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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 .

Body Image and Toddlers

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog

april14abptThis recent study out of Sudbury, Ontario is a sad but not surprising finding. We “catch” our attitudes and toward life and values (body image, sexuality, tolerance, resilience, etc.) from our parents and other people/influences we’re around when we are growing  up (school, church, media are other influences). From the ages of 0-6 we are like sponges and don’t have filters. So the idea that kids are too young to get certain things is not true. They may not always understand everything but they are definitely taking it all in. They also have not developed the verbal skills to communicate what they know but they know a lot more than they can say. I used to read certain books to my kids when they were young but had moved on to other books when they were at the age when they could talk. They were able to tell me about those stories even a year after I stopped reading them! We definitely need to be aware of what our kids are picking up because kids learn what they live – not always what we think we are teaching them. 
Here are some tips from the Lifestyle Panel to help you foster a better environment for your kids regarding their body image:
  1. Kids learn predominantly by example not by what we teach them.  Be sure the influences they have are positive ones. Think about what your babysitter may be teaching them, the perceptions of the preschool teacher, the possible lessons of the television shows they watch, and who their peers are.  Choose to surround your children with others that have similar mindsets about positive body image and self esteem.
  2. Watch your own attitudes and perceptions about body image.  Do you talk about how “fat” you feel in front of your children?  Have you ever made comments about others that weren’t too complimentary?  Simple comments like, “She shouldn’t be wearing that! She’s too big” or “Look at the belly on him” could be sending body image messages to your children before they can even understand the full implications of them.
  3. Minimize their exposure to media sources.  Television shows, magazines, video games all can create completely unrealistic expectations when it come to body image.  
  4. Maintain open paths of communication with your children.  When you see them witness an unrealistic expectation, explain to them how it is unrealistic.  If your children are struggling with body image, maybe from comments at school, they need to know that they can come to you and talk about their emotions around that.  

Thank you to Dr. Donna Wilson and Dr. David Richmond for sharing their insights regarding this topic and a couple of others during our last Vocal Point – Lifestyle Panel discussion.  Thank you to Alberta Primetime for giving us the opportunity to discuss these issues with each other and share that discussion with all of you.

Thank you for joining the Tweed Free Revolution! I would really appreciate it if you would share this revolution with your friends and family. The bigger the Revolution is, the faster we get better together.

Giving Your Kids a Real Advantage in a Virtual World (Part 2)

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog

Click the picture to watch the segment

Raising children is this technologically absorbed world isn’t easy. Electronic gadgets can just as easily work for us as parents as they can work against us. Where is the balance? It can be a fine line between useful interface and total obsession. We have all witnessed poor behaviour surrounding the use of technology by both children and adults. Texting at inappropriate times and video game addiction are just two of the many issues we face with technology. As a parent and an owner of a Smartphone I have faced the technology struggle many times. Fortunately, I have also learned a few ways to better handle these issues through those struggles. Here are the remainder of the tips I shared on CTV Edmonton on May 7 during the second segment of Giving Your Kids a Real Advantage in a Virtual World:

  1. Real People Trump Virtual People: A friend told me a story about going to airport security for some help. The young person at the desk made her wait until they were finished watching a YouTube video. I’m sure we have all experienced this type of situation at one time or another. Someone talking on their phone while you’re waiting to speak with them, forcing you to wait while they finish their tweet, and so on. We are more broadly connected than ever in human history but we are also less deeply connected. The more accessible and “cooler” the tech, the more individuals with good social skills will rule. Teaching your kids to develop and practice connecting with real people and treating them with value will give them the advantage of opportunity because others will flock to them to establish genuine relationships with them.
  2. Allow Your Kids to be Bored: Try to use the electronic babysitter as sparingly as possible. The word “I’m bored” may send shivers down your spine but it is good for your kids to have the opportunity to use their imaginations. Of course, this may mean taking a break from your daily activities to give them some examples or help get them started but, it will be worth it in the long run. Using their brain will help them to expand their thought processes and imagination by giving them the chance to practice creativity. Eventually this will help them to feel competent in looking after their own needs and build their self-confidence.
  3. Set “Office Hours”: Being “On-Call” 24 hours a day can be overwhelming and stressful. The reality of being available all the time is a definite drawback to being connected online. Our kids don’t know any different so, given the opportunity, they will allow themselves to be distracted continually and this can very easily lead to technology burnout. Teach them to take charge of their time by establishing hours when they can be connected. Outside of those hours they should be completely offline. This may take some training, not just for them but others around them as well. Learning this early is a huge advantage as it will help them to focus on other aspects of their lives while still connecting with friends when they have time. The benefits to this is their focus will be better as they become more efficient with their time while reducing their risk of anxiety, depression and burnout now and in the future.
  4. Use the “Newspaper Test”: If you wouldn’t go to dinner with someone and pull out your newspaper at different times then you shouldn’t be taking out your technology at those times either. Would you pull out your newspaper at your kid’s hockey game? Would you walk on the sidewalk or drive your car reading the newspaper? If you were studying or working on a project for work, would you periodically pick up the newspaper and read it? Of course not. It seems ridiculous to ask these questions and make this comparison. However, even though your device is smaller and less noticeable, it still has the same effect on the people around you, your body and brain, as well as your productivity. Apply this simple test to help gauge when the use of technology is appropriate.

Use these tips yourself and teach them to your kids so they can have a Real Advantage in a Virtual World.

