Posted by: Ticktock | April 2, 2008

An Introduction

Hello, and welcome to my new blog on parenting.  There are many blogs for skeptics and many others for parenting, but I hope to engage those who fall into both camps.  Let this be a resource for Moms and Dads who want to double check the scientific facts of a product’s claims.  Let this be a place for guidance for those parents who don’t fit into traditional categories.  Let this be a home to the many who like to teach their children the qualities of logic, scientific inquiry, and churchless morality.

I will do my best to give scientifically accurate information and to interpret research fairly and responsibly.  I will try to understand both sides of an issue before passing judgement.  I will respect that I may be wrong on matters that I don’t completely understand and will promise to correct any mistakes authored in my posts.  I expect commenters to adhere to the same principles, to be open to the possibility that they are in error, and to understand that they should attack the argument and not the person.

 I have many ideas for future posts.  I welcome advice and tips for topics.  I look forward to hearing from my visitors.  Please let me know what you think about parenting as a skeptic, and what you want to see from this blog.

 Hope to see you around here often!

Colin

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Responses

  1. Just wondering if you guys are looking for other contributors – have done some research on colic (for my first two week old son) and would like to write about the research if you guys are interested.

    I’m a dietitian and exercise scientist – and heard about your site from the Skeptics Guide to the Universe Podcast at Dragoncon – keep up the great work

  2. Skepticdad, help!

    My mom, and others, tell me not to get the H1N1 vaccine. My doctor, and others, tell me that I should. I’m pregnant, so I’m definitely on the CDC list. How do I separate fear from science?

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/07/why-are-we-afraid-of-the-new-flu-vaccine/

    Thanks, guys! Keep battling for truth and science!

    • I have a friend from college staying with me this week. Her sister is pregnant and came down with swine flu. I’m pretty sure she would tell you to get the vaccine. Pregnancy not only increases the chance of getting swine flu, but also increases the chance of death once you do have swine flu.

      Here’s a good article on the topic:
      http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2009/10/extraordinary-death-toll-of-h1n1-in.html
      and this from a communicable disease expert:
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2040

      It would help me to know what their specific concerns are.

      The CDC has a page here:
      http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/pregnant.htm

      Another thing that is happening is that these well-intentioned family members are priming a whole bunch of fear in pregnant women. And if only a fraction of those fearful women have autistic kids (say 1/100), then we will have another round of accusations and paranoia that will further jeopardize vaccination rates.

  3. First off, I love the site and visit it often, I also love the podcast. I consider myself an atheist, skeptic, and a humanist. Here is the clincher and the reason for the post, I tend to identify more with conservatives politically. I am not a republican, more independent. Pro-abortion, gay marriage, but would like less government involvement and less government spending and decreased social programs. I just want people to have a sense of accountability and personal responsibility. I generally agree with everything you guys say. I just wanted to see if you have thought about this viewpoint or am I really as out there as I feel. It seems as though as soon as I find a person I see eye to eye with on religion we don’t politically. ANy thoughts?…..

    • Personally, I’m a progressive liberal, which is about as far removed from libertarian as you can get, I think. However, there’s a huge contingent of skeptics and atheists who align with your views, including Michael Shermer the editor over at Skeptic Magazine and contributing writer to Skepticblog. For me, politics comes down to personal preference and individual philosophy, though I think I could make a pretty good case for socialism based on the successful models in Europe. Or perhaps we can come to an agreement that when America is politically balanced between the extremes, we thrive, and when we tip in one direction or the other, we falter. Either way, I respect informed political opinions, and disrespect propaganda that fails to meet the standards of Factcheck.org or Politifact.com.

      Thanks for your kind words about the blog and podcast. We really appreciate it.

  4. Love the blog and the podcast. You’ve been covering issues around discipline and parenting techniques, but I’ve never heard any of you mention Love and Logic. As a skeptic and very science-minded parent, I’ve found it to be a wonderful system for my wife and myself. Rather than relying on punishment, it relies on empathy and understanding, yet setting clear boundaries and providing consequences that help your children learn from their actions, both positive and negative. The system works based on the principles mentioned by Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff in the most recent podcast. Instead of yelling, you speak quietly, because when you yell, children stop listening. Instead of spanking or timeouts, you give children “bedroom time” not as punishment, but to remove them from the situation. The key to it is the empathy, because by communicating empathy, you make the child’s action the cause for their consequences, rather than the parent being responsible. We’ve seen our daughter’s arguing and behavior change dramatically over the time we’ve been using it. I’d be happy to discuss it for the blog or the podcast. No, I’m not an employee, just a parent who’s found it to be extremely helpful.

  5. Thanks for your feedback.

    I noticed “Love and Logic” on the bookshelf at the store and made a note to contact the authors. Glad to hear it recommended. You’ve motivated me to get on the ball about inviting them for an interview.


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