Stories you can use to start conversation or to add interest to speeches or presentations

Column 1 Resources for Speakers - Anecdotes About Children

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Children Red Light Forehead

Readers Digest story about mother who convinced her kids that, if they lied, a red light would shine from their forehead (that only she could see) so of course, whenever they lied, their hand would come up to cover their forehead - even when adults, they would involuntarily move hand

Children School

School in Tahiti called "2+2=4" bc benefactor reasoned that, if nothing else, kids would learn name of school

Poor Design

Choking is leading cause of death in <4 yos in First World.

The websites for some nurseries don’t inspire confidence, however, either through their poor spelling or disturbing confessions. One that could fall into either camp boasts a “specious garden”. Worse is a playschool with three goldfish that, it tells parents, “are treated with the same respect as the children”. The site adds: “Updated information: The goldfish have all died.”

Children and the Law

Kid in Britain awarded £4000 after being stuck in a rubbish bin by a cop. 15 yo boy had been pelting passers by with chestnuts in street in North London. Copper approached and a 'free and frank' exchange of views took place, culminating in the cop threatening to shove kid in the bin. "Go on then" goaded the boy, unwisely. Writer said that bleeding heart libs would have said cop should have arrested boy, taken him down station, spent 3 hours filling out forms, prepared a case for juvenile court, which would of course have set him free without any vestige of punishment, all of which would probably have cost the taxpayer much more than £4000.

Morons In Charge of Children

Parents of the 450 pupils (aged 3-11) at Applecroft primary school in Welwyn Garden City, England, were given individualized yearbooks recently with all the children's faces obscured by black bars over the eyes (except for photos of the recipient's own children, which had no obstructions). The precautions (described by one parent as "creepy," like kids were "prisoner[s]") were ordered by headmistress Vicky Parsley, who feared that clear photos of children would inevitably wind up in child pornography. Last year, Parsley famously prohibited parents from taking photographs during school plays--of their kids or any others--for the same fear.

Dr. James D. Watson, Nobel Prize winner & co-discoverer of DNA's double helix structure, believed that babies shouldn't be considered alive until 3 days after birth so that if the baby is sick, disabled, deformed, or deemed otherwise unacceptable, the baby can be legally left to die or euthanized.

An old dog scratched at a stranger's door to be let in, then promptly went to sleep in a sunny spot. He did this for several weeks off and on. Finally the house owner attached a note to the dog's collar to find out who owned the dog who came every day for a nap. Next day dog came back with a note saying "He lives in a home with 6 kids, 2 under the age of 3. He's comming to your house to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Ford has made bassinet that lulls babies to sleep by mimicing car trip.

Adopting "Children"

Globally (except in Japan), family-run businesses underperform those run by professional managers. Japanese corporations seem often to have a talented son to take over for his father. The main reason for that, according to an August Freakonomics radio report, is that the family scions usually first recruit an ideal "son" and then adopt him, often also encouraging their daughters to marry the men. (Japanese adage: "You can't choose your sons, but you can choose your sons-in-law.") If the man is already married, sometimes he and his wife will both get adopted.) In fact, while 98 percent of U.S. adoptions are of children, 98 percent of Japan's are of adults.

India has defused the popn bomb. Av family size of 2.5 (ie just over replacement rate of 2.3 children). Hard to say exactly why, but one signif correlation is TV ownership. India a vast country so great variation in when each state got TV. TV empowers women. Eye opener bc showed rural women a whole range of things that other women were doing. Crucially, they were doing new, better things by having fewer children. Showing a world of possibilities, with small families as key to a better life.

Obesity in very young Children

The research, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, found 32% of nine-month-old babies were obese or overweight. The research, carried out at Wayne State University in Detroit, studied American children, but similar findings are emerging in Britain. Babies are becoming obese as young as nine months old because they are being weaned on to sweet and fatty adult food, or fed excessive amounts of formula milk, new research has found.Health workers warn some parents have even been giving their babies junk food such as pureed chips and Chinese takeaways. Many are also using large amounts of formula to ensure they sleep through the night.

Giving Away Children

Mother in Kawerau NZ who had identical quads - gave them away to 4 different parents (part of extended family) - kids grew up knowing about each other but not particularly worried about fraternising

Even the poorest country today ha lower child mortality rate than even the richest country 100 years ago.

