Unavoidable Interruption

Xanthippa is currently exploring our healthcare system due to some problems and, as such, cannot post for the next few days.

Advertisements

McGuinty’s ‘all-day schooling’ harms low-income women

This rant is a follow up to my State is Mother, State is Father… and Why young kids should not be ‘institutionalized’.

Why the rant?

The Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, had – on the advice of an ‘educator’ – suggested that children should be put in schools from 4 years of age:  from 7:30 in the morning to 6 in the evening (yes, that is a 10.5 hour work-day for the child), 50 weeks per year (only 2 weeks of holidays per year)…

There are many motives for doing this:  McGuinty’s announcement said that he would begin implementing this program in areas where school enrolement was falling, and in economically depressed areas.

In other words:  Canadians are having fewer children, so the school enrollment is falling.  That means fewer jobs for teachers – like the premier’s wife!  So, he is doing something about it: if you have fewer children going to school, then to keep the number of teaching jobs up (or even raise it), you must increase the number of hours the kids are kept there!

This is a make-work-for-teachers program! Nothing more!

The kids are just pawns!

What will be the impact on our society?  It will make it more and more difficult for parents to look after their children themselves… It will be another nail in the coffin of the ‘nuclear family’!

Please, consider the following:

Our tax system penalizes families which choose to have one parent stay at home to raise their kids.  These families are taxed at a much higher rate than those who choose to use daycare (the cost of which is, in many cases, also subsidized from taxpayer dollars).

In order to make ends meet, many young mothers (it is mostly mothers) who choose to stay home to raise their young children will start a small, home-based daycare.  They’ll take in two or three other kids, pick them up from the schoolbus and care for them after school in their home.  I have seen these home based daycares – several of them.

They are loving homes and, in most cases, the care-giver and the child develop strong bonds. This is good:  small, home-based daycares mimic the ‘extended family’ scenario in which children have traditionally grown up and which, in my never-humble-opinion, is the best social setting for the healthy social growth of a young child.

What will happen under the newly proposed McGuinty plan?

McGuinty will have destroyed thousands of small, women-run business!

McGuinty will take away their jobs and give them to the teachers!

Because now, parents will not pay a neighbour or a friend to look after their child:  it will be cheaper and more ‘convenient’ to just put them into school for 10.5 hours!  And the taxpayers will pay for it all – so, why not?

And the women whose daycare income (now gone) used to allow them to stay at home will have to pay higher taxes, to pay the salaries of teachers (who get paid much, much more per hour than the caregiver was) who stole her job from her!!!

These women will be forced to work outside of home to make ends meet….and their own children will end up in the educational institution as well…because they will no longer be able to afford to look after them themselves.

In one punch, McGuinty has destroyed the ability of many parents to raise their kids themselves by depriving them of income and raising their taxes all at once!

People do not get rich running small, home-based daycares!  Their income is pretty low – just enough to let them ‘make ends meet’, so they CAN raise their children themselves, with the love their children deserve!

Taking away from low-income women and giving to the fat-cat unions!  That is ‘education – McGuinty style’!

add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank

Why young kids should not be ‘institutionalized’

Perhaps I am a little bit more obsessive about ‘parenting’ than most people are.  Frankly, I think all kids (but especially MY kids!!!) are too precious for us NOT to be obsessive in learning all that we can about all various facets of ‘raising them’ before we decide to have them.

So, before I went on to have kids, I read up on it.  Obsessively.  Exhaustively – I hope.

Of course, this was a 15-20 years ago….before I became a parent.  So most of it was not ‘online’…and I would be hard pressed to remember all my ‘sources’!  Much less ‘look them up’ and post links to them…  Therefore, what follows cannot be categorized as anything other than my ‘never-humble-opinion’!

Still, this opinion is based on having done my homework…and having read a lot of studies – many of them not really popular with the current ‘educators’ – still, these were bona fide scientific studies, publishes and peer-reviewed and from all various spectra of scholarly schools.  I will do my best to put it into ‘common sense wording’, in order to get the main point across as clearly as possible.

In order to understand what ‘we need’, psychologically speaking, it is a good idea to examine how – historically speaking – children were raised.  It is, after all, the societies which ‘did OK’ that survived – so, considering the circumstances of how they raised their kids may help us understand which ‘circumstances’ are most favourable to raising adults who are most predisposed towards perpetuating the most successful societies.  To re-phrase:  let’s look at what ‘worked’ in the past, and what did not – and why.

