What type of car seats for children do we need? Think backwards

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Steven Levitt may be trying to show that car seats are not really useful for children above age two but after a very brief research into this topic I was surprised to discover some facts and reports. Among them one especially stood out:

An Accident Study of the Performance of Restraints Used by Children Aged Three Years and Under – A study commissioned by ANEC, the European consumer voice in standardisation, AISBL” [PDF]

Nine month old child and same child at three and a half years old in same large Nordic rearward facing child seat installed in a VW Golf

Nine month old child and same child at three and a half years old in same large Nordic rearward facing child seat installed in a VW Golf

Any parent who carries his or her child in an automobile should read this important report. It includes lots of data but its introduction and conclusion are just a few pages. Pages that can dramatically affect your choice for a child car seat and the safety of your child: More

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Arman’s first jazz festival: Middelheim 2011

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Watch the video of Omar Sosa @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Watch the video of Omar Sosa @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Long before Arman was born I was dreaming of taking him to Middelheim jazz festival (celebrating its 30th year), but as we approached the festival date, I became a little pessimistic thinking that the weather would not be nice, there would be rain pouring and we would not be able to enjoy the best jazz festival in Belgium. After all, what’s the point of taking a 45 day old baby to an open air jazz festival at a park when it rains and you can’t enjoy lying on the grass? Never before in my life di I follow weather forecasts so meticulously. And on 15th of August, Monday, the final day of the jazz festival, I was pretty relieved to wake to a sunny morning.

I consider Arman lucky not only because the last day of the festival brought sunshine but also it brought a diverse spectrum of performances from romantic solo piano improvisations by Omar Sosa to real avant-garde free jazz performances by Fred Van Hove Ochgot Octet.

Arman listening to music @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Arman listening to music @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

I don’t know if he really liked free jazz that much, I have my doubts but then I leave the comments to the readers after they watch the following video (click on the picture to watch the video):

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The Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development

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The Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development

The Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development

The Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development gave me enough food for thought on the topic of morality and children. I’ve just become a father and I also happen to see many kids from various ages in my extended family. My thoughts and feelings after observing the younger ones and teens, how they react to their peers, elders and to the world in general is neither very optimistic nor really pessimistic but I must confess that I generally tend to be a little pessimist. Sometimes I feel like I will not have much say when my son will be a teenager, all that peer pressure and other parameters that will be more or less out of my control. But on the other hand, I also observe the parents and see how their behavioral patterns affect the children, e.g. their attitude towards sports activities, how they value sports and what kind of ethical standards they adhere to.

Richard Weissbourd draws a pretty broad and sincere picture about the current situation of parenting in USA, as well as major problems and attitudes towards children. Some parts of the book may run the risk of sounding a little alien to the people outside of USA, but in this highly connected world of ours I don’t think we can deny the influence of culture from the other side of Atlantic. One of the striking points of the book is how Weissbourd describes the changes of attitude in immigrant children: in the beginning they are very nice, polite, hard-working and respectful (according to their teachers) but after a few years of interacting with their peers in USA they undergo a dramatic change of attitude towards their teachers, school life, and moral values; which is generally perceived as very negative by the very same teachers.

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