How to be a better parent than you had.


shutterstock_195655586This doesn’t apply to everyone, of course!

But some people blame their parents for screwing up their lives.

Hey, it happens.

(A lot!)

Some people take the negligent way their parents raised them to make things better for their children.

That is dificult but it can be done.

Here’s an article by Holly Brown on PsychCentral who writes on how to become the parent you wish you had.


“When your past has been painful, you might spend a lot of energy trying not to think about it.

This type of repression can be very draining, and it diminishes the resources you need to be a parent yourself.

“Recognizing what you’ve been through and how it’s impacted you is a crucial first step to improving yourself, and your parenting.

You might want to enlist a therapist to do this, if you find it too frightening to go it alone.”


“Sometimes when we want so much to be good at something, we over correct. If your parent was very tough on you, you might be too lenient with your own children.

“If you were neglected, you might make your life fully revolve around your children, to their detriment and to yours (they can become self-involved, while you’re neglecting your other relationships and your self-care.)”

If you feel your parenting can use some upgrading, you have to look at yourself first.  You  have to know yourself.

You must discover what aspects of your parents job raising you (that you don’t like) came from your upbringing.

I can help you with that.

Email me at

Or call for a FREE strategy session.  905-584-0617

Here’s more of  Holly Brown’s article READ MORE

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What’s the difference between complete and finished?


A vocabulary lesson:
The Difference between “complete” and “finished”

No dictionary has ever been able to satisfactorily define the difference between “complete” and “finished.” However, during a recent linguistic conference, held in London, England, and attended by some of the best linguists in the bigstock-Middle-aged-couple-outdoors-10657865world, Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese linguist, was the presenter when he was asked to make that very distinction.

The question put to him by a colleague in the erudite audience was this: “Some say there is no difference between ‘complete’ and ‘finished.’ Please explain the difference in a way that is easy to understand.”

Mr. Balgobin’s response: “When you marry the right woman, you are ‘complete.’ If you marry the wrong woman, you are ‘finished.’ And, if the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are “Completely finished.” His answer received a five-minute standing ovation.

If you are not complete (Ha!) come to me at Self-Knowledge College to find out who the rest of you is like.

If you are not finished with your self, come too!


Contact Info:

(905) 584-0617


Oscar De la Renta. Photo: James Nord





“I am always in love but love starts with yourself.”

-Oscar De La Renta

This is Part 21 in a series of article about the “self.”

You can’t love anybody else unless you love yourself first.

Young people (much like older people!) put great importance on love.

And why not? It is a crucial part of life.

But love is a complicated subject and most people get it wrong at first–some never get it right!

We get love confused with its imposters (a subject for another day) but the key to understanding love at all is to know what you will read here today.

Oscar De La Renta, the famous clothing designer, was interviewed in the Toronto Star by Jeanne Beker. The photo above is from his 2012 collection introduced in New York in November.

He was announcing a new perfume called “Live In Love” and said he had been astonished to learn that the name of the perfume he needed a name for had not been registered.

“It’s the way we all so strongly aspire to live life, to love in love–loving what surrounds you, loving your life, loving what you’ve made of your life, loving the moment…”

Becker said that we hear about so many people looking for love because we think finding the right person to love means we will be complete. Hmmm.

De La Renta replied,

Oscar De la Renta. Photo: James Nord

“I am always in love but first of all love starts with yourself. You cannot love someone unless you love yourself. Because love is about how you live your life. You cannot be madly in love with someone if you are unhappy with yourself.”



He related it to happiness and said,

“Happiness has nothing to do with wealth. It has to do with your spirit.  And you have to discover that spirit to discover happiness.”

He’s right, of course.

  • You certainly can’t be happy unless you love yourself.
  • You cannot love anyone else if you don’t love yourself.
  • You can’t give away what you don’t have.
    If you don’t love yourself you can’t give that love to someone else.

People think they can love someone else if they don’t love themselves.

In fact, they convince themselves that they are indeed loving persons because they “love” someone  (although not themselves).

They think that although they themselves are unlovable (in their own minds and hearts) other people ARE loveable and they can love them. (That’d be good, they think.) They feel they can connect in that way.

They can love others even if they can’t love themselves.

Not true.

What they have, or do, is not love, it is a bastardized connection based on inequality or yearning. It can’t be reciprocated unless the relationship is dysfunctional. Unfortunately, it is common.

