Saturday, November 17, 2007

Keeping Little Girls Little

As a father of four little girls, brother Bowden McElroy's post on Keeping Little Girls Little especially resonated with me. It has always been a major concern to me and my wife that our little girls stay little as long as possible. It is distressing to see other little girls, the same age as my oldest, look like they are eighteen years old in terms of body build. For a time, we tried to buy all organic foodstuffs to try to stave off early onset of puberty due to the growth hormones injected in milk and meats. Buying organic quickly became cost-prohibitive. However, the study Bowden has posted seems to intimate otherwise, and thankfully so.
The results of the study show that children living in families with greater parental supportiveness, from both mothers and fathers, less marital conflict and less depression reported by the fathers experienced the first hormonal changes of puberty later than other children. In addition, children whose mothers had started puberty later (a genetic factor), whose families were better off financially when the children were in preschool, whose mothers gave them more support when they were in preschool and who had lower Body Mass Index when they were in third grade developed secondary sexual characteristics later than their peers.
As Bowden notes, "A stable home environment may delay the onset of puberty in girls." One thing my wife and I constantly struggle for is a semblance of order in our home. The premise we base this on is that heaven is often referred to as "home" in the Scriptures as well as in popular culture so we try to foster as "heavenly" an environment as we can. It is a challenge!

Though we only have one nearing pubescent age, the results are evident. A stable home life counts for so much more than just the normal rhythms of life and prayerfully, it will develop happy, whole, God-fearing children in our home.


Bowden McElroy said...

Thanks for the link.

The interesting phrase in the report (that I didn't focus on in my post) was: "less depression reported by the fathers".

One assumes depression in mothers was statistically insignificant or less significant than dad's depression.

Interesting the impact we men have on our daughters.

Tony said...

You're welcome, Bowden. Thanks for dropping in.

Dads have much more impact and influence than they realize. I pray I use my influence wisely!

Heather said...

Interesting ... although my own personal experience would completely shatter that theory.

But I don't believe that was what you were getting at -- I agree that a stable home life is of utmost importance!


Tony said...

Thanks to you, too, for dropping in, Heather!

I'm sure there are some personal stories that would have a bearing on whether or not this is completely true. But we do agree, and I don't think anyone would disagree, that stability at home is prime.

selahV said...

Bowden, In the case where two little girls, age 7 and 3 lose their dad due to death, how does this affect them? any studies on that? selahV