Tags Posts tagged with "whereparentstalk"


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Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 10.33.26 AM(originally appeared in Huff Post Parents in May 2016)

They seem to be sprouting all around us. Multiplying, it would appear, like rabbits. Defying age, culture, socio-economic status, demographic criteria, etc. And as we watch — often in disbelief, frustration or just plain anger — we wonder where in the world they come from and how in the world they do what they do with a straight face, without much apparent conscience and usually little respect or regard for those around them.

There is no deep thinking, forensic analysis or other investigative technique required to determine what creates, causes or contributes to an entitled individual. Rock stars, politicians and professional athletes, among others, have handlers. Entitled individuals have enablers. Period, end of story.

Take any example you wish — from the collapse of Wall Street and ensuing financial crisis of 2008 and beyond, to the Jian Ghomeshi case, a bully in the schoolyard, a parent who rules by fear, a less-than-competent colleague who somehow scales the corporate ladder — it’s a long and varied list.

You can safely bet there is one common denominator. They don’t act alone. Their actions are not isolated. They move, sometimes stealthily, because they are allowed to do so. The path ahead of them is often clear or cleared by someone else. Their enablers clear it for them — whether these enablers realize that IS what they’re doing, are proactively participating or are merely reacting on the sidelines through inaction.

Entitled individuals can bob and weave their way through life deftly in large part because those of us around them allow it to happen. We enable that action. We are all guilty of enabling in one form or another — however, small or large that enablement.

It is rather gobsmacking when you see all the hallmarks of entitled creature-creation in parenting. You know the one. A lovely, normal, hardworking mother or father trying to do the right thing for their child/children. And then they’ll do completely irrational things like: debate marks with their kid’s teacher, call their child’s university professor to see about bumping up grades, corner their kid’s sports coach about more playing time (assuming the coach is irrationally not playing them) and otherwise make excuses for, dive in to save, defend without just cause — their child.

There is a difference between advocating for a child with reason and appropriate rationale, and leaping in to save them when things don’t go their way. The latter is effectively sowing the seeds of entitlement.

One of the most difficult things to do as a parent is to stand by and watch your child undergo some form of adversity. But ask yourself the zillion dollar question — how else will they ever learn? Like the old saying goes, and it is so true: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Yes it does. Likely never fun to go through, but necessary. Necessary to learn from, to appreciate the lesson learned and to understand the journey and process involved. If you want a kid to learn gratefulness and appreciation for what they have, they need to understand that journey.

The myriad of unscrupulously and even honest people, those who selfishly bent the rules, had their behaviour justified or some other such combination — others who innocently stood by and watched it happen. When the onion got peeled back on what led to the financial crisis, a whole bunch of “fraudsters” emerged. How were they allowed to operate for so long, relatively unscathed? It wasn’t magic.

As former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi became some kind of broadcast star, it would appear that he became judged by a different set of rules by his colleagues and bosses. The hushed tones, winks, nudges, sweeping-under-the-rug tactics — assuming they all existed — covered up what we’ve sadly come to learn about in sordid detail in the last several months.

He was enabled. He became entitled. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s not rocket science.

The ensuing debate about what could have and should have been done will rage on at the CBC and in other places of work where entitlement through enablement happens daily but is yet to be exposed — be that in the media or some other public forum.

The bottom line is what should have happened — red flagging from the onset and appropriate sanctions — did not happen. That did not happen for a host of reasons, not one of which will ever make a shred of sense to the victims with the red flags or future victims who may chose to keep their flags to themselves and avoid the red-face-inducing, complete public dressing-down that coming forward entails.

This type of behaviour starts with small acts of letting things slide. The little things can and often do snowball into much larger, unfortunate acts that impact lives in profound and irreversible ways.

It boils down, once again, to something all parents try to strive for, hopefully. When your kid does something wrong, there has to be appropriate discipline/punishment so they can learn right from wrong. Parenting 101. Basic. Not allowing that process of learning from mistakes, paying their dues, understanding consequences of their actions is effectively tampering with the natural order of things.

So, why in the world are we surprised when these kids grow up to be adults who behave the same way?

It’s only when they start to impede our progress that we begin to pay attention.


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From cbc.ca

Shhh. Listen closely. Do you hear the eye-rolling?  If it’s not audible to you, then hooray. Keep doing what you’re doing.

Twenty-four hours later, the love-in between Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barack Obama continues. A toasty reception, glittering dinner, downright sizzling interaction and tons of media coverage generously heaped with — wait for it — positive statements and sentiments.

There it is, that P-word. The one that gives many fits. Positive. And what in the world is so wrong with it, I’ve always wondered.

Positive politics. Positive parenting. What could be negative about positive anything?  But the naysayers loom, of that you can be sure.

You are what you attract and you attract what you are.  Take a look around. Such a true sentiment.

Several years ago now, I made a conscious decision to politely walk away from negative energy. The younger, vibrant version of myself would have worked tirelessly to get to the bottom of why an individual was negative. The older, grizzled version of myself simply does not have the energy, time or desire. The naysayers can fend for themselves, I declared to myself a few decades ago.