Pity can come back to the person who lacks self-love. So can concern and a kind of mild affection but not real love, unless it is a love based on sympathy, and that’s not what is desired, is it?

And sometimes, what comes back to these people is discomfort, even disdain, because what they project is recognized by the intended love object, as false, or inadequate love or, simply, not real love but something else.

Sometimes, resentment can build in the loved one because the loved one does not feel real love but need  coming from the “unlovable” one. That need on the part of  the loveless, turns into a silent (or not so silent!) demand for a return of the love they are trying to complete with the loved one.

It is not pretty.

It gets worse.

One who does not love himself/herself cannot give real love but cannot receive love either.


Because the “unlovable” one does not believe anyone else could love him or her (they know the “truth”–that they are unlovable. They “know” this! You can’t convince them they are worth loving.)

And, “knowing ” this to be true,  then they suspect that any affection that comes to them is fraught with baggage. They think the people who say they love them are lying, mistaken, manipulative or stupid.

Otherwise they, too, would recognize that  the would-be lover is unlovable and reject them.

Complicated, yes.

But also simple.

You cannot love someone else if you do not love yourself.
And you cannot accept love from another if you do not love yourself.

To go even deeper, you cannot love what you do not know.
Therefore, you cannot love yourself unless you know yourself.

Everything is centered in Self-Knowledge.

There’s more to this than I’ve written here.

When you began to know yourself, you’ll discover how great you are! And then– and then– you will start to love yourself, if you don’t already.

If you already do love yourself, terrific, then you’ll  learn more about you, always a good thing.

Keep you out of trouble.

If  you are a member here, good!

If you are not and would like to be, register here for a lot of free information about YOU!



Previous Posts:

Up next: The Self, Part 22: Writing helps

Fidgety kids–The “real” reason.


The “real” reason for fidgetation (!)Fidgety kid


I’ve published two posts on fidgety kids recently. (You can find links to them below.)

Here’s another opinion by pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom writing in The Huffington Post.


She (or her editor) charcterized this–lack of movement in everday life–as the ‘real” reason kids fidget so much.

I think  its an accurate observation but the other reasons from the earlier posts are legit too.

Here’s a link to her article–which originally appeared on Balanced and

Fidgety kids part 3!

And here are the other two posts

Fidgety Boys, school and achievement (published may 27)










Fidgety boys and how they learn. (published May 29)

Fidgety kid










Do you have kids like this?

What’s your take?

Comment below!


Fidgety boys and how they learn. Letters and comments

Fidgety kid

Fidgety boys: how they learn.

Here are some examples of Letters to the Editor of the NYTimes on David Leonhardt’s piece,  A Link between fidgety boys and a sputtering economy

First, Mr Leonhardt’s piece: Fidgety kid

 “A Link Between Fidgety Boys and a Sputtering Economy,” by David Leonhardt (The Upshot, April 29):

Then some commentary–

The Different Way That Boys Learn

The achievement gap between boys and girls is not quite the mystery your article describes.

“Educational reforms” pushed by wealthy donors like the Gates Foundation, testing corporations and both Democrats and Republicans have cut recess, gym and the arts to focus on testing.

While both boys and girls need time to run around, girls are more socially conditioned to sit still and obey the rules while boys more frequently act out. The focus on longer hours and more testing has not bridged race and class gaps as proponents promised, and it is no surprise that gender gaps are also apparent.

The testing model fails to consider broader socioeconomic realities, underpaid and under-rewarded teachers, and children’s overall needs for effective learning.

Rather than force “fidgety boys” to sit still for longer hours (or diagnose attention deficit disorder and drug them to comply), let them play! Address children’s need to move from one activity to another and blow off energy in the playground while offering multiple approaches to learning. This approach has put Finland at the top of educational performers among developed countries.

More recess, more arts and sports, the elimination of standardized testing, the valuing of teachers — it’s not a mystery!

New York, April 29, 2014

To the Editor:

Your article doesn’t mention an important ingredient of the problem. The rise in boys’ troubles coincides exactly with the push by schools to ramp up literacy demands in the earliest grades — a time when boys are least able to cope with reading and writing.

Thus, boys fall behind and conclude that school is for girls.

Arlington, Va., April 29, 2014

The writer is the author of “Why Boys Fail.”