Bill Cosby on "I didn't ask to be born"

When he takes the stage, he remains more than anything an exasperated father. Confronting the cosmic impertinence of a child who moans, “I didn’t ask to be born,” Cosby responds, as always, with fond irritation. “Yes, you did,” he says. “About nine months before you were born, I released about sixty million— you were one of ’em. The idea is, first one to the egg locks the door. The others die.” He pauses to let the laughter subside, then turns accusatory: “You could have hung a left.”

Until 1913, children in America could legally be sent by parcel post.

Too Much Love

An Italian mother has been jailed for mollycoddling her son. The boy, now 14, wasn't allowed to mix with other children, played no sport and "never had any fun". His mother, from Ferrara, cut up his school lunch into bite-size pieces. Last week Italy's highest appeal court upheld a conviction for "aggravated ill-treatment" and sentenced her to 16 months in prison.


a Beijing mother reminded me today that families with one child in the capital are still automatically eligible to receive a monthly 'reward' from the state for adhering to the one-child plan. The amount hasn't changed since it was set in 1979: five yuan a month, about seventy-nine cents. (It doesn't go as far as it once did, now that China is the world's largest consumer of Rolls Royces.)

BB King and his guitar Lucille

He was unapologetic about his failed marriages and relationships. “About 15 times, a lady has said, ‘It’s either me or Lucille’. That’s why I’ve had 15 children by 15 women.”

Tough Love and Children

Fay Weldon on childrearing: Tough love, in the case of disruptive children, probably does work, she thinks. "The trouble is, doing the right thing doesn't make people love you, which is why parents find it so difficult to tell their children off. They want to be liked. They behave as siblings to their children and that is a mistake. You have to keep a distance." She plops a pebble into the murky waters: "I advise women not to bond. It sentences you to a lifetime's anxiety."

Anna Swan at 7 feet 11 inches (2.41 m) and Martin Bates at 7 feet 9 inches (2.36 m) are not only the tallest couple ever to have ever lived, but also to have given birth to the largest baby ever in 1878. The baby at birth weighed 23 pounds 9 ounces (10.7 kg) and nearly 30 inches tall (75 cm) and each of his feet were six inches (152 mm) long, but he only lived for 11 hours.

Children Nannies

ESL nannies in NY - English speaking nanny gives mums bragging rights (because most Spanish) - but now the 'premium' nanny threatened by increased status of "mannies" (hired bc boys lack father figure with dad working all time) or Chinese nannies (hired to give kids a head start in Mandarin etc)

Nanny in Bangalore fired after mother came home early one day and found kid not there - turned out Nanny was renting it out to street beggars for $2 a day

Night nurses at $300 a time. Families with twins now more common with IVF. Grandparents either in another city or still working themselves. Sleep as a commodity that people are prepared to pay for. "We slept from 6pm to 6am. When we woke up the fog had lifted, and we liked each other again."

Sperm Donors

In the early years, the industry was unregulated and recipients were given whatever sperm clinics could lay their hands on. Bertold Wiesner, a biologist, and his wife, Mary Barton, founded a fertility clinic in London in the Forties that promised sperm donors who were not just healthy but highly intelligent. It helped women to conceive 1,500 babies – and up to 600 babies, it emerged recently, may have been conceived using sperm from Wiesner himself. Some couples were even helped by their GPs. “You wonder how did he or she recruit sperm donors?” asks Witjens. “Or was it him? They wouldn’t have had facilities to freeze sperm, so it must have been fresh.”

The biggest sperm bank in the world turns down redheaded donors because “not enough people want ginger kids.”

Forced Adoption For Children

US has forced adoption rules for children of drug addicts. Permanent harm of chaotic lives, but also mental harm of coming second to heroin.

Forced Adoption For Children

Professor David Farrington "antisocial children grow up to become antisocial adults who go on to raise antisocial children". They noted 2003 Home Office estimates that 350,000 children had drug-addicted parents and a million had alcohol-addicted parents. They then detailed the Dunedin study, begun in New Zealand in 1972, where nurses observed three-year-olds at play and identified - from behaviour alone - those that might be at risk. Eighteen years later the outcomes were studied. The at-risk boys were twice as likely to have committed an offence and five times as likely to be abusing their partners. Thirty per cent of the at-risk girls had become teenage mothers, compared with none of those not at risk. Forty-three per cent of the at-risk girls were in violent or abusive relationships.

