This blog has been created to discuss the topics covered in my book : Beyond Discouragement-Creativity.
My goal is to post relevant news articles which both reflect and refute my opinions and observations. As a visitor, your comments would be most appreciated. - Bienvenue. À vous la parole.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Victims R Us. . . So what's new?

 Parental Bliss Isn't A Myth. It Just Takes Time To Find It - Sarah Hampson - Globe and Mail - Jan 31, 2011

Love this article! : Author proposes that "Parental unhappiness is all the fashion now. . . " - ". . . The child may have become the center of parenting for boomers, but now the focus has shifted to the unhappy mommy. . . " -   "life is not all about you and your next manicure appointment." - "We expect (happiness) to flood every part of our lives all the time, at a high level. We feel entitled to it. " - "A contented mother (I would say contented parents - together or not) has the most positive impact on her children." - This wise author goes on to say that children are a reprieve from the adolescent practice of searching for ourselves. . . . (Time somebody said that.) Then she adds: (God bless her) that what counts is not karate lessons (over and above a myriad of other parental obsessions) or expensive schools but rather little daily constants - love, comfort, understanding, discipline and levity. . .Wow! I haven't felt this encouraged about parenting for a long time!

Encore et toujours la promotion de la misère comme normale et l'oublie totale de la prévention dans nos programmes qui encouragent une vie familiale saine. .

Ces horribles histoires d'enfants maltraités - Dr Nadia Gagnier - Le Droit - 31 janv, 2011. Encourager le monde des parents serait peut-être un peu plus "encourageant" si le focus était moins négatif, moins déprimant, moins à la recherche de tout et de toutes qui nous rend, nous parents, culpabiliser avec chaque pensée ou chaque grognement, et ça par chaque phrase et soit-disant "aide" des experts qui nous rappelle "eh combien" nous avons besoins de leur expertise. . . . La motivation par le négatif. . .  L'encouragement par le découragement. La soumission par l'imposition d'une connaissance supérieure. Ça fait mal au coeur de réaliser combien de parents et futurs parents ont été bouleversés et le sont toujours par le code moderne qui impose sur les gens "ordinaires" le thème constant de l'enfer qu'est le rôle de parent.

Get Involved! Back off! Get Involved! Back Off.

Back Off Caregiving Dad - That's My Job, (Traditional roles better for parents, study says. . .) 
Here we go again - another study based on the evaluation (by whom?) of 112 families. . . . . (real families : i.e.:   you know. . .  middle class.) (And by the way this number of North American dream units represent .000029% of the population. . . ) And the findings should for all intents and purposes be considered valid and applied to the rest of us??? Other than pĥarmaceutical firms, who pays for these student level, never-ending studies which advise us that this, that and the other thing "may" just be affecting us all?. Traditionalists must be having a field day: "Findings" like this can only  keep those unstable men away from the young'uns and keep the wives busy in the kitchen with the rug rats. Maybe, that way they'll stay out of trouble. (Who? the kids or Mom?) 

Artists are not con-artists anymore than con artists are artists" .

Creative People May Be More Inclined To Cheat, says U.S. Study - Misty Harris - National Post - Jan 31, 2011
Intersting theory. I say theory because there is one word in the headline to this article which always fascinates me : "may". Have you ever noticed that in this era of 24 a day news, most of what we read are non-factual fillers. The studies presented to us in the news are rarely justified with fact or the who, what why and wherefores that news article credibility used to thrive on. What the heck "Enquirers want to know. . . "
If it gets a rise, it's news. Right? We humans sure are a weird lot! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

There is nothing like having your opinions justified by scientific reflection.

The Complex Origins Of The "Aha Moment" - Anne McIlroy - The Globe and Mail - Jan 29, 2011.

"There are growing concerns (in scientific and educational circles) that creativity is on the decline in North America. A recent, as yet unpublished study by  Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William and Mary in Virginia suggests that creativity levels among nearly 300,000 adults and children in the United States and Canada are falling, at least as measured by a commonly used test."

I can't help but feel vindicated by this comment from the scientific milieu. It definitely infers that my rant is more an essay than a rant - more a commonly considered notion than a figment of my imagination. Phew! 40 years of observations finally recognized as valid. . .

Illusions can be more easily associated with fact when presented as results of a study

Online Life Helps Kids Build Their Social Skills - Shannon Proudfoot - Ottawa Citizen - Jan 29, 2011
True. . . Online socializing does create a form of "social skills" - for those who have none. Children and adolescents who routinely socialize in the "real world" will always have more skill in the area of give and take than someone who hides behind the anonymity of a screen. Translating communication online to communication in reality is NOT a slam dunk. Self-esteem proponents and their "studies" fail to compare the quality of one with the quality of the other. Online communication may eliminate the hermit factor in the lives of those who fear or are too wary of direct communication to profit from the latter. But direct eye to eye communication from an early age is the only criteria which can assure communication rather than simply messaging. "A heavy dose of lowest common denominator stimulation does not constitute a more informed mind, substantive thought or a more caring viewpoint. Virtual communication cannot be associated or compared with "communication".

lowest common denominator - the new excellence

Faut-il élever nos enfants à la chinoise? - Marie-Cl;aude Lortie - La Presse - 29 janv, 2011
More than a hint that we are raising our children in a world of lowest common denominator expectations and subsequently lowest common denominator results.

loud mouths dictate ignorance as truth

Many Parents Don't Know Education Charter Rights - Lois Ross - Letters to Editor - Ottawa Citizen - Jan 29, 2011
This is not surprising. Generally, parents listen to the loudest complainers. Too often, we accept that  "vocal diarrhea" is the true or valid interpretation of what is. If educating our children is truly a priority, understanding the ramifications which effect both educational programs and facilities is crucial. We spend more time selecting a car or ipod than we do understanding the rules which will effect the daily lives of our children for the rest of their lives.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The dumbing down of our educational structures and systems.

Trading On Up - Jennifer Daigle - Globe and Mail - Jan 28, 2011.
The destruction of trade schools in the late 60s and early 70s is coming back to haunt us. This stupid "educational approach by the powers that be" hit us mid century. Only university was considered a valid educational forum. Trades were considered as "low class and less than". And so boys and girls, sadly or happily, ready or not ready (or never would be ready) headed to University. And the end result is that should have been expected. We have many trained young people, either lost or incapable of finding enthusiasm for anything who feel entitled because they are "papered". Competence, interest, talent does not come into play. University trumps trade schools all the way. And so, now, we have tradesman and women who are richer and happier because they are doing what they love to do and the society which snootily looks down on their tradesman papers, willingly pays the premium for their rarity.
So many BAs and other "high end" diplomas and so little creativity and progress. . .

Oddly, I hear a lot more "thank god it's Friday" from dilploma'd bureaucrats and desk jockeys than I do from my plumber or electrician (both of whom spend regular - meaning more than once a year - holidays at
"a charming little villa" down south. . . So who's happier?

Expectations and gender biases

Girl Scouts Get Brainier Tasks Than Boys : study. - Shannon Proudfoot - National Post - Jan 28, 2011.
So what's new. . .  Girls are intellectual, boys are toady. . .  You need a study to state the obvious? I guess we do. . .  Winnie the Pooh is such a bear of "big" brain next to us. . . Silly we.

Anorexia - perfection

Eating Disorder A Deadly Quest For Perfection - Misty Harris - National Post - Jan 28, 2011.
Such a terrible problem within the minds and hearts of many of our loved ones. Perfection - that never achievable quest - so destructive to us all simply because, unlike the more accommodating excellence, it is totally and completely unattainable. And yet some of our children seek it, crave it, demand it. Is it we who have instilled this in them or is it their interpretation of life's expectations that has gone wrong?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Censorship growing at the same rate as ignorance

Taking Literature Literally - Ray Robertsaon - Globe and Mail - Jan 22, 2011. A superb essay which basically underlines our contemporary illiteracy. . . our inability to read anything without dissecting it, controlling it or censoring it our of existence based on our lack of a sense of humour and our inability to recognize irony. Fear rules now as in the times of witch hunts. And the battle over what controls our lives will be, now as it was then, literacy  vs ignorance. It seems that for the first time in the existence of democratic systems, we seem to pride ourselves in offering our children less than when we were children. We seem to prefer them ignorant rather than informed and intelligent.

Oh My God!!!! Teens are hugging in schools !!!! What are we going to do about it ?

Do Schools That Ban Hugs Go Too Far? - Zosia Bielski - Globe and Mail - Jan 21, 2011. Slapping and whacking hands (hi-fiving)  has become epidemic in that we teach even our babies to MNOT touch too much. We teach them to "hit" "whack" "slap" the other person - (but nicely). . . .as if that is a sane and intelligent way of showing affection. Teens seem to have had enough (thank God for them. . . ) Maybe they know something we don't. Like, maybe they know that hugging is a lot warmer a reception and good-bye thing than we stupid "body-phobic" adults do.

Obesity problem,. Finally! Someone is acting on the problem

New Alliance In The War On Obesity - Robert Sibley - Reuters, Jan 21, 2011. Michelle Obama joins with Wal-Mart in lowering prices on "healthy" foods.

"Family Values" exponents demand that children stop their cross-gendering activites. . .

Gender Politics A Drag On School's Spirit Day - Charles Lewis, National Post, Jan 21, 2011. It seems that school spirit is in the dumps in the York District School Board region. An elementary school decided that the students decision to have boys dress like girls and girls like boys for a day was "psychologically dangerous" and went against family values. . . . . . . . . .  Charles McVety (Reverend. . . ) a man who fears that an "homosexual agenda" lurks within our school systems is the catalyst behind the "stop these children from damning themselves".

To give up even one hard-earned freedom is to submit.

Bending To Bullies - Editorial, Ottawa Citizen, Jan 22, 2011 (Canadian institution bends to the pressures of a country where freedom is not available. . .  by canceling the showing of a movie which decries its failings.

When mediocrity rules - parents no longer are in charge of their own families

Mother Jailed For Sending Children To Better School - Akron Beacon - Jan 27, 2011. When you are sent to jail because you choose to send your children to a "better" school where bullying and drugs and other dangers do not lurk - suddenly, you are a bad parent. When such a thing is even conceivable, let alone possible within a democratic society, lowest common denominator intelligence is not only functioning within our midst as rule of law - it is taking over.

Individual responsibility - obesity

Think Outside The Lunchbox - Neil Seeman - National Post - Jan 26, 2011 It seems that we have forgotten how to take care of ourselves. With dependency on the state to cure all ills and handle all problems, "personal responsibility" is an endangered concept. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

competition "bad" for self-esteem of children!!!!!!!!!. . . again

Student Awards Cut To Foster Team Work - Ailleen Donnelly - National Post - Jan 13, 2011

advertisers targeting children obésité - publicités destinées aux enfants

De nouvelles plaintes déposées - Office de la protection du consommateur avise plusieurs coporations qu'ils vont à l'encontre de la loi. - publicité destinées aux enfants - Marie Allard - Cyberpresse - 14 jan. 2011

competition "bad" for self-esteem of children!!!!!!!!!

Don't Tear Out The Trophy Case - Editorial, National Post - Jan 14, 2011. Teachers in 2 Canadian provinces consider it horrible that children would have to deal with competition - i.e.: winning and losing. Rather than teach them to deal with life's ups and downs, losses and wins,  they would prefer that children live as "victims" i.e: live in a level playing field of mediocrity - that is: without stress and pain. (promoting submissive existence over living). 

Parenting vs Slave-driving

Finding Your Inner Slavedriver : re Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother - book by Amu Chua. Though the book represents an exaggerated version of parenting what it does highlight is the underlying cause of North America's penchant for the lowest common denominator - no matter the consequences.It is rather amusing to note that in 1911 the following comments were made by a psychology professor at Harvard who stated that :
"Anyone can nurture youthful prowess" in our offspring. "The only obstacle", he argued, "was the American embrace of mediocrity". How frightening. . . 100 years later. . . we are still talking about the self-driven decline of the North American dream. Chua simply makes the point once again. 

Health - obesity - death

Exercise Doesn't Help Serious Couch Potatoes : study - Amy Minsky - National; Post - Jan 15, 2011
Study to be published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


A Supernova For Every Child - Encouraging children to be the best they can be. - Editorial (Science Education) - Globe and Mail - Jan 10, 2011

Specialists serving their own interests?

"The goal of Ottawa's social workers should be to put themselves out of a job." 
Self-serving Social Work - Anthony Furey, comment editor, Ottawa Sun, Jan 26,2011.


Telling it like it is. Successful adults come from the ranks of children with self-control. "For A Child It's All About Control - Carly Weeks - Globe and Mail - Jan 25, 2011.

So You Want To Be An Artist?

Rendering the visual arts lowest common denominator - Ottawa Citizen article - Jan. 20, 2011. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Proof Is In The Reading

Obesity and ill health in children : "Exercise Doesn't Help Serious Couch Potatoes : Study" - Amy Minsky - Ottawa citizen - 11-01-11

The Proof Is In The Reading

Love of science more than possible for all children : "A Super Nova For Every Child" - Editorial - Globe an Mail - 13-01-11

The Proof Is In The Reading

On a regular basis, world news articles appear, justifying the claims made in my book :

Children should not compete : "Student Awards Cut To Foster Teamwork. . . " - Ailleen Donnelly - National Post. (Taking competition away from children touted as "good") - 13-01-11

Advertisers target children : "De nouvelles plaintes déposées" - Marie Allard - La Presse. - 13-01-11