Posts Tagged ‘Family’

The Quality Most Parents Want to Teach Their Children

September 21, 2014


A very interesting survey asks, What is the quality most parents want to teach their children?


The Pew Research Center study on parenting attitudes sampled more than 3000 adults who were asked to evaluate which of a list of 12 values are the most important they feel children need to learn.

The adults ranked the importance of teaching children the following values from most to least popular: responsibility, hard work, helping others, good manners, independence, creativity, empathy for others, tolerance, persistence, curiosity, obedience and religious faith.

Researchers found that while “being well-mannered” was rated high on the list among all groups, it wasn’t as strong as a desired quality among the most liberal participants. Instead, liberals selected “empathy for others” and “hard work” higher on the list. Pew suggests that children are starting to be taught increasingly different values as political and cultural differences continue to evolve.

Religious faith was found to be one of the most important things parents wanted their children to develop, but it was not rated as important as the other qualities. “Obedience” ranked much higher in the list for consistently conservative parents more than any other quality, following responsibility.

Another difference in the types of qualities parents want to teach their children lies within their level of education. Less than half of college graduates chose religious faith or obedience. The study found that the college graduates selected tolerance, persistence and curiosity more than parents of a lower education. Parents with only high school education valued their children helping others more than those with some college or a college degree.

The study shows that even though political beliefs, race, religion and education vary between American parents, most parents want their children to learn similar qualities.


Click on the link to read Are Our Expectations for Children Too High?

Click on the link to read 25 Ways to Approach the Dreaded ‘How was School Today?’ Question

Click on the link to read Learning to Let Go

Click on the link to read Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew Before the School Year Begins

Click on the link to read The Worst Parent in the World May be an Australian

Click on the link to read 10-Year-Old’s Marriage Advice to His Teacher


We Are Too Soft on Teachers Who Have Sex With Their Students

September 18, 2014



Every day there are new reports of teachers caught engaging in sexual affairs with their students. And these are only the ones the have been caught!

I want a message sent loud and clear to the teaching fraternity that this kind of behaviour is extremely serious and wont be tolerated. I want mandatory minimum sentences for teachers that are found to be engaging in sexual relationships with their students. Even if they are consensual and even if they are no longer considered a minor. It is abhorrent and should be dealt with accordingly.

But it was love!

It was consensual!

It was just an innocent fling!

No excuses! Teachers have a responsibility to act with dignity and common sense.


Click on the link to read Why Teaching and Politics Should not Mix

Click on the link to read Abusing the Privillege of Teaching Children

Click on the link to read Teacher Allegedly Has Cocaine Delivered to School

Click on the link to read Dealing Softly with Bad Teachers Sends the Wrong Message to Students

Click on the link to read Up to 1 in 10 US Students Have an Inappropriate Relationship With Their Teacher

The Science of Parenting

July 19, 2014

Courtesy of


  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17


Apparently Cool Kids Really Do Finish Last

July 8, 2014


I know this is supposed to vindicate all the so-called “uncool” kids (a group to which I had a gold membership), but I don’t rejoice at any groups lack of success:


A recently-published study from the University of Virginia has confirmed what your mum told you all along – cool kids are not all that they’re cracked up to be. Much like the numerous tragedies that befell The Harbor School’s former Social Chair Marissa Cooper, popular kids are far more likely to experience difficulty with relationships and drugs than their more socially awkward peers.

The ABC report that, in a far-reaching study, academics from the university followed 184 adolescents, tracking their development from the ages of 13 to 23, and found that those who were perceived as “cool” and “popular” by their younger peers struggled in various key areas by the time they reached adulthood.

For instance, that dreamy bad boy who used to pash off with various girls behind the basketball courts, inscribe his name on stuff in permanent market and treat himself to five-finger discounts from City Beach is probably not looking so good through a more sober, grown-up lens.

By the time they hit the age of 23, many of those who were one perceived as “cool” found it difficult to form new friendships and romantic relationships, and had a 45% higher rate of issues relating to alcohol and marijuana use. The kinds of behaviors that make one popular as an early adolescent will get one shunned as a fully-grown adult.

There are various other reasons why cool kids struggle. For one, popular kids thrive within the rigid social structures of school, but once they’ve left that behind, they find it harder to adapt to less structured world of adulthood. For another, popular kids may be driven by the insecurity of needing to stay popular, which can breed various anxieties and insecurities.

Perhaps the most obvious one is that the unpopular kids, who spend most of high school banding together while trying to avoid getting the shit kicked out of them, develop better coping mechanisms and closer friendship bonds, equipping them to deal with the world outside of school far more effectively.

