31 December 2010

Who did you like to drive with as a Kid? Mom or Dad?

Kids aged 6 to 15 were recently asked who they would prefer to drive with: Mom or Dad?

Understanding Why Your Child May Be Impatient

Have you ever asked your child to wait? Especially for something exciting, like their birthday, a visit from friends or family, or an activity. What is their usual reaction when you ask them to wait? Probably negatively. Have you ever wondered why this may be?

The best thing to do is to try to consider what it is like being in your child’s shoes. This way you will have an idea about what your child is feeling and thinking. So you can answer the question, “what does your child think when you tell them to wait?”

Let’s do some math, so we can try and figure out what your child is going through when you ask them to wait. Let’s assume you are 30, and your child is two.

Read the rest on Battleford's News Optimist.

25 December 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, and also a great time to unwind from everyday life.  I truly hope you are having a fantastic Christmas!

I have included in this post a talk that I gave to at church to the congregation.  I talked about what Jesus Christ saved us from, spiritual and physical death, and why we need a Saviour.  If religion isn't your thing, discount the rest of this post and enjoy your Christmas.

22 December 2010

Couples who delay having sex get benefits later

"Couples who hit the honeymoon too early – that is, prioritize sex promptly at the outset of a relationship – often find their relationships underdeveloped when it comes to the qualities that make relationships stable and spouses reliable and trustworthy." - Mark Regnerus
There was a study recently concluded at BYU (the #1 producer of family therapy research in the USA) that found if you delay sex in your intimate relationship, there are relational qualities.

The study found that those who waited until marriage for sex were:

  • 22% more likely to have relational stability
  • 20% more likely to have higher relationship satisfaction
  • 15% more likely to have a better sexual relationship
  • 12% more likely to have better relational communication
Those who delayed sex to later in the relationship, but before marriage, their numbers would be half of what was stated.

Read the entire press release here at the BYU website.

Understanding Why Your Child May Be Impatient

Have you ever asked your child to wait? Especially for something exciting, like their birthday, a visit from friends or family, or an activity. What is their usual reaction when you ask them to wait? Probably negatively.  Have you ever wondered why this may be?

Read the entire article on Notes on Parenting.

16 December 2010

How to Know What to get Your Significant Other

I appeared on Winnipeg's Breakfast Television and discussed the answer to the question, "what should I get for my significant other?"

It was the first time I have ever done such a thing.  It was a lot of fun, and I sure hope I can do it again! Some people have said I had a "deer in the headlights" moment.  I admit to this. This is due to the fact that I saw myself on the monitor and thought "boy do I look fat."  I have yet to loose any of the pregnancy weight from both my kids, and it just really showed through at that moment.

Nonetheless, here is the link to watch the video.  This is all based on a column that I wrote last year in the Battleford's News Optimist.

11 December 2010

Lindsey Stirling has released an Album!

I am sure by now, many people know that I am a fan of Lindsey Stirling, and always find her blog posts entertaining.  She was on America's Got Talent, and was the HipHop violinist.

I was stoked to discover that she has released an album.  It is small, but it is a must have.  Plus since it is small, it is very affordable!  So go get it here on iTunes.

10 December 2010

Sex in the Baby Years

I saw this article and it was a must read for me (it has been a must read for a lot of individuals, it is generating a lot of interest).  Having just had my second child, I am now unintentionally practicing what some couples have told me would happen: abstinence.

09 December 2010

Marriage Stabilizes Men

There are many benefits to getting married.  One that hasn't been researched, but has been 'assumed,' is that marriage has a taming effect on men.

Recent research found that marriage does have a positive influence on men. It was also found that men give up a lot of their antisocial behaviours.

I know of several people, including myself, that after marriage, behaviours like:

  • excessive video gaming
  • low responsibility
  • reckless/careless driving
  • seclusive hobbies
Among others all decreased and withered away.  For example, for me, I used to draw comics, they were even published in The Manitoban, but after marriage, priorities changed, and the fruitless activity dwindled.

Read the full article here.

07 December 2010

Creating Christmas Memories That Will Last Forever

Can you remember what you got for Christmas last year?  How about the year before?  Some of you who have a great memory probably can, but for some of us, that may be a stretch to think what we got 365 days ago.


Read the entire post on Notes on Parenting.

06 December 2010

Farm 2 School Manitoba

There is a great new program being launched in Manitoba, called Farm2School.  It is a new way for fundraising at school using healthy and local foods.

It is partnership between the Manitoba Government, Manitoba Association of Home Economists, and Peak of the Market.

We all know (or at least should know) that healthy food helps keep our mental health in check, helps us develop a healthy body, and helps have an energy balanced day.

Getty Stewart, MAHE President, was on Breakfast Television explaining the new initiative in a short segment.

For more information go to www.farm2schoolmanitoba.ca.  Let's start having healthy fundraisers!

Cricket & Life: Caught, Don't Get Caught Up In Damaging Behaviours

Being caught in Cricket, is the same way as being caught and getting out in Baseball.  If you loft the ball in the air and a fielder catches it, you are out.

