Has our modern world, made parenting that little bit harder?
Maybe the old saying “it takes a village to raise a child” still reigns true.
However in our western world where we strive for more. Jobs, mortgages and life somehow overtake. Many of us live away from extended family or do not have family that can help, and so we try to do it all alone.
Do you ask for help when you need it most.? Are you like me, and seem to wait until you are at tipping point before you will pick up that phone, for fear of looking like you cant cope. Most people are only too happy to help and they are probably wondering what took you so long.
Dolphins and us, are not all that different. They are dynamic social beings with many friends and acquaintances, some closer than others. Mothers carry their babies in the womb for around 12 months, a midwife dolphin be they male or female is present on the due day. The calf suckles a nutritious milk made up of 33% fat (our breast milk is 4.5% fat) to allow him to quickly lay down that insulating blubber. The babies suckle for about eighteen months and begin eating fish around six months. Much of the mothers energy is put into rearing her baby to ensure they become the best dolphin they can be. She will care for her baby until they are about six years.
Like us the dolphin mother can at times be overwhelmed by the demands of caring for her young. Between warding of predators and teaching their little one how to fish, jump and navigate. The dolphin mother can turn to her good friends to help her get through the day. A study in Shark Bay revealed that dolphins have both genetic and social influences on their parenting skills. Good mums breed good mums, however poor mums do not necessarily breed bad mums. Why? She can break that cycle by asking for help from an experienced friend. These friends know the dangers lurking out there in the deep ocean. In this way she is more likely to rear a precious calf to weaning age.
(Want to know more about dolphins try here and here)