Parents

Week in review: Gender-neutral parenting and 'too posh to push'

May 31, 2011 at 9:20 AM ET

Catching up after the long weekend? Here are the stories that had TODAY Moms talking recently.

Is it a boy or a girl? We'll never tell. Gender-neutral parenting is being taken to the extreme by one Canadian couple who refuses to divulge the sex of their newborn baby. They claim they want to raise four-month-old baby Storm "genderless" because "gender expectations constrict and damage children." Guess we'll all just have to wait until little Storm decides to tell us him (or her) self...

So, Mom, what grade did you get in Freshman English this year? How was your class participation? When kids are struggling in school, who's to blame? States are increasingly pointing the finger at parents and legislating for more parental accountability. Alaska and California have recently passed legislation which allows parents to be fined or brought up on charges if their kids are chronically truant. Meanwhile, Florida is considering legislation that would allow schools to give parents report cards based on their involvement in their children's education. Has educational accountability merely become a game of hot potato between schools and parents?

Here's one for the head-shaking file. A mother who apparently wanted to be the "supportive type" actually encouraged her 16-year-old daughter during a fight with a classmate. Mommy Dearest, who became a YouTube sensation after videos of the fight hit the internet, was originally charged with child abuse, which was later downgraded to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. That mom was recently sentenced to both a full day of parenting classes and 75 hours of community service, which has many saying she got off lightly.

If a kid's a brat, who's to blame? Are they naughty by nature or are they acting up because their parents just don't understand (how to discipline them effectively)? While some experts fall squarely in the "it's all the parents' doing" camp, others see it as more of a nurture/nature mix. A TODAY Moms survey revealed that 57 percent of respondents feel a child's bad behavior derives from a combination of both the child and the parent, but that a "good parent" would be able to curb even the most "spirited" child. 28 percent felt that the blame belonged solely to the parents, while 15 percent voted to let parents off the hook entirely for the actions of strong-willed kids.

Are women getting too posh to push? A recent survey of British women who'd had elective C-sections found that upper-class women were more likely to have the procedure than lower-income women. However, given the recovery period involved in C-sections, some argue that these aren't being performed merely for the sake of convenience and believe more research needs to be done to find out not just who is getting C-sections but why they are as well.

Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. She is currently developing an alarm clock that will start an IV coffee drip 10 minutes prior to wake-up time. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.

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