Screwed up parents, screwed up kids

Screwed up parents, screwed up kids!*

(Chers lecteurs Francophones. SVP, voir la note plus bas. Merci)

Screwed up parents almost always produce screwed up kids but screwed up kids don’t always have screwed up parents.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had the ability to ensure our children turned out well-adjusted, functional and happy? I would give anything for that guarantee.

Rats and enriched environments
There were some classic studies that showed a clear pattern: Rats raised in enriched environments appeared to do much better at tests of intellectual functioning than rats raised in regular...

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On lady ‘staches and why kids can be so cruel

Hi, this was published in my Huffington Post Canada blog on March 3, 2016 (SVP, voir plus bas pour la version Française)

On lady ‘staches and why children can be so cruel

“Miss, how come you have a moustache like a man?”

Did you ever hear a six-year old say something like this to a teacher? Or how about, “Why is your nose so red?” or “You have big ears!” As adults, we can laugh at these little glimpses into the minds of children but what happens when a child is the target of these types of observations?

Children have an interesting way of thinking. They are completely in their own little...

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Eulogy to a janitor

Giuseppe Zacchia
1923-2016

Please honour this remarkable human being by sharing his story to the people that matter in your lives. It was published in the Huffington Post on February 9, 2016, Eulogy to a Janitor.

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Chères lecteurs et lectrices Francophone:

Après plusieurs années de déclin physique mon père est décédé le 1 février. J’ai eu la chance de publier un hommage à lui dans le Journal Métro en 2012 et dans ce blogue. Une version un peu plus long a été publié hier dans le Huffington Post. Je ne demande pas de...

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Et comment désirez-vous mourir, Monsieur?

Voici la version Française de mon billet du 24 septembre:

Nous mourrons tous, un jour. Si nous avions notre mot à dire sur la façon dont cela se produira, qu’est-ce que la plupart d’entre nous choisiraient?

Dernièrement, j’ai commencé à poser directement cette question à des clients, des amis et des membres de ma famille; les résultats de ce sondage non scientifique sont très révélateurs. Parmi la cinquantaine de personnes à qui j’ai posé la question, toutes, sauf trois, ont dit : « Dans mon sommeil. » Une a répondu : « D’une crise cardiaque. » Cette réponse quelque peu étonnante...

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I just don’t know how to be happy

I JUST DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE HAPPY
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Why are some people more prone to depression than others? The answer is far from straightforward. Many people are sad because their lives aren’t going well. Failed relationships and employment problems account for many of these. But plenty of individuals are just sad and can’t point to any specific reason. Some will even say, “I just don’t know how to be happy.”

So what is depression? It isn’t like a typical disease that can be measured with a lab test. For this reason I think the best way to see depression...

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How would you like to die, sir?

We are all going to die. If we had a say in how it happened, what would most of us choose?

Recently I began asking clients, friends and family members this straightforward question and the results of this unscientific survey are very telling. Of the fifty or so people I have asked, all but three said, “In my sleep.” One said, “By a heart attack.” While a bit of a surprise, she was doing research in cardiology and explained that such deaths are often very quick. “No time to think about it,” she added. One said, “Doing something I love like scuba diving or skiing.” Another chose skydiving....

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Random thoughts

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I’ve been writing this column for ten years now. I often get random thoughts that turn into columns and stories but many others just sit there as just that – random thoughts. They don’t look like they will ever develop enough to be any more than the runts of my ideas litter. But given that I am too obsessive to give up my babies, however runty they may be, I wanted to still share them. For what it’s worth, here is a random sampling of these random thoughts:

-          Happiness is not about what you have; it’s about the ability to appreciate...

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Smooth rocks and plastic rings

SMOOTH ROCKS AND PLASTIC RINGS
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Why do we always seem to come home from vacation with a pocketful of smooth rocks or seashells we picked up at the beach or cheap plastic rings we bought at an amusement park? I don’t know about you but I have a stack of them.

I was seven years old the first time I went to Italy to visit my grandparents’ farm. It was quite an experience. No running water, no electricity… and no toilet. Yikes! I was invited to use the great outdoors for all my toileting needs. Are you kidding me? There are bugs out there! I...

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Can I do more?

CAN I DO MORE?
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Can I do more? This question is a trap if I ever heard one.

Can I do more to help my parents? Can I do a better job on this assignment? Can I eat better? These types of questions are endless and the only answer to them is yes. The simple fact is we can always do more. And if we’re not able to accept, or “be OK,” with this reality, we’re going to be in trouble. The question of ‘Can I do more?’ will leave us with only two options. The first is to be disappointed with not doing our best and the second is to try harder and keep...

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Science and marketing: Strange bedfellows

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Here’s something I published today in the on-line version of Metro. Someone who read it asked me if it meant I was against all ‘Soft’ sciences. I’m not sure what is meant by that word but I am not for or against anything per se. Science simply means knowledge and there is no such thing as bad knowledge. The problem is that we often substitute belief for knowledge. Throw in marketing and knowledge gets pretty blurred.

I will believe and support anything as long as it meets two criteria. First, it has to make some logical sense based on...

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