Giving Kids a Real Advantage in a Virtual World (Part 1)

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog

Many parents feel overwhelmed and frustrated by their kid’s fascination with today’s technology. I hear stories all the time about kids being addicted to video games, spending too much time online or texting. With more and more technology becoming so easily accessible our culture is still trying to figure out how to use these tools in a balanced and effective way. When used appropriately technology has its advantages (in terms of brain development and social skills) but it also has definite disadvantages when not used appropriately and limits aren’t established. The people that figure this out the fastest will have a big advantage over everyone else. Here are some tips to help you do just that for your kids:

  1. Establish “Black Out” Times – Set up times in your home that are electronic free. This works best if it applies to everyone (this means you too Mom & Dad). This is becomes more important the closer you are to bedtime. Technology, with it alert sounds and lights, can seriously affect sleep patterns. Keep them out of your room for a truly restful and rejuvenating sleep.
  2. Don’t Allow “Multi-Tasking) – Teach your kids to fully engage in the activity they are currently working on. Multi-tasking divides our attention and teaches us to be distracted. When you split your attention you diminish the satisfaction and enjoyment you may experience from each of the activities individually. Nobody should try to muti-task. When we train our brains to be fully present that is what we get good at doing. We also decrease our potential for unnecessary stress.
  3. Connect in the Car – Travel time is one of the very few times you will have your children as a captive audience. 2012-08-08 14.57.57This is the best time to catch up and talk with them. Don’t waste time by allowing them the opportunity to lose themselves in the iPhone. Whether it be because of the sensation of the moving car or the tires on the road, I’m not sure which but, kids tend to open up in the car – especially teens. Through this connection time they can learn adult skills by being around adults, interacting with adults, and being mentally and emotionally engaged in their environment.
  4. Lead by Example (aka use the tool, don’t “be a tool”) – Kids learn what they live, not what we try to teach them. They are always watching are are quite adept at detecting hypocrisy, they are also more than willing to call us on it. When we don’t practice what we preach our kids pick up on it instantly. It is very difficult to ask your child to minimize their use of technology when you aren’t willing to do so as well. When you put down or turn off your device you are telling your children they are more important to you than who or whatever is on the other end. This not only helps to reinforce your stance on limiting technology but also helps to build their self-esteem.

Unfortunately, not all kids have access to this guidance. Thank you for taking the time to equip yourself so that your kids will have it.

\My CTV segments can be found online

Behind Closed Doors

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog

Have you ever walked into a business and gotten a sense that things are not what they seem behind the scenes at that business? Front line people can be excellent indicators of the culture of the businesses we enter. Are the staff stressed out, tired, and unhappy? If they are, it won’t matter how much they smile, people entering the business will know something is not right. The same is true for our lives outside of the office.

Mother Theresa gave a lot but she recharged often and because she was giving from joy she was able to infuse joy into her giving and care. By giving from her core, through her sense of spirit, she was able to create a flow. As she filled up she was able to give more. Mother Theresa understood the importance of getting rest to rejuvenate.

When you volunteer or sacrifice something for yourself to help others, or act altruistically, where does your motivation come from?

I believe that people do a lot of things out of fear and obligation. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that giving is important as long as we are coming from the right place when we are doing it. We must give out of joy not fear and obligation. When we give out of joy the experience is better for everyone because the energy we give out of is positive. This creates a rewarding act that gives joy back. It comes from our core, our sense of self or spirit. Those that we are helping can sense that and will feel much better about receiving and accepting our gift of giving to them.

So, what does it take to keep us full and rejuvenated so that we can serve others better? There are six areas in our innerrestrejuv circle that need attention:

  1. Spirituality – Examples of this can include being in nature, connecting with someone or something greater than ourselves. If you are religious it can mean attending a worship service. We need to remember that the terms spiritual and religious are not synonymous with each other. One can be spiritual without being religious. It doesn’t matter which we consider ourselves to be, we need to engage in connections and activities that will feed our spirit, we can’t be doing these things out of obligation. Keeping a journal is a great way to get in touch with yourself. I recommend starting a Gratitude Journal.
  2. Physically – Be sure to get enough sleep. It is recommended that adults get eight hours of continuous sleep every night. It is even better if you go to bed at the same time every night. You should also be sure to make time for exercise and practice good nutrition.
  3. Emotionally – Spend time with yourself. Again, journaling can be an excellent way to do this. Find your own therapist to talk with and help you to sort out your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Make time to spend time with yourself.
  4. Socially – We need to have good connections in our lives. Relationships take time but we need to make them a priority. Evaluate the quality of your friends, negative or positive, and make the choice to spend more time with friends that bring positive things into your life.
  5. Intellectually – When we learn new things we protect our brain from regression. We need to expand our lives by continuing to learn and to grow. A great way to do this is to pursue activities like music, art, hobbies and so on.
  6. Financially – There is an idea that discussing or thinking too much about money is taboo. That our finances are bad for us to focus on. The reality is if we have a mission to help the poor we can’t do it if we are poor ourselves. Money is needed to support our mission. Disagreements about money are the #1 reason for divorce. Financial problems are very difficult on individuals as well. We must evaluate our finances and develop a plan. Read books, attend seminars, and ask questions if you are unsure how to manage this area of your life. There are so many unconscious emotional areas around money that we have to educate ourselves in order to be aware and take the appropriate action with our money. A few books I recommend are; Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kyosaki, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind – T. Har Becker, Rich Women – Kim Kyosaki, Think and Grow Rich – Napolean Hill.

Start making more intelligent decisions by educating yourself so that fear and anxiety do not rule your emotions.

Feed these six areas at least once a week, if not once a day. The more you do, the better of you are. By just spending a little time each day focusing on these areas you can make a huge difference in your life.

Take time to rest!