September 24, 2009 - 1:53 pm
“What piece of advice would you give to grown-ups?” I ask Hannah.
I’m expecting something vaguely philosophical, something that falls into the kids-say-the-darnedest-things category. Something about kindness or world peace or helping everybody.
But this is what I get:
“If you think someone’s a robber, don’t listen to him.”
Can’t argue with that.
September 11, 2009 - 1:20 pm
The National Institutes of Health has funded a new two-year study on how parenting impacts the health of gay men. Hint: they’re more tired.
But this study is important because one in five gay male couples nationwide are raising children, a stat I found surprising, given the still relatively low visibility of gay dads.
The study will look at stress levels, lifestyle and health habits, relationship dynamics, peer networks, and exposure to antigay discrimination. Starting with data showing that health risks (substance abuse, depression, HIV/AIDS) are already higher for gay men, the investigators — Colleen Hoff at San Francisco State University and David Huebner at the University of Utah — want to know if parenting encourages gay men to reduce risk factors or if it increases health risks and risky behavior.
So, OK, aside from the health risks that seem to accompany parenting (bi-weekly colds; eating your kid’s munged-up, leftover food because you just can’t cook another dinner; wiping off spit-up with your sleeve), maybe it’s just possible that stable, sustained, loving and socially-supported family relationships make us healthier (or at least happier) people.
I’ll be curious to see the results of the study. But going out on a limb here, I’ll wager that parenting makes gay dads: more exhausted, less likely to take health risks, more worried, more focused on the future, more concerned about peanut allergies and exposed electrical outlets, and more involved in the PTA.
September 3, 2009 - 4:00 pm