Keep in mind, however, that this study was written by academics, who are the least cool of the least cool, and somewhere in the Behavioral Sciences Department of the University of Virginia, a professor may be rubbing his or her hands together with glee at how nicely this plan to smear the popular kids is coming together.



Click on the link to read Is there Any Better Feeling than Graduating? (Video)

Click on the link to read Stunning Homeless Experiment Revealed (Video)

Click on the link to read Teachers Need to Have High Expectations for all of Their Students

Click on the link to read The Most Common Questions Teachers Are Asked at Job Interviews

Click on the link to read The Profession You Choose When You Don’t Want to Get Fired

Click on the link to read The School They Dub the “Worst Primary School in the World”



Forget About Homework

July 7, 2014


You want to set your children up for life?

Well, forget about fighting over homework, investing in tutors and purchasing standardised testing practice manuals.

Sing with your children. Play with them on the mat. Open up the Lego box. Talk about life. Celebrate their skills.

Work is important as is a formal education and all that comes with it.

But is there anything better than quality time?

And don’t tell me maths homework is quality time.


Click on the link to read Why the Call to Fine Parents for Not Reading to Their Children is Utter Stupidity

Click on the link to read Children are Precious!

Click on the link to read Is it Ever OK to Lie to Your Kids?

Click on the link to read 9 Characteristics of a Great Teacher According to Parents

Click on the link to read 9 Secrets for Raising Happy Children

Click on the link to read Brilliant Prank Photos Show Parenting at its Worst



24 Books to Get Your Children Reading

June 19, 2014


reading and children

Courtesy of Huffington Post blogger Devon Corneal:


  • Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz
    First it was the Three Little Pigs, now Red Riding Hood is studying martial arts! Thank goodness, because how else can she be expected to fend off the Big Bad Wolf? If you liked The Three Ninja Pigs, you’re going to love this new take on an old classic. Get ready — KIYA!
  • Counting has never been so much fun. Detailed pen and ink illustrations splashed with color will keep young readers engaged as they try to spot the adventurous dragon.
  • Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson
    Tabitha Lumpit is loud and messy and doesn’t fit in with her very neat and polite human family. Timothy Limpet is quiet and tidy and doesn’t think he belongs with his scary, mucky troll family. So they do what any two kids would do — they swap places. While it’s fun at first, Tabitha and Timothy soon discover what we all know: there’s no place like home.
  • Little Pear Tree by Jenny Bowers
    Sometimes I recommend books just because they’re beautiful and visually interesting and feel good in my hands. This is one of those times. Little Pear Tree is a gorgeous, eye-catching explosion of color that invites little hands to explore the seasons with an array of images and words tucked behind cleverly designed flaps. Young readers will enjoy searching for the next hidden gem and grown-ups will want to do it right along with them.


  • It’s good to know things about our presidents. Important things. Like whether or not a particular president got himself stuck in a bathtub. These are the sort of facts I wonder about when I’m sitting by the pool drinking lemonade. Maybe you do, too.


Children of Seperated Couples Should Not Stay Overnight With Father: Parenting Expert

June 15, 2014

Penelope Leach at her home in Hampstead for Helen Wethers interview

As a stay-at-home father I am calling out so-called “parenting expert” for what I believe is blatant sexism:


A parenting expert has incurred the wrath of fathers’ groups by claiming that children of estranged couples should not stay overnight with them.

Psychologist Penelope Leach has said that generally children of separated couples aged four and under should not be parted from their mother to have a sleepover with their father. 

Ms Leach, whose book Your Baby & Child: From Birth to Age Five was a bestseller in 1977, said attempts to share children was putting parents notions of ‘rights’  and notion of what is ‘fair’ above what is best for the child.

In her new book, Family Breakdown, she writes that there is evidence that separating children from their mothers reduces brain development, and can create unhealthy ‘attachment issues’.

‘Overnight stays with fathers from as early an age as possible is crucial if children are to form strong attachments with both of their parents.

Ian Maxwell, of the charity Families Need Fathers, added; ‘The bond between fathers and children is just as important.’

Ms Leach also criticises the legal profession in the book, writing: ‘when people say that it’s ‘only fair’ for a father and mother to share their five-year-old daughter on alternate weeks, they mean it is fair to the adults – who see her as a possession and her presence as their right – not that it is fair to the child.’

She has since defended her statements, insisting that ‘being a father is not a reward for good behaviour’.



Click on the link to read The Myth Concerning Children and Divorce

Click on the link to read The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Children



Is “Bubble Wrapping” Your Child Really Worthwhile?

