Have you ever had a dream where your deceased pet is alive? I had one last night. I was on vacation and my golden retriever Pepi was with me. She looked so happy, healthy and her fur was so soft.
I told someone in my dream, “Doesn’t Pepi look good? Can you believe she was born in 1970?”
Next in my dream, I was frantically looking for Natasha, our rottie who died in the late 1990s. I sometimes have dreams with both Natasha and Pepi together. They usually are running and playing in fields ahead of me.
I feel so comforted when I have dreams with my pets, whether it’s Natasha, Pepi or Angus. They are my three dogs who crossed the rainbow bridge. It’s like a gift that I get to spend a little more time with them.
Pepi was in a litter of ten born to our golden retriever Kim — on my birthday — when I was in kindergarten. My dad sold all the puppies but Pepi, who was my childhood dog until she got hit chasing a car while I was away in college.
It offers five characteristics that people report about their dreams of pets. The dreams attest to the animal human connection we share. Here’s the one characteristic that rings true in my dreams:
The deceased pet often appeared young and healthy.
“My girl came to me full of life, love and happiness.”
“(My dog) was completely healed.”
In many visitation dreams, the deceased pets appeared not in their afflicted or stricken states toward the end of their lives. Instead, they are young, energetic, and healthy. The pets would play and interact with their owners in the dream.
When I was a first grader at Emerson Elementary in Snohomish, WA, our teacher said, “Please, raise your hand if you know the Golden Rule.”
I wasn’t sure what she meant by the “Golden Rule.” She pronounced each word with such emphasis and finality it made me wiggle in my seat because I wasn’t sure what it was — and it sure must be important. I looked around me and everyone’s hand had shot straight up. So, I shyly raised my hand, too. I thought hard and hoped she wouldn’t call on me. My mind raced through all the Bible versus our Mom spouted off at a fast clip each morning. The best I could come up with was from Matthew 5:39, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
After a sigh of relief when the teacher called on someone else, I learned that The Golden Rule was to “treat others how you wished to be treated yourself.” After that revelation, the teacher pulled down the white screen over the green chalkboard, turned off the lights and started up the projector to show us a black and white, approved for school circa 1950s, short film on “The Golden Rule.”
It seems her parenting advice is kind of a Golden Rule itself. Be the parent you would want to have as a parent Here’s an excerpt, but be sure to click on the link above to read it in full detail. It’s worth it and it’s not that long. She gives a list of things we can do to improve.
I just searched for the term “Parenting” in the Books section on a major online platform.
Do you know what I found?
Over 50,000 titles!
This makes me happy… and frustrated.
Happy, because if you’ve got valuable insights to share—on any topic—writing a book is a beautiful way to do it. (I’ve written 15 books
Frustrated, because… hmm. How do I put this elegantly?
Let’s try this:
Good parenting is not rocket science—and it shouldn’t require 50,000 books to help parents understand what is required.
As a parent, your job can be quite simple.
To care for your child, as you would care for yourself.
The problem is that many grown-ups don’t actually care for themselves in all of the ways that matter. They know how to care for themselves in the basic and fundamental ways—like brushing teeth, washing hair—but not always in the deeper ways, like maintaining emotional health or prioritizing self-respect and self-worth (which invariably translates into making positive choices.) Yes, making positive choices is a form of self-care.
The problem is that many grown-ups never learned how to truly be well-adjusted grown-ups, in large part because their parents or caregivers weren’t equipped to teach them everything they needed to know. So they tend to pass along that “shakiness” to their children, perpetuating the cycle of inadequate parenting and shaky life skills.
It is heartbreaking, but true.
This is a problem that 50,000 books are trying to help resolve.
This is a problem that I have devoted much of my 30-plus-year career in the counseling field to solving, too.
A lot of my early classroom memories are of teachers reading to us after recess, putting our heads down on desks to play a game called “Seven Up” — at least that is what I think it was called. And those black and white films the school would order. I’d love to see them now. I bet they’d make me laugh with how corny and contrived they were. They did then.
High school friends.We were all in the Yearbook staff together.
What do you think about the golden rule suggestion in parenting? Do you use it and try to parent differently than your mom and dad?
Here’s a different take on the college admissions scandal where wealthy parents have been bribing coaches, athletic directors and SAT proctors to get their kids into the schools of their dreams—maybe it’s not the fault of being a snowplow parent after all.
In an article from Psychology Today, written by Daniel R. Stalder Ph.D. called “Are We Overreacting to Snowplow Parenting?” he makes the point, “We may not want to shame all snowplow parents over the admissions scandal.”
In the recent college admissions scandal, some wealthy parents allegedly bribed and lied to get their kids into certain colleges. Although we’ve known for a long time that kids from wealthy families have advantages in higher education, the criminal element of this story is new. Parents are getting arrested.
Many of us have criticized these parents for such behavior. But along the way, some of us have gone further by criticizing their general parenting style.
As a professor, I’ve had to deal with cases of student cheating, such as smuggling cell phones into tests or copying a classmate’s answers. Such behaviors are wrong, but I don’t extend this judgment to other aspects of the students’ lives, such as how they study or take lecture notes. Is it different for judging parents who break the law?
Maybe. I’m definitely not trying to defend the alleged behavior. But several recent authors in The New York Times and elsewhere have gone further by using the scandal as a jumping-off point to criticize “snowplow” parents in general. In my view, everyday parents who seem to snowplow or hover get criticized enough without unfairly grouping them into a high-profile scandal.
Snowplow parents are usually described as parents who clear their child’s way of every obstacle, or shield their child from any stress or failure. Helicopter parents are similarly described as wanting to “ensure their children’s success” (Darlow, 2017). A common criticism of all these parents includes the adage that we learn and grow from our mistakes and failures.
I like the fact that this writer makes the distinction that the parents who broke the law aren’t just snow plow parents — they are doing something beyond annoying — they are acting immorally and illegally. While we helicopter and snow plowers may cross the line on what is helpful to our kids, we stop way before the illegal line.
In my profession, if I get a call from a parent demanding I change their child’s grade, does that mean this parent is a snowplow parent? If a student makes a similarly unreasonable demand, does that mean they were raised by a snowplow parent? I don’t know.
My first point is that there is an inability to see the whole at-home story based on a single behavior. This is partly to say that a particular parent might seem to fit a parenting label in one context but not another (Stalder, 2018). But even if the label fits a parent in general, I’ve observed other biases in criticizing snowplow (and helicopter) parenting. These biases include the strawman fallacy, dichotomous thinking, the converse error, and just not considering individual differences in children.
I enjoy that the article discusses the fact that it’s not a one or the other situation. It’s not black or white. I think that’s true for me. I may hover in one area, and not in another. We are after all trying to do our best to raise healthy, happy and successful kids. Maybe we need a break on the labels and blame?
Anyone else agree? What are your thoughts about the snow plow and helicopter labels on parents?
Sports are so great for our kids. They keep our kids active, socializing, learning new skills and life lessons. Unfortunately, some parents take the fun out of sports by not following the list of nine tipsI read in Psychology Today byFrank L. Smoll, Ph.D. In fact, if you’re tired of driving to practice and games or meets, try to do the opposite of the nine tips and your kids will be back on the couch in no time!
In an article posted a few years ago in Psychology Today called “Moms and Dads; How to help your son or daughter get the most out of sports” he has a list of nine tips that make a lot of sense:
“There’s no set formula, but the guidelines below are designed to increase the chances of producing favorable results.
Set a good example of an active person
Let kids participate in determining when they are ready for sports.
Give priority to your child’s own interests.
Don’t use sports as a babysitter.
Emphasize the process of enjoyment rather than the product of winning.
Emphasize striving to improve skills rather than comparing oneself with others.
Establish and maintain open lines of communication.
Evaluate your child’s coach.
Don’t live your dreams through your children.”
Of course, he goes into more detail on each point, but the basic list is helpful. For example, if you’re not moving and don’t value exercise like “number one” says, then your kids aren’t going to think it’s of much value to exercise either.
In “number eight on the list,” evaluating the coach, Smoll asks the following questions:
“Parents should talk to the coach, regularly go to games, and occasionally attend a practice. Additionally, they should ask themselves the following questions:
Are the young athletes treated with respect?
Are they being taught?
Are they given a chance to perform?
Are they made to feel what they’re doing is a fun activity?
If not, it may be necessary to find another team for your child.”
The National Alliance for Youth Sports, did a stury and found that around 70 percent of kids in the United States stop playing organized sports by the age of 13 because “it’s just not fun anymore.” We can be one of the major reasons why the fun disappears. If you’re more into than your kids, then chances are they’ll be part of that 70 percent.
In it for the long haul.
What can you do to become a successful sport parent?
I was questioning whether swimmers with good work ethics and some talent can ever be as great as swimmers with extraordinary talent. I “Googled” hard work vs. talent and I discovered “Hard Work Beats Talent (but Only If Talent Doesn’t Work Hard)”–by Piers Steel Ph.D. –The Procrastination Equation on Psychology Today from Oct. 8, 2011.