To the Editor:

As a longtime educator and student of learning differences, I believe that one means of bringing boys into school success and the “knowledge economy” is a serious effort to redirect their inappropriate media use. Multiple studies document the academically and personally damaging effects of too much recreational “screen time,” particularly for youths on the lower socioeconomic rungs.

Boys are particularly vulnerable to getting “hooked” on first-person shooter games. These can affect the growing brain by resetting motivation circuits into an addictive loop that blocks sustained academic effort. Nighttime games also interfere with sleep, causing attention problems.

Whether or not violent games create violent behavior, a hyper-aroused, externally driven young nervous system is a poor candidate for self-control of either behavior or intellect.

In fact, one reason boys succeed in the “best performing schools” may be that their parents and teachers tend to restrict the amount of time students spend with video games while encouraging the active physical and social pursuits so necessary for healthy development.

Vail, Colo., April 30, 2014

The writer, an educational psychologist, is the author of “Your Child’s Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning From Birth to Adolescence.”

To the Editor:

As headmaster for 26 years at the Browning School, an all-boys school founded in 1888 here in New York City, I believe that David Leonhardt may well take heart in the fact that some schools do acknowledge the profound differences between boys and girls.

At Browning, we are aware of the obvious distractions and learning styles and are dedicated to educating boys in such a way that they enjoy learning; in fact, they thrive.

As for the toughness Mr. Leonhardt believes is all too desirable a trait in the minds of boys who aspire to success, let me add that “grit” was one of our founder’s favorite words and became our motto (“Grytte”). Grit is distinct from overbearing “macho” masculinity.

Rather than emphasizing the need to be gruffly assertive, we have chosen instead to stress that failing is part of the learning process and that anything worth having is worth working hard for.

New York, April 29, 2014

The learning gap.

Leonhardt writes:

“… if we want to make inroads into the achievement gap…policymakers have an option: either create more schemes that support parents to in the linguistic development of their children, or offer pre-school classes for students as young as one—as they do in Sweden.

This may sound radical, but doing nothing is nonsensical. As Americans wring their hands over the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, it seems foolish to neglect policies that would help children reach their full potential.”

This argument is underway in Canada with mixed results since education is a provincial responsibility in Canada.



Fidgety boys, school and achievement. How to get help.

4536819300_90f6827f68_m 4 students walkingFidgety boys, school and achievement

Aspbergers, ADHD, ADD, Tourettes, autism…the list is endless.

We are bombarded with information (but not much help) for boys (and girls) who suffer from these sociological, psychological,  mental, “conditions.”

They confound parents, experts, teachers and the children themselves.

But children grow up to bcome adults and if these conditons are not even recognized, never mind treated, these people live harrowing lives full of missteps and potential social  and personal  disater.

Their jobs (if they can get them),  relationships and personal sense of worth are  always at risk.

Both boys and girls have problems. This article, by David Leonardt in the New York Times, reports on how fidgety boys are at risk.

He begins with the obvious fact that social status, money, parents and environment influence academic and life outcomes, then he moves on to boys’ behavior. He focuses on “

Here’s the full article. He focuses on “fidgety” boys.

David Leonhardt in The New York Times says

“The behavior gap between rich and poor children, starting at very early ages, is now a well-known piece of social science. Entering kindergarten, high-income children not only know more words and can read better than poorer children but they also have longer attention spans, better-controlled tempers and more sensitivity to other children.

“All of which makes the comparisons between boys and girls in the same categories fairly striking: The gap in behavioral skills between young girls and boys is even bigger than the gap between rich and poor.

“By kindergarten, girls are substantially more attentive, better behaved, more sensitive, more persistent, more flexible and more independent than boys, according to a new paper from Third Way, a Washington research group. The gap grows over the course of elementary school and feeds into academic gaps between the sexes. By eighth grade, 48 percent of girls receive a mix of A’s and B’s or better. Only 31 percent of boys do….”

Read article here

If you have a child like the boys described here, a fidgety boy or worse, get help.

I can’t provided it for this age but if your child is older, in high school or college or has failed at these, has dropped out, is thinking about it or you see that s/he is  in danger of it,  please advise them that I may be able to help.

Send them to Dropout to Dean’s List. Have them look around.

Ask them to read the testimonials on the site and then call me at 905-584-0617 or email me at

 No obligation. We’ll just talk.




Minnie Driver. Dressed for AFTER work. Not exactly office attire.


Minnie Driver. Dressed for AFTER work. Not exactly office attire.

Actress Minnie Driver is dressed terrifically well for a night on the town but some women go to the office dressed like this. They are getting bullied.

It’s not so much the men that may cause you trouble. You know all about that! No, it’s other women bullying you! Females who wear provocative clothing at work are getting hit on, but not necessarily by men, and not in the way they might have expected.

There have been many articles in the press about bullying recently and a lot of them have focused on girls bullying girls. Apparently the harassment doesn’t stop as girls grow up. Women act aggressively at work towards other females they perceive as physically attractive. It’s worse if the targets are young, fit and dress provocatively.

A study was done by Tracy Vaillancourt of the University of Ottawa, published in the journal Aggressive Behavior.

Morgan Campbell writes about it The Toronto Star.

We are accustomed to seeing this kind of thing on reality-based TV shows such as The Bachelor
but in the professor’s study of behavior at work, seeing sexily dressed employees prompted hostility in 97% of the other women who saw them. 97%!

Campbell interviewed Prof. Vaillancourt who researches and writes about mental health and violence prevention. Women frequently have “toxic relationships with other (female) employees” says Vaillancourt “and we know dressing a certain way will garner a negative reaction.’

An assistant entered the waiting room twice: once, she came in wearing pants and a blue top and the next time she came in wearing a mini-skirt. The women waiting barely noticed her in pants but the mini-skirt caused all but two of them to criticize her and even speculate about her morals.


In Campbell’s piece, Vaillancourt says this kind of hostility has come about through evolution. When men are scarce, competition increases and females “drive-down” a woman’s “mate value” through gossip and insults.

I’m not sure if men are scarce these days but maybe top-of-the-line men are scarce. That wouldn’t surprise me.

The professor says “We compete with each other all the time and we compete over really silly things.”

Statistics indicate that bullying is roughly 49/51 in offices (males to females) and females may bear the brunt of the behavior.

Campbell says that Vaillancourt figures evolution will win out over attempts to reduce bullying in offices.

“In the ideal world, “says Vaillancourt, “you can wear whatever you want to work: but if you wear something sexy “in the real world, you’re going to get it.”

This speaks to some touchy subjects:

  • self-image
  • the image you want to project or create when in public
  • self-confidence
  • first impressions (among others).

Some will argue: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” both on the basis of general worldliness and maybe getting ahead, or at least getting noticed, in a big office.

The evidence is that dressing provocatively does not help women trying to climb the ladder.


  • Some people might not have enough experience to know where to draw the dress line at work.
  • Some might dress provocatively out of insecurity.
  • Some might do it to incite provocation.
    Some might see it as a way indicate self-confidence (however, it might just as likely indicate a lack of it).

It has to do with self-image and it could be considered healthy depending on the degree of “sexiness” demonstrated or at least how it is perceived by others– both men and women.

Appearance is important, especially at work and most serious businesses don’t like provocative dressing for a host of reasons. But some businesses (retail sales, advertising, etc.) have a more relaxed attitude towards dress, especially female dress.

It comes down to “When In Rome.. ” regarding business attire.

First impressions DO count and they are difficult to change in the minds of the perceivers.

A couple of years ago a sultry-looking woman lawyer, Debrahlee Lorenzana, was allegedly fired from Citibank because of her office dressing style.  It caused a big stink and led to lawsuits.

Debrahlee Lorenzana Photos by Sas

Some might argue that Ms. Lorenzana”s figure (in the two photos here) is  a legitimate part of her and the dress she has on doesn’t  seem alarming. She’s certainly alarming to some women.

Then again, it has been suggested in the New York press that Ms Lorenzana has allegedly…ummm had some work done.

Does it matter? Some women might argue that that is unfair.


That is a different slant on the dressing at work subject.

Today’s slant is the bullying aspect and it’s complicated enough.

If you have an opinion on this topic, please comment below.

If you think that the way you feel about this topic challenges the way you regard yourself , or if you want to learn more about your”self” and how you present yourself to the world, sign up for my 40 page Ebook, FOUR QUESTIONS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

It’s free and I’ll send you more free information periodically.

This is an example of what we discuss here on THE DALEY POSTI’d love to have you join my email list and help us figure this stuff out.

I’m with you.