Adonis Diaries

Middle-class parents damaging their children by not being able to say ‘no’

Mollycoddling‘ and ‘helicopter’ parenting leaving primary school children poorly behaved and ill-prepared for real life, expert warns

Middle-class parents are damaging their children by not being able to say “no”, a top child psychologist has claimed.

For many teachers, bad behaviour in the classroom does not stem from the pupils themselves but the parents, according to Dr Amanda Gummer, a research psychologist specialising in child development.

“Wild, unruly children are increasingly likely to be the progeny of so-called ‘helicopter’ parents,” said Dr Gummer writing for the Daily Mail, “those who give intensive, one-on-one attention to their child and pander to their every whim, fuelling a ‘little emperor’ syndrome.”

From her experiences of working with primary school teachers, she said, the attitude and behaviour of middle class parents in particular was far more shocking than that of their children.

“They are ruthlessly ambitious for their child’s future — failing to realise how badly their mollycoddling is preparing them for the compromises of real life,” she said.

“While we’ve long known this hovering parenting style can create children unable to make decisions or exhibit independence, what’s less often discussed is how aggressive and difficult the children of helicopter parents — often middle-class, professional and, to their minds, devoted to their darlings — can be at school.

Recent Department for Education figures revealed as many as 35 children a day were being permanently excluded from school for bad behaviour in England alone.

Just under a fifth of those expelled were at primary school, including some children as young as four – a figure that has more than doubled over the past four years.

Dr Gummer suggested the perceived increase in expulsions can be linked to the combination of poor behaviour and lack of personal skills as a result of bad (wrong?) parenting.

“Imagine: little ones so helpless they need assistance to go to the loo and put on their shoes, yet who are utterly unafraid to biff their teacher on the nose,” she wrote.

“Too many of these children have never heard the word ‘no’ levelled at them at home.”

Previous studies have suggested parents who exert too much control over their children could be causing them psychological damage later on in life.

A 2015 study by University College London tracking more than 5,000 people since birth, found people whose parents had intruded on their privacy in some way, or encouraged dependence were much more likely to be unhappy in their teens, 30s, 40s and later on in life.

“Children need rules, boundaries and opportunities to feel the cold, go hungry and fall down and hurt themselves, so they can learn from their mistakes,” concluded Dr Gummer.

“If they are deprived of those basic life experiences at home, it makes educating them a far greater challenge for their teachers than it ever need be.”

Millennials are struggling at work because their parents ‘gave them medals for coming last’

“These children struggle in the classroom because they cannot cope with not being number one,” she added. “So they play up to try to get the attention they have been raised to believe ought to be all theirs”.

Teachers were being “frustrated to tears” as a result of these attitudes, she said.

Sat Aug 5, 2017 10:14AM
Arrivée du premier train redonnant vie à la célèbre « route de la soie », le 15 février 2016. ©AFP
Arrivée du premier train redonnant vie à la célèbre « route de la soie », le 15 février 2016. ©AFP

Est-ce la renaissance “eurasiatique” ce dont ont peur le plus les États-Unis à chaque fois qu’ils évoquent l’avenir des relations entre l’Iran d’une part et la Russie et la Chine de l’autre?

Or en dépit de tous les obstacles dressés par Washington, la route de la soie finira par renaître.

Le projet de la ligne de chemin de fer reliant Khaf, en Iran, à Herat, en Afghanistan, sera lancé d’ici une semaine, selon Abbas Nazari, directeur des affaires internationales de l’Organisation des Chemins de fer.

Interviewée par Sputnik, cette autorité iranienne détaille ce projet :  « À la faveur de cette liaison ferroviaire, l’Afghanistan aura accès, via l’Iran, à onze corridors de transport internationaux, y compris à une sortie sur la mer. »

Cet énorme projet permettra aussi à l’Afghanistan, à l’Inde et au Pakistan d’avoir un accès direct aux marchés d’Asie Centrale, d’Europe et de Russie, en évitant les ports et le canal de Suez qui est surchargé, ce qui n’ira pas sans déplaire à l’Égypte et à ses alliés israéliens et américains.

Selon le responsable iranien, l’Iran et les pays impliqués dans ce méga projet comptent sur cette ligne de chemin de faire pour intensifier les échanges non seulement entre l’Iran et l’Afghanistan, mais aussi entre l’Iran et l’Europe car cette liaison ouvrirait aussi et surtout un corridor de transport qui relierait la Chine à l’Europe.

De l’Ouzbékistan jusqu’à Mazar-i-Sharif, en Afghanistan, 27 km de voie ferrée ont été posés par lesquels transiteront quelques cinq millions de tonnes de marchandises chaque année.

En effet, l’Iran rallie sa voix à l’Organisation de coopération économique (ECO) dont les dirigeants ont convenu de la nécessité de construire une voie ferrée qui relierait la Chine au Kirghizstan, au Tadjikistan, à l’Afghanistan, à l’Iran et à l’Europe.

Et la sécurité? 

Abordant le problème de la sécurité sur ce tronçon de la voie ferrée, M. Nazari a estimé qu’il s’agissait plutôt d’un problème politique et que les entreprises iraniennes engagées dans ce projet n’avaient connu jusqu’ici aucun problème de sécurité.

La Chine est le principal partenaire commercial de l’Iran. Et les deux pays veulent porter leurs échanges à 600 milliards de dollars d’ici dix ans, contre environ 50 milliards actuellement.

Les sanctions US contre Téhéran revigorent d’ailleurs cette dynamique. La route de la soie a permis de transporter pendant des siècles les marchandises, dont le précieux tissu, entre l’Asie à l’Europe.


Before European Christians Forced Gender Roles, Native Americans Acknowledged 5 Genders

It wasn’t until Europeans took over North America that natives adopted the ideas of gender roles.

For Native Americans, there was no set of rules that men and women had to abide by in order to be considered a “normal” member of their tribe.

In fact, people who had both female and male characteristics were viewed as gifted by nature, and therefore, able to see both sides of everything.

According to Indian Country Today, all native communities acknowledged the following gender roles: “Female, male, Two Spirit female, Two Spirit male and Transgendered.”

“Each tribe has their own specific term, but there was a need for a universal term that the general population could understand. The Navajo refer to Two Spirits as Nádleehí (one who is transformed), among the Lakota is Winkté (indicative of a male who has a compulsion to behave as a female), Niizh Manidoowag (two spirit) in Ojibwe, Hemaneh (half man, half woman) in Cheyenne, to name a few.

As the purpose of “Two Spirit” is to be used as a universal term in the English language, it is not always translatable with the same meaning in Native languages. For example, in the Iroquois Cherokee language, there is no way to translate the term, but the Cherokee do have gender variance terms for ‘women who feel like men’ and vice versa.”

The “Two Spirit” culture of Native Americans was one of the first things that Europeans worked to destroy and cover up. According to people like American artist George Catlin, the Two Spirit tradition had to be eradicated before it could go into history books. Catlin said the tradition:

“..Must be extinguished before it can be more fully recorded.”

However, it wasn’t only white Europeans that tried to hide any trace of native gender bending. According to Indian Country Today, “Spanish Catholic monks destroyed most of the Aztec codices to eradicate traditional Native beliefs and history, including those that told of the Two Spirit tradition.” Throughout these efforts by Christians, Native Americans were forced to dress and act according to newly designated gender roles.

One of the most celebrated Two Spirits in recorded history was a Lakota warrior aptly named Finds Them And Kills Them. Osh-Tisch was born a male and married a female, but adorned himself in women’s clothing and lived daily life as a female.

On June 17 1876, Finds Them And Kills Them gained his reputation when he rescued a fellow tribesman during the Battle of Rosebud Creek. An act of fearless bravery. Below is a picture of Osh-Tisch and his wife.

Osh-Tisch (Left) and his wife (Right)

In Native American cultures, people were valued for their contributions to the tribe, rather than for masculinity or femininity. Parents did not assign gender roles to children either, and even children’s clothing tended to be gender neutral.

There were no ideas or ideals about how a person should love; it was simply a natural act that occurred without judgement or hesitation.

Without a negative stigma attached to being a Two Spirit, there were no inner-tribal incidents of retaliation or violence toward the chosen people simply due to the fact that individuals identified as the opposite or both genders.

“The Two Spirit people in pre-contact Native America were highly revered and families that included them were considered lucky. Indians believed that a person who was able to see the world through the eyes of both genders at the same time was a gift from The Creator.”

Religious influences soon brought serious prejudice against “gender diversity,” and so this forced once openly alternative or androgynous people to one of two choices. They could either live in hiding, and in fear of being found out, or they could end their lives. Many of whom did just that.