The ‘traditional’ way of raising children is in an ‘extended family’ unit.

This is true of every race, on every continent…so, perhaps, we ought to take heed of this lesson.

Very young children are raised in small groups:  the younger the child, the smaller the social group it is exposed to.  This is very important, for various reasons:  but, it is easiest to think of it in terms of ‘attachment’ and ‘social bond’.

The very first bond a child traditionally forms is with its mother.

This is due to in-utero conditioning (when the mother experiences ‘good/pleasurable’ things, from food to sounds and so on – her ‘feeling good’ chemistry is shared by the foetus:  thus, some ‘preferences’ are being programmed into the brain even before one’s birth) as well as nursing/early care.  (We are talking pre-baby-bottle times…nowdays, a father can step in and forge a bond with an infant much earlier than it used to be possible ‘traditionally’.)

As the child grows a little older, immediate members of the nuclear family (plus the maternal grandmother – but that is a different post) begin to forge social bonds with the infant.

These are very important:  from ‘father’ (in addition to ‘mother’) to ‘older siblings’.  The infant is still the youngest, most vulnerable – and thus most protected – member of the family.  It is difficult to explain just how important this last bit is:  it is essential in forming the ‘I am special’ bit of the personality – the bit from which ‘self-confidence’ and natural (not twisted) sense of ‘self-worth’ come.

As the child continues to grow, it is more and more exposed to a social group of ‘siblings and cousins’.  The important thing about this ‘group’ is that there is a significant variation in the ages of the ‘siblings and cousins’ – the older one becomes, the ‘higher they rank’ – but the greater the responsibility for their younger siblings/cousins they have to shoulder!

This is a natural means through which children learn that ‘growing’ brings BOTH privileges/status AND responsibilities.  This process is very positive, good for the ‘psyche’.  Our own history has shown it to be so.

It is also a natural ‘drive’ enhancer:  one wants to ‘catch up’ to the skills of the older children, while working hard not to be ‘passed’ by the growing skills in the younger children… with ‘special allowances’ to individual variations being possible because of the ‘family’ nature of the structure:  the differences are seen as ‘special talents’ – most of the time…

To recap:  there are 3 significant aspects to ‘traditional family’ method of child rearing

  1. The size of the social group the young child is exposed to is closely tied to it’s age:  the younger the child, the smaller the social group – and the ‘clearer’ the ‘social order’ withing that group.  The younger the child, the smaller the group.  Since this ‘group’ was usually left in the care of one adult – plus the ‘older children’ – the size of this group usually did not exceed 10-12 (in the first decade of a child’s life).
  2. The ‘social order’ within this group was, to a great degree, dictated by the age of the individuals in it:  the group was made up of children of VARYING ages – which brought along a structured ‘social order’ of status coupled with age.
  3. Each child was motivated to ‘catch up’ to the older children and ‘not be caught up to/surpassed’ by the younger ones:  exceptional skill was recognized, and did not ‘denigrade’ others…but, this was a strong motivator to want to succeed.  It was a ‘natural’ way of teaching kids that as one gets older, the expectations of them grow:  to earn respect, they must grow to fill these expectations.

This was not ‘forced’: allowances were made for ‘special skills’….if one had shown a special talent in a specific field, their responsibilities would grow in that field and lessen in others.  That is the flexibility inherrent in a small, family-based unit.

Also, because the children were of different ages, they could compete constructively with each other…the older children could acknowledge the growth in the younger ones without being threatened and all that….(most of the time, anyways).

The ‘modern’ method of ‘early childhood education’ violates this process in several important ways:

  1. The size of the group  in ‘state-sponsored’ pre-school/kindergarten is much larger than the size of the social group a child would  traditionally be exposed to.
  2. In ‘state-institutionalized care’, the children are ‘sorted by age’. That means that there is – at most – 1 year age-difference between the oldest and the youngest child in the group!  This is justified by the commonality of the ‘age-appropriate developmental stage’ the children share. It is not possible to understate the destructiveness of this ‘grouping’ to the children concerned!!!

OK – let me rant on the second point:  if the implications thereof have not become clear by now!!!  And while they are ‘obvious’ to me, perhaps I ought to explore them in another post….

add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank

Happy Summer Solstice!

The longest day of the year!

And, still I’m not getting enough time to write up all the things I have ‘drafted’….  Shame on me.  But, it’s just so fun to do some ‘stuff’ with the family – homework is over, exams are done, and we can all just get together and start pushin each other’s buttons!