Now don’t think that this life skill is about doing things until you get caught. That’s not it at all.  This is more about not getting caught up in behaviours that will postpone the progression of our abilities.

Don’t get caught in the wrong crowd.  Don’t do things that lower your brain capacity, or that bring you down.  Be around those who lift you up, help you reach your goals, and motivate you.

Don’t get caught up in an addiction.  I realize there are those who have addictions because they are escaping something in their lives, but they are not healthy ways of dealing with a traumatic experience.  If you are a recovering alcoholic, don’t hang around a bar.  By extension, if alcoholism runs in your family for several generations, I’d recommend not getting caught up in alcohol.

Primarily for the males, don’t get caught up in pornography.  This is damaging to your relationship with women.  It gives you misinformation about intimacy in a relationship.  Stay away from it; it does you no good.  In the same light, wives, don’t look at pictures (even if it isn’t pornographic) that you wouldn’t want your husband looking at.

There are plenty of other items that you know you shouldn’t get caught up in.  You are your best judge. If you are caught up in a behaviour that you want to rid yourself of, stop doing it now. If you need help, seek it.

Of course, me being a positive individual, I want to end on a positive note. Get caught up in the things you should be doing!

01 December 2010

Parents, Ask Your Kids For A Wish List

It’s that time of year again! Santa is making a list, and checking it twice! But how about you parents, do you have a Christmas list? Do you know what your children want for Christmas?  You might be able to save yourself some time and money by asking your children what they want.


Read the entire post on Notes on Parenting.

30 November 2010

Choosing Wiser Student Debt

“If you were to put $5,000 on a credit card, were to have (an) 18.9 per cent interest rate and paid the minimum payment every month, the total cost of borrowing would be $13,068.42 paid over 28 years,” - Christi Quinn.
One of my colleagues and University friends was featured in the University of Winnipeg paper called The Uniter.

I include the above quote for emphasis.  I have met several students who were not willing to use Government Student Aid (because it will take forever to pay off) but were completely willing to use credit cards, as companies almost throw credit cards to students.  What some students don't realize is that they end up paying a lot more for much longer using a credit card.

Read the article here.  Read more about the Credit Counselling Society here.

27 November 2010

Cricket & Life: Six Runs, Taking the Higher Road of Being Selfless

Scoring six runs requires the batsman to time his shot, so that he can loft the ball over the fielders and over the boundary rope.  I have never scored a six in my short cricket career, this is why scoring a six in life, I believe is the most difficult task, and that is being nice to others, being selfless, and using anger less.

It’s so easy to take shots at individuals and to speak about them negatively behind their backs.  It is so much easier to get angry about something negative, than it is to react in a positive way.  It’s so easy to put ones own needs before everyone else’s.  This is why we need to take the high road, and be nice to others.

24 November 2010

Keeping Children Safe From Pornography

Pornography Warning Label: “Contents highly addictive. Extremely corrosive to the soul materials enclosed. Be prepared to have your mind twisted, your views of life ravaged, and your spirit shrunk. Be prepared that after an initial rush, you will experience feelings of depression, loneliness, despair and guilt. However, with repeated exposures over time, you can numb those feelings – and enter into almost total amnesia about who you really are and about the truth itself.” – Wendy Watson

Read the rest of the column at the Battleford's News Optimist.

23 November 2010

Research Idea: Sharing a Bedroom as a Child & Relational Stability

I have been bouncing this idea off of a couple of people, and I have noticed it has created great discussion.

The hypothesis is simply that the more one has shared their room while growing up, the more likely they will be to have a stable adult relationships.  The thinking behind this is, when married or cohabiting you have to share intimate space, like your bedroom, bathroom, closet and so on.  The same is true if you share a bedroom with a sibling, you are sharing intimate space with a person who one will have to negotiate with to get sleep, to have time alone in the room, etc.

However, after some thought and discussion with friends, there are some factors to consider:

  • At what ages is there more of a positive relationship between sharing a bedroom and relational stability?
  • Are there any ages where there is a negative relationship? Such as, if one never shared there room until 15, would this prove to be a shock and therefore influence latter bedroom sharing.
  • Does sharing a room lead to different forms of relationships, instead of traditional marriage, like cohabiting, never settling down, etc.? Since one shared a room throughout childhood and adolescents would they be more likely to reject sharing a room.
  • Or the vice versa, does not sharing a room lead to different forms of relationships besides traditional marriage.
  • In the case of many immigrant families, does sharing a room with parents play a role.  Or how about when parents cuddle their infant and toddler to sleep, does this have an impact as well?
I am sure this list could go on, and it has gone on in many of my conversations.  Nonetheless, this is another one of my questions that I have had, that I would love to do research on, one day.

20 November 2010

Featured in the Ontario Home Economics Association Newsletter

I had a colleague forward the Autumn 2010 Ontario Home Economics/Human Ecologists Association Newsletter to me.  She asked me to look for something familiar.

I found a reference to my blog! It was cited as a source to read Mary Carver's article on Shop Smart for Safe Food.

Thanks for the recognition as a relevant source!