From cbc.ca
From cbc.ca

When I meet negative people, I spew positivity…if it kills me.  And it ain’t easy.  Exactly like parenting.

What’s fascinating and disturbing to me is most negative people don’t know why they are in such a grey-black-dark state. Then there are those who I am convinced choose that mindset and revel in it. The same people who try to attract new recruits and often succeed.

Having worked in television newsrooms for the better part of 20 years, both as a full-time employee and freelancer, I can count on two hands the number of positive people I’ve met.  We’re talking about finding brightness and energy within a stressful, competitive, constantly-changing, deadline-driven environment where largely negative human dramas are unfolding before your eyes and your responsibility is to tell that story. It’s not sunshine and daisies.  Yet, the positive people I’ve known from this environment over the years remain consistent in their action and mindset — fending off that tidal wave of negative energy deftly, swiftly and with every fibre of their being. It ain’t easy.  After all, ‘if it bleeds, it leads’, still holds true in media. I continue to hope for that to change.

For parents, there is no greater challenge than to be positive with understanding your child’s behaviour, disciplining them or staying the course on punishment. Positive parenting requires patience, forethought, patience, example-setting and um, PATIENCE.  I fail at this more than I succeed, without question, but I never stop trying.

I did not vote for the Liberals and Justin Trudeau, primarily because I was not crystal clear on his platform. My voting choice had nothing to do with personality and everything to do with pure politics — vision, plan of action, ability to inspire confidence in others and most importantly execution of the plan.

Since his historic election victory, I have become increasingly taken by one thing about Mr. Trudeau:  he does his own thing. His own thing seems to be rooted in seeing the glass half full, rather than half-empty. I applaud that. That takes a degree of courage because it is not popular, nor the status quo. It’s different and the stuff of eyebrow-raising, and yes, eye-rolling, sadly….all when it should be everyone’s default position.

Positive parenting and positive politics must be the ‘new trudeauobamanormal’ for all the reasons mentioned. It should also be normal because with positive anything, one can be assured that empathy, compassion, integrity and kindness are not far behind.  Trudeau, incidentally has already displayed these traits quite openly since taking office.

Ironic too, isn’t it, that when WhereParentsTalk interviewed Mr. Trudeau back in 2010 as part of 5 Famous Fathers, 5 Questions, the first answer he provided when asked, “Your secret to success as a Dad?”  His response? “Patience, unconditional love, and never trying to multitask when I’m with them.”

What works in parenting apparently can work in politics, when it comes to positivity.



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Having a newborn is tough; there are no two ways about it. It’s a life-altering adjustment that you can’t fully prepare for beforehand and the feeling of being overwhelmed is almost constant. At one point or another, we all felt driven to our wits end by the demands of having someone rely on us 24/7 and we silently (or not so silently) prayed for the newborn stage to be over.

So you can imagine my surprise, when, as I turned the page on my daughter’s first year, I found myself reflecting on those harrowing first months with a sense of nostalgia. Maybe it’s the rose-colored glasses that go hand-in-hand with a full night’s sleep, but nonetheless, there are things I definitely miss about having a newborn.

Here are just some of them:

“Enjoy this time, it goes by so quickly”: As I wandered from shopping mall to grocery store looking like a zombie from the planet NeverGonnaSleepAgain, the last thing I wanted to hear were a bunch of clichés about cherishing this special time. Now, I begrudgingly accept that everyone was right as I realize how fleeting those few months really were.

My swollen…everything: Remember barely being able to sit down? How about the two engorged volcanoes on your chest threatening to erupt any minute? It felt like torture at the time, but looking back, those aches and pains were battle scars and a constant reminder of the tiny life that depended solely on you for survival.

Lack of Routine: Think about it. When in your later life will you ever be exempt from conforming to a schedule? In a warped way, having a newborn is like the loophole of adulthood, you’re basically encouraged to sleep in the middle of the day. Um, awesome?

The bucket car-seat: I used to curse that thing left and right! It was cumbersome and awkward to carry; I remember threatening to chuck it out the window at least twice. But now that it’s cold out, it would be SO nice to be able to fasten our daughter into the bucket indoors rather than pile her into a freezing cold car and attempt to secure her with frozen fingers.

Middle of the night feedings: There were nights I recall feeling like I was the only person awake in the entire world. The exhaustion felt relentless, like someone was forcing my eyes open with toothpicks. In retrospect, those overnights spent rocking my daughter back to sleep rank highly among the most special times of my life.

Pumping: Just kidding. Nothing to miss about that.

So you see, to everything there is a silver-lining and the newborn stage is no exception. It may take six-months and a trip to the day spa to realize it, but those challenging early days – and all the crap that goes with them – are unique and so incredibly rewarding that you might occasionally find yourself wishing for them back.

Cara Scholl lives in Toronto with her husband and 13-month old daughter.  Her passions include following politics, musical theatre and experimenting with her slow-cooker. She holds a Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and enjoys documenting her parenting adventures on her recently established blog, The Mommy Brew.