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, September 12, 2011

SpongeBob’s bad?

Aw, Fish paste! SpongeBob’s bad For Kids
(research) Tralee Pearce - Globe and Mail - 12-09-11

Frenetic TV fare absolutely insane for kids to be watching daily? Absolutely! Would we feed our kids sugar the minute they wake up and continue on through the day until they fall asleep from exhaustion? No. (At least, not if we love them.) And so a research study (another of those deep research studies) states that watching SpongeBob can, may, might, could damage your kid’s ability to focus and calm down. It doesn’t take expensive fad research to discover those findings. All you have to do is be an aware parent or grand-parent to realize when to turn the TV off and send the kids outside to run off their excess intake ofg SpongeBob. No research needed. And just think. . . All those funds expended on such inane projects could be shunted off to better projects such as obesity and disease prevention programs and improving medical and social services. . .

We’re Only As Happy As Our Least Happy Child - Sarah Simpson - Globe and Mail - 12-09-11

WE need our kids to be happy so that WE can be happy. . . As children put it so succinctly : That’s creepy. . . Anything that has to do with care of but focuses more on the care-giver is creepy. 

Helicopter parenting is all about parents - not about kids. Is the very act of parenting problematic? At times. Is it difficult? At times. Is it about being happy? No. It is about being filled with wonder and hope and dreams for now and the future. If we want to be esoteric : It’s about giving a serious portion of one’s self to a dedicated plan of nurturing of guiding growth and the eventual independent functioning of a vibrant and creative human being.

In down to earth language, parenting is about being there when you’re needed and sticking your nose out of it when you’re not. Children have an agenda. They wish to explore, discover, analyse, wonder, experiment and go off on adventures to discover even more. That is their world - not ours. Ours is to provide the environment in which all of that creative energy can happen. . . even if it scares the living daylights out of us.

Over the past century specialists have taught us all to either slap the badness out of our kids or to hover over them - protect them from every possible and imaginary harm that we and the media can conjure. Modern parents have been "programmed" to be afraid, to feel weak and in need of (1) every parenting and safety product possible and (2) every pocket-book psychology concept possible (at least for the next 6 months. . .) Another new and improved version is in a stage of "soon to be announced".

The 21st century is bound to be referred to as the "silly era".

Monday, September 5, 2011

Road To Redemption

Road To Redemption - A new homegrown series helps Canadians battle their demons on Intervention Canada. (Fridays on Slice TV) 
It is obvious to anybody who has read my book that I have difficulty (!) with the concept of “reality TV”. The very idea that it is considered “real” or honest, by even a small portion of the population, is disturbing if not disturbed. More and more, truth is what we manipulate or make of it - rather than what it is. . . And so. . .

Long live truth and ethics in advertising, promotion. . . and entertainment. What once would have been considered sick, as television fare, has gone mainstream. Slice TV brings us Road To Redemption. . . a new homegrown series (homegrown as in : more valid than foreign?). . . which helps Canadians battle their demons (?)  (Hmmm.) So, television is now a "helping professional's medioum?. We should all display before cameras (homegrown Canadian cameras of course!) what ails us. We should “share” with the world our pains and deficiencies and addictions and sorrows? Truth is, public confessions and self-flagellation are healthy - or so we are told. But, if we can't submit ourselves to lowest common denominator antics of self-loathing - we can at least be good consumers and ogle (enjoy) and point the finger at the dumb people on TV who do.

With such side-show freakism considered legitimate "helpful" entertainment no society needs a Big Brother to reduce us all to a submissive level. We can do that all by ourselves. . . By belittling those who suffer or those who play at suffering to attract attention. . . by redefining entertainment as finding pleasure in self-righteous superiority, we have become. . . we are Big Brother.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh woe! Oh Woe! The Silly Season Is Upon Us

The silly season has begun. It’s September. Kids are going back to school. And so, articles appear in the papers - such as: “How to prepare your child for the difficult first days”. “How mothers and fathers can say good-bye to their children without upsetting them. . " "How to survive the first days after your child has started school". It seems we are all blithering idiots in this era of co-dependency. Oddly, no articles on getting your children back into a school year sleep routine. proper diets for good learning. . . exercise programs to motivate the brain. . . That would be too obvious. . . But then. . ..  EUREKA: an article on just that : Tutors are less effective on our children's academic performance than is regular physical exercise. . . . . I could just cry........ (Sniff). Finally common sense is being allowed as valid infrmation.
TV is no less a promoter of the horrors and tribulations of school attendance. And it starts from a child's very first encounter with this fiendish system. This morning, a “specialist” advised us on (Canadian) CTV “How our children can ace kindergarten. . .”  Heck, I never even attended  kindergarten. (Possibly that explains all my problems. . . No specialists, no computer games and ugh. . . no kindergarten).

But then, the world isn’t all dumb and dumber. The famous documentary photographer George S. Zimbel’s collection of photographs of children (presently at the Bulger Gallery in Toronto) is mesmerizing. Such an exhibition is nothing less than a treasury of how encouraging times once were and are no longer. The exhibition is cited as : “images from the middle of the last century showing what childhood used to be before bubble-wrap parenting”. The Globe and Mail article on the show ends with the comment : “. . . the freewheeling children depicted are an endangered species.”

The war on children - Globe and Mail - Elisabeth Young-Bruehl 27 August, 2011

A new book entitled : Childhood Under Siege by Joel Bakan speaks on the topic of Big Business targeting children. (So what's new?) Reviewed by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, a psychoanalyst, Bakan’s book is given short shrift as well as considered somewhat hystrionic in its accusations of big business. It is, as other essays on the topic (Beyond Discouragement-Creativity included) pooh-poohed - called “simplistic”. Though Young-Bruehl may be right about the intensity of the book, the comments made should not be so easily dismissed as overkill. Why? Because no one seem s interested in taking a closer look at our promotion and advertising systems which are so powerful when directed at children. And because they are not big busines smiles all the way to the bank, while our kids. . . . .

Enfants surprotégés - La presse - Marie Larocque

While we sem to ignore the real dangers our children face in these "modern" times, we are a seriously over-protective lot when it comes to our chjildren. It seems. . . .  we like our children dumb and dependent. And this to the point of them not knowing what danger is - as in : children are no longer able to analyse what is or is not dangerous because they are prevented from learning about danger, from assessing it and from confronting and dealing with danger. Being danger-smart doesn’t seem to fit a contemporary parent’s view of childhood and growing up.

Last but definitely not least, it is reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that hundreds of times a day, doctors prescribe drugs to children with little safety or dosing data....... Because, it seems, companies are NOT disclosing the information to Health Canada. My question has more to do with WHY these drugs are allowed AND prescribed if there is no disclosure. But then. . .  I am such a silly bear of little brain.............................