Beating the Holiday Blues

"The “Perfect” Holiday Season: This time of year, I frequently hear people lament the up and coming holiday season. Stress and anxiety appear commonplace. The concerns often include the financial burden, the materialism, the bombardment of advertisements, and the resulting pressure from our children to make their wishes come true. Frequently, there is also anxiety around family get-togethers, due to unresolved conflicts & hurts, or old wounds or patterns that re-surface. At times, the expectations are so high, that they are impossible to meet; the perfect day, meal, gift, etc. For families that have a member that struggles with addictions, there is often the stress of increased alcohol abuse or concern about drinking and driving."

Read the entire article by Neta Friesen here at the Manitoba Association of Marriage & Family Therapists website.

19 November 2010

Texting, Sex, Drugs & Alcohol

A couple weeks ago at an American Public Health Association convention, Scott Frank presented his findings on studied high school students and their cell phone usage and their behaviours. His results found a relationship between hyper-texting and high-risk behaviours, such as drinking and drugs.


Read the entire article here at the News Optimist.

We Are All Part of the Solution: Human/Social Ecological Model

Statistics Canada released a study early last month that highlighted the strength of the feminist movement.  In 2006, for every 100 women with a university education there were 84 men with the same level of education.  Compared to 1981, when there was 157 men with equal education to 100 women. That’s remarkable!


Read the entire article here on the News Optimist website.  Published in print on November 12.

16 November 2010

Sexual Abuse: Myths & Warning Signs

I am going to address a topic that often doesn’t want to be discussed amongst parents.  That topic is sexual abuse.  I don’t want to flower over the seriousness of this, nor do I want parents to live in fear. I will walk the tight rope of balancing those feelings.

To start I am going to talk about four myths that are prevalent, followed by recommendations and warning signs.


Read the entire post at Notes on Parenting or Essential Fathers.

14 November 2010

Cricket & Life: Four Runs, Get Higher Education

To score four runs, the batsman typically hits the ball along the ground to the boundary.  By hitting the ball along the ground, it prevents an attempt for a fields man to catch a lofted ball.  This kind of shot also needs to be timed, and played with power, as well as placement to get the ball past fielders.

The same is true that we need to use our time to get educated, which means we placed into a certain work field, and given power to get passed the boundaries that hold us down.

Make Changes to Your "To-Do" List

I am someone who makes to-do lists daily.  So this video was of great interest to me. Looks like I need to make changes to my to-do list.

To read Julie Hanks complete post, please go here.

13 November 2010

Violence Against Women: Vulnerable Populations

Violence Against Women: Vulnerable Populations
is a book of collected researches by Douglas Brownridge. He looks at women in vulnerable positions that put them at risk for intimate partner violence, better known as domestic abuse or violence.

These vulnerable populations researched by Brownridge are as follows:

  1. Cohabiting Women
  2. Women in Post-Separation
  3. Women in Stepfamilies
  4. Women who Rent
  5. Rural Women
  6. Aboriginal Women
  7. Immigrant Women
  8. Women with Disabilities
It's an interesting read for anyone who works with women, especially in one of these vulnerable populations.

I remember once I was working with a female client who was mentally ill (suffering from extreme bouts of depression), Aboriginal, living in a rural community (a reservation), who just got over a relationship and just moved into their new boyfriends apartment (implying a rental home); and I got concerned for her wellbeing because I remembered these categories being outlined by Brownridge as vulnerable situations for women. The client and I proceeded to implement safety plans into her network so that, despite her vulnerability, she could feel safe.

Now of course, with any kind of risk factors, they are indicators, they do not guarantee that domestic violence is happening.  A women could be married for 30 years, living in an owned urban house and she could be experiencing violence, despite not being in a vulnerable population.  The same could be said about my previous client, despite the vulnerable position she was in, and without my assistance, she may have been in a violent free relationship.  Everyone's system is different.  No two people are alike, despite the similarity in scenarios.

You can check out the book here, or learn about Douglas Brownridge here.

11 November 2010

Research Idea: Veterans Perspective On WWII Video Games

On this Remembrance Day (Veterans Day for the American followers), I had a thought come across my mind as I was thinking about those who sacrificed their time, and for many, their lives.  I wonder what their thought on today's video games would be, specifically those related to wars that veterans have lived and fought in.

Here we are decades later, using video games to simulate warfare from decades ago as a form of entertainment.  I would love to know what the veterans of war think of that.  To add to that, I would like to know the opinion and perspective of the soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq as well.

My hypothesis is as follows.

  • I think some veterans grimace at the thought of these video games.  
  • I think some veterans would be so heart broken to see their worst nightmares become so entertaining to those they sacrificed so much for.  
  • I do believe a minority of veterans wouldn't be offended at all.  
  • Of those currently serving, due to generational differences, I think some would get caught up in playing these video games as an escape reality from their daily lives of normalcy.  
  • I think some currently serving would also have no change in use of, or opinion of such video games.  
  • Finally, I do think some currently serving soldiers would halt playing such games when they got home.  

These are my hypotheses. I would love to test my thinking.  There may be other outcomes and reactions that I am not even thinking of.  This may just become a thesis as I pursue a masters.