Longitudinal Study of Children

One of first Longitudinal Studies begun Dunedin NZ. 1000 kids born 1972, reassessed every 3 or 4 years. They get paid $100 a day plus a free air ticket home (only 300 of original 1000 still live in Dunedin)

Cruel Children

Vets regularly see cases deliberate cruelty to pets. Studies have shown that when kids do this, invariably means 2 things - 1) they're being abused 2) they will grow up to commit violent crime

Teach Children Magic

Magic tricks should be taught to every school pupil, researchers have concluded. Although not exactly in the Harry Potter league, tests have shown that teaching magic to children boosts their self-confidence and social skills. The skills demanded by even simple tricks helped children in several ways. Magic forced them to show self-discipline to master the tricks, problem-solving skills in identifying how tricks worked and likeable behaviour to entertain other people successfully

Toys For Children

Photo of kid's playhouse - £17,000 effort - L-shaped with villa windows, return veranda, full gable end plus a particularly fetching dormer window with a turret

Toys For Children

Mattel sold Becky, a doll in a wheelchair as one of Barbie's friends. Now you can also buy Down Syndrome dolls, so that DS kids can have one like themselves rather than the 'perfection' of standard ones. And also bald 'chemo' dolls and ones which have stomach that opens up so can explain operations to young kids and siblings

Mom took 8 yo son to watch Santa Parade, but as it was starting he went missing. After 2 hours of frantic searching a friend texted her a pic of the boy happily marching .... with the Lost Boys on the Peter Pan float.

Adults' Anxieties

Politicians want to ban violent computer video games. But this is just latest example of tendency to demonise new/unfamiliar forms of entertainment. 1816 waltzing was condemned as encouraging promiscuity; 1910 films denounced as 'evil pure and simple'. 1950's comic books accused of turning kids into drug addicts and criminals. 1960's Rock n Roll was going to turn kids into devil worshippers. Old people get spooked by unfamiliarity, but eventually the young grow up and new medium is accepted, at which point another example appears and the whole cycle begins again

Let Them Take Risks

Two Norwegian psychologists think that modern playgrounds are for wimps. Instead of short climbing walls, there should be towering monkey bars. Instead of plastic crawl tubes, there should be tall, steep slides. And balance beams. And rope swings. The rationale is that the more we shield children from potential scrapes and sprained ankles, the more unprepared they'll be for real risk as adults, and the less aware they'll be of their surroundings. Leif Kennair and Ellen Sandseter's ideas have won the support of playground experts on both sides of the Atlantic; one company, Landscape Structures, offers a 10-foot-high climbing wall that twists like a Moebius strip.

ADD Children

Kids being diagnosed ADD when a lot of them just short of sleep - sleep apnoea can be caused by obesity or enlarged tonsils - signs include snoring ( not normal in kids), breathing pauses, increased effort in breathing


Birthdays are the riskiest days of a toddler's life: chokes on sweets, new toys which fall apart, balloons, popcorn (but biggest risk is being run over in driveway)

Childrens' Beauty Contests

Story LT about woman who made a film called Painted Dolls about little kids in beauty contests across US South. Most people horrified at 5 yo's being dolled up as precociously sexy performers. And the parents and grandparents were pretty horrifying. Yet when the filmmaker tracked down her subjects aged 18, picture a lot more nuanced. One of 2 had given up on contests (I just grew out of them) the other still did. But both were mature and 'serene', unaffected and apparently happy and unscarred. Neither regretted the experience.

8yo Arizona shot his father and a boarder at family home. Eleven shots with single shot .22 rifle (ie had to reload after each round). Regularly spanked by father and step-mother. Kept a log book of spankings, and told a social worker "My 1000th one will be the last". Clearly a premeditated shooting but how do you expect a jury to convict an 8 yo?

Children Caring For Parents

LST article abt children caring for parents eg girl now 17, who had been looking after herself and younger brother since she was 5 - mother an alcoholic with depression - moved out at 13 to go and look after dad who had had a kidney transplant - she became a clean freak to try to make up for being dirty and smelly bc mother didn't look after her

And 14 yo boy whose mum suffers paranoia and frequently calls police on him - when that happens he goes and stays with father in next street, who is bedridden with arthritis - always in trouble at school for attendance and lateness, which upsets him bc can't get home to give dad insulin - effectively caregiver for both parents

First story abt Lauren Mullins, who looked after her disabled mother - often cried herself to sleep at unfairness - isolated in home most of time - always worried at school if her mum might have fallen

Birth Order of Children

Does your older brother think he's cleverer than you? Well, he's probably right. According to new research due to be published this week in the journal Intelligence, the oldest children in families are likely to have the highest IQs, and the youngest the lowest.

