Fatherlessness Can Kill Our Children

“More than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father.  Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent.  If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.”–fathers.com 2012

We spend so much time condemning, chastising, and berating fathers who just ‘walk away’ that we don’t stop long enough to consider what exactly is going on with them. We see the headlines or read the story part way through and then don’t finish it thinking we know how the story ends. We get angry at  fathers for being low lifes who don’t deserve kids yet we seldom ask how can we help stop this from happening. We recycle old ideas and programs, pretty them up some, and then throw some money at the problem and declare that we have developed a new program or approach that will help to fix the problem but nothing changes. We don’t reach out to fathers to get their side of the story and we certainly don’t reach out to hear what the kids have to say. We don’t ask how to help but rather seem more interested with who is to blame.

Are there some moms out there who need to be helped–absolutely. Are there some men-fathers- who are guilty of abandoning their families-absolutely. Is that the case for all dad’s–absolutely not.

There are many dads who want to be involved in their sons lives who are legally prevented from doing so. Rather counter-productive in the end and its the child who is punished because the parents can’t get their stuff together..

How do we lessen the burden that many moms experience as a single parent? How do we do this without crushing any opportunity for a father to parent his son?

But what amazes me most is how the health systems and the legal systems can’t figure out why there is such a horrific drug problem among our kids. Why is there so much violence and growing suicide rates? Why are gangs becoming almost unstoppable?

Let’s take a look at some of the side effects for a kid who grows up without a father and then ask ourselves those same questions over again. Imagine being a kid and facing these issues everyday. In the U.S. they describe fatherlessness as having reached epidemic proportions. There are approximately 20 Million kids who are fatherless.

Poverty–Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families. Fathers are important too.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”

Physical and Emotional Health–Children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.

Educational Achievement–Children living with their married biological father tested at a significantly higher level than those living with a non biological father.

71% of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father-absent homes are more likely to be truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.

Crime–A study of 109 juvenile offenders indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency.

Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy

Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree.

Perhaps if we were to actually pay attention to evidence like this and if we decided to deal with the issues as a responsible society void of prejudice, bias, religion and politics and began to look at the issues attached as social issues that involve human lives worthy of our attention, energy and care we would be better off.

Let’s try to put the true welfare of the child FIRST for a change instead of considering what sound bite or position will get you votes. Let’s help BOTH moms and Dads be responsible for the wee life that they each helped to make. The responsibility of nourishing that life doesn’t stop at the front door or a border somewhere. Moms need to drop the anger and the outrage. They need to stop using their kids as a ‘tool’ to hurt the other parent. Moms need to help support and promote that relationship between fathers and sons not destroy or discourage it. It would be better for Moms in the long run as well. Legal systems need to stop punishing dads and come up with a better approach that encourages a co-operative approach. Parents don’t have to like each other they just need to put the needs of the kid ahead of their own.

Fathers need to step up and take care of business meaning looking after their family. First priority-bar none. If mom is the full time parent then help her do the job. Give her what she needs to do the best she can. If dad wont do the right thing then lets make sure that Mom has ALL the resources she needs to do what’s important.

Lets encourage parents to stop making the kids suffer for what the parents can’t sort out. It really is the parents who need to grow up not the kids.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by–Jim

Comments can be made at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo resources by debuglies.com–used for research, education and criticism purposes. I receive no benefit from the use of this image)

Are We Becoming More Authoritarian or Safer? Tough To Tell For Sure.

When I was a younger man knives were used to do a few things. Cutting your food at the table, surviving (hunting, skinning something), securing or preparing a food supply or carving as in creating an artistic image of some kind. Sure there were other uses but these were the main ones. But today, as the research shows, a knife has become the weapon of choice used by more unhappy, angry, disgruntled or mentally ill people than at any other time in our history-well perhaps not if we take into consideration that time before guns were invented. Those who want to create more violence-deadly violence or just inflict pain on someone else are using knives and they don’t seem to be constrained by rules and regulations-not yet.

It is so much easier to get a knife than to get a gun. It is cheaper by far therefore more affordable. Any hardware store or any fish/tackle store, any hunting shop will be happy to sell a knife to someone. Almost anyone can walk into a hunting shop and purchase a 6 inch Buck knife with little trouble. A four or five inch blade is big enough to take a life. A two inch blade is enough to cut a throat. Knives are much easier to conceal and much lighter to carry. Many folks have said that a knife is more scary than a gun and they are quiet to use which again makes them scary.

Police have reported finding knives that are 2″ pen knives to large machetes on people when they have been arrested for something unrelated. Who needs to carry around a machete?? Really! It seems there is a great deal validity to the claims of vastly increased knife use. Crimes using knives and doing bodily injury or killing/stabbing people is up around 20% in the last year. In the last 2 months alone, in London, there have been 31 stabbing deaths many of which have occurred in the immigrant controlled parts of the city. As well, according to police, gang members are given points (not sure toward what great reward) for people they stab as a part of a game they play. These are crimes perpetrated by humans not by a group of runaway or uncontrolled knives or guns.

Having said all of this and made some points that suggest a modest shift in the world around us we are still missing the bigger picture. We are still either refusing or remaining stubborn enough to leave our heads buried in the closest dirt pile we can find. THE TYPE OF WEAPON that is used to kill or maim others IS NOT THE PROBLEM. What will it take for the law makers and the “great thinkers” to get it. There are two very important issues that are being ignored here, whether on purpose or not. How can we continue to disregard that which is apparent to so many of us out here. We cannot legislate morality or individual value systems. That takes education to do that.

The two important issues I spoke of are:

  1. The nearly out of control violence that has rendered our neighbourhoods nothing more than killing fields, is/has been perpetrated by fatherless sons–those young men who are or have been without the benefit of a strong and healthy male role model. These young men are full of grief and anger and violence and resentment and hatred. They populate most of the street gangs that steal our freedom and safety and security on a daily basis. Look at the figures. Listen to the experts and listen to the many young men who keep telling us what is happening on the streets and we STILL refuse to consider it is too simple an explanation.
  2. The other problem is that our broken education systems are not exposing information to our children that would encourage a solid developmental basis of self-management skills. Curriculums haven’t changed much in 50 years and have not met the changing times with relevant approaches but rather are just providing an environment to move data from a system that has been failing for a long time to a group of learners who are bored and not interested in what the “system” is trying to push at them. It is hard for the “system” to admit that what they are trying to “teach” is not relevant anymore and no matter how much they try they can’t find a way to make it interesting. There needs to be more than evolution taking hold in schools–there needs to be a revolution–a new birth of thought and approach. We need to be teaching our children how to think and to learn not how to remember. Bored kids will only find interest and excitement in other places and that’s what is happening now.

We are burying more innocent people and blaming a gun or a knife or an acid bomb for the travesty. Does that mean that that same weapon is now responsible for creating a remedy to the problem since it was initially to blame? That would be ludicrous. Legislating a solution will not work. It hasn’t so far and will not in the future either. People kill other people. If not with a gun or a knife or a bomb then it will be something else and I shiver at the thought of what that might be. It’s time we got real and started to recognize where violence originates. Deal with the Genesis not the symptoms.

Anyways, that’ how I see things, All the best, Jim

Send your comments to:  jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo image by telegraph.co.uk. Photo resources used for education, research and/or education purposes. I don’t realize any monetary gain from their use)

Can You Name The Most Important Social Issue Of Our Time?

I will likely keep writing about this until people finally hear that we are not doing a very good job of taking care of our young. Of course this is not about all parents nor does it refer to all kids. But there is a very important social issue that we are not acknowledging as we should and it is costing us the lives of the innocent. For instance the recent shooting in Florida was perpetrated by a young man who is/was fatherless. Of the 27 mass shootings in U.S. history 7 of those occurred after 2005 and were perpetrated by young males. Of those 7, 6 were committed by fatherless sons. If that doesn’t concern us it should. We are witnessing a problem that is more important to deal with than the other social issues we have identified. This is not to take away the importance of dealing with homelessness or poverty or abuse but rather to indicate just how severe THIS issue is.

I will soon write about the fatherless female issues as well but lets look at the young males first since they are the ones that are better researched.

Like it or not males and females are not the same. We are different with very different wants and needs and social issues and socialisation issues. Right from day one of our lives females and males are treated differently. Baby males are still mutilated at birth (the ritual of circumcision) in many countries and the act is seen as a “normal” thing where it is now against the law in many countries to mutilate young females. We have different genetic make-ups. A recent study reported in the Daily Mail identified over 6500 differences between males and females genetically speaking. So can we stop the rush to androgyny and concentrate on the real problems of fatherlessness that directly influences the characters and personalities of our children-both male and female. Can we just accept and allow our kids to be who they are without fanfare and love them for WHO they are and less about WHAT they are. I get there are kids who really struggle with their identities but the public and social issues connected to fatherlessness is considered by many to be at the genesis of much more violence, death, destruction and danger.

Take another look at the information at the top of the page (title box). There are about 24,000,000 kids (about 35%) who are living without a father influence in their homes in the U.S. In Canada 80% of single parented homes are led by Moms. The numbers and the consequences are proportionately similar in both the U.S. and Canada. That is a great deal of energy and potential that is running around with no place to displace it or take advantage of it except through violence, gang life and self destruction. So what are we not doing that we need to be doing to begin to rectify this massive social problem?

In my mind there are a couple of places to start. One, obviously, is the family home. The legal system needs to take a look at how it treats single fathers and custody rights, support payments, non-support payments and what is in the best interest of the child or children. To jail a father who is unable or even unwilling to pay support does nothing but separate the family and exacerbate an already terrible situation for the child or children. I’m not saying he shouldn’t support his family but threatening his job or incarceration is simply not the answer. It has never worked and it will never work going forward. Making it even harder to pay makes no sense. The other option is to redefine our school system and what education really means. I understand that our culture has changed and the “rules” of living have changed but the one thing that has not changed is people. We still have the same needs as we did 500 years ago. True we get those needs met in different ways today but they are still the same needs. Go back to Maslow’s Hieracrhy–food, shelter, clothing, water, air, sleep and to reproduce. Further on we need to feel we have purpose, we are connected to something or someone, able to receive love and be able to give love. This is where the whole process has broken down. We no longer pursue the traditional family system. We have many excuses for not doing so and since I don’t believe in coincidence (I’m mostly a cause and affect guy) I have to look at the changes we have made in family, church, values, morals, only to recognize that we are not near as well off regarding safety and security as we used to be. As a society and community we have allowed the break down of the “traditional” family and the values and morals that were a part of that to have little meaning. The question then is are we better off today? and if we want to change things how far back do we need to go?

Schools and their curriculum have a massive role to play. I’ll be commenting on why I say that and how that could work quite successfully in coming weeks. Education needs to include a “whole learner” approach meaning that kids are now in need of learning how to self manage their emotions, develop/learn new coping strategies in order to deal with depression, addictions, anger, stress, boredom. Key here is to learn how to deal with being fatherless in todays world.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, Jim

If you have a desire to comment one way or another please connect with me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo resources are used for education, research or criticism purposes only. I derive no financial benefit from the use of these images)

What’s Worse Than Being Angry, It’s Being . . .

This past week presented me with an opportunity to re-think an old issue–trying to understand what the difference is between anger and revenge. It appears to many this is the same issue just spelled differently. I have come to understand them as being very different from one another.

Anger is an emotion. It is often triggered in us as a response to something unjust–something that has happened that is wrong, unwanted or something that has challenged us in some way for which we may have no reply. For instance, being criticized in public in the presence of family or friends or being challenged in some way that is clearly an effort to embarrass us. Our response to anger is usually not pre-meditated but rather a defensive act of some kind either verbal but sometimes physical. Anger is also very powerful. It can be used to summon energy or direct emotional energy into an act that sometimes focuses on a reply that is not warranted or is not calculated. It just happens. I’ve known people to experience ‘whiteouts’ meaning losing all sense of what is happening around them at a particular time and then becoming aware that damage of some kind  has been done to another person or property.

ANGER can also be used as a force for change-a cause of some kind. It can be used to focus on creating positive outcomes when tenacity may be needed to stay a particular course of action. Anger can be used to mobilize and motivate people to become engaged in social change where ‘wrongs’ have been perpetrated on those who have little or no political power-no voice. Perhaps they are people who are always being used in some way for the gain of others. It could be about helping the homeless folks receive a better deal than they are getting currently. It can also help us deal with danger and threats to our personal safety. The point is anger is NOT always a negative thing.

So anger is an emotion. It is usually displayed as a more immediate reaction to a threat or challenge of some kind. Seldom is it planned.

REVENGE is a crafted response that has been created after thought and consideration over a period of time. There is no real good that can come from acts or behaviours that are born from ‘getting even, proving a point or showing up the other guy’. I can hear many who are reading this groaning about another ‘do gooder’ or ‘bleeding heart’ but the fact remains that some people spend countless days, weeks or even years planning and plotting their revenge. Hate grows and poisons people to the point where they can think or feel nothing but negative emotions. There is no room for joy or celebration and certainly no chance to gain any peace.

Some believe that to do nothing about a perceived wrong would be, in some way, disloyal or perhaps indicate that you don’t care about what happened. That is not true at all. We all show our grief in different ways.  I admit it feels good sometimes when a bad guy gets what he has coming to him/her but it is short lived. In the end it is not as satisfying as the planner would have hoped. Once the deed is done there is a huge vacuum left in us with nothing to fill it with. As good as it may feel at the time the ‘bad guy’ wins again because he/she has stolen something from us and we gave it up willingly–our time.

The other day a guy asked me the inevitable question: what if someone took or hurt your child. Wouldn’t you want to get even? Wouldn’t you want to hurt that other person so bad so they would know what it felt like to be hurt as they hurt others? Honestly–damn right I would. I would want to see justice done. I would want that to be at my hand. No doubt about it.

The power of revenge has no bounds really. I know, for me, I would not want to waste my precious time on someone who didn’t deserve another minute of it. I would not spend time trying to ‘forgive’ nor would I try to forget. I would spend time, I hope, remembering my child and how precious he/she was and how important they were to me. I would want to remember what good they brought to the world. I would honour them and I would cry for them and I would live my life for them as well. Spending time plotting and scheming would only find me in a negative hole so deep I would not be able to climb out and carrying through with the plot to ‘get even’ would not help me escape the pit I had fallen into. Truthfully I’m not sure how I would overcome that but I do know what I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t keep the hurt alive by remembering it everyday. That’s what happens when we try to figure out how to make the other guy pay.

So revenge is a behaviour. I understand that it is fuelled by an emotion but I ultimately have control over how much time and energy I will spend on planning and plotting my revenge. Once I execute my plan or plot I realize that nothing can or will be the same again. I’m not sure that is the legacy my child, using this example, would want from me.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, Jim


Please send this along to family and friends. If anyone has a comment to make please send it to me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com or through my web site at: jimcloughley.com

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We Are Not Doing This Right And It’s Costing Us Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars . . .

Do I have all the answers–no I don’t. I don’t suggest I do. However, I feel pretty certain about the answer to the following question: Why are we spending millions and millions of dollars needlessly every year on a ‘war’ that doesn’t exist? I understand what folks are trying to say but we have gotten lost in the meaning of the words. There is no war on drugs. How can you fight something that has no conscience, no soul, and no heart beat? It can’t be killed. This whole business about a war is nonsense. Is there a problem with alcohol and drug addiction–a huge one. No denying that. There are no individual freedoms to be gained-just grief. Strange, though, how we struggle with the idea of someone choosing to end their own life for whatever reasons-humanitarian or not. I guess we really will do anything for money after all.

By the way. In my opinion legalizing cannabis was a dumb-ass decision that will turn out to be a costly error in judgment. Use it for medical purposes of course. Should have happened 20 years ago. For ‘recreational use? Nothing good can come from this except the revenue-shame on us for selling out. (For more info click on the underlined text). Just what we need–another mind altering drug on the street with about as much success keeping it out of the hands of the under 18 crowd as they have realized with alcohol. Best of intentions my ‘butt’.  If we wanted to go after drug dealers we need look no further than our own back yard. Let’s look at Big Pharma and physicians who over prescribe and don’t follow up with the folks they prescribe it to as a part of our drug problem. Now those are tangible targets. Perhaps we could ‘wage war’ on them. Canada currently spends over 2 Billion $/year on this ‘war’. We might as well rip up the cash for the good it is doing. The strategy just does not work. It never has and it never will. There isn’t any evidence that suggests our efforts have reduced the global drug problem. Granted there are large quantities of drugs coming into our country. We should do what we can to reduce that amount but we are missing something quite fundamental here.

Why don’t we spend that money trying to influence the DEMAND side of things instead of the supply side of things? “WHY” is the question that should be asked and a solution to the answer would seem to be a more prudent approach. Why are people using? No one–NO ONE–gets up in the morning and decides that they want to be a drug addict. People use illicit drugs and over prescribed prescription medication because they provide relief of some kind. It is often the only product that does this without rendering the user useless or unable to function at a level that allows him or her to perform their duties at a job or to provide for their families. They are easy to come by and often unable to detect. Being a quick fix society and that is certainly what we have taught our children to do-take the quick way out–we often hear “just take this and you’ll be fine.”

We need to put a hefty portion of our ‘war chest’ into treatment programs and approaches that are well thought out and which treat the source of the problems people struggle with instead of dealing with the symptoms of those issues. Let’s take on things like loneliness, isolation, depression, fear, anger, resentment, panic and anxiety, feelings of being disconnected from life around them and that they don’t belong-need I go on. We are using alcohol and drugs as the great equalizer because it is the only thing that seems to work. Obviously, it doesn’t make the problem go away but it does provide some relief from the constant, daily presence of issues that can be dealt with. We also have to ask “why” do our children feel the need to risk their lives just for the buzz? What are they trying to tell us as their parents, their mentors or their role models? My guess is that they are really disappointed with what we have NOT given them. Things like our time, our love, our guidance. You go figure that one out and perhaps they will stop harming or killing themselves. Either by accident or design, they are still gone.

When we are able to reduce or eliminate the demand side we won’t have to worry near as much about the supply side. That will take care of itself.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. All the best, Jim.  Thanks for stopping by.

Please send this along to friends and family.

Comments will find me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

Disclaimer: Photo resource used for education, research or criticism purposes. I derive no financial gain from the use of this photo.

So You Want To Be The Best Parent You Can Be Eh? Then Stop Doing This . . .

So you want to be the best parent you can be–good for you and good for your kids. The problem is most of us don’t quite understand what that means much less how to do it. Many parents think that we have to be tough on our kids to make them responsible. We also think that how our kids are seen is a direct reflection on us as parents. Still, other parents will say that they need to make sure their kids respect them and showing weakness is not something that is helpful to the development of the child.  Admirable to be sure but not very helpful or inspiring. All this with the best of intentions. Go figure. Unfortunately, intentions aren’t enough. A knowledgeable foundation is what is needed. As parents, we are our children’s teachers. What is it we want them to learn from us?

I have always believed we need to have a comprehensive parenting program in our schools. It needs to be an integral part of any child’s overall education. Not just some 3-hour class to pay subject lip service and to say it happened but a program that looks at all the different aspects of parenting and one that encourages the input of the kids themselves.

Let’s take a look at one of the most misunderstood but good intentioned practices in the whole parenting business. That is mistaking praise for encouragement and encouragement for praise. So many parents see these as interchangeable or similar in meaning when just the opposite is true. By not understanding the differences we can create more confusion for our kids that can, sometimes, morph into mental health and self-determination issues over a period of time.

What is it most kids want to do more than anything?? To please their parents-to have their parents see them as skilled and talented and good at many things. They want to know that their parents see them as capable and that they are pleased with who they have become or are becoming. Nothing wrong with that but this is where most parents drop the ball.

  1. One of the major mistakes that parents make is believing that kids learn best by being punished for what they do wrong. As parents, we need to learn that it is OK for kids to make mistakes. That’s how most of us learn, isn’t it? We don’t learn much from what we already do right. Should there be consequences for poor choices made-absolutely but it doesn’t have to be punishment. Just a simple question is often enough to learn something valuable without diminishing the impact of the decision. “So what would you do differently the next time?”
  2. Our love for our children should NEVER come with conditions attached. Our kids need to know that our love is unconditional and will not waver in the face of poor decision making or a lapse in judgment. This is absolute. We need to let them know that our love for them is not negotiable and does not depend on their successes or non-successes. “I will always love you no matter what.”
  3. Parents need to understand that perfection is not the goal nor should it be. Our kids are not machines and their best effort is what needs to be recognized here-NOT a comment concerning the outcome. They don’t want to hear “Don’t worry I know you’ll beat him next time.” What our kids are likely to hear is parental disappointment–that he/she was not good enough. What they need to hear is a parental comment on the great effort they put out like “did you give it all you had–then good for you”. Their performance should never be tied to a parents disappointment about their effort. Let’s not ‘judge’ them but rather let’s just accept them for who they are becoming. Kids are no different than adults in that there are days when they will perform better than others. That’s just life. They won’t compete any harder if they are discouraged.
  4.  As parents, we need to make comments on what we observe. “Even though that was a really tough job, you got it done–thanks”  or “It looks like you worked really hard to get that assignment done on time.” Our comments need to be more about their effort, not our satisfaction. They will often work harder the next time because they know that we appreciate what they are doing and how they are doing it.
  5. Our kids need to hear support, not frustration from us as parents. What they really need from us is for us to help them learn how to think and not what to think.When our kids are concerned about ‘what to think’ so they can be seen favorably by others that’s a problem because it takes away their freedom to choose who they will be in their lives. We want our children to learn ‘how to think’ so that they are free to make decisions that are in their best interests and not the interests of others.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. All the best and thanks for stopping by–Jim

Comments will find their way to me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com  OR  jimcloughley.com

Please pass this article along to family and friends, with thanks.

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The Week That Came And Went . . .


It seems as though there are some differences among some folks about what I meant by titling my last book as I did. Let me explain. From a male perspective, I believe that a man’s work is truly never done. I have not said so to belittle women or to downplay the enormous contribution they make to our world. On the contrary, women work as hard if not harder across the board than men in my humble point of view. They work at a job, they look after us and they raise families, often alone even if a man is about. So it’s not that.What I recognize is the role that men play in the big picture. The research continues to prove that men play a particular part in the family structure and in society that women don’t or can’t. Visit the CCRC website to gauge the true value of fathers. Men teach their sons how to be male and what that means in terms of responsibility. Young men look to their fathers for guidance around managing their emotions appropriately and how to be respectful of women. We are seen as role models for our sons and daughters but more so for our sons. We have information to provide them and they listen when we express ourselves with passion but also with care in our hearts for others. They pay attention to how we manage our anger and how we manage our relationships both in the home and in public. What does a father teach his son at a hockey game when he is yelling at the refs and gets into a punch up in the stands with another kids father?  NOT  MUCH. Our sons look to us as guides who set boundaries when they get a bit older. But the biggest thing is that we encourage our sons to pass along the knowledge they have received and the discoveries they have made for themselves to their sons and they encourage their sons to do the same. That’s how it’s done. SO–a man’s work is never done it keeps going on forever.

I hope this clears that up some.

All the best, Jim

Truth Talkin’ Thursday:

Check Jane and I as we discuss the mistakes that people make when trying to make decisions for themselves. Many folks struggle with this-we’ll suggest a couple of things that might make it a better experience. Look for T.T.T. on U-tube or in your web email box.

A Forward Thinking Program:

Just putting the finishing touches on it and then we will begin the process of getting folks to comment on it. If you are interested in having us come to a meeting or a club function to discuss this vitally important as speakers and presenters we’d be pleased to make that happen. It’s all new and coming to a school near you. Contact information at the end of this newsletter–with thanks.

My Music Choice For The Week:

There is no end to this man’s skill and talent. He writes beautiful love songs and proves that they are not gone and forgotten (to play just double click on the rose)–Enjoy

Comments and questions will find me at jimcloughley.com   OR   jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

Please pass this along to family and friends, all the best, and thanks for stopping by.


You Wanna Survive?…We Will Need To Slay The Three Headed Dragon For The Best Chance!

I read, with great interest, an article in the Toronto Star dated June 19, 2017, that was describing the latest attempt to honor another of the Prime Ministers’ election promises. Actually, I find it refreshing–a politician who actually does what he said he would. But to do it just to say it’s done is a poor reason to spend over 101 million dollars over the next 5 years as well as 21 million per year? I think part of it is to assist the Status of Women program and part is for collecting data to help develop a program concerning domestic violence However, a quote from the article above concerns me a bit:” The game plan will include a way to develop and share research on everything from street harassment to getting boys and men involved in solving the problem.”  This implies that men and young boys are responsible for the problem.Why then is there money going to build a ‘Center of Excellence’ for women. I would think it would be built so that the perpetrators (implied to be men and boys) could be rehabilitated or reprogrammed somehow. Contrary to some information there is stark evidence to suggest that women also get involved in domestic violence and even lead the statistics when it comes to domestic violence against children in the home. Solutions, therefore, need to come from both sides of the equation and not just the male side.We are both guilty of violence and that is the overriding issue for me and not the number of cases.

Above I mentioned a ‘three-headed dragon’ that sits in wait for humanity to implode. And humanity will implode if we continue down the trail we are currently travelling. We will NEVER solve this issue between men and women unless and until we begin to treat each other with the respect and dignity that we EACH deserve from each other irrespective of gender identities and assignments. We are ALL human beings FIRST and then men and women. We are supposed to be this great nation that showcases our acceptance of other cultures and we can’t even accept each other for who we are as men and women?  Understanding morality and moral values comes from years of education and living what we preach to our kids. That isn’t turning out well either. Turns out we TALK a good game but not much else.

The three-headed dragon I mentioned is comprised of three main social issues that we refuse to address for some reason.

  1. Education
  2. Fatherlessness
  3. Violence. (The acceptance of violence as a way of life. (TV, Movies, Fashion, Music, Print Media, Innuendo that is now creeping into our Politics–just look south folks it’s not hard to see)

Our Educational system is failing on several fronts to adequately prepare our children for the realities of the 21st Century global marketplace. It is possible to experience a much stronger and relevant program for much less money. Anyone interested??  However, our planners refuse to consider wholesale change as an option. Ironically we talk about the need to research (see above) yet there is so much research done on this topic dating back to 1962 with the Hall-Dennis Report and we STILL won’t consider the findings and suggestions that had great appeal. The small changes which have happened have not been big enough or broad enough and not wide enough to do what needs to be done. To paraphrase Charles DeGalle–“Education is far too important to leave in the hands of bureaucrats.”

Consider Fatherlessness and how many billions of dollars  (click on highlighted link and then Fatherless Canada) are spent on social and connected services every year dealing with the outcomes of a system that is terribly broken. The court system needs to be changed and the social system needs to consider how to keep fathers involved in their children’s lives in the event that dad leaves for whatever his reasons. Stop judging. Today dad is punished for leaving and that works against the children as well as mom. Mom needs to be helped. She also needs to be a part of the solution to this rapidly growing crisis. Often times now she is part of the problem. Let’s find a way to help her and support her without using the kids to do it. There is a great deal of research that supports the contention that children need to have a father figure in their lives to understand the social messages that help keep them better informed and aware of what appropriate behavior is about. If the education system is not going to do that in earnest then men-fathers-need to be able to exert that kind of influence and for that, there has to be some consistent contact between father and son.

Violence is so prevalent it has become acceptable these days as part of the entertainment. In movies, TV, fashion, print media and music videos, women are marginalized and used as bait for young men to view as toys and not to be taken seriously. I’m not a prude by any stretch believe me but I find it disingenuous for feminists to go off on men and at the same time sanction the portrayal of how young women are used for ratings and viewership. Can’t have it both ways I’m afraid. 

When we chop the ‘heads’ off these three dragons we will see the equality we ALL hope to see and experience. In the mean time let’s stop throwing money out the window thinking that we are doing something good when not much has changed.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, Jim

Please pass this on to family and friends. Comments will find me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com  OR  jimcloughley.com

This photo resource is being used for education, research or criticism purposes only. I derive no financial gain from the use of this photo. Photo supplied by muskegonwindowtinting.com

Be Who You Are But Who Is That? . . .

If this is your child, how do you communicate with him? It’s certainly possible and he is reaching out to be understood so how so you do that?

I may have mentioned this topic previously and if I did-read it again for the first time. It is great information and can really add to the quality of your life.

Have you ever wondered why your kids don’t always listen to you and you have to resort to raising your voice or threatening in some way? Have you ever wondered why you and a friend or a spouse have difficulty making yourselves heard by the other? Have you wondered why you have difficulty getting along with or communicating with co-workers or a boss or superintendent?

One of the reasons why this happens to us is because we are communicating in a way that makes sense to the other person involved. We have different personalities and so we process information differently.

It is a well researched fact that we, as human beings, possess  characteristics and traits that help to make up our personalities. We have preferences we respond to and certain ways of dealing with crisis or stressful situations. We don’t ALL respond to these situations in the same manner.

Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers worked extensively on the whole topic of determining personality back in the early 1940’s.  This idea of distinct personality types goes back to Pythagoras in ancient times so the topic has been investigated for quite some time.

A teacher by the name of Don Lowry, in 1978, created a way of determining personality types which actually represented basic learning styles. He called his program ‘True Colors’.  In order to keep the learning styles separate and understood he assigned a color to each of the four identified types that described what each style demonstrated or indicated according to a person’s particular behaviour. Apparently he chose these particular colors because he didn’t want any possibility of connecting a color with a particular race or religion of any kind. Generally most people show a behavioural preference to one of the colors but can be influenced by the second most dominant color.

Gold characteristics-very stable and security minded; ‘on time’ people; good ‘soldiers’ meaning they followed instruction and direction well; are very much in tune with the ‘organization’ and are great planners and detail oriented. They tend to be very loyal.

Green characteristics-thinkers and researchers who need to answer the compelling questions of the day. Things like ‘ which came first the chicken or the egg’–they need to understand the reasons need to make sense.

Blue characteristics-very ‘people-oriented’. Blue folks are often more likely to be influenced by their emotions and more interested in how others are doing. They tend to be drawn to the arts and activities that demonstrate expression and feelings.

Orange characteristics-tend to be very good at multi-tasking and very spontaneous. Take on challenges often as a second thought. They generally are good with their hands and adapt reasonably well to physical challenges.

Personality types, of course, can be altered or changed depending on the environment and circumstances someone finds themselves in but for the most part the primary and secondary responses tend to be more likely.

Given this very brief description of the The Colors model, we can begin to see how understanding this important distinction could be very helpful when parenting more than one child in the family. The challenges begin when the parents try to parent the kids all with the same approach. It doesn’t work very well and the outcome tends to be struggle, conflict and disobedience. To be more successful parenting multiple kids first try to determine the kid’s personality type and then ‘talk’ to him/her or relate to him/her using language and behaviour that matches. It is highly unlikely that all the kids are of the same personality.

The True Color Model has a variety of applications. This is a wonderful tool to use in relationships and when delivered appropriately produces more positive outcomes and much less bickering and feeling misunderstood by each other. It can be used to communicate with co-workers and supervisors by observing their behaviour and listening to how they respond to particular questions you can figure out if they are Orange, Blue, Gold or Green. When you do, learn how to speak or treat them using their particular color characteristics to make yourself more clearly understood.

This is a model that NASA has used in the past. Corporations like General Electric have used this and still do in some areas. It works and it is simple to understand.

Go to the True Color website and locate workshops that are being offered in your area. I used to train the trainers so I am well versed with the model. It is well worth the money you will spend and the quality of your family’s life experience is likely to change noticeably.

Anyways, that’s how I see it.

All the best and thanks for stopping by, Jim

Please forward this article to family and friends. Comments are always welcomed. Please send them to: jimcloughley.com  OR  jim.lifechoice@gmail.com


I have used this photo resource for the purposes providing education, referring to some research or criticism. I do not or have not received any monetary benefit from using this photo in any of my articles.

All About This Week . . . Things To Say To Your Kids When They Mess Up


I have said many times that, as parents, we have no greater teachers than our kids. When I think of all the things that my kids have taught me about being human, compassionate, and accepting I am amazed how I ever taught THEM anything.

Ann Landers once wrote: “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings”. Pretty smart stuff from Ann I think.

Instead of blowing up at them for making a mistake, one of the greatest lessons we could teach our children is to not only accept the mistakes they make but to be sure to learn something from them. It’s bad enough that they will suffer whatever consequences there may be for making a mistake or exhibiting poor judgement but let’s not compound that by missing a great opportunity to present them with an important life lesson. This does not mean that we don’t take their poor judgement or their mistakes seriously. But we compound  it all by being angry with them or by punishing them somehow. If this is your style please stop it. It is actually harming them in many ways.

The following are some ideas and questions you might want to share with your son or daughter the next time they mess up  in order to help your kids to learn something of value.

If we really want to make a difference in the lives of our children we need to remember a couple of things:

  • We all learn from the mistakes we make and not from our successes.
  • No one learns by being screamed at.
  • Tell your kids that you don’t expect them to be perfect but you do expect that they will learn from the mistakes they make.
  • Ask them what they would do differently faced with the same challenge again?
  • Remind them that your love for them is unconditional and isn’t lost from them by mistakes they might make.
  • Because you may be their parent isn’t reason enough for you to take responsibility for their choices or decisions. At the same time demonstrate your willingness to help seek viable solutions.
  • Be sure to acknowledge their efforts to make things right and for accepting the responsibility for what may come.

Making mistakes is part of growing up. Helping our children find solutions and teaching them new skills that would provide a different kind of outcome the next time a similar problem arises is a parents job.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by, Jim

Comment to me at jimcloughley.com  OR  jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

Please send this ahead to family or friends.


Photo by parentingmojo.com has been used for used for education, criticism or research purposes only. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this resource.

Truth Talkin’ Thursday:

Jane and I actually disagreed-well sorta–about my comment regarding parenting. I said that if parents didn’t want to make their kids their #1 priority then they should not have brought them into this world. She said . . .  well you can find out what she said by going to U-Tube and going to Truth Talkin’ Thursday Episode #32

Forward Thinking Program:

It’s finished–the third draft of our new paradigm outlining a new concept and program regarding educating our children differently in order to prepare them for the 21st Century market place. There is no homework, no standard testing, learner centered curriculum and why all of it is vital to our children’s education if they are thrive and prosper in the years to come. I will begin to put more on this site in the coming weeks and would like to receive your thoughts pro/con. Please let me know what you think–Jim            Comment to me at: jimcloughley.com OR jim.lifechoice@gmail.com




Author Jim Cloughley's 
Brand New Blueprint For Learning