May 25, 2014



We all do it. Too afraid to risk a serious injury to your precious child we say, “Steer clear of that” or “Get off that ledge”. Nobody wants to see their child break a bone or scream in pain.

As a stay-at-home father I take my son to a park almost ever single day. The idea is to let him run around and enjoy the fresh air. But let’s face it, the average park is a great disappointment.  The equipment is designed to seem fun, but when tested is severely underwhelming. The slides are slow, the climbing apparatus is hardly off the ground and the greatest element of danger is being accidentally bumped into by another eager child. Park designers are simply afraid of potential lawsuits, so they design a layout high on colour and style and low on substance.

I read the following opinion piece in an online Canadian newspaper. I couldn’t agree with it more:


Imagine spending childhood outdoors, running, playing and even, heaven forbid, getting dirty.

Not only does it sound like a lot more fun than a play date booked three weeks in advance at an indoor gym under the protective watch of parents, but it’s also healthier.

And, unfortunately, it’s something that fewer and fewer Canadian children get to do, putting them at risk of growing overweight or just out of shape and, frankly, unadventurous.

As the Star’s Diana Zlomislic reported this past week, the first global report card to measure childhood physical activity gives Canadian youngsters an embarrassing D-minus score, behind top-rated countries like New Zealand, Mexico and even benighted Mozambique.

Leave aside the pointless comparison with a desperately poor country where kids do physical domestic chores like collecting water and walk to school as a matter of course. Ranked beside comparable countries, Canada still looks bad. Parents here may spend significant sums on structured activities but only 4 per cent of young people aged 12 to 17 get an hour of high cardio activity each day, according to a report by Active Healthy Kids Canada.

While it’s long been known that children are devoted to video games and parents stuck in gridlock run out of time to go outside with their kids and play, it’s fair to suggest that a little extra effort is needed.

Release those youngsters from the parental “bubblewrap,” as Healthy Kids’ researchers rightly suggest, and give them the freedom to play. Outdoor, unstructured play can provide kids with better exercise than the expensive programming.

As Healthy Kids’ chief scientific officer Dr. Mark Tremblay says, “We need to stop treating physical activity like a vitamin, something you take once a day.”


Children are Precious!

May 20, 2014



This woman’s reaction to being told she is about to be a grandmother is fantastic! It reaffirmed in me how incredible it is to bring children into this world.


Click on the link to read Is it Ever OK to Lie to Your Kids?

Click on the link to read 9 Characteristics of a Great Teacher According to Parents

Click on the link to read 9 Secrets for Raising Happy Children

Click on the link to read Brilliant Prank Photos Show Parenting at its Worst

Click on the link to read Little Girl’s Delightful “Brake Up” Note

Click on the link to read 9 Truths About Children and Dinnertime

Is it Ever OK to Lie to Your Kids?

May 14, 2014



I’m not fond of the idea of lying to your children. The relationship between a child and his/her parents or teacher should be based on trust. When that trust is broken, even for an innocent white lie, it is hard to fully repair.

I know the following list compiled by writer Aaron Gouveia is tongue in cheek, but I couldn’t help feel that some of these innocent white lies are not worth the trouble of telling. Not only did I find this list unfunny but perhaps even objectionable. What do you think?


19. “It’s time for bed.”
Technically, bedtime is in an hour. But since I’ve had a long day, you can’t tell time, and the end of daylight saving time has brought on the sweet merciful darkness, the night-night train is boarding early.

18. “Oh honey, this tastes delicious.”
No it doesn’t. I don’t care that it’s called “Dada’s Surprise,” because I know the surprise is you took a little bit of everything in the house and mixed it together to create this abomination currently accosting my taste buds. I can’t prove you did it on purpose because you know I’m parentally obligated to imbibe it, but we both know you’re old enough to realize milk and orange juice don’t go together.

17. “That drawing is FANTASTIC!”
Look, I’m your dad. I’m never going to tell you something you worked hard on sucks. But why do you insist on playing this game where you make me guess what you drew? If I’m being honest, it looks like a sphincter with three arms — not Batman. In the future, just tell me what you drew so we don’t set ourselves up for mutual disappointment.

16. “No, I don’t know where your art project went.”
Yes I do. I threw it away. Not to be mean, but because I have to. Seriously, buddy, you bring home five art projects a day from school. Our kitchen wall is filled with your creations. If I don’t make at least a little room, we’ll be on Hoarders in a hot second.

15. “My phone is dead.”
Can I play with your phone? Can I play with your phone? Can I play with your phone? Sometimes I give in and placate you, but dammit IT’S MY PHONE AND I WANT TO PLAY WITH IT! So I lie to you and tell you it’s dead in the hopes you’ll get distracted by something shiny and allow me to tweet about how annoying it is when young kids are completely hooked on technology.

