Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NPR-Cincinnati...My Favorite Book-Related Radio Interview

When the NPR producer called me regarding their national series on family size, he was kind in saying "Well, you wrote the book Dr. Singer." NPR is so chill; what a pleasant experience. They give you time to think and time to answer during the interview (and such a distinguished panel of experts-not too shabby). With the TV promotion of my book, all of life was compressed into 3.5 minute segments. I finally realized that the interviewer is going to ask me 3 questions and that's it.

One NPR caller to this show asked....When there are 7 billion people in the world, why have any children? I responded: It is totally your decision; in my entire career spanning over 3 decades I never encouraged couples or suggested, that what they need for their marriage is a child, or another child.

The most asked question of my book: So, Dr. Singer, what really is the perfect family size?  My book has 92 self-test questions that assist couples in making the best decision for themselves. Couples shouldn't ask, What is the ideal number of children to have? They should ask: Are we both ready to have another child now (regardless of gender)?

Click here to enjoy the interview .......and please support your local public radio station.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Distracting Power of a Cellphone

According to a series of experiments led by researchers at the University of Essex, just putting your cell phone on the table (not even holding it) appears to reduce in-person conversation quality. The researchers observed, “The evidence indicates the mere presence of mobile phones inhibited the development of interpersonal closeness and trust, and reduced the extent to which individuals felt empathy and understanding from their partners.”
You know how we dump our boots in the "mud" room on the way into our homes? Maybe a bin for phones belongs there too.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Did You Get Some Chill Time Last Summer? If Not, Plan Your Winter Break for You and Your Family’s Sake

Vacation is no laughing matter. It's imperative for you and your family to hit the reset button in your brain. A walk in nature or listening to music acts as a neural reset button and provides much needed perspective on what you're doing. Taking breaks is biologically restorative. If you were a workaholic all summer, plan a winter getaway in some warm weather with your spouse and family.....for goodness sakes. Click Here for Daniel Levitin's NY Times article.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Is Divorce Contagious?

As if divorce statistics aren’t depressing enough…a colleague recently sent me this link. It’s research from Brown University that is published by the extraordinary Pew Research Center and is enough to make me sick. “Social contagion” theory suggests that the spread of information, attitudes and behaviors is through friends, family, and other social networks. One degree of separation is 75% more likely to divorce? OY!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Going From Man-To-Man….to Zone

When you go from 2 children to 3, that is what happens to parents; zone defense.  A recent NYTimes article described a growing number of three-child households in Manhattan. Really? With some of the highest apartment prices in the world, could that be true? It turns out the article describes the significant increase in three-child families with incomes in the 200K to 400K range. So we’re not talking your typical American family here by a long shot.
Community does play a role in family size decisions. For people in normal income brackets who frequently use the subway system, holding on to your child/children continuously is a priority. I am often on the NYC subways and I am personally much calmer when I see two parents and each has one child rather than one parent with 2 or (Yikes) 3 children all to him/herself. The high cost/small square footage of Manhattan apartments makes it impractical to have a large family size. So it follows that many couples, when expecting their second or third child, move out to the suburbs. The one child family is still the most common family size in NYC.

This article reminded me of when family size researchers altered the standard FamSize question and began to ask: If money is not at all a concern, how many children would you and your spouse like to have?