Matt Townsend show

The Power of Smells

This interview was really fun and interesting.

The sense of smell is the sense most tied to emotion and memory.
What memory or emotion do these smells evoke for you?

Freshly baked bread
Roses
Popcorn
Bacon
Campfire
Pinecones
Coffee
Gasoline
Horse Manure

On the Matt Townsend Show (BYU Radio) we discuss how smells literally change behavior. Depending on the ambient smells, we can influence employee behavior, public behavior, or behavior in our children to be kinder, more fair and ethical, more charitable, less deviant, and harder working.

Here is the link to the program.

https://www.byuradio.org/episode/c7c6b830-9a4f-45fb-a47b-2db8f35dd5f5/the-matt-townsend-show-the-making-of-donald-trump-how-to-get-stuff-done-power-of-smells?playhead=6786&autoplay=true

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Bringing the Arts Home

I contributed to the Matt Townsend show on BYU radio about how the arts enrich home life. I give research about how the arts make your child smarts and practical ideas for creativity in the home.

https://www.byuradio.org/episode/99ef58c5-9885-446c-9521-3f52ab57fad5/the-matt-townsend-show-political-social-media-why-diets-make-us-fat-art-and-kids?playhead=6346&autoplay=true

School Success: BYU radio interview

School started today. *Sigh* It’s a bittersweet time.

Bitter:
No more relaxed, sunny days by the pool.
No more PBJ picnics.
No more late night star gazing and movie watching.
No more spontaneous UNO card games.
No more vacation from homework, alarm clocks, carpooling, and science fair projects.
No more shorts, T-shirts, flipflops and bedhead worn every day.

Sweet:
Adult alone time!
One word: schedules!
Mushy brains turn into learning brains again.
Not hearing “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom” 868 times a day.
As my neighbor sang in a lilted, Christmas-y tone yesterday: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

But the transition from summer to school can seem abrupt at best and often very difficult. It’s like living on planet Earth all summer and then being shipped to Mars. How can we help kids adjust easier and outfit them to thrive in that harsh climate? Here’s the BYU radio program I was interviewed for about preparing kids for school success.
https://www.byuradio.org/episode/bef82490-c5ad-4fa2-8453-0340424735f6/the-matt-townsend-show-public-space-crisis-smartphones-and-adhd-back-to-school?playhead=6518&autoplay=true

Pregnancy Myth Busters

You’ve heard of the kid TV series “Myth Busters” right? One of those fun, educational shows where the group of geeks try out myths to see if they are real or not. Well, there are a lot of myths, legends, wives tales, whatever you want to call them, floating around about pregnancy. Everyone’s got advice and some crazy story about how to predict the gender.

It think it’s because pregnancy itself is so mysterious. What is really happening inside the womb and to the mother’s body? Is it a boy or a girl? Why am I so sick with this second pregnancy, but not the first? We all want answers!

Well I am speaking about which myths about pregnancy are true and which are not on BYU radio on the Matt Townsend show on Tues, April 19th. Here’s a sneak peak.  See how well you score and be sure to tell others what an expert you are now (not!)

Predicting gender: if you are carrying your baby high, it’s a girl. Carrying low? Stock up on blue. False.

Craving sweets? According to some, that means you’re going to have a little girl. Salty and sour cravings indicate a boy. False again. Predicting gender is never a trustworthy science, unless of course that involves an ultrasound.

You can’t get pregnant while nursing. False, mostly. Although nursing decreases the chance of ovulation, it doesn’t guarantee it. And there’s nothing more shocking than a new mother of a 5 month old who finds out she’s pregnant…again!

You shouldn’t have sex while pregnant because you might harm the baby.

False unless you have a specific medical condition and your doctor warns you against it.

You shouldn’t take hot baths while pregnant.

True, actually. You should avoid saunas, Jacuzzis or anything that raises your body temperature over 102 degrees. But you can take a bath in warm or slightly hot water. Some people even naively think that they can’t take a bath at all, that it will drown the baby! That’s another myth I’d like to bust right here.

You should abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.

True, although some studies have shown that up to 2 glasses of wine per day is not harmful. However, most doctors will tell new mothers to be on the safe side and abstain.

You will crave pickles and ice cream.

No. But cravings can occur, and are usually harmless. Husbands: be prepared for the Big Mac midnight runs. (At least mine had to on more than one occasion).

Cravings mean your baby “needs” that food. False. There are, however, some women who crave laundry detergent, paint chips, or clay. These odd cravings (called pica) have been associated with iron deficiency and you should talk to your doctor immediately if you experience them.

Gender predictor: if you mixes Drano with urine, it can determine the sex of your baby. The prediction is if you pour it down the toilet, and it turns blue, you have a boy; pink, it’s a girl. False. There’s another myth down the drain. I think this myth originated with the Drano Company to increase profits.

A fetus is sealed away in the uterus, unaffected by what’s going on outside. False. A baby can feel the stress from the environment and become distressed as well. It can detect sounds and emotions as well as ingest chemicals from tobacco and drug use.

Going to prenatal check ups is extremely important.

Yes, yes, and yes! Don’t skip this essential part of pregnancy. A doctor’s supervision might just be the key to your baby’s survival, health, and even your health. You’ll be checked for gestational diabetes, get a few ultrasounds to detect the development of the baby, and monitor any prescription drugs you are taking that might affect the fetus.

Your water always breaks when you go into labor and will gush like a faucet.

Nope. It doesn’t always break before and sometimes it’s just a trickle you don’t even notice.

The pregnant couple will sometimes feel disconnected and disoriented to one another.

True, and if not, it may happen shortly after becoming new parents.

Having wide, curvy hips make child birthing easier.

False.  It’s the size of the pelvis, not hips.

Drinking castor oil, eating spicy food or jumping on a trampoline will kick-start labor.

False. Sorry. The baby will come when it is good and ready.

Pregnant women should avoid exercise.

False. Sorry again. Exercise is actually very good for the baby and mom, but should be done moderately and with a doctor’s approval.

The second birth will be easier.

True, but not always. Still, it’s a nice thought when considering having more than one child.

You will feel an instant bond with your newborn baby.

False. New mothers and fathers may not naturally feel a euphoric sense of love and connection with their baby. Don’t worry if that is the case. Give it time. If post-partum sets in, see a doctor.

Couples should wait at least 6 weeks after childbirth to have sex.

True. Have fun.

Gut flora, kid health, and boogers

This turned out to be a really lively (and a little gross) interview on the Matt Townsend show. It aired on Jan 26th. http://www.byuradio.org/episode/6e14c90d-9421-4a88-9420-9cb8a1e095e8?playhead=6693&autoplay=true

Here are some new vocabulary words you’ll learn by listening:

Gut Flora

Microorganism

Microbiome

Microflora

Probiotics

Ecosystem

And this is a quiz that you’ll know the answers to once it’s over (P.S. Matt gets them all correct!)

How many feet of intestinal tubing do we have?

a. 10 feet

b. 18 feet

c. 25 feet

c. 30 feet

We have this many microorganisms in our gut.

a. 150 billion

b. 75 trillion

c. 100 trillion

What is the ratio of microorganism to human cells?

a. 10-1

b. 20-1

c. 50-1

What percentage of serotonin is found in the gut?

a. 25%

b. 45%

c. 70%

d. 80%

 

Benefits of Reading to Children

I was on BYU radio Sept 8th talking about the amazing benefits of regularly reading to your children. I followed such eclectic topic as China and Oil and Vocal Fry.

Here are a few statistics to blow your mind. Just how important is the small yet profound act of regularly reading to your children?

Regular reading to children from birth through five years old is strongly linked to kindergarten readiness. Furthermore, reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of graduation from high school and career success. In an international study of 150,000 fourth-graders, those whose parents “often” read to them scored 30 points higher than their peers who were only “sometimes” read to. In another study, the breakdown of minutes read at home correlated with academic status. On standardized reading tests, students who were read to for 2 minutes a day outside of school scored in the 30th percentile; those who were read to for 5 minutes a day scored in the 50th percentile; those who were read to  for 10 minutes a day scored in the 70th percentile; and those who were read to for 20 minutes a day scored in the 90th percentile.

So reading daily for 20 minutes translates to an “A” grade. Who wants a child to receive any less in life?

So pick up a book tonight when you tuck your child in for bed. Read for 20 minutes, talking about the book and discussing your day together. Make it a daily ritual…like brushing your teeth.

Or brushing the cobwebs out of our brains.

Stay tuned for my next post on my FAV-or-ite books to read aloud to young children.

BYU Radio Interview: Post-Wedding Blues

wedding

Is it just me, or are we having a rash of weddings this summer? I’ve counted 8 just in my neighborhood alone (including my daughter’s which will be in 2 weeks–gulp). The hype and stress of wedding and reception planning can create a huge let down afterward so I was interviewed on BYU radio about how to avoid the post-wedding blues.

http://www.byuradio.org/episode/5beda7ba-fe7a-46d1-893a-4a8447d645ca/the-matt-townsend-show-happiness-violent-disorders-unhelping-post-wedding-blues

Is Sesame Street GOOD for your kids?

sesame street

How well do you know your Sesame Street? In the early seasons, who was the roving reporter for the News Flash?

a) Bert

b) Guy Smiley

c) Kermit the Frog

d) Oscar the Grouch.

What was Oscar the Grouch’s original color?

a) orange

b) red

c) blue

d) black

I give the answer to these, as well as other trivia, and research on how to reap the benefits from your child watching educational programming on the Matt Townsend show BYU radio.

http://www.byuradio.org/episode/73732d0c-f76c-43ce-b6ea-4b967f7b7cfd/the-matt-townsend-show-technology-in-family-kids-and-tv-overcoming-self-pity

The Importance of Fathers

lover-father-281622-m

Image ID: 281622 Stockxchange

An expert on the issue of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was interviewed on BYU Radio’s Matt Townsend show on May 26th. Here are some teasers:

Do you think our country does enough for mothers (and what about new fathers?) to leave work to spend time with their newborn and then return if they choose?

Are they penalized if they leave and come back after 6 weeks-3 months?

Does the employer suffer economic consequences for extending paid maternal leave?

Did you know that the US is the only industrialized nation that does not have paid leave for mothers?

Does paid leave have long-term negative or positive ramifications for our economy, the family, and the couple?

This expert covers some of these issues in this program.

If follow at the end of the program in a segment called “The Role of Fathers in the Development of Children.” I bring research and reason to the topic of dads bonding with their young, and how their style of play helps children develop socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively. Here is the link:

http://www.byuradio.org/episode/3665a59d-e77f-429b-aaca-0ad1aca688ec/the-matt-townsend-show-parental-leave-smart-is-the-new-rich-the-role-of-fathers-in-development-of-children?playhead=6247&autoplay=true

How Technology Has Changed Our Parenting Lives

This is the podcast of the live interview I did for the Matt Townsend BYU radio show on March 4, 2015. The topic was how social media has changed parenting. I am the 3rd guest.

I review an excellent Matt Townsend Showarticle by the Washington Post called, “How Technology Has Changed Our Parenting Lives.”

http://www.byuradio.org/episode/3003bfc7-9fc8-43fc-b020-2276b26493ae/the-matt-townsend-show-middle-east-art-of-social-media-parents-and-social-media