Lp is proud to announce that he has been invited to join a growing list of creative talents who want to contribute to school arts programming via the ELAN (English Language Arts Network) Artistsinspire program. Please visit https://artistsinspire.ca/ for more info on how you can get Lp into your school.
With the August 12, 2019 publication of my newest book "Hey Daddy. This book is for you" I am looking forward to getting back on stage. I'll be looking for opportunities to speak and sing to audiences of parents and sons (or daughters.) I believe that Hey Daddy will help encourage positive parenting for successful children in the short and long term.
I've been a follower of the Gurian Institute in the USA for quite a few years now. They have boldly gone where few have dared before - focusing on boy issues. And more recently on girls as well - illustrating how boys and girls learn differently. Their latest research numbers are not encouraging for boys. Thanks to Michael Gurian confirming what I've felt for a long time. And for allowing me to share their research as follows.
* Boys have fallen behind girls in every area of education from Preschool through Graduate school.
* 85% of stimulant-addressing medications (like Ritalin) prescribed in the world are prescribed to U.S. boys.
* Boys are twice as likely as girls to be victims of violence in America, but in certain age groups the ratio is 6:1.
* Boys receive two-thirds of the Ds and Fs in our schools but less than 40 percent of the As.
* Boys are twice as likely as girls to be labeled as “emotionally disturbed” and twice as likely to be diagnosed with a behavioural or learning disorder.
* Boys are four times as likely as girls to be suspended or expelled from early childhood and K-12 learning environments.
* Over the last 20 years, the reading skills of 17-year-old boys have steadily declined.
What's the long term affect of this twenty year trend?
A seriously unbalanced university enrolment, a shortage of "good men out there" and a lot of unhappy men and women. Not to mention a serious lack of social skills and just plain respect for the opposite sex.
Yesterday it snowed for the first time this season in Montreal.
Like most Sunday mornings, my wife, dog and I were out for our usual walk along the Lachine Canal to our favourite coffee shop. When the snow started to turn to rain, we grabbed a bench under cover outside to drink our coffee and watch the morning develop.
Soon, the sun burst beautifully through the snow/rain clouds. More and more people started to emerge to do what had to be done this Sunday.
First to cross our outdoor observation post was a father who had obviously been tasked with taking his kids for a walk. From our viewpoint, he looked like he wasn’t enjoying the task at all. Perhaps preoccupied with his job or just simply not liking the weather, he trudged ahead of what looked to be a seven year old daughter and five year old son. The two kids nattered away and jumped and slid on whatever remaining snow they could find. If they fell behind their marching Daddy, the older sister dragged her brother back into lockstep. Something she was probably used to doing.
We finished our coffee, got up and rounded the corner to the sound of squeals and laughter – both kids and adults. The source of this fun was two young kids chasing their Dad around some benches outside the local library. Snowballs were involved. Dad would tease them then run just far enough away that their mini snowballs could hit him and cause what looked to be serious (faked) pain on his part. Meanwhile Mom followed along behind on their way to the library.
Guess which Dad got a “good job” tap on the shoulder as I passed by.
Happy kids need engaged, big kid fathers. Be the clown of the family in whatever ridiculous way you can. Especially on the weekends when there is time for fun, no school to attend and work can wait. It is a building block of family and child development to explore, learn and laugh together. If fathers take the time and make the effort to simply play with their children as much as possible in the first 8-10 years of their kids lives, the rewards will last a lifetime.
Which Dad are you going to be?
Throughout this unique movie, we follow a growing boy who experiences what one book I have read calls "the shaming" way to raise boys. Whether it involves fathers, peers, teachers, coaches, bullies or just plain idiots encouraging boys to "be a man", "grow up" or "stop being such a wuss" does not help their emotional cause.
What boys need are gentle, positive mentors to simply help them find their own way. Just one or two can make all the difference in their world.