In a fun way, of course!

However you mark it – or not – Happy Solstice!

And – Happy Father’s Day!

I might just vote Liberal in the next federal election

Yes – it’s true!

I JUST MIGHT!!!

OK – I am suspending my rant against institutionalizing young children, in order to comment on something WAY OVER THE TOP!!!

Yesterday, our Conservative Ministers of Justice (!) and Public Safety (Rob Nicholson and Peter Van Loan, respectively) have announced sweeping new legislation which would give police the power to snoop on all internet traffic – and the identity of people on the net – WITHOUT A WARRANT!!!

From The Canadian Press:

The proposed legislation would:

-enable police to access information on an Internet subscriber, such as name, street address and email address, without having to get a search warrant.

-force Internet service providers to freeze data on their hard drives to prevent subscribers under investigation from deleting potentially important evidence.

-require telecommunications companies to invest in technology that allows for the interception of Internet communications.

-allow police to remotely activate tracking devices already embedded in cellphones and certain cars, to help with investigations.

-allow police to obtain data about where Internet communications are coming from and going to.

-make it a crime to arrange with a second person over the Internet the sexual exploitation of a child.

Did you notice that???

They ‘tack on’ the last one – protecting children from sexual exploitation – on to a whole set of really, really oppressive things.  This way, if anyone speaks up against it – they can SMEAR him/her by saying he/she does not want to ‘protect our children’!

I don’t even know where to begin my rant!!!

Do I start with the oppressive police-powers, or do I start with how the issue was intentionally manipulated, using our children’s well-being as a guise to strip us of our rights!!!

OK, I am a ‘little’ angry.

And I think I am right to be angry!  And every Canadian ought to be bloody angry about this, too!!!

The Harper government has repeatedly failed to reign in the Stalinist HRCs – which have now been shown to be staffed with political activists, religious extremists and corrupt ex-police officers, and which are trampling on REAL human rights in this country!

It is frightening that the federal Conservative Finance Minister’s wife, Christine Elliot, is running for the leadership of the Ontario Provincial Conservative Party leadership:  this kind of ‘political dynasties’ are bad for everyone….and I cannot believe that Conservatives (I am a ‘little ‘c’ conservative – so it is not my place to do so), in Ontario AND federally, have not caused major fuss about this.  But, her stand on the HRCs is truly frightening:  it is not’ politically expedient’ to reign them in – and the people be damned…this is about ME getting elected!!!

Now, it appears that her shalowness and political opportunism are a reflection of her husband’s federal Conservative policy… and THAT explains why the HRCs are allowed to rattle their sabres and continue to persecute anyone who dares to speak up against them!!!

SHAME, SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!!!

But, even worse, now federal CONSERVATIVES(!) are planning to pass LAWS which would make it easier for the HRCs to abuse people who have committed thought crime – and will give such corrupting power to the police forces, too!

I don’t even know what is happening any more…

How could they?!?!?

Has Ezra’s lesson not sunk in?!?!?

How DARE they?!?!?

This is one lesson that if we wait until after we have learned what it means, it will be too late to ‘undo’ it!!!

What the (insert expletive of your choice) is going on?!?!?

Will I be forced to vote Liberal?

Damn them all!



add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank

Talking ‘live’!

Friday, 19th of June, 2009 – at 8 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time (i.e. GMT-4), my friend, Juggernaut, will be hosting a live BlogTV session:  learning about and discussing the differences between Canadian and American (as in, USAmerican) systems on such various issues as healthcare, education and other ‘public’ policies.

Juggernaut will be hosting:  everyone can join, either by signing up or by participating as a guest.

The link: http://www.blogtv.com/People/TheJuggernauts

I’ll be there – if you would like to add to the discussion, please, join us!

State is Mother, State is Father…

My dog loves the sofa.  He also loves blankets.

He absolutely relishes sleeping on the sofa – and this is one dog that has elevated ‘sleeping’ into an art form. Really – I have known many dogs, and owned a few, but I have never met a dog who relishes sleep like this crazy canine does!

Also, he does not like strangers to sit on his the sofa.  He’ll watch to see if the person gets up for some reason – even for a moment, sneak in behind them, steal the spot and immediately start pretending that he’s asleep, has been asleep in that spot for a very long time, and why is everyone getting all worked up about this?

He also loves to steal blankets:  and has been known to quietly grab a corner and, slowly but steadily, sneak off with the blanket of an unwary person lying down on the sofa, watching TV late at night.

