:

Categories
Games Parenting

Game: stuntwoman

Setup: the bed is the landing zone.

Action: I started off throwing her Superwoman style. She told me to hold her upside down and throw her. We call that variant, “Stuntwoman Extreme.”

She also loves me to spin the merry-go-round or spinner seats so fast she gets dizzy.

Categories
neurotransmitter

Potential new SIDS explanation

A new study correlates SIDS to a biological marker present in normal amounts babies at birth for babies who survive and lower in babies who don’t.

BChEsa, measured in dried blood spots taken 2-3 days after birth, was lower in babies who subsequently died of SIDS compared to surviving controls and other Non-SIDS deaths. We conclude that a previously unidentified cholinergic deficit, identifiable by abnormal -BChEsa, is present at birth in SIDS babies and represents a measurable, specific vulnerability prior to their death.

Carmel Therese Harrington, Naz Al Hafid, Karen Ann Waters, Butyrylcholinesterase is a potential biomarker for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, eBioMedicine, Volume 80, 2022, 104041, ISSN 2352-3964, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104041.

Correlation does not mean causation, but it is an intriguing area for more exploration to find a solution to a devastating problem for parents.

Parents receive a lot of sometimes contradictory advice on how to prevent SIDS. And should they lose a child to it, they could wonder what they did wrong.

Categories
play

Disney-fication: Annotation of life through song

For years now, Fleur has loved certain Disney movies. One common characteristic is this breaking out into song.

The song serves a purpose: explanation of the situation to carry the story. The protagonists have a need and express it through song.

The other day, Fleur started singing. Not one of the songs from a movie. Something made up about what she was doing.

So better than the movie.

Categories
Parenting

Perfect Date

Fleur hates heavy clothing. She tends to want to wear short sleeve dresses and shorts. Which is great in the spring to fall, but a challenge in the winter.

If is an enormous word” was about giving her the freedom to make the choice. In part because it was border-line cold. I was telling her I trusted her to make the decision.

Today, she put on shorts. I didn’t question it despite it being pretty cool. She recognized it and asked me, “Will it be warm today?” Which brings us to the Miss Congeniality scene…

Categories
learning Lil Miss Independent

Scaffold parenting

Fatherly has a good post on scaffold parenting. I am by trade a fixer, so hanging back and letting something else do it takes all of my patience. At work, I am in a new role, so I have my replacements doing the work and advising when they need help. Basically, using my parenting at the office.

Scaffolding is a process where an adult helps a child manage a task that they couldn’t otherwise manage on their own. It requires situational wisdom about when to provide children with temporary support, when to allow them to make mistakes by doing things on their own, and helping them through the reflection process when things don’t work out how they would like.

What Is Scaffold Parenting, and Should I Do It?
Only if you’re willing to grow alongside your child.
Fatherly.com April 22, 2022

Fleur craved physical independence, so I had to learn to let her do things. Right now she is also into social development. She loves her dolls, gave each a personality, and workshops her friendships. The challenge will be school and whether she approaches it like Ada or me. Hopefully Ada.

Categories
Safety

Cargo shorts III

Carrying a doll in the hammer loop of carpenter jeans

The other day, Fleur gave me her doll so she could better play on the playground. Any doll that fits, I tend to either put in a pocket or the hammer loop.

The latter usually gets a quizzical look from other parents.

Look, my job as a solo parent is to ensure the child playing on equipment rated for children older than her both does it herself and doesn’t end up in the ER. She gets to feel independent. I get to feel needed. Holding a doll in my hands and catching a child interfere with each other.

Previously: cargo shorts and cargo shorts II

Categories
Astrophysics

Goldilocks

So, this girl committed home invasion on three bears, uses their stuff, tastes their prepared meal, and sleeps in their beds. Invariably, one was too extreme in one direction, another in an opposite direction, and the last just right. Too hot, too cold, just right.

The Universe seems similar.

  • Not too hold or too cold.
  • Not too strong or weak on several different forces.
  • Our galaxy is not too big or small; not too many or too few stars.
  • We have a simple star system without too many or few planets.
  • Our star is not too big or small.
  • Our planet is not too big or too small.
  • Our planet is not too close or far from the star. Aka the Goldilocks Zone.

So many things are just right for our existence.

We also have one star instead of two or three like most star systems. We also have water in the Goldilocks Zone when it should be more common out near Uranus and beyond.

So much had to go right in the Universe and locally for us to exist.