Texting, Sex & Drugs: A Correlation, Not Causation

I have seen a lot of media hype around a recent study that found a relationship between receiving a lot of texts to using drugs, having sex, and other risky behaviours.

I must point out, due to the media's habit to "sell" stories instead of reporting them, that this is a correlation, not a cause!  Correlation meaning that when texting is scored high, so is something like drinking.  When texting decreases so does drinking.  A causation means that texting causes drinking, or drinking causes texting.  This study did not show causation.

What I feel is more likely the case is that there is an outlying factor, parenting.  I feel that a lack of parental supervision is more likely to be the "cause" of the relationship between texting and risky behaviours.  If parents supervised their kids cell-phone usage, such as no texting at night or during meals, they may have other rules that would help curb risky behaviours.

So please, don't think that because your child texts, that they are having sex or doing drugs.  Just make sure you are implementing rules about texting in your home.


As I was writing this, someone I admire as a MFT wrote a much more sophisticated post about this study. I recommend you read what Ben Caldwell has to say about the study for a more in-depth look at correlations, and causations.

08 November 2010

Cricket & Life: Three Runs, Surrounding Yourself with Appropriate Friends and Media

Scoring three runs not only requires communication and reading the play, it requires great placement of the ball between the fielders in the field. We too need to surround ourselves with good materials and people.

02 November 2010

What to do with all that candy

Hallowe’en has officially come and gone.  You have taken the effort to get your children all dressed up to go and get candy (whether on Saturday or Sunday night).  Now you have a collection of candies, too much to consume at any sitting, or during any one week.  So what should you do?


Read the entire post on Essential Fathers or Notes on Parenting.

01 November 2010

Cricket & Life: Two Runs, Read Good Books

Two runs require the two batsmen to communicate with each other as they read the placement of the ball.  Timing is also essential.  In the same way, it is just as essential that we take time out of our day to read wholesome books.

We could spend our Halloween money elsewhere: a challenge to current thinking

Now that Halloween has past, I can now state just how much I dislike Halloween.  It is a ‘holiday’ that really makes no sense to me.

The process itself is logically puzzling.  Think about it.  We dress up our children, and ourselves, in clothing that would not be acceptable any other day of the year.  We then let them outside of the house in these radical pieces of clothing. But, we don’t just let them outside, we parade them door to door to ask complete strangers, while wearing these weird outfits, for candy! Than these strangers agree to give your child candy.  This would never happen any other day.  It just doesn’t make sense.

Plus, did you know that the average Canadian Halloween participant spends $60 on Halloween?  It is assumed that about $20-$40 of that is spent on candy alone.  Right on par with about how much Americans spend on Halloween.  Doesn’t seem like a lot, right?  It seems like money well spent.  Well it adds up to over $7 Billion spent on Halloween in North America.

Let’s assume that that money was spent elsewhere.  Let’s assume, for easy math, that in a city of a million people, just one out of ten people donated that $20 for candy to a local homeless shelter. They are strangers who are always dressed inappropriately for the weather, but we rarely give anything to them when they ask.  So 100,000 people donate $20, which equals $2 Million!  That’s a lot of money that could go back into our community, and do some good for our community.

Two million dollars! That homeless shelter will have thought they won the lottery.  Especially when you think of when that shelter does a 12-hour radio-thon for fundraising, and all they get is about $50,000.

It’s ironic I think that we are willing to spend $20-$40 on materials to give to strange dressed people on Halloween, but we cringe at the idea of giving $20 to strangers at a homeless shelter.


Nov 3 Note:
-I do admit this thought can be applied to other holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Valentines (except that these holidays we tend to give things to people we know).  Plus to other things like eating out, movie rentals, and so on.  The main point to be taken away from this is: that it can simple to shave back money on some of our extravagant holiday budgets and potentially put that money to 'better' use.

30 October 2010

Failing Our Children

The Winnipeg Free Press recently ran an article about how the family services is "failing".  In particular how critics are outlining the number of children who have died in care.  While I do have questions about the system, and I think major changes are needed over time, I don't think the finger should be pointed at the workers, supervisors, or ministers.  The finger should be pointed at the families.  Families are failing our children.

28 October 2010

Cricket & Life: One Run, Prayer

Scoring one run requires communication between the batsmen, just as it takes prayer for us to communicate with deity.

27 October 2010

Transition to Fatherhood Course Post-Test Results

I have meant to post this for a while now.  The following are the post-test results from the Transition to Father course that I offered.

25 October 2010

Helpful Financial Websites

We all have money, how little or how much it may be.  We all need to be aware of our finances and how to manage them.

Scott C. Marsh, a financial advisor and part-time faculty member at Brigham Young University, listed the "best" sites that can help consumers financially.  I have listed all the recommended sites here, but you can also check out the full article here.

22 October 2010

Top 100 Graduates from the Faculty of Human Ecology/Home Economics

This is quite an extensive list, and so many people I am sure were left out!  I am grateful to be featured on a list with so many individuals who have accomplished a lot in their lives.  I pray that this bode's well for my future.

