To Have or Have Not: Psychoanalyst shares reasons not to have kids

Maclean'sThe cover of the August 3 issue of Maclean’s magazine (the Canadian equivalent of Time or Newsweek) presents, in large, bold type, “The Case Against Having Kids,” noting that, ‘They can hurt your career, your marriage, your social life, your bank book. Why bother?” The cover story coincides with the Canadian release of a French psychoanalyst’s book, “No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children.” The author, Corinne Maier, has a 14 year-old and an 11 year-old of her own, but says that she sometimes regrets her decision to become a mother. The Maclean’s article reports that Maier bought into societal pressure to be a parent, believing that by embracing motherhood, she would no longer feel lonely.

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a parent, or thinking of becoming one. However, most of us know someone who could list some of Maier’s 40 reasons not to have kids. Here are a few from Maier’s book:
•You will lose touch with your friends
•Your sex life will be over
•Children cost a fortune
•Child-rearing is endless drudgery
•Vacations will be nightmares
•You’ll lose your identity and become just “mom” or “dad”
•Your children will become mindless drones of capitalism
•The planet’s already overcrowded
•Your children will inevitably disappoint you

Strong language. I can’t agree with all of the reasons Maier listed above – although kids do cost a fortune! Nonetheless, some (I can’t say several) of my friends have made the choice to forgo the parenthood role and to focus instead on travel or career. One couple has been quite unequivocal about their reasons for maintaining a DINK (dual income, no kids) lifestyle: “We don’t like children.” Despite this sentiment, I’ve often heard parents talking to this childless pair about their decision, and about all of the reasons why they’re wrong, including the regret that they’ll feel in old age. Again and again in the Maclean’s article, women who have decided to remain childless are quoted, saying that others don’t understand their decision. They feel a societal pressure towards parenting.

Three tips to keep kids focused and engaged in their learning

Study by MC Quinn
Study by MC Quinn (Learning)

Study by MC Quinn

With summer in full swing, parents have time to reflect upon the school year. As any parent of a young and exuberant child or teen will attest, keeping kids focused and engaged can be difficult, but you can use your student’s time out of the classroom to develop new activities and practices that will keep them better focused and alert with learning when the school year returns. Parents can play a large role in improving their child’s attention span at school by preparing the right kind of meals, instilling the appropriate values, and partaking in the proper activities to foster better concentration and, therefore, learning. Using these three tips can help your children stay focused, alert, and excited about school both in the classroom and at home.

The Power of “We”

Happy Birthday Lisa by Lachlan Hardy

Psychologists often talk about finding the right balance in life. For instance, working hard but not so much that it negatively impacts your family or personal life. Or being close to others but not so close as to lose sight of where your thoughts and feelings stop and another persons’ begin. What makes this even more complicated is that the closeness or distance we feel from others depends partly on them and fluctuates over time. At the same time, there is often a misguided dichotomy that is used to discuss this issue that pits being a secure independent person against an insecure dependent one. Given that we are social creatures by nature, many argue that we need to be close to others in order to function properly and that interdependence is what we should aspire to. In an interdependent relationship, both peoples’ needs are being met. Within the context of an interdependent relationship, a couple can have fluctuating levels of both independence and dependence.

Babies learn similar first words

A study in the July 2008 issue of Developmental Psychology examined the first words uttered by hundreds of English-, Mandarin-, and Cantonese-speaking infants between the ages of 8 and 16 months. Interestingly, 6 of the top 20 first words were heard in all three languages: Daddy, Mommy, Hi, Bye, UhOh, and WoofWoof. The three groups learned words describing objects found in their homes that could be manipulated, rather than the names of large objects or things that would be found outside. “People terms” were the most commonly reported in all three languages (e.g., kinship terms, names, categories), with Mandarin and Cantonese speakers using a wider variety of words and types of people terms.

You can read more here.

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