Tuesday, October 02, 2001

Asthma inducers

Just in case we parents aren't feeling guilty enough, researchers have found something new to blame us for.

According to a new study from the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, as reported in October's Pediatrics, poor parenting skills in early infancy can lead to asthma as the child gets older.

Now, of course, the child has to be susceptible to asthma in the first place. But apprently the stress of being poorly parented is enough to tip the scales for many kids. The study followed 150 children who were at risk for asthma and found that those whose parents weren't coping well when they were three weeks old were more than twice as likely to develop asthma six or eight years later than babies whose parents parented perfectly.

Poor parenting was described as "inability to offer proper emotional care to children, due to inadequate support from a spouse, depression or other problems." Not to mention the pressure of a researcher looking over your shoulder and going, "Hmmm," and writing disapproving things on a notepad.

Personally, I think babies whose parents have it flawlessly together after only three weeks are at risk of being micromanaged throughout their childhood to such a painful degree that they will be glassy-eyed overachieving type-A Stepford Children by the time they're six or eight. But they'll be breathing freely.

At least the researchers have given us mothers a lifeline in all this. Gotta love that "inadequate support from a spouse." Forget blaming the parents: Clearly, it's all dad's fault.

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