I should note that I do feel guilty being on this list.  My main accomplishment listed is being the first male vice president of the Human Ecology Students Organization.  At the same time I did this, we had the first male senior stick, Aaron S. I feel that he too should have been featured on this list.

100 Years of Human Ecology/Home Economics

This video sums up greatly the faculty that I graduated from.  Just this past September the faculty celebrated it's 100th Anniversary!  100 years of education, thats phenomenal!

You can learn about the profession at the Manitoba Association of Home Economists, and you can learn more about the program at the University of Manitoba website.

I am a proud graduate.  Yes, I have only been out for just over a year, but this degree has provided me with a holistic perspective and a solid foundation in the understanding of studying family dynamics and relationships.

Pssst. Let's play "Where's Josh".  See if you can spot me in the video!

Cricket & Life: The Equipment and Outfit

Each batsman has the same default gear.  They will have a helmet, bat, gloves, and pads on their legs.  Some batsmen will wear padding under their shirt and pants. Other batsmen will even wear arm guards.

This all sounds vaguely familiar to anyone who has read the Bible.  Particularly in the New Testament, found in Ephesians 6:13-17.  Here the soldiers wear a breastplate, helmet, shield, feet coverings, have their loins protected, and have a sword; all essential pieces of clothing when fighting in a battle.

20 October 2010

Cricket & Life: Introduction

If there is one thing I have learned in public speaking and writing, it is that you have to write about what you are passionate about.  Life and Cricket happen to be two of those for me.  Of course, I know someone is going to say, “I thought you liked hockey?”  I do.  But if you really knew me, you’d know I’ve had many more late nights and early morning watching the Ashes, IPL, and any game Australia or Canada is in, than I have watching hockey.

I haven’t always been a cricket fan.  I recall playing it for a world sports day in grade three, but that doesn’t count.  What did, and does count is when I was living in Port Hedland, Australia.  A little community of 14,000 people.  Being only 19, I helped plan and participate in a Friday night sports activity, hosted by my church.  The goal was to get the youth who were wandering the streets, to come and play a sport, and have wholesome fun.  We usually played basketball, or table tennis.  One night we played cricket.  It was a hot night in late December or early January. Since that night I have loved the sport.

I experienced three roles of cricket that night: bowler, batter, and wicket keeper. It seemed like an “easy” sport to play when I was playing with a bunch of teenagers.  I did play, not just watch, the sport in Winnipeg, at Assiniboia Park.  I played for the now defunct Taverner’s Cricket Club.  Let me tell you, when you start playing cricket with adults who are from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand, and they BLEED the sport; you don’t stand a chance.  I was nowhere near being a top batsman, nor a top bowler.  My first innings I was out for a duck (didn’t post a single run).  But I had blast!  I learned a lot about the sport.  It helped me develop a deeper understanding and love for the sport.

As we talk about the sport in greater detail, we are going to be focusing primarily on batting.  I will discuss the rule or the event in the sport and than tie it up in a comparison of how it applies to having a successful life.

19 October 2010

Toxic Relationships Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

My daughter has fallen in love with a book, the Ginger Bread Man.  You know how it goes, the Ginger Bread man trusts the Wolf.  The Wolf deceives the Ginger Bread Man, and ends up eating him!

The same is true in our personal relationships.  There are people who just eat us up.  They are toxic.  Dr.  Elia goes into depth in discussing Toxic Relationships and how they can be Hazardous to Your Health.

Start developing those healthy boundaries!

The sport of Cricket and Life Skills

I recently gave a presentation on Cricket and Life.  I talked about the different kind of runs we can get so that we can keep our scoreboard of life ticking.  I also looked at the various ways of getting out in Cricket and how they apply to several ways we can loose out on life.

I will be posting one section at a time.  So watch for them!

What are you surrounding yourself with?

We need to surround ourselves with other supportive parents.  We need to surround ourselves with other parents who are respectful to their spouses. We need to be around those who do not belittle, or attempt to tear down our marriage or families.


Read the entire post at Essential Fathers or Notes on Parenting.

15 October 2010

Bullying, It Gets Better

Bullying has to stop!  It is getting ridiculous.  It is also garnering a lot of media attention, and igniting a lot of special interest groups.

This is an emotional city councilman from Fort Worth City.  It is a lengthy clip, but darn good.

I must echo what he says.  It does get better.  Your high school years do not define you for your life.  You grow up and move on.  You find friends with your personality and share similarities.  It does get better.  It doesn't matter your race, gender, sexual orientation, or background, or different in any other kind of matter, you are not lesser or better than anyone!

Bullying needs to be curbed.  Especially now as it is morphing into cyber-bullying.  If you see it, stop it.  If you are bullying, quit it.  If you are being bullied, talk to someone you trust.

Read a previous post on assessing bullying, and other information about bullying.

Canada's Most Dangerous Cities

Recently MacLeans magazine did a story on Canada's most dangerous cities.  They looked at certain factors, such as homicide, sexual assault, vehicle theft, and robbery.

It's interesting to note that Western Canadian cities dominate the "naughty-list", while Eastern Canada is on the "good-list".  This seems to coordinate well with the number of counsellors per-person by province "survey" that I did.  There are more counsellors and therapists in Western Canada.  Would love to see if there is the same type of consistency in the USA.  That is a ratio to high crime rates, and a high ratio of counsellors and therapists.

Have a dart around the MacLeans website and check out where your city ranks overall, or in one of the particular areas. It just might influence where you move next.

13 October 2010

Assessing Bullying & Information

Great information has been provided by NCFR about bullying.  This research defines bullying, outlines warning signs, characteristics of the perpetrator & victim, and also provides an assessment tool.

Read the full document here.  I would highly recommend this for anyone dealing with a group of children or youth.

For Health’s Sake Marry Someone Your Age

Check out my column in the Battleford's News Optimist!

Remember, marry someone your age for longevity.  Plus get some info on other ways to increase your years on this planet!

07 October 2010

Moving Beyond High School Insecurities

I love the points that Julie Hanks makes about high school insecurities.  My favourite is her first point.  Things that happen in adolescents impact you, but they don't define you.  Who you are/were in high school isn't going to be you for the rest of your life.

My next favourite point is that people grow and change.  That annoying smart person in the back, may not be like that any more.  The girl who dropped out because she became pregnant may have gone back, graduated and may be in a much more stable relationship.  People change.  That is an essential point.  You can't keep looking to the past to define a person today.  The past is a learning experience that has shaped and moulded, and even changed that person into what they are today.

Read her entire post here.

04 October 2010

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

There was a great article in the London Free Press about stepping outside of your comfort zone.

How easy is it for us to just go through life on chartered paths instead of the uncharted.  How many times have we made up excuses to not go to something?  Great things can happen if we learn to step outside of our comfort zone.  I have learned this for myself, but it is still a work in progress.

You can read past articles by Allison Graham here, and check out her website here.

30 September 2010

Pornography Series in the MormonTimes

The MormonTimes, while I admit has a religious leaning on the issue of Pornography, have done a great job of connecting with Jill C. Manning, Ph. D and other scholars to discuss issues, signs, research and recovery related to pornography.

Recovery from Porn Addiction is Possible
Porn Creates Devastating Emotions in Most Women
Shame Helps Keep Porn in the Dark
Pornography "Grips You with Claws"
A Generation Gap in Understanding Porn of Today
New Initiative Sheds Light on Pornography's Impact on Families

Happy Readings!

New Books on Marriage & Divorce

A California MFT posted on his blog some books to check out for modern marriage and divorce.  I recommend checking them out as well!

Read Ben Caldwell's blog here, or follow him on Twitter.

Divorce Busting - 10 Steps to Avoiding Divorce

Thanks to Divorce Busting for these 10 steps.  I guarantee that if you sincerely follow these tips, you will not find yourself in the divorce courts.

Read the Ten Steps HERE!

You can follow Divorce Busting on her Blog, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

25 September 2010

Choose supportive friends and have a lasting marriage

You can re-read my column about choosing a supportive network to make your marriage last here.

Internet Safety With Your Children

My article was featured recently in the Battleford's News Optimist.  However, on a funny note, my column ended up being called "Locking Hearts With Hearts".  Maybe I should consider a name change.  But alas, here is the link to the News Optimist and Internet Safety With Your Children.

22 September 2010

Food Safety Quiz oversight

It was brought to my attention that I forgot to site an original source.  I apologize for that.  In the Food Safety Quiz, the information is not my own, I did use a source (because I am by no means a food expert).

As such, the original source is:
University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, March 2006.

I deeply regret this oversight.

Internet Safety With Your Children

I recently watched an Internet safety video on NSTeens. I noticed when the teens were asked if their parents knew what they were doing online, they responded with: “My mom does.” I thought: “Where is dad? Isn’t dad involved? If other families are like mine, my dad knows more about computers than my mom.” Yet, it is mom who is usually involved the most with Internet activity.


Read the entire article online at NewsOptimist.ca

21 September 2010

Career Choice Can Impact Family Life

There was a study done recently in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.  This study looked at various occupations and divorce rates. It has heated up the debate over how career choices can impact our personal lives.


Read the entire post at Notes on Parenting or Essential Fathers.

17 September 2010

I Recommend: Julia Sheer, Jodi King, Sierra Noble, Stephanie Mabey

I was recently asked by a co-worker what kind of music I listen to, my usual answer is country.  Than I had a flick through my playlists, turns out I am not listening to country at all!

Here I am now going to subject you to musicians, in no particular order, that I adore, and can barely wait for a new release on YouTube or iTunes.

First, Julia Sheer. Most of her music I have found on YouTube, and are covers.  But better sounding than the original! Case in point.  Have a listen to Airplanes.  Most of her covers, if not all, are available for download on iTunes.

Jodi King.  The first time I heard of her was a small poster in a local library advertising her CD release.  I took down the date.  I wasn't able to go to the CD release, but I got it from iTunes (Yes, iTunes... well anything apple is my life). I whole heartedly recommend her CD "Little Smile", you will not be disappointed. Here is the music video for Breathing In/Breathing Out.  However, my fav song is Happy!

The fiddler Sierra Noble is becoming more famous by the day.  From her latest paparazzi incident in New York, to opening for Bon Jovi in Winnipeg.  It makes me wonder why she only has an EP out and not a full length album.  I am sure it will come soon enough.  Have a listen to her song Possibility.  If you know the meaning, let me know.  Each day it seems to mean something new to me.

Last but not least, Stephanie Mabey.  Formerly Stephanie Smith.  I am glad she went to Stephanie Mabey because there was another Stephanie Smith out there.  Just made things confusing.  She has a couple albums to her name, and is currently working on another (which won't come out soon enough for me).  I totally recommend picking up her Acoustic EP from iTunes. It will not disappoint. It has everything from human love to zombie love.  Have a listen "If I were a Zombie".

14 September 2010

Making fathers “count”

Another new Statistics Canada Study.  This one about Fathers! You know I love information about fathers!

This article does a great job of breaking down the demographics of fathers, and the current snapshot of the state they are in.

Read the full study here.

Sharing their lives: women, marital trends and education

A new Statistics Canada study has been released.  There are a lot of interesting figures found in this study.

The one number that stood out was that in 1981 for every 100 women aged 25 to 49 with a university degree there was 157 men with the same amount of education.  In 2006, for every 100 women aged 25 to 49 with a university degree there was 84 men with the same amount of education.  Women are truly taking advantage of furthering their education. Awesome!

Also another number that was interesting to note.  In 1981, of woman in a marriage, a woman was more likely to be married if she did not have a university of degree. However, in 2006 this had flipped.  A woman is more likely to be married if she has a university degree.  Women in common-law relationships were more likely to have a university degrees in 1981, but not in 2006.  It again flipped.  A women in a common-law relationship now is most likely with-out a degree.

Read the full study here.

09 September 2010

The Struggle Between Religious Beliefs and Treating GLBT Clients

First, just for clarification.  I don't mean "treating" as in "curing" GLBT.  Treating in this title means working with a GLBT client.

This struggle, battle, and war, has gone on for years now, and this article helps show the debate that has been going on recently.  I love the conclusion paragraph, and I take that stance.

"[Your] never... required to change [your] religious beliefs.... [Your] inability to separate [your] personal beliefs in a judgement-free zone of a professional counsellor [is the concern.]"

This, I believe, not just only applies to GLBT clients, but also divorcing clients, aboriginal clients, promiscuous clients, female clients, male clients, religious clients, abused clients, and so on.

Read the full post here.

Marriage & Divorce in the USA

This is a very interactive site about Marriage & Divorce in the USA.  I realize I am Canadian, and 4/5th's of visitors are from Canada.  But this is just too interesting to pass up.  Canada does tend to sync up fairly well with American statistics in terms of Marriage & Divorce.

Go here and get your stats fix!

Food Safety Quiz

A kitchen is a great place to have fun and make stuff with your kids.  It is also a great place to create bacteria breeding grounds.  So lets test your knowledge on food safety to see if you are keeping your family safe in the kitchen.


Read the full post on Notes on Parenting or Essential Fathers.

02 September 2010

Getting out of and Avoiding Debt

Did you know the average Canadian has five credit cards? This includes the traditional credit cards and also cards like HBC, Best Buy, Citi Financial and so on. How many do you have?

Credit cards have helped contribute to the ‘now’ environment of our society. Drive throughs, microwave meals and instant downloads. On average, we spend more than we earn. Want more than we need. It’s no surprise pay-day loans have become so popular, but also at the same time, so have consolidation loans and credit counsellors.


Read the rest of my column at the News Optimist website.

01 September 2010

Keeping Your Children Safe From Pornography

Picture from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Pornography Warning Label: “Contents highly addictive. Extremely corrosive to the soul materials enclosed. Be prepared to have your mind twisted, your views of life ravaged, and your spirit shrunk… Be prepared that after an initial rush, you will experience feelings of depression, loneliness, despair and guilt. However, with repeated exposures over time, you can numb those feelings – and enter into almost total amnesia about who you really are and about the truth it self.” – Wendy Watson.
Pornography is the second most searched topic on the internet, with about 68 Million searches per day. One in every five men view it at least every other day, and one in two view it weekly.   This helps the industry earn $100 Billion every year.

Chances are your son (more likely than your daughter) has been exposed to pornography, or will be exposed to it.  By the time of college, nine out of ten males have viewed pornography.


You can read the entire post at Notes on Parenting or Essential Fathers.

26 August 2010

Book Recommendation: Playing With Fire

I don't think I have done a plug for this book, Playing With Fire by Theo Fleury.  I must recommend it, of course it must come with a little warning.  Theo Fleury is very blunt in writing and explaining his story.  He lets emotions go loose, which lets you feel how he felt.

I did get to meet Theo at a book signing in Saskatoon.  It was well worth the 2.5 hour wait to say to him: "Thanks for writing this book for my clients."  Since at the time I was a Counsellor at a Sexual Assault Centre, and I was trying to let my male clients know that they were not alone.  It is a must read to understand the effect abuse, especially sexual abuse, has on ones life.