Complete with a chart the author discusses intelligence, rather than physical talent, but they are both inherited traits, so I believe they’re interchangeable. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Hard work vs Talent: Who Wins? In a world where we are ridiculously overcommitted to making sure everyone is equal in every way, a new study just published in Psychological Science contains some sobering news you might not like. In their paper “Limits on the Predictive Power of Domain-Specific Experience and Knowledge in Skilled Performance,” David Hambrick and Elizabeth Meinz kill the myth that talent doesn’t matter. We would love to believe, of course, that all we need to do to be the best is to try hard enough. You can be anything you want as long as you really want it: rocket scientist, pop icon, sport hero. There is no shortage of popular pundits promoting this myth. As Hambrick and Meinz point out:
Malcolm Gladwell (2008) commented that “The relationship between success and IQ works only up to a point. Once someone has reached an IQ of somewhere around 120, having additional IQ points doesn’t seem to translate into any measurable real world advantage” (pp. 78-79). In his own bestselling book, The Social Animal, David Brooks (2011) expressed the same idea: “A person with a 150 IQ is in theory much smarter than a person with a 120 1Q, but those additional 30 points produce little measurable benefit when it comes to lifetime success” (p. 165). Malcolm Gladwell and David Brooks are simply wrong. At least in science, a high level of intellectual ability puts a person at a measurable advantage-and the higher the better.
The people peddling this notion that talent is irrelevant often cite a 1993 paper by Ericsson, Krampe, and Tech-Romer regarding deliberate practice in which the researchers argue that success is usually built upon purposeful, thoughtful and intense efforts to improve performance over about 10,000 hours. This is true; hard work does pay off. The Beatles got to be so good because they had to perform their music four hours a day (eight days a week) during their two year stint in Hamburg. Bobby Fischer became a grandmaster at chess after years of honing his skills at the Brooklyn Chess Club.But that wasn’t the question. What we want to know is whether hard work makes talent irrelevant. Will every group that jams together for 10,000 hours become the Fab Four and every chess obsessed child become a world champion?
Hambrick and Meinz showed the basic relationship between hard work and talent in this chart. The vertical axis measures your level of performance. Higher up means spectacular. The horizontal axis charts your innate talent, in this case cognitive ability, what the rest of the world refers to as “intelligence.” Further to the right means super smart. The two lines refer to different levels of deliberate practice. The red line refers to those who have put in the hours while the blue refers to those who haven’t made the effort.
There are two things to take away from this. The first is that being smart is a useful thing to inherit, right up there with a large trust fund. The more smarts you have, the higher your performance. And despite what Gladwell and Brooks say, intelligence’s benefits don’t disappear; the more innate talent of any sort you have, the better off you are going be.
If you take a careful look, however, you will notice that those of us with more modest abilities do have a chance. Even if you weren’t born with genius in your genes, you can outperform the smartest of individuals as long as you work hard and the latter doesn’t. Also, the differences between the smart and the not-so-smart shrink quite a bit if they both work hard. That means that talent still counts, but hard work puts you right up there.
So, to answer my question about whether hard-working swimmers will ever match super talented swimmers–it all depends. Being a swim mom in the LSC Southern California Swimming means we were surrounded with talent. Every team has standouts and at meets, my kids had to compete with drop-dead amazing Olympic swimmers like Vlad Morozov, Abbey Weitzeil and NCAA champ and American Record Holder Ella Eastin. Those three swimmers I mentioned were blessed with talent–plus they work hard, too. That’s not a common combination.
I observed that many of the most talented kids didn’t learn to work hard. It was easy for them to compete and win. So growing up, they didn’t experience failure and how to turn that into motivation. In the end, I saw many of these talented kids quit swimming when they either had to work hard to improve or were no longer the fastest on their team or at meets. I believe a missing key ingredient that determines success in any field is passion. Passion is what drives a person to keep trying, working hard and enjoying the process and small improvements along the way.
I have to say that in my Masters’ group I notice that hard work pays off, too. I’ve been out for more than five months with an injury. Now that I’m back, I’m surprised at how much my friends have improved in my absence. They are the ones who are showing up every day and putting in hard work. They are swimming faster, are stronger and swimming more. It’s motivating to me to keep going and gain back some of what I’ve lost.
An age group meet at our Palm Springs pool.
What are your thoughts about talent versus hard work?
I’ve enjoyed Facebook to brag about my kids, reconnect with old friends and find out what they’re up to in their lives. In so many ways, Facebook can be a positive for us as individuals and society as a whole. As a Facebook user, I have moments when it makes me feel really good. Like when I reconnected with my best friend who I was rude to in junior high when I wanted to hang out with the cool kids. I hurt her feelings and I have never forgiven myself. Finally, I could apologize after all these years and continue our friendship—even if it’s only looking at each other’s photos of kids and travels.
But, now even Facebook admits that passively surfing through their website can make you feel sad. We know that perusing through glamour photos of our friends, looking at smiling faces of parties you’re not being invited to, or luxury exotic vacations can make you feel a little blue.
That’s why I found the article from Farad Manjoo this past week in the New York Times interesting. Here are the opening paragraphs from “Facebook Conceded It Might Make You Feel Bad. Here’s How to Interpret That:”
Facebook published a quietly groundbreaking admission on Friday. Social media, the company said in a blog post, can often make you feel good — but sometimes it can also make you feel bad.
Yes, I should have warned you to sit down first.
This is one of those stories where what’s being said isn’t as surprising as who’s saying it. Facebook’s using a corporate blog post to point to independent research that shows its product can sometimes lead to lower measures of physical and mental well-being should be regarded as a big deal. The post stands as a direct affront to the company’s reason for being; it’s as if Nike asked whether just doing it may not be the wisest life goal after all, or if Snapple conceded it wasn’t quite positive that it really was the best stuff on earth.
Consider Facebook’s place in the social-media firmament. Facebook — which also owns Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp — is the world’s largest and most profitable social media company. Its business model and its more airy social mission depend on the idea that social media is a new and permanently dominant force in the human condition.
So far, that idea has proved unwavering. Facebook’s leap into the ranks of the world’s most valuable companies less than 14 years after its founding can be attributed to this simple truth: Humans have shown no limit, so far, in their appetite for more Facebook.
But what if all that Facebook is not good for us? For several years, people have asked whether social media, on an individual level and globally, might be altering society and psychology in negative ways. Until about a year or so ago, Facebook’s public posture about its product had been overwhelmingly positive, as you’d expect. Facebook, Facebook insisted, was clearly good for the world.
Then came 2017. The concerns over social-media-born misinformation and propaganda during last year’s presidential race were one flavor of this worry. Another is what Facebook might be doing to our psychology and social relationships — whether it has addicted us to “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops” that “are destroying how society works,” to quote Chamath Palihapitiya, one of several former Facebook executives who have expressed some version of this concern over the last few months.
Mr. Palihapitiya, who is now a venture capitalist, made those comments during a talk at Stanford University last month; after the comments were widely reported this week, he walked them back. But his fears have been echoed across Silicon Valley and lately have become something like a meme: What if Facebook is rotting our brains?
This gets to why an otherwise in-the-weeds blog post from Facebook’s research team is so interesting. Though it is quite abstruse, the post, by David Ginsberg and Moira Burke, two company researchers, takes readers through a tour of the nuances on whether Facebook can be bad for you.
In Psychology Today, March 2016, Amy Morin wrote: “Science Explains How Facebook Makes You Sad And why you keep using it anyway.” Here’s an excerpt from her story, but if you read all of it you’ll learn that just being aware that Facebook can make you feel sad, can help you.
More than one billion people log into Facebook every day. Whether their intention is to post a duck face selfie, or they want to read the headlines from their favorite news outlet, Facebook remains the world’s most popular social networking site.
Of course, it would seem logical to assume that people use Facebook because it somehow enhances their lives. But oddly, research suggests the opposite. Studies show Facebook use is associated with lower life satisfaction.
Wasting Time on Facebook Will Make You Sad
According to a 2014 study published in Computers in Human Behavior, most people aren’t using social media to be social. Only about 9 percent of Facebook’s users’ activities involve communicating with others.
Instead, most users consume random pieces of content. And researchers found that passively consuming information isn’t fulfilling or satisfying.
Study participants experienced a sharp decline in their moods after scrolling through Facebook. Interestingly, they didn’t experience the same emotional decline when they surfed the internet. The toll on mental health was unique to Facebook.
Through a series of studies, researchers concluded that by the time people log out of Facebook, they feel like they’ve wasted their time. Their remorse over being unproductive causes them to feel sad.
I would have posted this pic of my kids on FB if it was around at the time.
What are your thoughts about social media and Facebook? Do you use it and how does it make you feel?