Your Worst Day Ever: David Avocado’s Himalayan Salt Debunked

I love this article sooooo much. Not about raising kids, I know, but definitely appeals to my skeptic nature. Can’t believe how many people follow this guy!

Bad Science Debunked

I’ve had more than one good belly laugh over the scientific absurdities of David Avocado Wolfe, a believer that water is a living organism whose attitude is shaped by the path taken through the pipes entering one’s house.12 Adding to the fun, Mr. Wolfe’s fog of incomprehension regarding electricity is fodder for an upcoming article debunking his horrifically expensive “Zapper” and grounding mat products, so do stay tuned for that.

But as I launch my 2016 #DontCryWolfe series exposing this man’s dangerous pseudoscience (e.g., turning cancer patients away from effective treatments in favor of bogus vegetable cures), I’d like to kick things off with what has become the forte of my blog: proving that internet hucksters like Wolfe are selling products with exactly the same ingredients they claim will kill you.

As an example, let’s look at this Himalayan Crystal Salt available from Wolfe’s Longevity Warehouse:1Capture

Wolfe makes…

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10 Huge Misconceptions About Emotional Child Abuse

Very poignant piece.

The Invisible Scar

[via Neal Sanche] [via Neal Sanche] “How could you have been abused?” a grossly misinformed person in an adult survivor’s life may say. “You had a roof over your head, food in your belly, clothes, and no one ever hit you!”

But as every adult survivor of emotional child abuse knows, the essentials—good attention, unconditional love, and emotional support—were missing.

Unfortunately, however, many misconceptions about emotional child abuse abound. Here’s a look at some of the biggest ones.

Misconception #1: Emotional abuse is another word for verbal abuse

Fact: Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse, non-verbal abuse, and non-physical forms of abuse.

“Child abuse is more than bruises or broken bones,” state Melinda Smith, M.D., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D, in a HelpGuide article. “While physical abuse is shocking due to the scars it leaves, not all child abuse is as obvious. Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making…

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The problem with “I have a boyfriend”

I’ve never been able to put my finger on my thoughts about the “I have a boyfriend” claim, but this is it exactly!

Of Means and Ends

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Many of us have probably met a woman who wears a fake engagement or wedding ring to avoid advances by men. Often times women will offer up “I have a boyfriend” as a magical phrase to get men to leave them alone and stop hitting on them. It’s understandable that women want to avoid a conflict, especially when men often won’t take “no thank you” for an answer.

But there are disturbing undercurrents to this practice. Women are conditioned to be “nice” and not cause problems. While of course we should all employ basic human decency and politeness, when that doesn’t work it’s often hard for women to be firm and unequivocal when they want to be left alone. There’s an assumptive attitude that some of these men have in assuming that a stranger they just decided to talk to owes them some kind of explanation for not being interested…

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Belief in…Everything?!

My husband was recently in a conversation with a co-worker, and it somehow came up that her 3 boys, aged between 11-15 still believe in the Easter Bunny. I was absolutely flabbergasted. In addition, of course, they also believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, and easter bunnypresumably every far-fetched fairy tale we’ve invented to go with every holiday.

One of the online groups I’m part of ironically posted a question today that asked, “How old do you think is too old to be believing in Santa, Easter Bunny, etc.” My response to that question is “as soon as the kid is capable of rational thought.” I was shocked by how many people responded, “no age is too old.”

Really?? So believing in Santa when you’re 20 years old is perfectly fine? Why is that fine?? Why are we perfectly willing to accept and promote gullibility?

Some comments I frequently hear are:

– Santa is just the name for the “feeling” of magic

– the holiday is more fun with the magic of the Easter Bunny

– kids are innocent, why take that away, let them believe as long as possible

I call bullshit. What this does is preps our kids to be willing to accept something without any reason other than “somebody told me so.” Holidays are in no way diminished by my girls’ lack of belief in a fairy tale origin for the holiday. They don’t miss it because they were never taught to believe in it. They just enjoy the holiday for what it is….an opportunity to take some time off school and shove as much chocolate into their faces as possible….isn’t that what it’s really about for kids anyway?

You may say, what’s the big deal here? Why am I so upset about kids believing in a bit of fun and magic? It just happens to be a pet peeve of mine, that I get told I’m taking my kids’ innocence away because I don’t promote these crappy stories. And I think it sets kids up for a willingness to accept things on faith. Not just little things either – ridiculous things. A bunny that delivers chocolate to all the kids for Easter? A fairy that takes your nasty dead teeth and leaves money in it’s place?

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Don’t get me wrong, I give presents, and chocolate and all that stuff. I just don’t claim that something else did it. They know the presents are from me, or their grandparents, or whoever else. How does that make the anticipation of treats any less special?

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I Don’t Want To Protect My Daughter. I Want To Prepare Her.

I couldn’t have written this better myself.

Thought Catalog

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I, like most parents, have this vague philosophy by which I’m attempting to raise the product of my uterus. Currently, it amounts to something like this: I don’t want to merely protect my daughter from the world; I want to prepare her for it. I don’t want to fence her in with electrified barbed wire and white pickets made to look like ‘love’, I want to expose her to the world she was brought into, the one she’s going to have to find her way through on her own someday. You know, with a yard that isn’t fenced in and windows we crack open at night in the summer, or some other equally obscure metaphor.

A few years back I made a ‘play date’ (man, that term always brings home ‘white-middleclass’ in the worst possible way… /cringe) with a co-worker. I had been putting off this little adventure for quite…

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My Brand of Feminism

Alright, I’m going to play this game. I have been cruising the blogosphere for the last couple weeks, and I have Imagenoticed a lot of misinformation going around about “Liberal Feminists” and “Feminazis.” It seems like whenever I post a comment on someone else’s blog, especially on a more conservative-minded one, I get labelled this by someone, and then my comments are disregarded beyond that point.

Yes, I am a liberal, and yes, I am a feminist. But that doesn’t give you the right to pigeonhole me into a box that you think I fit into.

I am sure I don’t have to tell you, but this is beyond frustrating. I follow one particular conservative blog – because I am apparently into self-torture – and this issue comes up time and time again.

FYI, if you don’t like what someone is saying, it is not acceptable to give them some kind of condescending label, and then use that label to dismiss them! That in itself does NOT defeat their argument.

So, for the purposes of clearing this up, I’m going to write a small list of what feminism is for me:

  1. Women deserve the same opportunities as men.
  2. Women’s voices should be heard just as much as men’s, and given equal weight.
  3. “Women’s” work is valuable – and shouldn’t be done solely by women.
  4. Women’s equality does NOT emasculate men. Men’s insecurities do that.
  5. Women are not to be defined by their roles in relation to men.
  6. Neither being a working mother or a stay-at-home mom are more honourable than the other.
  7. Women should have the right to own her own body, it’s functions, and it capabilities.
  8. Do not define me based on how I look.
  9. Just because I am a woman, doesn’t mean all I care about are “women’s” issues.

These are my first thoughts.

I wish we didn’t live in a society where being concerned about equality is seen as a fringe idea or a negative ideal. I wish we didn’t live in a society where men and women are at such odds. Why is my advancement seen as threatening to men?

The author I frequent always describes feminism as “emasculating.” So, women are supposed to just shut up and live under your heel so you don’t feel any loss of power?? That sounds like a personal problem to me, honestly. I know there are plenty of men out there who don’t feel threatened by powerful women. They, my friend, are the REAL men.

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Who needs sleep?

SleepI haven’t had a full night’s sleep in almost 6 years. I was never a good sleeper to start with, and then with the addition of children in my life, it’s all gone to hell. I’ve gotten embroiled in a new problem now though, it’s not simply that I have trouble sleeping, it’s that I’m apparently no longer allowed to sleep in my own bed.

My 2.5 year old has never really suffered from separation anxiety. In fact, when I drop her off at daycare in the morning, she runs off to play with her buddies, barely taking the time to kiss me goodbye! But somehow, once we are in the comfort of our own home, she is my little shadow. I must do everything for her. She doesn’t want Daddy doing anything. Do you know how difficult it is to cook dinner while carrying a 2 year old?

This has recently carried over into the night. She typically goes to bed fine at bedtime, although I am usually the only person who can tuck her in. Then at some point during the night, normally between midnight and 2am, she comes traipsing out of her room, blankie in hand, and comes into our bedroom. I have to take her back to bed, and for the past 2 months, I spend the rest of the night on a fold away mattress in her bedroom. I feel like I am back to the mind-numbing sleep dep days of having a newborn.

I have no idea why this started. She was sleeping through the night in her own room without any problems for about a year when this abruptly started happening. I have been told varying things, but for the most part I am advised to let her cry it out. There are a number of problems with this approach:

  1. Her bedroom shares a wall with her sister’s bedroom, and there’s one thing worse than having one little girl awake in the middle of the night….2 little girls. I don’t want to have to deal with her sister being awoken as well.
  2. I hear everything. I am the lightest sleeper in the world. If I leave her to cry it out, I will simply be lying in my own bed listening to her cry, so this does not help me get any more sleep either.
  3. I cannot physically listen to her cry for me and do nothing. I can’t imagine anything worse for her than calling out for me and feeling like I’ve abandoned her.

So, my plan is to simply keep on trucking. I can handle being sleep deprived, maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s a mom thing, but I seem to be able to function on a daily basis with very little sleep. Maybe my body has just gotten used to this as the new “normal.” What I can’t handle is losing the trust of my kids. I want her to know that I will be there for her, even if she just needs that little bit of reassurance during the night that mom’s beside her. I know she’ll eventually grow out of it, and go back to sleeping on her own. I hope it is sooner rather than later, but I’m quite sure that she’ll continue to have sleep problems if she feels alone.

I don’t see why people have a problem with this type of supportive parenting. Just because generations past were raised in a “tough love” environment and survived to tell the tale, doesn’t mean that we should perpetuate that kind of thinking. Sure, my parents spanked us, and yelled at us, and controlled us, and never let us have a voice – and I came out on the other side okay. I still know how all of that made me feel, and I cannot knowingly inflict that hurt on my girls. I will be as supportive as I can in my parenting choices, while helping them develop their own independence.

And I guess that starts with sleeping…

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Princesses…Really?!

Princesses

My daughter is into princesses. Like, really into princesses. She wants to grow up to be a princess. I had to gently inform her that that wasn’t a viable career option. But, alas, she still wants to be one.
We clash every day over this. She has to wear pink and purple every day. She has to have her hair down even though it gets tangled and messy. Half the time she wants to wear a sundress to school even though it’s -30 degrees. And every day she informs me of what she wants to be for Halloween next, and it’s always some version of a princess.

The feminist in me cringes every time. She insists on watching the traditional princess movies where the young protagonist’s only goal is to find her prince and get married. My daughter plays a different version of the “getting married” game every day.

For a long time I just tried to discourage her from it. But then I stumbled upon the story of Princess Boy and his family’s struggle to accept it, and I thought wow I have it way easier! Claire is who she is – she loves pink, she loves dresses, she loves to be “fancy”, and visualizes all sorts of people and animals getting married and having families. I suppose I should take it as a good sign, that she loves our family, and wants all of her toys and stuffies to be married and have happy families.

It’s not that I have a problem with her liking dresses, or wanting to look pretty. Maybe she’ll be super girly her whole life, who knows? My problem with the princess narrative is that it is so one-dimensional. I know that women in general, and my girls, are capable of so much more than being a wife. I want them to grow up with their own preferences, and opinions, and not to be afraid to voice them. I want them to pursue whatever it is that makes them happy, whether that is being a ballerina, or being a mechanic. But I realised somewhere along the way that my need for her to look “proper” was already stifling her personality. I was already trying to change her instincts.

So, I stopped trying to convince her to wear different clothes every day, and my mornings are a lot less stressful. Sure, sometimes she goes to school looking like she got dressed blindfolded, but who cares? If you can’t get away with it when you’re 5, when can you? I let her talk about princesses, and marriage, and ask me questions about it. I also encourage her to be interested in other things, and try and emphasize self-sufficiency.

Plus, she is also obsessed with dinosaurs, and spiderman, so maybe there’s hope that she’ll grow out of the princess thing…

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Is It Tough Love?

My daughter recently told me one of the girls in her class had a sister that died in a car crash. Tragic, yes? Then she said, “now her sister is in heaven.”

Ouch. I certainly didn’t expect to have this conversation with her so young – she is in kindergarten! Luckily, my daughters haven’t had to deal with loss yet, and so I haven’t really had to talk about it much. But her comment has had me thinking about how to approach it, and how to make it age-appropriate.

I have been hearing a lot recently about how religion offers comfort in times of loss, and it eases the feelings of despair and hurt that losing someone close can cause. I don’t doubt this to be true. But I also worry that by telling my children that someone is in heaven when they’ve died, that they aren’t going to learn real coping strategies for the inevitable loss and tough situations that happen during their lives.

Now, I’m definitely not an advocate for tough love in general. I admit to being a bit of a pushover…I just don’t like to see those little faces upset! My girls are 2 and 5, and up to this point, I have found the best way to teach them to act appropriately is just by modelling the right kind of behaviour. I am kind to others, compassionate, polite, and respectful. I make an extra effort to act this way in front of my girls, and for the most part they are very polite and well-behaved.

However, after saying all that, I do believe in tough love when it comes to these types of “hard topics.” I don’t believe in lying to my children to make things easier on myself. I touched on this a bit in my post about Santa Claus, and my philosophy stands with this subject as well. I am not doing my daughter’s any favours by shielding them from the reality of loss. When they are little, I can make sure to be there for them, and talk them through it. I know that as they grow up they WILL have to deal with varying types of loss – it is inevitable. I believe that honesty is always the best policy.

Kids in this younger age group take things very literally, so telling them that someone has gone to “a better place” or something to that effect will only result in confusion. They will take that to mean that death is a location, somewhere people can go, and maybe return from. They need to know that the person who has died is not coming back. Also, telling a kid that “God took your friend,” or it was “God’s will” that someone died could possibly be very scary and even more traumatizing for them then the actual loss.

So in the end I had a brief conversation with her about what it meant that her friend’s sister went to heaven. I explained that sometimes people say that when a person dies they go to heaven because it makes them feel better. But I was very careful to tell her that heaven was not a real place, and that the person didn’t “go” somewhere, they died. She accepted this and said she understood – I don’t think she did really. I don’t think she can grasp the finality of death at her age. I do feel that I’ve introduced the idea to her though, and I will continue to reiterate the idea of heaven being just another word for death, and that it isn’t a real place.

Maybe you think it’s tough love for me to be this honest with such a young child. I disagree. I think it is loving, and responsible for me to be honest and open with my children about these tough topics, and to treat them like the smart little people they are. They are intelligent enough to understand, and I respect them more by telling them the truth.

 

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Yet Another Abortion Debate!

I have gotten embroiled in several separate abortion debates as of late, on several different blogs. It seems as though almost any topic can be brought around to abortion once you start debating about morality. So, even though my blog is brand new, I’m going to just go ahead and jump in with both feet and write about abortion. Specifically, the issues that seem to come up again and again when I’m debating with Christians.

First, it annoys me to no end that because I am pro-choice, the right wingers I have been debating jump to calling me “pro-death.” That is at the same time both extremely incorrect and incredibly insulting. I am not pro-death, quite the opposite actually; I am against the death penalty, I am against violence,  I am against endangering women by forcing them to go to backwoods doctors in desperation, and I support universal health care and social programs that protect and care for those that are born. I care about lives that currently exist.

Second, I have yet to be given a reason to oppose abortion for anything other than religious values. The right to life argument inevitably comes down to a belief that we are all “God’s creations” and are somehow miraculous. All you have to do is watch the Discovery Channel or National Geographic to see how perfectly ordinary birth is for all mammals. It happens everyday, and is in all species. We don’t value a fetus of any other species as much as a human one, but aren’t they all “God’s creations?” I realise that we all have the freedom to practice whatever religion we like, and have whatever religious beliefs we like (including none!), but that freedom does not extend to imposing those beliefs on anyone else. So if you want to make abortion illegal, you had better come up with a reason other than ‘your religion tells you it’s wrong.’

Third, just because I am an atheist, doesn’t mean I have no morals. So you cannot dismiss my ideas out of hand because I don’t base my life and values on a book. I do things because I value other people, and I want to live in a society where people care about one another. I don’t do things because I’m afraid that I’ll be punished in the afterlife, and I think this is the key point in saying that my morals are better than a Christian’s. What would the Christian (or any other religion) do without their bible? Would they then say all actions are fair game and go around stealing, and murdering, and raping? If that is what you think people would do without their immortal blackmailer, then I am seriously concerned about your morality.

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