14. “Your mom and I are going to bed, too.”
After a certain point, The Bedtime Wars drag on so much that anything is fair game. Which means I will lie to you and say whatever is necessary to put you down. So yes, of course we’re all going to bed. Don’t mind the sound of the TV downstairs, I’m just leaving it on for the dog.

13. “No, I don’t think you’re getting a shot at the doctor’s today.”
Actually, you’re getting four shots. Which means I really didn’t lie.

12. “We can’t have a cat because you’re allergic to them.”
We’ve never had you tested, so technically this might not be a lie either. But I will tell 1,000 lies if it keeps those godforsaken felines out of my domicile.

11. “The dog ate your candy.”
Unlike cats, dogs are fantastic animals and man’s best friend. They are also a great tool for parents to shift blame. Because the truth is, I ate your candy. I’m not even sure how a box of Thin Mints became yours. I paid for the damn things. I should just be able to tell you I ate them because I was hungry and dammit this is my house! But then you hit me with those sad eyes and I have no choice but to do the right thing — blame an innocent and much beloved household pet.

10. “Babies are made when two people really love each other.”
Or when two people have too much wine. Or the condom breaks. Or mommy forgets to take her special pill. Or the vasectomy doesn’t take.

9. “Santa/The Easter Bunny/The Tooth Fairy doesn’t come if you don’t poop in the potty.”
Yeah, we actually told Will this when he was potty training. MJ and I got a six-pack of beer, blocked him in the bathroom, and waited him out. Then, at the end of our ropes, she told him the Easter Bunny would skip his house if he didn’t poop in the toilet. Thirty seconds later, he dropped a few chocolate nuggets in the porcelain basket, and potty training was finished. See? Lying is just good parenting.

8. “I think your favorite stuffed animal is on vacation.”
If by “vacation” you really mean somewhere in the 50-mile stretch between the grocery store, pet store, and toy store, then yes — he’s on vacation. A permanent one. Ultimately, this will end in disaster and tears and crying and refusal to sleep without your old friend, which is exactly why I’m going to lie to you for as long as you’ll buy it. Sometimes parenting is strictly about survival.

7. “The toy store/candy store/Disney World is closed.”
I’ve told you no. Repeatedly. I’ve explained to you with perfect logic and reason why we can’t go to any of the ridiculous places you’re begging me to go. But you don’t care. It’s not your job to care. I get that. But it’s my job to be on time (or at least not ridiculously late), which means it’s a million times easier to lie to you and tell you the place you want to go is closed. Some day you’ll be able to tell time and this ruse won’t work, but today is not that day.

6. “We’re all out of ice cream.”
Until you go up to bed. Then it’s ice cream city up in here.

5. “It’s a tie.”
Bullsh*t! I won. Not only that, I mopped the floor with you. It wasn’t even close. I’m not sure why I have to spare your feelings, since it’ll only be a few years until you’re older, I’m weaker, and you dance on my withered bones once you’re able to defeat me in just about everything.

4. “Caillou isn’t on TV anymore.”
Not on OUR TV, anyway. That bald-headed whiny little sh*t.

3. “Yes, your fish has been very sleepy lately.”
Someday, when you’re older and I’m mentally prepared, I’ll tell you that Nemo now sleeps with the fishes. But in the meantime, your sleepy fish will be totally reinvigorated as soon as the pet store opens.

2. “We won’t let anything happen to you.”
For my money, this is the best (and most necessary) lie on the list. And make no mistake — it is a lie. We can strive to protect our kids all we want, but we’ll never have complete control. If gunmen walk into the school, a driver crosses the double yellow line, or armed robbers break into our house, then parents are hard-pressed to be able to keep this promise. But you can bet your ass I’ll keep promising my boys this until the day I die. Because it’s the right thing to do to make your kids feel safe.

1. “Your mom and I were just… wrestling.”
Mom is on top of me because she’s trying to pin me. No, you can’t play too. Yes, we need a lock on the bedroom door.


Click on the link to read 9 Characteristics of a Great Teacher According to Parents

Click on the link to read 9 Secrets for Raising Happy Children

Click on the link to read Brilliant Prank Photos Show Parenting at its Worst

Click on the link to read Little Girl’s Delightful “Brake Up” Note

Click on the link to read 9 Truths About Children and Dinnertime

Click on the link to read The Most Original Way to Pull Out Your Child’s Tooth Out (Video)

%d bloggers like this: