Tag Archives: youth

Failure or Opportunity? The Benefits of Shifting Our Views on the Meaning of School

Posted by: Anna Coutts on April 10, 2015 10:44 am

Learn /lərn/: to gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.learn

School is supposed be about learning. Unfortunately, it often seems our society is forgetting what learning is all about. In my practice, I’ve worked with increasing numbers of bright, talented and eager-to-learn youth who are unable to “succeed” at school. Many have become so overwhelmed by depression and anxiety about having to excel academically that they’ve ended up in hospital or have simply stopped attending.

For many kids, it isn’t this extreme. However, more and more youth are feeling the pressure to “get the grades.” Ask almost any teenager about what is more important, understanding the material or getting an A, and I guarantee you most would go with the latter. Yet it’s no wonder they feel so overwhelmed: all around them are frantic parents and teachers, instilling fear in youth that not getting the right grades will lead to failure in life. Failing a test, or worse, failing a class or a grade are seen as catastrophes that can destroy a person’s chance at a happy, prosperous life.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Why do we give more thought to what brand of jeans to buy than a career plan?

Posted by: Mark Franklin on December 5, 2012 2:58 pm

“Too many of the young and jobless have given more thought to what brand of jeans to buy than their career plan,” writes Neil Sandell in an article entitled Career education lacking in Canada  in the Atkinson Series on youth unemployment published in the Toronto Star.

It’s not just youth who suffer from lack of career clarification; adults too lack career clarity. We spend 100,000 hours in our careers, so why do we invest so little time – some estimates put it at less than 20 hours for the average Canadian – in focused career planning and exploration?

Sandell says that, for youth, the problem is a combination of unhelpful advice from parents, patchy career education, lack of career exploration experience, among other factors. You can hear more in my interview with Neil Sandell on Career Buzz.

From my perspective leading a busy career management social enterprise, CareerCycles, serving individual clients of all ages and stages, it’s a mess out there. Career management is arguably the most important 21st century skill, and yet the vast majority of Canadians don’t possess a high enough level of that skill, don’t realize they can learn it, and don’t know where to turn.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Encouraging and Empowering Girls

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on July 13, 2012 10:04 am

Empowering females sounds as though we are dismissing or ignoring males, but the truth is, both  genders desperately need to be equally empowered.  Therefore, while the intent of this article is to address female concerns and issues, the heart of the article should be applied to all of the human race.  

For far too long, the female gender has been plagued with stereotypes, typecasting, as well as, subtle and blatant discrimination.   There has been a long history of discrimination reigning down from religious orders, politics halls, and employment opportunities.  While blatant discrimination has become against the law in many countries; it is the subtle form of discrimination that we often overlook.   The discrimination in the female gender begins at a very young age.  “You shouldn’t buy Jill a Hot Wheel, rather buy her a Barbie Doll or a Littlest Pet Shop.” “Now Amy, let your brother carry in the groceries, for he’s a boy.”  “Amanda, let’s go shopping while the boys work on the vehicles.” “Tommy, you should let your sister wash the dishes, while you mow the lawn.” Now of course, not all of the above statements apply to all children, however, there remains a general outlook on specific roles that boys and girls should partake.�
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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Children, Youth, and Tobacco

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on June 26, 2012 9:13 am

“The health effects of cigarette smoking have been the subject of intensive investigation since the 1950s.  Cigarette smoking is still considered the chief preventable cause of premature disease and death…” (NLM, 2012, Online) The relationship of smoking and mental health disorders had long been overlooked and underestimated.  The primary reason for the underestimation, is that those who were addicted to cigarettes, as well as having a mental health disorder were often within the norm of society. 

Tobacco has a significant effect upon one’s emotional and cognitive wellbeing.  Have you ever witnessed someone who is desperate to have a smoke? They are often agitated, anxious, jittery, and in some form of emotional distress.  Tobacco’s primary stimulate is nicotine which is linked to being the catalyst for its addictive nature. Nicotine is said to be more addictive than cocaine, methamphetamine or alcohol.  

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Why Reading is Important for Your Children

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on April 10, 2012 4:33 pm

The benefits of reading to children is severalfold.  As young children, we are comforted by the calm voices of our parents and the physical contact received while being read to.  The initiation of reading develops a bond between parent and child.   

As your children develops,  you can introduce them to picture books, nursery rhymes, easy readers, and various transition books, which help expose them to many academic, psychological, and life principles. 


A major area of concern in today’s society, is the phenomenologically increase or lack of parental-child attachment. We live in a society that has become so technologically savvy, that we are beginning to loose our personal intimacy with one another.   

Attachment begins in the early stages of development.  It is an emotional and physical interconnection that occurs when mother and/or father and child have an opportunity to bond.  The bonding occurs through physical touch, comforting, playing, verbal and nonverbal communication, and intentional and/or unintentional affection. 

The benefit of reading is that you are purposefully paying attention.  You are offering a gentle voice and soothing embrace while reading your chosen literature.  Therefore, children have a greater propensity of bonding with their parental caregiver.  

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Mental Health Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Children and Youth

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on January 5, 2012 4:47 pm

As therapists we should approach the therapeutic environment as an investigator, seeking to offer the right path of care for our patients.  Sometimes that path may take us down roads that go beyond the psychotherapeutic environment; while other times we may desire a collaboration with other practitioners.  Chiropractors offer competent care for individuals suffering from a host of physiological, as well as, psychological needs. 

As always, it is recommended that you regularly consult with your primary physician on the benefits for your child.  Likewise, it is also recommended that you provide your child’s complete health history and medication history to the chiropractor.  Be certain that your chosen chiropractor has a working knowledge of child and youth related disorders, diseases, and health related matters.  It is always recommended that your health professionals are working collaboratively.  Do not forget that you are your child’s best health advocate and authority. 

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Blog #6? Perhaps I’ve lost track

Posted by: Curtis Stevens on June 22, 2011 2:05 pm

I seem to have lost track of my ongoing writing.  My last entry illustrated the use of re-framing in helping a client set goals.  There is a science, or perhaps an art to taking undesirable events and reframing them into something useable.  It is more than just looking on the bright side – but actually changing the content/tone/perceived intent of the event into terms that are workable for the client and, perhaps, the therapist.

 I once had a client tell me – in reference to his over-zealous parenting approach – that parenting is just like “breaking a horse.”  Even though I am an Alberta boy, I knew nothing about breaking a horse and proceeded to tell this parent so.  I told him that he might as well be talking about training a dolphin as I don’t know very much about that either.  What I did know was that when training dolphins, the trainers don’t beat, scold, timeout, or withdraw any form of affection for not performing.  In fact, according to my rudimentary knowledge, the trainer simply rewards the dolphin with a treat for performing and step toward the desired outcome.  For example, if the dolphin were to touch it’s nose on a hoop – paired with a signal, it would get a treat.  Once that was successful, the signal would be given and the hoop raised and so on until the dolphin is jumping out of the water through the hoop to the signal.  In this case, the reward is a fish. 

 When dealing with troublesome behaviour of youth, it is rather unproductive to focus all of your energy on pointing out what the youth is doing wrong – believe me when I say they already know.  In fact, primarily all it does is set up a division between parent and youth.  Set a goal – decide the painfully smallest steps in reaching that goal and focus your efforts on rewarding the completion of the small steps.  If you’re having trouble getting your youth to attend school, go for a drive or a walk by the school, and if they happen to look at the school while you are going past, throw them a fish (figuratively speaking).  When they take a step toward the school, throw them a fish.  However, I wouldn’t recommend using a fish all the time.  A “good job” and a pat on the back go a long way – especially if most of your previous interactions have been fighting over the task.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA