Parasitism Facts for Kids
In this kind of relationship, one member benefits (the parasite) and the other member is usually harmed (the host). Parasites are almost always smaller than the. A parasitic relationship is one in which one organism, the parasite, lives off of another organism, the host, harming it and possibly causing death. The parasite. There are three different types of symbiotic relationships: mutualism, Parasitism : One organism (the parasite) gains, while the other (the host) suffers. The deer.
So even if by definition the child is no longer considered a parasite, by extension I argue that it is.
Children Are Parasites. How Do We Love Them So Much?
I think you could replace "deriving nutrients" in the Oxford definition with "depriving nutrients," because food for a parent in the early days of child-rearing will be based on what you can grab and eat with one hand, meaning granola bars and apples.
Or you could replace "benefits by deriving nutrients" with "benefits by siphoning time, energy, money, and sanity," I think the description still applies.
Now don't get me wrong -- I love my kids. A lot of my friends will probably argue that I do too much with them. My husband calls me a helicopter parent, which I disagree with, but he's entitled to his wrong opinions. But I like to be involved with my kids.
Parasitism facts for kids
They're under the age of five and they still need a lot of guidance and nurturing, and I'm a nosy person in general so I like to know what's going on. But I'll be the first to admit that kids are time-sucks. What if that's the only time you get to have a shower, or wash the bathroom that hasn't been washed in three months, or eat something that requires both hands?
As they grow older, they still consume every waking and sleeping moment you have. You're up every time they throw up in their bed, pee in their bed, or fall out of their bed.
You're up all night when they're sick because they can only sleep if they sleep on top of you, but you still get out of the house to work a full day, and then come home to stay up all night again because the fever always comes back about a half hour before you walk through the door.
And yet we do it, and somehow we survive. I suppose the saving grace is that kids, unlike parasites, live off of their parents, financially, emotionally, and yes, sometimes even physically, but what we get back in return makes it more of a symbiotic relationship. What else can brighten a bad day more then a kid who's so happy to see you at the door, they happy dance. Or when your child tries to sing "Oh, Canada" and they really believe the lyrics are "we stand on guard for me. But a fascinating review paper in suggests this is the wrong way to think about pregnancy--that, in fact, the cooperative choreography between mother and child is far more sophisticated: The trophoblast [placenta] and the maternal immune system have evolved and established a cooperative status, helping each other for the success of the pregnancy.
This cooperative work involves many tasks, some of which we are just starting to unveil. True, the placenta uses at least one trick from the world of parasites--a molecule that makes it partially invisible to mom's immune system--but it also oversees an active exchange of molecules and even cells between mother and baby.
The full implications of this exchange aren't yet understoodthough the mother's contributions undoubtedly protect the baby from infection, and the baby's cells may also offer health benefits to the mother. All this isn't to deny the fact that a pregnant woman makes certain sacrifices.
Notably, she gives up nutrition that could otherwise have gone to her own body. But in sharing nutrients with her offspring through the placenta and, later, milk production, a human mother has it relatively easy. Some species transfer nutrients more, um, directly. And the young of certain spiders consume their mother's entire body--parental sacrifice at its most extreme! In some species of narcomedusaebaby jellies hang out inside their parents, slurping food out of the adults' digestive tracts.
Children Are Parasites. How Do We Love Them So Much? | HuffPost Canada
That's not so weird--I mean, think of regurgitation in birds--but then sometimes they'll go and slurp from an unrelated adult, or even from adults of another species.
The ones that stay with their parents are certainly not parasites. But the ones that feed off other adults are in murkier territory.
They're certainly acting a lot more like parasites than if they'd stayed at home. But what if it's like a "village" scenario, in which all the adults pitch in to raise all the children? Parasitism need not enter the picture; this is simply cooperative parental care. Of course, jellies do not have complex societies, so it's a rather fanciful idea. It becomes even more fanciful if you consider the baby jellies who feed from adults of a different species.
It's hard to argue that those little tykes are anything but parasites.