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Ganz Ferrance

International Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur and Registered Psychologist Dr. Ganz Ferrance is on a mission to help you "Live Bigger so you can Give Bigger". Since 1991, he has helped tens of thousands people "Make More Money, Have Better Sex, and Live Longer Lives". Dr. Ganz prides himself on providing " Tweed-Free" consultation, education, coaching and therapy - giving you cutting-edge information and the "straight goods" without all of the psycho-babble, victim-making, or intellectual double-talk. Dr.Ganz holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and an M.A. in Developmental and Educational Psychology from Andrews University in Michigan. He is the former Public Education Coordinator as well as the former Vice-President of the Psychologist's Association of Alberta. Dr. Ganz enjoys sharing how people can get more "mileage" from their lives. Whether one-on-one or from the stage, Dr. Ganz's easygoing, friendly and humorous style quickly makes you feel at home, comfortable and safe. This ability has made him a favorite with the media. For the past 5 years, Dr. Ganz has been delivering monthly segments on CTV Edmonton's News at Noon and has been interviewed several times for a variety of other publications, radio and television programs such as CTV's Good Morning Canada, Help! TV, Alberta Prime Time, CBC Radio, The Edmonton Journal .

ADHD, Summer Vacation, and Taking Risks Without Yelling

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Television Appearances

Click here to watch the full segment (8:43)

Click here to watch the full segment (8:43)

French Kids and ADHD

I love this holistic approach. I would like to believe that we in Canada are more like the French in this way than the Americans. It always makes sense to look at root causes versus just medicating the symptoms of any issue. Factors like structure, diet, emotional health, family, and social dynamics all play a part in most issues and are definitely part of the picture and the prevention or treatment of ADHD—this does not mean that medication (for this or other issues) is irrelevant or unnecessary. I think they have a place in helping the kids cope and experience success while making them available for the deeper life changes that would be beneficial. They are also indicated where the parents can’t or won’t make the needed changes to help the child. The feeling of struggle and not fitting in can sometimes be more damaging (long-term) than the medication side-effects. Like Dr. Brent Macdonald says, a combination of proper medication, effective counseling supports, and good classroom environments does a lot of good. So I never want to throw away this tool—but I would definitely look at those other factors I mentioned earlier as part of the picture.

Kids and Summer Vacation

Kids look forward to summer vacation all year. Some parents dread it. They feel like they have to be the social director of the family for two months. The truth is that kids don’t need to be entertained from sunup to sundown. It’s actually good for them to have some experience with boredom; this gives them the opportunity to use their creativity and imagination to figure out activities they find interesting. They also get to let their brains breathe when many of them are over-regimented during the rest of the year; it can be a time when they do some introspection and use fantasy and imagination. When you over-schedule your kids or take on the responsibility of planning every activity for them, they never learn to do it of themselves—and remember our job is to train them for life, not just to occupy their time for July and August. Sometimes it helps to do what Dr. Macdonald and Dr. Peter Nieman suggest: breaking up time during the day or a trip. This can create routine by subdividing long periods of time. You should also remember that kids are going to remember experiences and not the money you spent. So don’t feel guilty if you can’t afford Disneyland again this year. Board games, water fights in the back yard, and picnics can be just as memorable. I would suggest a couple of things to think about:
  1. Make sure to limit electronic time. You could even let them earn electronic time with activity time outdoors, for example, two hours of activity for every one hour of electronics.
  2. You could get together with friends, family, or neighbours and trade supervision duties, such as five families each taking all the kids for one day each. The kids get variety and company and you all get a break!
  3. Make sure you look after your own needs too or you won’t be fun to be around. When you are happy and well rested, you are able to plan and enjoy the activities with your kids (or let them enjoy them on their own) to a much greater extent.
Man-yelling

Watch the full segment (5:55). Just click the photo.

Stop Yelling

Everyone feels better when there is a calm environment of patience and safety. Yelling makes everyone feel bad—the kids get scared, it hurts their self-esteem, and you feel guilty for losing it— and leads to poor decision-making. Those are the moments where you will tend to (over-the-top) punishments rather than consequences. One suggestion from Dr. Macdonald is to use quietness to establish and demonstrate control. Here are some other tips that really work:
  1. Intervene and remind kids of expectations in advance. Don’t let things get out-of-hand because that’s when it’s easy to lose your cool.
  2. Look after your own needs. You can’t be patient when you’re hungry, tired, burnt out, or feeling unfulfilled.
  3. Have realistic expectations of your kids. It’s their job to test the boundaries and they don’t have the discipline and emotional control that you (hopefully) do.
  4. Call a timeout early on. When things seem like they are going off the rails for you or your kids, call a timeout like a coach would and regroup.
  5. Make sure you apologize as soon as you can if you do lose it. This will help you become aware of the pattern and will help to restore the relationship with your kids. Just make sure it’s a real apology and that you’re not saying, “I’m sorry you made mommy yell.” Don’t blame them for your lack of patience.

Kids Need Risk in Play

I agree that kids need a sense of challenge. We all need to test ourselves in order to feel alive and to know our limits. Kids are no different. You can teach them to be safe and make good choices, but it’s important to let them roam a bit and figure things out for themselves. Remember your job is to train them or life—not just to keep them from hurting themselves. Little hurts now help them to learn how the world works and know when to be more mindful next time. The stats on long-term, negative health effects of keeping kids in and not getting exercise or fresh air are pretty clear. The bigger risk is staying in—not going outside to play and risk being hurt. A word of caution: kids still need a sense of parents being in control and looking out for them, so give them freedom to explore, but within defined space that you can monitor and access quickly. (Let little kids play in the playground, but know where they are and be able to get to them if they get into trouble.)
Health, Love, Happiness, SuccessDr. Ganz Ferrance
@DrGanzFerrance facebook.com/GanzFerrance

@DrGanzFerrance
facebook.com/GanzFerrance

Life as a Bus Driver, Humiliating Discipline, Extreme Sports, and Defeating the Summer Backslide

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Television Appearances

I love being on the Alberta Primetime Lifestyle Panel. We recently sat down to talk about the Bus Driver Incident, Public Humiliation of our kids as a form of punishment, and a few other pertinent topics. Hope you enjoy my summary of our discussion.

busincident

Bus Incident

This shows how incredibly hard the job of a bus driver is. You are responsible for the safety of everyone on the bus and the other people on the road. You have to also make sure the students are not being picked on, bullied, or misbehaving. I am not sure what tools they have in terms of discipline, but in the video, it looks like this kid was being a bully and inciting the other kids to disrespect the driver. As parents, the primary concern should be to address the issues of basic safety on the bus. I have a hard time with kicking him off the bus so far from home, but again, I’m not in that situation myself so it’s difficult to say he was wrong or right. I would have preferred to take him home and then deal with things via the school and parents the next day. But this may have been a pattern; he may have been warned; there may have been other factors.

Public Humiliation as Discipline

Discipline is very important. I don’t believe in “free-range kids”. However, I’m not at all in favour of humiliation or shaming of kids as “discipline”. You may control the behaviour in the moment but the long-term effects in the kid’s self-image, self-esteem, and (like Wendy Mueller says) as a “relationship-destroyer” are not worth it. If the child is strong-willed, the problem may even escalate, according to Dr. Peter Nieman. Our job as parents is to help kids learn how to be healthy, happy, productive, and contributing members of society—not to just make sure they behave. What I teach is…
    1. Have consistent and reasonable consequences for behaviour that are clear and make sense.
    2. Make sure the kid knows what the expectations and the consequences (both positive and negative) are.
    3. “Honor their decisions” and give them the consequences their behaviour tells you they have chosen.
    4. But always send the message that who the kid is valuable and loved.

Kids and Extreme Sports

It’s great when kids are into something (other than electronics, et cetera), but we have to be careful not to be so happy they’re not isolating themselves or getting lost in the virtual world that we overlook dangers and problems in the real world. Remember: “The opposite of dysfunction is dysfunction!” There are a few issues with letting kids do extreme sports:
    1. They don’t have enough experience to have good judgement. They haven’t been on earth long enough to see how some things play out
extremesports
    long-term.
    2. Their brain development is not complete, so they don’t have good judgment. Especially in their teens—they are all passion and intelligence, but little reasoning and “behavioural inhibition”.
    3. Physical and brain trauma, concussions, and mild-traumatic brain injury—your brain is make up of different densities, so different parts move at different rates and have different inertia. Sudden head movements (starting or stopping) actually rips the brain apart at the cellular level—this is called “atonal severing”. These can be devastating to a child or teen’s personality, intelligence, and quality of life forever. I would say wait until they are much older and have more experience, and even then you probably still have to help them learn limits.
But one question to ask if you have kids interested in extreme sports is what their motive is. Is it to prove their superiority—that they’re special or better than their friends? Like both Dr. Peter Nieman and Wendy Mueller say, if their passion for the sport is there, safety should always come first (training, supervision, and proper protective equipment). It could be a good learning experience for them to take some risks, discover their own limitations, and discover other new passions.

Preventing Summer Backsliding

This is a real problem for some kids. I remember forgetting how to write or which had the pencil goes in after summer vacation. The key is to make staying sharp fun: structured learning around games and contests. Make it a built-in aspect of your daily or weekly routine in the summer. Do it as a family/group: “this is our quiet/homework/learning/enrichment time”. Don’t do it for too long each day; depending on the kid (age, maturity, et cetera), fifteen minutes to an hour is plenty. Also remember that helping your kids enjoy learning and feel good about themselves is also part of the goal, so don’t frustrate them. Start with easy stuff in each session and also in general over the summer, and then move to more challenging material. Success breeds success. Taking a break also helps kids stay engaged, so don’t worry about missing a few days, or even a week or two if you’re traveling. Traveling itself can be a very educational and enriching experience over the summer. Just make sure you make it a deliberate decision and not just because either of you don’t feel like it at the time. That can be a slippery slope with kids. Health, Love, Happiness, Success Dr. Ganz Ferrance
@DrGanzFerrance facebook.com/GanzFerrance

@DrGanzFerrance
facebook.com/GanzFerrance

abptstatholidays

Go-Getters and the Online Impact. How Much is Too Much?

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Television Appearances

Statutory Holidays

abptstatholidaysI like the idea of flexibility, but having days off that coincide with many people does make it easier to get together with friends. (It is nice to see everyone off at the same time, but it’s also nice to go the pool, movies, or park without a crowd sometimes.) I’m in favor of continued Statutory Holidays with the option to trade with others or time in lieu (also overtime pay). This would especially be respectful to people with different cultures and religions. Like Alison McMahon says, we need to start looking and paying attention to the multiculturalism in our society and ask how we can accommodate other holidays, seeing as how many Statutory Holidays are religious, traditional, Christian holidays.

Distrust in the Workplace

I’m hoping our stats may be a bit more favourable than those in America, but I think the trend probably holds—this is a big problem. Productivity goes way up and turnover, lost time, and poor morale go way down when workers feel respected and appreciated by their workplace. Obviously, honesty and trust are part of that. I completely agree with Wendy Giuffre when she says one significant way of maintaining trust between managers and employees is communication. The point is that creating an emotionally and psychologically healthy workplace is good for the bottom line and the health, well-being, and satisfaction of employees and managers. Of course managers are trying to do what’s best for the business and its survival, but it is important to not lose sight of what is best for employees, says Alison. The Psychologists Association of Alberta actually has a “psychologically healthy workplace award” at the provincial level as well as at the national and North American level. The good news is that people and organizations are becoming more aware of these issues and are doing more innovative things to support health and work-life balance: daycares in the workplace (or close by), subsidies for active lifestyles (gym memberships, et cetera), flexible hours, appreciation or recognition programs, et cetera.

Social Media and Work

It used to be that people were actually concerned about their reputations and so they would abptsmtollrestrict themselves from behaviors that violated social or family norms. This was especially the case in small or close communities. These norms and the social consequences had their downsides of course (homophobia, racism, sexism were supported and entrenched to some extent by this fact), but they also served to help a civilization have structure, stability, and respect.
So we should all me mindful of how we act even when we’re off the clock, especially when you’re in a position of leadership. The other side of being in a position of power is also shouldering the responsibility that comes with it. Lots of organizations have codes of conduct (of course, these can also be abused and unfair), so you should be familiar with them and make sure you can live up to them if you work for the organization. Employers don’t have to disclose their reasons for not hiring you or letting you go, so always ask yourself who you look like online. As an employer, a list of set expectations can never hurt—even a list of items you may consider to be common sense, says Alison. Not sure how this emerging situation will ultimately play out in terms of what employers can actually do, but we should all be aware that what we do and how we come across can have lasting consequences.

Go-Getter Woes

It’s great to be the go-to person at work, but there is an imbalance when workload and compensation and recognition don’t reflect this. It can cause resentment by that person and foster lack of engagement in everyone else. This can lead to poor morale and team functioning, which can put more pressure on being the effective person as the manager tries to keep productivity up. It’s a vicious cycle. Managers can deal with this by being conscious of how work is assigned and making sure rewards and compensations follow good performance and poor performance is dealt with early and consistency. Another suggestion from Alison is to communicate with team members and set goals with them in order to ensure everyone is pulling their weight and roles are allocated properly.

Health, Love, Happiness, Success

Dr. Ganz Ferrance

@DrGanzFerrance facebook.com/GanzFerrance

@DrGanzFerrance
facebook.com/GanzFerrance

You and Your Workplace

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog, Television Appearances

“On Demand” Work

ganzondemandThis is the way the workplace is moving. It has huge advantages to both workers and employers. Employers don’t have to maintain a workforce when times are slow, but they will want to hire only quality workers, as Tyler Waye says; employers only want employees who can be engaged and contribute to the culture of their workforce. They will also need to be realistic about paying well if they want to keep good producers available for their work. Wendy Giuffre says, the contract workforce is needed and very important, but they are typically also the first to go when times get tough. For these instances, contractors need to be prepared for the ebbs and flows, workload, and money. Workers can think of themselves as consultants who come in and focus on a project and then have time off. They can have more flexibility as well as autonomy/control over their time. They just have to manage their cash-flow variable and deal with the emotions around uncertainty of workflow (i.e. anxiety, fear, etc.) and ebbs and flows. I also think that technology makes it that much easier (for certain tasks) to work from different locations instead of having to physically be in the same spot for work every day. So success on both sides depends on seeing this trend in a positive light and figuring out what the ondemandemployeesopportunity is versus holding on to old patterns of workplace/worker—there is no winner or loser. This topic is a societal conversation because employer and employee need to consider what they owe each other.

LinkedIn

Anyone in the professional world should be on LinkedIn—it is one of the first places employers will look to learn about you in order to decide whether or not they want to hire a person with your personality, says Giuffre. As with everything that you put online, understand that everyone has access to it. My philosophy is that I don’t put anything out there that I don’t feel comfortable owning or can’t back up. Everything online contributes to the representation of your story and context of who you are. In Waye’s words, you want to “post the truth…with a storyline”, so think about how you want to be represented. People also respond very well to authenticity (virtually and in the real world), so be your true self and don’t try to be something you’re not, or present yourself as perfect. We tend to see through that sort of thing and it can hurt your chances of connecting with the right employer. Skills can be taught and learned, but the same cannot necessarily be said about personality. In general, it’s good to remember that employers are also looking at all your other social media (or anything else that’s public) to get a sense of whom you are and if you’ll be a good fit. smyourcareer

Bad Boss

Bad bosses are the number one predictor of workplace injury. Your interaction with your superiors affects both your health and your performance. This can also bleed over into your other relationships as well. One study found that over 25% of people surveyed had experienced workplace bullying or a difficult relationship with their superior, and another 21% knew someone who had gone through this (US numbers). Of those who had experienced bullying, 80% of victims surveyed said they had debilitating anxiety, 49% had clinical depression, 30% had PTSD, and 29% had contemplated suicide. Clearly this is a huge issue. It also costs the employer in productivity, turnover, and low morale. If a boss crosses the line or abuse you in any way, go to HR—period. But if it is not to that extent, the way to deal with this is to first try to discuss concerns with your boss—have HR as plan B. You definitely don’t deserve to be bullied. Alberta Labour Standards is a good resource where workers can learn about their rights. You can always keep getting out as an idea, as well. The big thing is to stay calm and address things early—before you get so stressed that you react badly and make the situation worse. You can start looking for new jobs in or out of the organization, but you do not want the finger to be pointed back at you. Things like water cooler-talk and nasty emails will point the finger back at you, says Waye.

Here are some more things you should definitely not do:confrontboss

  • Don’t go head-to-head with your boss in defiance of your boss’ directives and goals.
  • Don’t go over the boss’ head to their supervisor or HR before talking to them directly.
  • Don’t speak negatively about your boss to colleagues.
  • Don’t post criticisms in emails or on social media.
  • Don’t keep complaining about the same problems to your boss.
  • Don’t give the boss vague feedback that emphasizes your dissatisfaction with their leadership skills.
At the end of the day, you need to remember that your job is to do what you were hired to do and to make the lives of your superiors easier (thus easier on you too)—for this, you get paid. If this arrangement is not satisfactory for you, then definitely look around. Stand up for your rights to be treated with respect, but also realize that your current job may not be the right situation for you. Remember that your biggest asset is you and your well-being—not the job.

Health, Love, Happiness, Success

Dr. Ganz Ferrance