Syrian Democracy

Robin Yassin-Kassab. Qunfuz

(I can’t blame you or the western states if you think Syrians are condemned to an unpleasant binary choice, between Assad and the jihadists: Media don’t care about social developing details on the ground)

Interviewing activists, fighters and refugees for our book “Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War”, we discovered the democratic option is very real, if terribly beleaguered.

To the extent that life continues in the ‘liberated’ but brutally bombed areas – areas independent of both Assad and ISIS – it continues because self-organised local councils are supplying services and aid.

For example, Daraya, a suburb west of Damascus now suffering its fourth year under starvation siege, is run by a council. Its 120 members select executives by vote every six months. The council head is chosen by public election. The council runs primary schools, a field hospital, a public kitchen, and manages urban agricultural production. Its military office supervises the Free Syrian Army militias defending the town.

Amid constant bombardment, Daraya’s citizen journalists produce a newspaper, Enab Baladi, which promotes non-violent resistance. In a country once known as a ‘kingdom of silence’, today there are more than 60 independent newspapers and tens of free radio stations.

And as soon as the bombing eases, people return to the streets with their banners. Recent demonstrations against Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaida’s Syrian franchise) across Idlib province indicate that the Syrian desire for democracy burns as fiercely as ever.

After five years of horror, protestors repeat the original revolutionary slogans of freedom and unity. Assad, having no answer to this, bombs the province’s marketplaces in reply.

Where possible (in about 45% of cases), the local councils are democratically elected – the first free elections in half a century. For the poor, these are the first meaningful elections in Syrian history.

A Syrian economist and anarchist called Omar Aziz provided the germ. In the revolution’s eighth month he published a paper advocating the formation of councils in which citizens could arrange their affairs free of the tyrannical state. Aziz helped set up the first bodies, in Zabadani, Daraya, Douma and Barzeh, all suburbs of Damascus.

He died in regime detention in 2013, a month before his 64th birthday. But by then, as the Assadist state and its services collapsed, councils had sprouted all over the country.

Some council members were previously involved in the ‘tanseeqiyat’ committees, the revolution’s original grassroots formations. They were activists, responsible first for coordinating protests and media work, then for delivering aid and medicine. Other members represented prominent families or tribes or, more often, were professionals selected for specific practical skills.

In regime-controlled areas, councils operate in secret. In Selemmiyeh, activist Aziz al-Asaad told us, security constraints meant that the council practised “the democracy of the revolutionary elite” – only activists voted.

But in liberated territory people can organise publically. Anand Gopal reported in August 2012 that the citizens of Taftanaz had elected professional councils – of farmers, merchants, teachers, students, judges, engineers, the unemployed – which “in turn chose delegates to sit on a citywide council …  the only form of government the citizenry recognized.”

These are tenacious but fragile experiments. Some are hampered by factionalism. Some are bullied out of existence by jihadists.

Menbij, a northern city, once boasted its own 600-member legislature and 20-member executive, a police force, and Syria’s first independent trade union. Then ISIS seized the grain silos and the democrats were driven out. Today Menbij is called ‘Little London’ for its preponderance of English-accented jihadists.

In some areas the councils appear to signal Syria’s atomisation rather than a new beginning, the utter impossibility of reconstitution.

Christophe Reuter calls it a “revolution of localists” when he describes ‘village republics’ such as Korin, in Idlib province, with its own court and a 10-person council, “WiFi on the main square and hushed fear of everything beyond the nearby hills.”

But Omar Aziz envisaged councils connecting the people regionally and nationally, and democratic provincial councils now operate in the liberated swathes of Aleppo, Idlib and Deraa. In the Ghouta region near Damascus, militia commanders were not permitted to stand as candidates. Fighters were, but only civilians won seats.

In Syria’s three Kurdish-majority areas, collectively known as Rojava, a similar system prevails, though the councils there are known as communes. In one respect they are more progressive than their counterparts elsewhere  – 40% of seats are reserved for women.

In another, they are more constrained – they work within the larger framework of the PYD, or Democratic Union Party, which monopolises control of finances, arms and media.

The elected council members are the only representative Syrians we have. They, and strengthened local democracy, should be key components in any serious settlement.

In a post-Assad future, local democracy could allow ideologically polarised communities to coexist under the Syrian umbrella. Towns could legislate locally according to their demographic and cultural composition and mood. The alternative to enhanced local control is new borders, new ethnic cleansing, new wars.

At very least, the councils deserve political recognition by the United States and others. Council members should be a key presence on the opposition’s negotiating team at any international talks.

And the councils deserve protection from Assad and Russia’s scorched earth – the first cause of the refugee crisis. Assad’s bombs hit the schools, hospitals, bakeries, and residential blocks that the councils are trying desperately to service.

If the bombardment were stopped the councils would no longer be limited to the business of survival. They could focus instead on rebuilding Syrian nationhood and further developing popular institutions.

In the previous decade, ‘democracy promotion’ was sometimes used as rhetorical justification for the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq. Of course that didn’t work out very well – ‘demos’ means ‘people’.

Only the people themselves can build their democratic structures. And today Syrians are practising democracy, building their own institutions, in the most difficult of circumstances. Their efforts don’t fit in with the easy Assad-or-ISIS narrative, however, and so we rarely deign to notice.

Note: Before the Baath party started their successive revolutions in the 60’s, Syria had a parliamentary system where women and the military could vote. Evidences are coming out that Saudi Kingdom, with USA and British green lights, has dispatched plenty of money for Syrian military officers to attempt successive military coups to destabilize the democratic process in Syria.

A few stories of regret?

There was a French girl student in my class of Physics/Chemistry at the university. We spent 2 years in that program and I don’t recall I have ever talked to her.

She was slim, slightly red-headed, hair cut a la garcon, rather flat-chested and elegant in her sober attire and wore the same flat shoes. I think she was pretty. It would have taken a forceful determination from any girl then to take the initiative and lead me to utter a few sentences.

Another regret. She occasionally paid her grandmother visits, from the other part of the continent. I occasionally wrote her letters in the name of her mentally handicapped grand mother.

One of the letter included a convoluted sentence that she picked up as a confession of love. And it was.
A couple of weeks later she showed up. She went jogging and rubbed her feet with lotion. She then asked me to go for a walk. She wanted a verbal confirmation.

I was in a rot with my PhD dissertation and lacked the spirit for such kinds of conversation. I couldn’t master enough craziness to blurt out: ” I find you a lovely, natural and compassionate woman. Take me with you…”
I didn’t see her again: I moved out to another old lady house whose son wanted someone to live with.

Another regret. It was winter of 1976. A Friday, and about 8:30 pm.  Alone, I am to watch a foreign movie, shown by the University Film Club at the Microbiology department.

She showed up with her girlfriend. She is blonde, blue/green eyed, not tall, not skinny.For my candid eyes, just the perfect beauty. I cowered. I should have made haste, join her, and say: “Fair lady, have a good look at my face.

A couple of days later, returning from the library at midnight, I saw her “studying” with my roommate. I had to piss badly and as I emerged, she was gone.

Another regret: When I first saw her I was mesmerized. She was wearing boots and a white shirt and looked gorgeous and stunning. I had to meet her in West Hollywood to convey her sister salutation who had a Lebanese boyfriend. She kept asking me about my friend, as if I was a mere messenger. She never knew that she made me walk on air the entire encounter

Note 1: I barely recollect a regret Not involving a beautiful girl whom I failed to engage with. The first lesson in classrooms for adolescent of both sex should be “how to engage a girl you think you like” and save a lifetime of accumulated regrets.

Note 2: You may read a detailed account of these regrets and much more in my category Auto-biography

’État irakien va-t-il dissoudre les forces de Mobilisation populaire, ce Corps militaire composé de volontaires qui a réussi à vaincre Daech à Mossoul ?

Certaines voix dont celle du dirigeant du courant sadriste, avaient réclamé la dissolution de cette Force (apres sa visite a Saudi Kingdom).

Ce Corps a réussi à contrer les terroristes de Daech en 2014 alors que ces derniers, s’étant emparé de Mossoul, faisaient marche en direction de Bagdad.

Sans ces forces Iraq serait toujours entre les main de ISIS parceque USA ne voulait pas d’ une arme’ Iraqienne forte et unit.

Sat Aug 5, 2017

Cité par al-Sumaria tv, le Premier ministre irakien Haidar al-Abadi a énergiquement rejeté cette idée, en soulignant que les « Hachd al-Chaabi sont placées sous l’autorité religieuse et étatique » et qu’à ce titre, « cette force ne sera pas dissoute ».

Pour le Premier ministre irakien, « la victoire (contre le terrorisme) appartient à tous les Irakiens et aucun parti ou fraction ne peut se l’approprier. C’est la contribution de tous les Irakiens qui a permis la défaite de Daech,

« La libération de la totalité du territoire irakien est un devoir pour le peuple irakien, selon le Premier ministre Abadi qui est revenu ensuite sur la bataille de Tal Afar, cette région de l’ouest de Mossoul qu’encerclent depuis des mois les Hachd al-Chaabi : les préparatifs sont mis en place pour donner l’assaut contre les terroristes de Daech à Tal Afar, mais l’étape la plus importante consiste à préserver notre unité pour nettoyer le reste de l’Irak de la présence des terroristes ».

Les forces des Hachd al-Chaabi qui réunissent à la fois les chiites, les sunnites et les chrétiens d’Irak, se sont montrées d’une efficacité redoutable dans toutes les batailles où elles ont été employées.

Créées au lendemain de l’invasion de Mossoul par Daech, sur l’ordre de l’Autorité religieuse de l’Irak, les Hachd agissent désormais sur les frontières irakiennes avec la Syrie où elles veillent à ce qu’il n’y ait aucune infiltration terroriste en provenance de l’Irak.

Or pour les puissances qui ont créé Daech dans l’objectif de provoquer le démembrement de la Syrie et de l’Irak, toute force militaire populaire à vocation « nationale » est intolérable.

À l’issue d’une visite à Riyad où il a rencontré le prince héritier Ben Salman, le religieux irakien Muqtada Sadr (chef du courant sadriste) a proposé la dissolution des Hachd et leur fusion avec l’armée nationale.

Note 1: Muqtada Sadr takes orders from Iran, while the Hachd is purely Iraqi nationalists. Surely, Iran would be reluctant to see the Iraqi spiritual leader takes precedent after the victory over ISIS.

Note 2: US has shelled Hasd Sha3bi yesterday killing scores of fighters and civilians on borders of Iraq/Syria by Taanaf. The reaction is assured.

This flatulent young Saudi prince wants Syrian refugees to remain in Lebanon

Otherwise, Lebanese in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf will be expulsed?

Wed Aug 2, 2017 7:2AM
Famille de réfugiés syriens au Liban. ©UNHCR
Famille de réfugiés syriens au Liban. ©UNHCR

Le prince héritier d’Arabie saoudite a menacé les dirigeants libanais d’expulser des milliers de Libanais résidant des pays littoraux du golfe Persique.

Selon Fars News, Mohammed ben Salmane prince héritier d’Arabie saoudite a averti que si le gouvernement libanais essayait de faciliter le retour de réfugiés syriens dans leur pays, Riyad expulserait des milliers de Libanais résidant à l’étranger.

Pour ce dernier, la non expulsion de réfugiés syriens du Liban est à l’origine de l’absence de tout conflit interne au Liban, d’autant plus qu’il y a toutes les raisons pour une telle guerre et que certaines parties du gouvernement libanais sont directement impliquées dans des conflits à l’extérieur du Liban.

Ben Salmane a envoyé, via le Premier ministre Saad Hariri, un message au président de la République Michel Aoun et au président du Parlement Nabih Berri, dans lequel il a menacé qu’en cas d’expulsion de réfugiés syriens,  les Libanais dont le nombre s’élevait à un million, seraient renvoyés des Émirats arabes du golfe Persique.

« Si cet un million de Libanais se voient expulsés des pays du golfe Persique, qu’est-ce que vous allez faire avec ces gens qui ont de la rancune envers vos politiques ? », a dit ben Salmane à Saad Hariri.

Il a également prétendu que Beyrouth n’avait dépensé aucun sou pour les réfugiés syriens et que tous les frais de leur éducation, alimentation et résidence avaient été assurés par des institutions caritatives de l’ONU.  (And why Saudi Kingdom refused to aid financially? Or even accept Syrian refugees?)

Cette information a été publiée alors qu’en vertu d’un accord de cessez-le-feu entre le Hezbollah et le Front al-Nosra (rebaptisé Front Fatah al-Cham), quelque 9, 000 hommes armés et réfugiés syriens devraient se déplacer, ce mercredi 2 août, à Idlib, dans le nord de la Syrie.




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