27 April 2010

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters On Notes on Parenting

Remember you can check out my Essential Fathers post on Notes on Parenting.

Response to: Married women should say ‘I don’t’ to changing their name, study suggests

The Globe & Mail today published a study, and was terribly one sided in it's reporting of it. The article is called "Married women should say 'I don't' to changing their name"

Simply put, this article should have been titled, married women who change their last name are the stupidest women. The only benefit reported to changing a last name is reportedly that you are more caring. But you are less intelligent, competent and ambitious. You are also less likely to be hired for a job, work less, and earn less.

Well, let's look at this. First off, this is a terrible report card for society. We claim to be less judgemental, and less racist. But yet, if someone changes their name, we become very judgemental of that woman. That's two thumbs down.

Second, what is intelligence? Who is more intelligent, the average working North American or the average outback Aboriginal Australian? Sure one is probably book smart (and earns an income) whereas the other can live off of the land, without a supermarket to provide food. So can we really say that a non-changed-last-name-of-a-married-woman is more intelligent then the changed-last-name-married-woman. Is being able to answer business questions smarter then being able to answer questions to grade 3 homework?

Third, work less, really? The average career work days ranges from 8-10 hours per day. Whereas, if the name-changed-married-woman does have more children (as the study reports is usually the case), you had better believe her 'work' hours are longer. Sure, she may not clock-in and clock-out, but she does work. Sure she may not be sealing business deals, or selling products, but she is selling health ideas to her children, and sealing the family together. The stereotypical woman, as labelled in the study (not that I encourage stereotypes), I believe works more and sleeps less. Also, speaking of work, that requires ambition. What do you think takes a greater effort to wake up for, a dirty house with children yelling, or a janitor-ed clean office? You had better believe you need to be motivated to deal with children day-in and day-out.

Fourth, pay. We seem to only measure someones worth by how much they make per month. We only count pay for time worked at an employer. There is more value, even in tasks that aren't done for an employer. Remember the study done 2 years ago? If your stay-at-home-mom-with-changed-last-name was paid for her work, she would earn $117,000 US per year. We need to get this in our head! She is working! There is value to unpaid labour!

Fifth, look at the woman in the picture of the article. Hillary Clinton. Whoa! Hold up, a married woman with a changed last-name has become probably one of the most influential women in our current world. That last name change doesn't seem to have hindered her reputation. Do you think she would have it if her last name was still Rodham? Makes you wonder. The other notable pictured woman is Sandra Bullock. Yes she didn't change her name, but the only thing sleeping beside her is her Oscar, and I am not sure how warm and supportive that is (of course, I would say it is more supportive then that man she was married to.)

We need to look outside the box, and question these kind of studies and reports, in fact, all studies and reports need to be challenged. Don't take them at face-value. And really, you are not less intelligent, more dependent, and less of a worker and earner if you take on your husbands last name.

26 April 2010

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

Check out the new post on Essential Fathers. It's a review of the book done by Meg Meeker, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know.

If clicking the link doesn't work, copy and past this URL:

19 April 2010

Autism and the Family

As Seen in the Battlefords News Optimist.

April is Autism Awareness month. April 2 was World Autism Awareness day. I was not made aware of this until a friend of mine wrote about autism and her family on her blog. One thing she was grateful for was that it was one of her youngest children who had autism, since there were more societal supports, than had it been one of her oldest children.

There was a study done in 2006, about marriages and autism. It estimated that the divorce rate is 80 per cent among couples with autistic children. The main stressor being that the couple does not reach out for support.
Another stressor is, families are all about communication, husband to wife, parent to child, brother to sister, and so on. Whereas autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are about miscommunication. Not understanding social cues, problems in communication, and such. These therefore affect the family’s mode of communication.
Usually for the mother, there are feelings of guilt. That she might have done something wrong during pregnancy, such as drinking or taking medications, to exercising too much, to getting the child vaccinated. Creating more stress to an already stressful situation.

However, with those stats, and thoughts, one thing is becoming more prevalent in the 21st century, and that is services to the family. Even if adequate services can’t be found in a community, we live in a digital age. Parents struggling with an autistic child can connect with other parents, and discuss how each of them manages their stress. Therefore creating a support system.
There are plenty of books out there to help as well. A book that just came out that I recommend is “41 Things to Know About Autism” by Chantal Sicile-Kira. In her book she talks about the signs, symptoms, behaviours, and effects of autism on the family and the individual.

The most important thing for the parents, is to have time alone. Nurture and cherish your marriage. Together you are source of support for your child than apart. You need time off. Find a baby-sitter that you trust and can rely on. Also, both of you need to realize that each of react differently to stress.

A little side note for dad. Men typically tend to deal with this situation by working longer hours in order to earn more. The motive is noble, but your child needs you. They need quality and quantity time with dad. You need to become more involved, if you are not already. Mom usually becomes the expert on autism in the family. Dad, try to take more time out to learn exactly what your child is going through so that you can assist your wife.

For more information, check out these organizations: Talk About Curing Autism, National Autism Association, Autism Speaks, and the Autism Society Canada.

-- Post From My iPhone

Latest Post on Essential Fathers

This week I talk about how a daughter learns to be treated by watching how her dad treats her mom. Check out www.essentialfathers.blogspot.com

14 April 2010

70 Ways To Show Kids You Care

This is a great list. Check it out here. I recommend posting this in your room, or on the fridge.

12 April 2010

Internet Safety and Your Daughter

Please check out my new post on Essential Fathers. Also, the same post will be found on Notes for Parenting tomorrow. I recommend following both, as Notes for Parenting has terrific posts.

07 April 2010

NCFR's YouTube Video of the Week - Awareness Test

Digital Life - It's What You Make Of It

I read an article this morning from the Globe & Mail. It spoke of thousands (out of the millions of users) dropping out of the digital life-style of Facebook. Sometimes referred to as "digital suicide".

I believe that modern technology has a place, and can help families and friends stay connected despite distance. It can also help make connections in the community, and has the ability to reconnect individuals from long ago.

One does need to be careful what they post online, as it can come back and haunt you. Safety and precaution need to be taken with each and every post. Use privacy settings, and don't add or communicate with someone you don't know or trust.

The individuals interviewed in the article had nearly 1,000 and 2,700 friends on Facebook. Seriously? Who has that many friends? That is just a popularity contest. Of course when you have that many friends (not talking about fan pages, those are different), you are going to feel like a product. If you have that many friends, it is time to purge. Even those who have 500, I think are pushing it. That is 500 people who instantly get access to your feeds. Depending on your privacy settings.

Eliminate those that won't bother to say hi to you at the mall. Use that as your measuring stick. If you see each other, in person, what will happen? If you think it will be a negative encounter, don't have them as a friend.

Nonetheless, the internet is what you make of it. You can have as big or as small of a friends list as you want. You just need to be aware of off-line consequences to online choices.

For information on being internet safe, check out netsmartzkids.org or nsteens.org. Both have great resources to help parents and children be safe on the internet, so that you don't feel like you need to commit a digital suicide to feel safe.

Notes on Parenting

My Monday posts from Essential Fathers, can now also be found on Tuesday's at Notes on Parenting.