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Newsletter Vol. # 40 That's how I see it!

Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter.

What you will find in this weeks newsletter: Universal Daycare-do you care? Something from the book; "Scattered Minds"; Intrusive Parenting is bubble-wrapping our kids and they are paying the price; NHL Quiz; just what is The Connection Between Sleep and Weight; understanding Anger better; Reader Response.

Universal Daycare

It's different today. The economy is such that both moms and dads need to work just to cover the necessities. And single moms certainly need to work to live and if they have young kids, they will end up in daycare/kindergarten.

Yes it was different in my time (several centuries ago) my wife stayed home with the kids most of the time (or part-time two days a week). Wasn't easy on a teachers salary but we managed. So this whole issue of daycare is new but of great interest since becoming a "Papa." Is daycare good for kids, do we need a full day of kindergarten to get our children ready for the rigors of grade one? The Editorial in October MacLean's (does this mean I am doing an editorial on an editorial?) suggested that universal daycare may have some doubters.

Advocates of universal day care, as well as full-time kindergarten, once promoted the concept on the basis it gave young participants a measurable benefit in cognitive skills (i.e. reading, writing and math) over their peers. However, numerous studies have concluded that while there may be a short burst of improvement in test scores for children in these programs, any gain tends to "wash out" by early grade school. Over the long run, there is no noticeable difference between the test scores of children who attend day care or full-day kindergarten, and those who don't.

As of late it seems many of the studies done on day care have shifted away from the promise of significant benefits in cognitive skill development to improvement in areas such as impulse control, risk-taking and emotional stability--all important in later success in life.

The famous HighScope Perry Preschool Study, which examined the effect of intensive early education intervention on 58 low-income children in Ypsilanti, Michigan, is widely cited as proof that universal day care improves social skills. Every tax dollar spent on the program returned $13 in savings to society due to lower welfare costs and jail time over the subject's lives.

However, what works for a very small sample of disadvantaged kids (HighScope Perry Preschool Study) may not work so well when applied to a large population. This is what researchers Kevin Milligan, Michael Baker, and Jonathan Gruber concluded upon examining Québec's universal daycare program.

The negative impact of the Québec program on the non-cognitive outcomes of young children appears to persist and grow as they reach school ages. This result is strongest for boys aged 5 to 9. Among teenagers, self-reported health and life satisfaction are significantly lower for former daycare attendees. There is also a greater propensity to criminal behaviour. Exposure to the Québec program leads to higher rates of crime when compared to other Canadian children.

So what does this mean for those of us who depend on daycare and kindergarten? I believe these negative results on daycare/kindergarten don't have to be true for many attendees. The reason I say this is first, I believe there is a greater benefit for children to learn to socialize at a young age-they need other children. However, if we just dump our kids off at daycare/kindergarten and have minimal contact with them after they come home from their program, I am more inclined to believe what the researchers above found in their studies. However, if we interact with our children-read books, do puzzles, learning games, give them experiences in the community, show them love and patience-in other words spend quality time with them, then their experience at daycare/kindergarten will yield only positive outcomes later in their lives.

What you think about universal daycare.

"Scattered Minds"

"If parents shift their focus off the child and become more responsible for their own actions, the child will automatically (perhaps after testing whether the parents really mean it) assume more responsibility for himself," writes Michael Kerr, psychiatrist. "If parents focus on being responsible for themselves and respecting boundaries in relating to their children, the children will automatically grow towards being responsible for themselves."

Intrusive Parenting

Parents are not willing to allow their children and youth to take responsible risks; risks that might actually lead to bruises, tears, and disappointment and real life consequences that research tells us contribute heavily to social and emotional maturity. As a result, we have seen a steep increase in the number of children referred to school psychologists for anxiety and mood issues, few of which are directly related to trauma or neglect or abuse (though those sadly exist) but many of which have their roots in an intrusive parenting style where the child's thoughts, behaviours, and consequences are over-scripted and, quite frankly, bubble-wrapped.
Many parents with best intentions forget that what we really should be doing is raising adults who will be confident, forgiving, compassionate, and yes, maybe even scarred.
                                    Kelly Dean Schwartz, Chair, Family Psychology Section,
                                    Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)


A disgruntled customer returns to our store a few days after she had bought a cordless phone from me. She demanded her money back.
What seems to be wrong with it? I asked.
It cuts out every time I get about two or three blocks away from my house, she replied.
Perhaps, I suggested, I could interest you in a cellular phone instead?