Who'd be the second child anyway? For the first child, nothing is too much trouble - he's pampered and photographed. First child gets read to as if his life depended on it, but by the time the second one comes along, you're sick of the same damn books and the thrill is gone - you treacherously skip pages and whole sections of plot.

The neonatal intensive care unit of Texas Health Fort Worth disclosed in January that the secret to keeping the most fragile prematurely-born babies alive is to quickly stick them into Ziploc Freezer bags, to create, according to a clinician, a "hot house effect." (It turns out that merely raising the temperature in the delivery room had only marginal effect.)

Fake Parents For Wayward Children

Thriving business in Korea catering for kids who don't want to tell parents they're in trouble with teachers. They can rent a 'parent'. For $30 they'll make a phone call, $100 make a school visit. An offshoot of an existing impersonation business - fake kids to make boss think you're happily married, fake boyfriend/girlfriend for socials

Children and Gifting

Kid searching through the Father's Day cards on the shelf, discarding each one after brief inspection: "I'm looking for one with money in it"

Children and Mothers

(In article LT about 5yo boys proposing to their mothers) Relish this uncritical adoration because it passes quickly. A friend's six-year-old son used to propose to her at least once a week. That was a year ago. Now she reminds him and he says: "Your hands are too wrinkly. I think I'll marry someone younger instead."

Children and Unmarried Mothers

Iceland is the leader with six in 10 births occurring among unmarried women. About half of all births in Sweden and Norway are to unwed moms, while in the U.S., it's about 40 per cent.

Children and Child Support

Melbourne Australia guy got $70000 from ex-wife after DNA test proved kids he'd been paying maintenance for, weren't his

Children and DNA Tests

Woman in Brazil took kid in for DNA test to see who father was - turned out they weren't hers either - she wasn't birth mother - swapped by hospital

Health Care For Children

CHEAP baby incubators made from scrap car parts could save thousands of lives in developing nations, say engineers at the Boston-based Centre for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology. Conventional premature-baby incubators cost more than $25,000, but the newly developed model may be made from locally sourced spare parts for about $650. The idea was first developed by Dr Jonathan Rosen, of Boston University, who realised that no matter how remote clinics are in developing nations, there are always Toyota 4x4s on the local roads. The incubator's heat source is a pair of Toyota headlights, a car-door alarm signals emergencies, and the engine's air filter and fan provide climate control. The team is seeking World Health Organisation backing to teach locals to build the incubators.

Flower Children

Though this hypothesis is new to modern biological psychiatry, it can be found in folk wisdom, as the University of Arizona developmental psychologist Bruce Ellis and the University of British Columbia developmental pediatrician W. Thomas Boyce pointed out last year in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science. The Swedes, Ellis and Boyce noted in an essay titled "Biological Sensitivity to Context," have long spoken of 'dandelion' children. These dandelion children - equivalent to our 'normal' or 'healthy' children, with 'resilient' genes - do pretty well almost anywhere, whether raised in the equivalent of a sidewalk crack or a well-tended garden. Ellis and Boyce offer that there are also 'orchid' children, who will wilt if ignored or maltreated but bloom spectacularly with greenhouse care.

Statistics and Probability About Children

You can tick off story after story that's probably interesting to the people it happened to, but not statistically unusual at all. There was a recent story about a family in Gloucestershire with three children all born on January 29. We were contacted by a journalist and asked what are the chances of this happening. The chances are about one in 135,000, or seven in a million. But there are a million families with three children in the UK. So it's almost certain that this family is not unique and when the story went online, someone wrote in and said, "I was born on the same day as my two brothers."

Children and Parental Responsibility

A court in Seoul, South Korea, fined the parents of a teenage rapist the equivalent of about $60,000 for their negligence in raising the boy badly. (The 18-year-old, himself, is serving a 10-year sentence for the crime.)

Abandoning Children

Florida statute 827.035 reads: "It shall not constitute neglect of a child ... if a parent leaves a newborn infant at a hospital, emergency medical services station, or fire station or brings a newborn infant to an emergency room and expresses an intent to leave the infant and not return."