If you don't have time to read, I do recommend you watch the Fifth Estate episode by CBC called The Fall and Rise of Theo Fleury.

25 August 2010

Ask Dr. Elia: Can Love Be Rekindled?

Dear Dr Elia,
I have no feelings for my spouse anymore. I try to but we have grown apart. I am trying to be more interested, spend time and try to feel how I once felt. I am frustrated that I feel empty inside. Is there any way back? It would be a relief to not be married anymore, but I want to try before I go there.

Do Marriage Education Courses Work?

Having since recently run my own Daddy Class, I came across this blog of thought, discussing whether or not marriage courses work. That is do they provide long term results. Research has shown that these courses do provide short-term results.

This got me thinking if my course was effective. Of course, I would love to think it was. The feedback I received was all positive (except for the location). In the moment of the course, the participants felt they were getting useful information for parenting. However, how effective would what they learned be once the baby came along? I have no way of knowing.

The best judgement I can use is the old adage of: people will remember 10% if they read, 20% if they heard it, 50% if it was a discussion, and 90% if it is was a experience. It is sad to think of half of what was taught being forgotten.

This is why I emphasize in my class the support system web. I want individuals to be aware of who surrounds them, and who they can go to for help, and who is supportive. I let participants know that they are not the first person to have a first child, so there are a lot of people around them who can help.

Even though what is learned in class is of value, it is most important to rely on, and develop a supportive support system to help them get through the changes.

I would hope that aspect would help have long term effects, and just not short term.

I look forward to the research determining if such marriage classes (and other transition courses) are effective, because there sure are a lot of courses out there!

20 August 2010

Being a Good Neighbour in Your Neighbourhood

While I was working one day, I saw a woman drive into a pole.  She flattened her tire and damaged the driver side of her car.  It was an unfortunate sight.  She was obviously frustrated and upset with herself.  Just as she was going to get out of her car, a herd of about 20 teens walked by who had seen her accident.  They heckled, laughed at, and mocked her.  It was embarrassing to watch, let alone being in her position.  This was sad, teens living up to their “stereotype”.

Let’s imagine for a moment if these 20 teens had offered their help in changing her tire.  Maybe even looking to be sure that she was okay.  Imagine the power in that. Twenty teens assisting a woman who was in an accident.  What do you think that woman’s view of teenagers would be?  And all of those that witnessed this? I bet it would be amazing!  Instead, she had to wait for assistance from a company.

This got me thinking.  How are we towards our neighbours?  Do we offer our services to them in a time of need?  Or do we let organizations help them out while we sit back and watch? Do you even know the name of your neighbour?  Have you even said ‘Hi’ to them?  Let’s break down those walls that divide us.

The first thing you can do is break the ice with food.  If you have children, bake cookies or some treat with them.  Wrap them up and take the snacks, and your children who helped make them, over to your neighbour.  Food is a miracle worker.  Try to drop off the baked goods when they are home.

You can also perform acts of service.  If you share a driveway, shovel it.  If you share a front yard, mow it, rake it, and respect it.  Wave to them, and say ‘Hi’ when you see each other in passing.

Maybe you haven’t been a nice neighbour.  Own up, apologize, and give an offering of reconciliation.  Don’t yell.  Say please and thank you.  Don’t swear.  Be polite and civil. If you are nice to other people, they in turn will be nice to you, eventually.

Imagine what a neighbourhood would be like if we were all civil to eachother.  Imagine if every time someone moved in, the neighbourhood brought baked goods and introduced themselves.  How much more do you think that would mean to the new family moving in?  It would bring a bigger welcoming feeling than Welcome Wagon (which does do a great job of bringing the communities services to the new family).  It means a lot more to get welcomed into a city by people than by businesses.

Maybe it is time for you to go say “Hi. My name is…” to your neighbour.  They just might end up being your new friends.

17 August 2010

Remember You Are a Husband First

It is often fairly common in marriages that the children become the focal point of the relationship, and that the children are what hold the marriage together.

While it is important to spend time with your children, and invest in them, you need to spend time with your wife as well. You wouldn’t be the father you are, if you didn’t have your wife.

It is always a shame when men, when asked who they are, respond with a career position, followed by a church or volunteer position, than dad, and lastly (and sometimes not mentioned) husband. You are a husband, first and foremost. You need to love, care for, and nurture your relationship with your wife, the mother of your children. Again, you would not be a lot things in this world without the support of your wife.

There are several things that you can do to help you put your wife first:


Read the rest of the article at Notes on Parenting or Essential Fathers.

10 August 2010

Two Women Who Are Great Examples for Youth

I admire these two women greatly (yes their fame helped me find them, but they are great examples!). Lindsey Stirling and Torah Bright are great examples to youth, and both have shared their experiences recently.

Lindsey Stirling, the America's Gat Talent contestant who was recently voted off, writes about her feelings about being voted off the show.  She really provides an example of what matters most, and what is REAL in our lives. This can be found in her blog.

Torah Bright, the Olympic Gold Medalist in Half-Pipe Snowboarding, shares her views on letting kids be kids, and youth be youth.  She encourages youth to not grow up too fast.  This can be found on Otago Daily News.