The Quiz

Named after a player known for scoring and toughness, "one goal, one assist and one fight" in a single game by a player is known as what?

The last active player to have played in the World Hockey Association during the 1970s retired in 2004. Who was it?

In 1968, what was the first expansion team to reach the Stanley cup final?

Richard Dean Anderson's television character, MacGyver, often wore a hat with his favourite NHL team logo on. What team wasn't?

Known for his political endeavours, who is the only hockey player to have been named MVP of the playoffs a year before being named rookie of the year in the NHL?

In 1971, who became the first NHL player to sign a contract worth a total of $1 million?

Since 1982, Mike Illitch has been the owner of the Detroit Red Wings. What fast-food chain does the Illitch family also own?

Appearing 10 times as a player and seven times as an executive, whose name is engraved the most on the Stanley Cup?

Answers below

"Scattered Minds"

Parents will often say their child has a "powerful" personality. It's not about the child's power but rather the inefficiency of the parent's own emotional thermostat that enables the fluctuations in the child's moods to set the emotional tone of the whole household. Parents are often unaware of how profoundly their own mind states and their own lack of internal self-regulation affect the child.

The Connection Between Sleep And Weight

Over 13 million Canadians are overweight or obese, but for those trying to shed pounds, giving up on a full nights sleep for a 5 AM gym session might do more harm than good. Lack of sleep actually increases appetite and drives people to binge on unhealthy "comfort foods," according to Dr. Charles Samuels, medical director of the Calgary-based Centre for Sleep And Human Performance.

According to results from Scienta's 2010-11 Symptom Profiler, those who said they got less than four or five hours sleep at night reported the most negative health symptoms-and those who slept over 10 hours didn't fare very well, either.

Lack of sleep boosts appetite, Samuels says releasing hormones like ghrelin (which signals hunger) into the system. "The body assumes were under stress, and we go into survival mode," and this drives us to eat more calorie dense foods. One study, published in Annals Of Internal Medicine in 2010, tracked 10 healthy adults who were put on a calorie-restricted diet, and assigned them to sleep 5.5 or 8.5 hours per night; those who got the least amount of sleep also lost less body fat and felt hungrier than those who slept longer.

If the goal is weight loss, the number one thing-is that you've got to get the sleep you need.
                                                                                                                Kate Lunau

Quiz Answers

Gordie Howe hat trick, Mark Messier, St. Louis blues, Calgary Flames, Ken Dryden, Bobby Orr, Little Caesars Pizza, Jean Beliveau

If you got these all correct--let me know.


Human anger is not a biological reflex like this needs, nor simply a reactive display designed to ward off enemies. You may become roused to anger by memories and symbols as well as by real and present dangers, and you maintain that anger for years

It is the hypothalamus and limbic system that are most responsible for emotional behaviour, by which they usually mean rage, fear, and sexual desire. Anger is exclusively human emotion because only humans can judge actions for their intention, justifiability, and negligence--only humans of the wiring to do this.

It doesn't take courage to be angry
But it takes a lot of courage to talk about one's anger

Reader Response

Cell phones are the bane of my existence. We are nurturing a
generation of young folks who are exposing themselves to huge health
risks, and possible issues with communication and intimacy.  A
telephone that does everything for you is in danger of replacing a
companion. I worry for the is starting to look like the
sci-fi descriptions of the "Brave New World".           Merika

                               Big scam warning!!!
            DO NOT press 90# on your telephone for ANYONE!
I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identifying himself as a Telus Serviceman, who was conducting a test on the telephone-lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine (9) and then zero (0), followed by the pound sign (#), and then to hang up.  Luckily, I was suspicious, and I refused.  Upon contacting the telephone company I was informed that by pushing 90#, you are giving the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number. I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many of B.C. Alta. Ont. NB. local jails and prisons.
          Vivian Thompson, Crime & Fraud Prevention Coordinator
                 District 5,South Surrey RCMP, British Columbia
                                                                                                                 Thanks Jake!

"Spring has sprung the grass has ris
I wonder where the birdys is?"

And please quit snowing.