The Nebraska legislature's new "safe haven" law for unwanted babies, like other states' laws, allows them to be dropped off anonymously at hospitals, to discourage abortions (and neglect by unfit parents). However, unlike other states' laws, Nebraska's applies not just to infants, but "minors," because, said Sen. Tom White, "All children deserve our protection." In September, the first two non-infants were abandoned, as exasperated parents gave up on rebellious sons aged 11 and 15, and critics say the law could apply to those up to age 19 (the tally is now 34 kids, including a family of 9 dropped off by their widower father)


25 yo American guy had relationship with 20 yo student who claimed to be both infertile and using contraception, but she got pregnant and sued for child support. So now he's gone to court saying he didn't consent to fatherhood. Arguing that because she got pregnant by deception she has no claim on him.

The Law of Unintended Consequences

'Crying Doll' intended to 'inoculate' girls against teen pregnancy, but backfired. The attention they got from carrying the doll around actually encouraged them to have a real one.

Children Getting Pregnant

7500 girls under age 16 got pregnant in UK in 2005 (latest year stats available). That's 20 girls a day. Half of them had an abortion, half became mothers. Under 18's another 47,000. Governments have tried more sex education, more free contraceptives, more propaganda campaigns. So now suggestion that instead of Govt handing out benefits, should make them pay their own way, in hope that knowing that severe hardship awaited, they might make different choices. General agreement that interests of society not being served by present situation - too many kids being badly brought up

Maybe it's just economics, writes the Financial Times's Chris Caldwell, quoting sociologists Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas: [Poor teen mothers] have about the same long-term earnings trajectories as similarly disadvantaged youth who wait until their mid or late twenties to have a child. As it becomes more difficult to get out of the social class you were born into, says Caldwell, "the opportunity cost of being a young mother falls. Might not the teen years be a prudent time to become a single mother, while the financial and day-care resources of one's own parents are still available?"

We in Britain remain tightly bound by class in a way that other nations are not. Teenagers from lower socio-economic groups are disproportionately likely to get pregnant. Girls from working-class families are 10 times more likely to become teenage mothers than those from affluent, middle-class backgrounds. For children from working-class families, where aspiration is considered middle class, choices in life consist of becoming a celebrity, working in a shop or becoming a mum. The Holy Grail is ready access to a council flat and state benefits, which is precisely what having a baby gives you. Is it any wonder that disadvantaged teenagers see having a baby as something normal? They see their friends doing it and it gives them status, somewhere independent to live and meaning in their lives.

The poorer and less educated a girl is, the more it makes sense to have babies and live off benefits. Skilled, hard-working East Europeans monopolise the menial jobs. The next level up - hairdressing or catering, if you can get it, pays £10,000 pa, slightly less than a single mother with 2 kids, who also gets a free house to live in. For some welfare is the only option.

Number of Children

The number of kids you have not affected by govt edicts or incentives - given a choice, people prefer fewer children: once you're reasonably sure they'll live, 2 well-fed, well-educated kids makes a lot more sense than 6 starving ones. But high birth rates in past means population still rising, because those kids are now reproducing adults - world pop won't stop rising until 2050

Unfit Parents

Dutch proposing a law where would class women as 'unfit mothers', forced into contraception, and any children conceived confiscated at birth. (Get 'unfit' ruling if have already been in trouble for bad parenting). Like many countries, Holland has problem families where kids are taken into care but mother keeps getting pregnant. If this isn't the right way to deal with high social costs of bad parenting, what is?

Inbred Muslims

Inbred Muslims causing problems in Britain. Pakistani Muslims make up 3% of births but account for 33% of congenital birth defects. Not only cousins marrying cousins, but their parents were cousins as well. Problem compounded by the ignorance of families, who want to abandon the babies as 'cursed'

Natural Abortions

If Christians really believe that embryos are morally equivalent to living, breathing humans, they would stop trying for children. It has been estimated that for every live birth resulting from sexual intercourse at least three embryos are naturally wasted, which makes all Christian parents, according to their own principles, murderers.

Premature Babies

Auckland U Dr Peter Gluckman running International Healthy Start to Life project - thesis that there are several ways to have a poor start to life - being born premature, being too big or to small, and not being breast fed first few months. There's a narrow window for intervention - conception through to 2 years. Encourage young people to become healthier and fitter in prep for childbearing, doing more to discourage teenage pregnancies and promoting exclusive breast feeding in first 4 months

Premature babies (earlier than 37 weeks) have lifetime health disadvantage - more likely to die in childbirth, less educated, less likely to have own families (but odds improve the longer they live)

They found that despite more than half the babies born at 23 weeks being admitted to intensive care, there was no improvement in survival in this group over the 12 years of the study, and only 18 per cent (12 out of 65) survived out of hospital. Importantly, during the 12-year period, care for the 150 babies born at 22 weeks remained unsuccessful, and none survived to be discharged.

Criminal Children

One noteworthy finding was about juvenile crime. 2 clear groups: those who got involved in rule breaking/crime as a rite of passage then grew out of it, and persistent crims, who made up less than 10% of total population, but accounted for most of crime. The study suggested early intervention rather than locking them up after the event.

Another study valued the costs:
- intervening before 5 yo cost $4000 per child, success rate 80%
- intervene at 12, cost $16,000 per child, success rate 20%
- by time they get to jail, annual cost $90,000 (excluding cost of any damage they do) and success rate practically zero

Allocating Resources

Sydney guy who's wife expecting twins reckoned made more sense to favour one of them, on basis that better to have one successful one than 2 mediocrities. So going to call the smartest one Carmichael and other one ... Shane. Only going to send one to private school

Criminal Parents

Missouri couple faked birth sextuplets to get donations - collected nearly $4000 before having to admit they had no kids at all

Children Having Sex

Doctors in UK put an 11 yo on pill, even though anyone having sex with under 15yo is rape. "Even if you don't give me the pill I'm still going to have sex"

Children by Proxy

Sharon Stone dashed home from a filmset in London after finding out that she's had a baby (by a surrogate mother) As Jay Leno said, this is where Hollywood is taking us "A baby? Great idea. I'll get my people to impregnate your people"

Allocating Resources

Theresa Winters, 36, who lives in Luton, England, with her unemployed boyfriend Toney Housden, is pregnant (and chain-smoking) with her 14th child (his 12th) and remains totally dependent on public assistance, which officials estimate has totaled "millions" of pounds. Social workers recently removed the kids still living with her (five were born with disabilities), and Winters defiantly told The Sun in July that, if they also take away her 14th in November, she and Housden will just keep making more until she gets one to keep.

Allocating Resources

Michael Laws suggestion that worth paying some people $10,000 to be sterilized

Allocating Resources

LST article commenting on public reaction to story abt Scot woman who's newborn had been taken from her - she weighed 230lb and had a 200lb teenager and a 100lb 4yo - several issues
(a) public have unreal expectations that CYF always get it right - never fail to intervene when necessary; never jump in when it's not - this expect leads to professionals worrying abt rules to cover ts, inst of trusting their judgement to do what's best for child
(b) swamped with referrals, often over trivial issues, so that genuine needs get missed
(c) problem that often privacy impt, bc publicity harmful - have to tell people there are facts we're not allowed to tell you about; if you knew those facts you wouldn't be so black-and-white in yr judgement

Power of Pictures of Children

What would you do if you found a wallet on the street? Leave it? Take it to a police station? Post it back to the owner? Keep it, even? The answer, scientists have found, depends rather more on evolution than morality. Hundreds of wallets were planted on the streets of Edinburgh by psychologists last year. Perhaps surprisingly, nearly half of the 240 wallets were posted back. But there was a twist. Richard Wiseman, a psychologist, and his team inserted one of four photographs behind a clear plastic window inside, showing either a smiling baby, a cute puppy, a happy family or a contented elderly couple. Some wallets had no image and some had charity papers inside. When faced with the photograph of the baby people were far more likely to send the wallet back, the study found. In fact, only one in ten were hard-hearted enough not to do so. With no picture to tug at the emotions, just one in seven were sent back. According to Dr Wiseman the result reflects a compassionate instinct towards vulnerable infants that people have evolved to ensure the survival of future generations. "The baby kicked off a caring feeling in people, which is not surprising from an evolutionary perspective," he said. Scientists argue that it would be difficult to genetically code for feeling empathy exclusively towards your own child and much easier to code for feeling empathy towards all children. If you find a baby alone, there is a good chance it belongs to you, making it an effective evolutionary trait, said Dr Wiseman.

Lighter Bits About Children

"I know what you and mum do after I go to bed" says 4yo ... (stunned silence) ... "You eat all the cakes"

Kid in library "What are all those books?" They're encyclopaedias. "What? You mean someone printed them all out??"

Kids burying dead bird - gathered around wondering what to do next - eventually heard them singing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow"

Drop hot chilli on tongue of naughty child (as alternative to corporal punishment)


An Oregon, Wis., man was arrested in February after his 9-year-old son wrote a school essay about the time his dad shot him in the buttocks with a BB gun because he was blocking his view of the TV set.

Talking About Children

Thomas Frazier, 42, was jailed in Flint, Mich., in April after his unpaid child-support tab reached $530,000 (14 children with 13 women). He told the judge that he was only trying "to find someone who would love me for me."

What's best children's film for adults?

Lighter Conversation Starters

Man with 6 kids happier than man with $6 million 1st guy doesn't want any more

Humans only species animal that lets kids come back home

Be nice to yr kids for they will choose your rest home

Kids never any good at listening but very good at imitating

By time we realize our parents were right we have kids who think we are wrong

Every child hopes parents will eventually run out of advice

Never raise your hands to your kids: it leaves your groin unprotected

Adolescence is when kids stop asking questions and start questioning the answers

Small kids don't let you sleep; big kids don't let you rest

As soon as you get them to walk and talk you want them to sit down and shut up

Children are always too young or too old to be left unsupervised

Perfect age - too old to cry at night and too young to borrow the car

Definition of a showoff - some kid more talented than yours

Met a great guy - said he loved kids - then found he was on parole because of it

Said he wanted me to have his child ... and then he gave her to me

They can't have children - they have white couches

We were so poor our neighbour had my brother

It was a caesarian birth - didn't seem to affect him much but I noticed he always left thru the window

My parents were enlightened intelligent people - they accepted me for what I was: a punishment from God

Dad and I used to play tag. He'd drive.

Doesn't matter what stage child is at, always someone to tell you next stage is worse

Traced family tree back to royalty - King Kong

Darling this isn't our baby - I know but it's a much nicer pram

It's ok being a grandfather - except you have to sleep with a grandmother

One of nice things about kids is that they don't tell you boring stories about the clever things their parents did

Living with kids has changed my attitude - at first I was optimistic, but these days I'll just settle for no bloodshed

The joy of motherhood - the feeling you get when kid finally goes to sleep


Mummy Mummy where do babies come from?" "From the stork of course" "Well who fucks the stork?"

Usual first word spoken by child with older siblings? "Ouch!"

Guy goes to doctor looking for an explanation - wife is 6 months pregnant but he's been on oil rig longer than that - "Oh," says the doctor "That's a vindictive pregnancy: someone's got it in for you."

"Oh what a pretty little girl. Is your wife good looking?"

Friends had a video of baby's birth - no I don't want to watch it but I'll watch video of the conception if you have that

So ugly that when he was born the doctor slapped his mother

Heroin is not the answer for colicky kids - at least not for the kids< br>
They were PCBC's - Parents Could Be Cousins


Mary had a little blouse, was busted all to bits
And everywhere that Mary went, it showed her little tits
Mary had a little skirt, t'was split right down the front
And everywhere that Mary went, she had to sit down all the time

There was a young girl who begat
Triplets named Nat Tat and Pat
T'was fun in the breeding
But hell in the feeding
She found there was no tit for Tat

There was a young lady of Louth
Who returned from a trip to the South
Her mother said Nellie
There's more in yr belly
Than ever went in thru yr mouth

There was a young lady named Wilde
Who kept herself quite undefiled
By thinking of Jesus
Contagious diseases
And the bother of having a child

Diane Levy

Best story about raising kids Diane Levy in her book They Look So Lovely When They're Asleep - describing task as 'building cathedrals' (after story of the 3 workmen who were 1) doing hard work cutting stone 2) shaping a stone for a building 3) building a cathedral


Raising Children

Bubble wrapped kids - playgrounds so unchallenging that we're producing equiv of battery hens, plump from lack of exercise
parents more paranoid, creating generation of anxious kids picking up on parents' fears but not sure what to focus fear on
kids more worried about attack by stranger than being hit by car

Children Who Won't Grow Up

Children who won't grow up - 25yos still on skateboards; 35yos still living at home - sexually liberated, commitment free, materialistic - prefer live at home if means more money to spend on themselves

Children and Low Attention Span

Over-stimulated kids - so much time in front of TV and game boxes that don't have attention span to concentrate on (relatively boring ) lessons

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