When my son and I came home Monday, he greeted us with great enthusiasm.  He slithered off the sofa, stretched slowly and thoroughly, and wandered over to the front hallway to greet us.  Honestly – this passes as ‘enthusiastic’ from him:  sometimes, he just lifts his head off the sofa’s arm-rest and wags his tail a tiny bit to show he’s noticed you came in.

So, today’s was an enthusiastic greeting!  Then, after he followed me to the kitchen and stopped in front of the fridge, hoping that his beautiful brown eyes would hypnotize me to give him a pepperette, when – suddenly and visibly – a though struck him.

Quite suddenly, he abandoned begging communicating and, with unusual swiftness, he ran to the living room.  OK, we knew when we adopted him that he was ‘special’ and, though incredibly good natured, he was no border collie in the brain department – so I thought nothing of it.

Later, when I came into the living room, I noticed that he was not lying down on the sofa, but on a chair.  And he was not really lying down in his usual way… instead, he was more ‘splayed’:  all four paws spread as far apart as possible, his centre of gravity as low as he could get it.  His head was not resting, but just slightly elevated in a high-strung sort of way.  And his eyes…

His eyes were priceless!  They were ‘big’ – his ‘vigilant look’ (well, as vigilant as he gets) – with lots of ‘white’ showing.  And they were flashing, side to side – in a particularly self-pleased way!

Had his behaviour not been so ‘obvious’, I would not have looked around too closely to see what he was doing.  But, his very demeanour gave away that he was ‘being tricky’:  that he had ‘done’ something naughty and thought he was getting away with it!

It turns out that my son – in a fit of insomnia – brought his blanket down, watched some TV, then forgot his blanket on the chair.  The dog knows ‘bed blankets’ are off limits to him:  but this blanket was not on a bed, was it?  So he lay down on it, spread his body as wide as possible to hide the fact that he was indeed occuppying a ‘bed blenket’ which was currently ‘not a bed blanket’…  The dog was very, very pleased with himself!

So, what does this story have to do with my post today?

Yes, it was a bit of a long segway, and this story took me a few days to write up, but…

Monday, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty made an announcement.  Some person whose makes his living ‘educating children’ released a report today, saying that ‘children need more educating’!

Why, that is almost as convincing as a ‘Cure-all’ salesman saying this potion in this here bottle will ‘cure all’!!!  Better buy a few!!!

And, Mr. McGuinty, he is so concerned about the welfare of children, he’ll have to do what is best for all of the children! (Will somebody please shut up the parents of those pesky Autistic kids?  They’re not even photogenic:  no photo-ops from that lot!)

As I was saying:  Mr. McGuinty, he is so caring, he only wants what is best for the children!  And since that report by a guy who gets rich by sticking EVERY child into a ‘one-size-fits-all’ ‘institutions of teaching’, that is exactly what this kind and caring man announced he would do!!!

Aside:  make no mistake!  Our public schools are ‘institutions of teaching’, NOT ‘institutions of learning’!!!  They are centered around the needs and desires of teachers, whose powerful union regularly holds the whole population hostage by refusing to ‘teach’ unless it is ‘on their terms’ – ONLY!  Therefore, schedules, methodology, material and just about every aspect of ‘teaching’ you can name is tailored to suit the comfort of teachers.  Students, who have no union to represent them, are just pawns to be cycled through the system – a pesky annoyance to be minimized and with which the teachers have to put up with as a minor part of this ‘education system’…

So, what is it that this caring, loving man (who is reportedly married to a teachers’ union activist) proposing to do???

He wants to institutionalize our children for 10.5 hours a day, 5-days per week, 50 weeks per year, from toddlerhood on!!!

Of course, the words he used to make his announcement were not as direct as my statement of it is – but the meaning is identical.  His version is all about ‘what is best for the children’!  And he has that ‘study’ (by a guy who, among others, will have an increased revenue stream if McGuinty institutes) this to back him up!

Here is the video – I invite you to watch the body language:

Did you notice it?

The way he shifts his eyes, the way he enunciates certain words, the way he uses his whole body to help him spit out some ‘concepts’?

It’s that SAME body language my not-so-bright (but way more lovable than McGuinty) dog used when he was trying to ‘pull one over’!

This sent me ‘looking for’ what it is that is ‘the loophole’ here:  what is this man ‘pulling over’ on us?

I’ll rant more on this tomorrow….

add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank