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Nature vs. nurture: Is parenting overrated?

Yes or no: Is parenting overrated? 

A new video debates this question, bringing new research to one of the oldest questions in child-rearing: nature vs. nurture.

In this Oxford-style debate held by Intelligence Squared U.S., twin researcher Nancy Segal and behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin argue that parenting is indeed overrated and that the latest studies show that genetics play an even greater role than we ever realized in how a person turns out.

But their opponents, former Parents Magazine editor-in-chief Ann Pleshette Murphy and psychology professor Paige Harden, counter that upbringing and environment are the ultimate deciding factors. 

Warning: It’s a long debate but pretty darn fascinating if you tune in for just a few minutes. 

 In a neck-and-neck vote at the end, the live audience narrowly sided with the latter, deciding that parenting is not overrated.

What do you think? How much of a role does genetics plan in how we turn out?


Conflicts Over Parenting Styles? How to keep your differences from hurting your kids

At some point, most couples are going to differ on how to approach parenting.

“I think in almost every family you’re going to find some disagreements,” says Dr. Alan Ravitz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist. “In my own family I know there were times when I thought my wife was too harsh and there were times when she thought I was too easy.” The important thing is to present a united front. “You shouldn’t disagree in front of the child,” he says. “You should disagree behind closed doors.”

This becomes especially challenging when parents develop extreme differences in their approaches to parenting-particularly when the child or children are struggling with a psychiatric diagnosis or a learning disability and treatment decisions need to be made. In these situations, the parents’ ability—or inability—to reach an agreement can mean the difference between successful treatment and an anxiety-provoking situation in which the child is left alone to sort out and interpret the confusing and often painful mixed signals he is getting from his parents.

Striking a balance

Maria and Alex consider themselves to be happily married, but when they fight it’s always about their children and it always goes the same way. “He’d say I don’t convey a message to our children that I care how they do in school or that I feel they have to work hard or that I care whether they get into a good college,” Maria says. “And I think he’s so hard on them that it leaves no room for me to be tough on them because I don’t think they can be getting that message over and over again.” READ MORE

Colorado Family Building 3D-Printed Lamborghini Hopes To Spark Interest In STEM

These days 3D printing has advanced so far, it’s even being used to make a custom heart valve, so why not a supercar, like a Lamborghini? An Erie family now hopes they’ll be the first in the country to build a Lamborghini using this technology.

“What we would do is jump into a Lamborghini Aventador and drive it around,” Xander Backus said.

Backus isn’t old enough to drive yet — he’s 11 — but he and his dad have driven the Aventador numerous times in an Xbox game.

“One day I said to him, hey can we build one of those?” Backus recalled.

Xander’s dad, Sterling Backus accepted the challenge. He happens to be a physicist whose line of work involves a lot of lasers, but that hasn’t really given him much of an advantage when it comes to building a car. CLICK TO KEEP READING

Join Our Movement for Accessible, Affordable and High-Quality Childcare

Denver mom Beth Slaboda decided to look into going back into teaching a few years ago. She had been working as a private part-time math tutor in the evenings and she thought going back would give her family a little more consistent income. She was wrong.

“We looked into childcare for our two kiddos and quickly realized that any extra I would make teaching (after paying for childcare) would be equal to or LESS than what I was making tutoring. I have such respect for single parents…I don’t know how they do it!”

Beth is not alone–Colorado has some of the priciest childcare in the country. According to the Economic Policy Institute’s 2019 report, a year’s worth of childcare costs thousands more than in-state college tuition over the same timeframe. A year’s worth of infant care is also higher than the average annual cost of housing in Colorado.

Can we just process that for a moment? Your child’s daycare costs more than college and housing. 

Being able to provide for our families is at the very core of who we are as parents. When I was approached by Colorado-based Affordable Child Care Now!, I was immediately struck by the urgency of their bipartisan message: “Many of the Presidential candidates have told us they are not hearing from their constituents that childcare affordability is a crisis.”

LET US BE HEARD!  By adding your voice, you are a part of the collective megaphone advocating for the importance of accessible, affordable, quality childcare.

The Stats Don’t Lie

So, why care about childcare, even if you are not directly impacted? According to the campaign’s research:

  • Investing in high quality, early childhood education and care pay off. Every dollar we spend now saves up to $11 in later spending on social programs, criminal justice costs, and more. 
  • Children who participated in high-quality early childhood education had higher college graduation rates and rates of employment at the age of 30 than peers who did not have access to high-quality early childhood education. 
  • Not only does high quality, early childhood education and care provide the foundation for a child’s success later in life, it can also break the poverty cycle. We know that investing in our children today will save taxpayer dollars later on.

Take Action (It’s Easy!) 

Go to Care for All Children to learn more about how your signature can influence the government to take a two-generation approach to their policies and investments—an approach that is both feasible and sustainable for working parents and preparing our youngest learners the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. 

By signing the petition you are agreeing to raise your voice as a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, neighbor, employer, childcare provider, as someone who benefits and loses in society when we do not stand up for young children, hard-working families, and our economy.

It’s time to call for affordable childcare for all children by signing the petition:




Across the country, Americans are calling for equal access to affordable care for all children. Take a look at who is supporting the movement in your region and roll up your sleeves to move the needle. Let’s make a difference in the lives of our children and Colorado families!

Mile High Mamas is proudly partnering with Care for All Children. Make a difference in the lives of Colorado families. 

Humor: Millennial Dads vs. Baby Boomer Dads

YouTube comedians Taylor Calmus of Dude Dad and Myles Montplaisir of You Betcha are on a mission to bring more laughter into the world, and they’re doing just that with a new clip that’s going viral. In the wake of the world discovering that Gen Z has a major beef with their grandparents’ generation, the Baby Boomers, Calmus and Montplaisir decided to illustrate another generational divide. Now that many Millennials are parents themselves, the way they’re raising their kids looks quite a bit different from the way they were raised by their Boomer parents.

In “Millennial Dads vs. Baby Boomer Dads,” Calmus plays a Millennial dad (probably not unlike himself) who says no to McDonald’s (gotta avoid GMOs!), imaginatively turns a basic cardboard box into a spaceship, and politely requests that a baseball coach put his son in to pitch, among other “active” parenting endeavors. Meanwhile, Montplaisir portrays a Boomer dad who kicks the kids out of the family room when he wants to watch his TV shows, gets flustered and gives up while attempting a sex-ed talk with his son, and tells his bored kids to “go play with a box over there”.

“Cheer Dad” goes viral for duplicating his daughter’s routine

Move over Cheer and Dance Moms, Cheer Dad is here and he has some moves! 

Rolland “Hekili” Holland is literally his daughter’s biggest cheerleader, and there’s video evidence to prove it.

Video showing the Virginia dad went viral, raking up more than 3 million views, after a fellow parent filmed him enthusiastically performing his 15-year-old daughter Mackenzi’s cheerleading routine in time with the squad at the York High School football game on Friday.

Talk about nailing it.

‘There’s no trophy in parenting’ post goes viral

There’s no trophy in parenting.

That might seem like an obvious statement but if there really is no trophy, why do moms do so many things they may not even feel strongly about?

When Ashley Gibson was giving birth to her third child, she “wasn’t dead set” on having an non-medicated birth.

But as the pain progressed and Gibson debated whether an epidural was the right decision, her husband Brandon said four simple words.

“There’s no trophy Ashley.”

His sage wisdom has since gone viral with thousands of views and comments. 

Parents are ugly-crying over Michael Bublé’s ‘Forever Now Video

The days can be long but the years are short. Our kids are growing up quickly and Michael Bublé video for his song “Forever Now” has parents everywhere in tears. 

Sometimes, it’s the tiniest triggers that make us weepy about how quickly our kids grow up — a tiny baby sock, an empty crib, a child’s bedroom.

The music video was published on YouTube March 1, but as droves of parents send their kids back to school or off to college, it has resurfaced all over social media and currently has 4.5+ million views.

The video opens to an empty bedroom. Slowly, it fills with moving boxes, then a crib, a chair, a dresser — a beautiful little nursery.

Happy Father’s Day! 30 dad jokes so bad they’re good

We love our dads…and we love dad jokes. 

Here’s to celebrating all of the wonderful fathers in our lives!

  • “Dad, did you get a haircut?” “No, I got them all cut!”
  • “My wife is really mad at the fact that I have no sense of direction. So I packed up my stuff and right!”
  • “How do you get a squirrel to like you? Act like a nut.”
  • “Why don’t eggs tell jokes? They’d crack each other up.”
  • “I don’t trust stairs. They’re always up to something.”
  • “What do you call someone with no body and no nose? Nobody knows.”
  • “Did you hear the rumor about butter? Well, I’m not going to spread it!”
  • “Why couldn’t the bicycle stand up by itself? It was two tired.”
  • “Dad, can you put my shoes on?” “No, I don’t think they’ll fit me.”
  • “Why can’t a nose be 12 inches long? Because then it would be a foot.”
  • “This graveyard looks overcrowded. People must be dying to get in.”
  • “Dad, can you put the cat out?” “I didn’t know it was on fire.”
  • How do you make holy water? You boil the hell out of it.
  • “I could tell a joke about pizza, but it’s a little cheesy.”
  • “Don’t trust atoms. They make up everything!”
  • “When does a joke become a dad joke? When it becomes apparent.”
  • “I wouldn’t buy anything with velcro. It’s a total rip-off.”
  • “What’s an astronaut’s favorite part of a computer? The space bar.”
  • To whoever stole my copy of Microsoft Office, I will find you. You have my Word.
  • I bought some shoes from a drug dealer. I don’t know what he laced them with, but I was tripping all day!
  • If a child refuses to sleep during nap time, are they guilty of resisting a rest?
  • “I’ll call you later.” Don’t call me later, call me Dad.”

DAD: I was just listening to the radio on my way in to town, apparently an actress just killed herself.

MOM: Oh my! Who!?

DAD: Uh, I can’t remember… I think her name was Reese something?

MOM: WITHERSPOON!!!!!???????

DAD: No, it was with a knife…

Happy Father’s Day!


The Mamas



Dad-isms: Funny things dads say

Does anyone have a Dad who says the same things over and over?

I do. So about 20 years ago for my Dad’s birthday, my sisters and I put together an ENTIRE BOOK of his repeatisms. I will spare you the insider ones such as “I always carry a garlic shaker” and leave you with some of the true gems, the ones that turned out to be helpful in life rather than just annoying in the moment.

And ones that will possibly show up in Tessa’s and Reed’s book of Mom-isms one day.

  • Sometimes you COUNT the votes and sometimes you WEIGH them.
  • Everyone is NOT doing it because YOU are not!
  • What kind of sissy word is “fair”?
  • Treat people when you don’t need them the way you wish you’d treated them when you do need them (sit with it a moment ’til it makes sense — it actually got me a job once).
  • Leave things better than you find them.
  • Come in when the streetlights are on!
  • Elbow your way in.
  • Draw a wider circle. (meaning: don’t find reasons to exclude yourself)
  • I’m glad I had daughters because they are so genteel (usually said after a burping contest — or worse).
  • 90% of the world’s work is done by people who don’t feel very good (we were not allowed to slack much).
  • Drive like everyone is out to get you.
  • Just because G*d picked your nose doesn’t mean YOU can (said to one of my sisters, I’m sure).
  • Starting is half done.
  • Everything in moderation, including moderation.
  • Put the short things on the short shelf and the tall things on the tall shelf (he actually said this to me last week when looking in my fridge for tonic).

Up there is a photo I found online of my Dad, the consummate teacher (although not by profession) teaching citizens about his main passion, freedom.

We kid him a lot, but my sisters and I hold immense respect and love for our Dad. It’s amazing to us that this man who grew up without a father had it in him to become a great one anyhow.

So thanks, Dad, for saying such wise and loving things. Over and over and over and over…

Now I’m going to obsess and compulse over the height of things in my refrigerator.

What -isms do you attribute to your dad?