Month: July 2018

How to argue with the one you love.

First let’s make it clear that “arguing” and “fighting” are two completely different things.

 

  • Arguing: to present reasons for or against a thing:
  • Fighting: a battle or combat.

Let’s say you and your loved one are having a disagreement over money. Money is a huge issue in relationships and often the one responsible for some mean-ass shit to be said. When looking at reasons for divorce, they usually come in this list: Infidelity, Death of a Child and Money. So, how does one argue about the subject or almost any subject? Here are a few guidelines.

  • Stay on topic: Wow, this is the big one, don’t jump off topic to something else. Let’s say that your husband is spending all kinds of money playing golf. You’re looking at the budget / bills and realize you’re not able to make the payments; you start to grow frustrated with him because he’s spending $100.00 a month playing golf and you simply can’t afford it. You decide to confront him with your worries about the bills and his spending.

Wife: WTF, we can’t pay the bills and you’re wasting money on a stupid game. What’s wrong with you? Don’t you care about our children and feeding them? NO! Of course not because you’re a selfish person who only cares about one thing… You. You’re just like your dad… I’m surprised you even come home half the time, why can’t you show us as much love as you show your golf buddies?

Husband: Maybe if you quit your bitching I would want to be here… Golf is the only thing I do. You don’t care about me, you’re just like your mother, it’s no surprise your dad left her, maybe you should just move in with her and we’d both be happy.

Wow, what is wrong with this couple? I’m sure that golf is not the only problem here. The wife’s worry is that money is tight, she wants to pay the bills and feels that the husband is spending irresponsibly. But she didn’t argue that very long, she attacked his love for his children, caring for only himself, and compared him to his father, who might not have been that great a guy. He in turn went on the defensive, and attacked her as well.

So, how do we do it? Slowly, this problem didn’t just pop out of nowhere, it’s been brewing for a while. What is the real problem?

  • Can’t pay the bills
  • Spending money on impractical things, like golf

Step one: pick a time when you can be alone. Maybe when the kids are sleeping or out of the house. Step two: prepare for the argument by bringing in supporting material, like the bill statements, income statements and spending habits. Step three: do not attack. Let the husband know that you want to talk, that you are anxious and worried about the spending and the bills and that you want to find a solution together. If playing golf is important to him, you want to help find a way for him to do it and enjoy it without the stress of coming home to an angry, bitter wife.

Don’t expect to solve all your problems at the first meeting. Setup more meetings for the future. Every Tuesday from 9-10 we’ll work on budgeting. Figure out a way together to solve the problem. “I know you like to play golf and I want you to enjoy yourself”. The husband would say something like, “I know we need to pay the bills and I want to help reduce your stress”.  If you spend a limited amount of time, say an hour a week working on the issue, you’ll be less likely to “lose it”. Keep focused on the problem at hand. Find solutions, maybe instead of golfing every week, the husband can golf every second week, or cut one week out. Negotiate and work together.

The idea is to focus on the real problem, don’t bring outside “stuff” into it. It’s not about his love for the children or the wife’s tight-ass attitude. Focus, talk, respect: these are the things you need to work on when arguing. If you love each other, you’ll want to work on fixing things to make your lives better, not worse for everyone involved. Remember it’s not about solving the issue on the first try, it’s about working together day in and day out.

Chip & Honey Toodee

What makes you feel loved?

When you begin a new relationship, everything is so wonderful… For the first few months of new love, we tend to use all the five languages of love.

  • Gift Giving (restaurant outings, making things, buying stuff)
  • Quality Time (restaurant outings, walks, movie watching, playing games)
  • Physical Touch (holding hands, massages, basically touching each other)
  • Acts of Service (massages, doing the dishes, helping clean, fixing things, walking his or her dog, picking them up from work)
  • Words of Affirmation ( I love you, you’re so nice, thanks for doing that, you’re so good at…)

But as the relationship grows, we tend to fall back on the language we prefer to receive and focus on that one, for the other person. The problem with that, is , that it may not be their love language. We would suggest that if you’re serious about the relationship you’re in, that you go and take the online test, and figure out what your love languages are.

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

Once you know what each other’s love language, you can focus on doing it. That doesn’t mean you avoid the others all together. It just means you know what to focus on. That said, this will not give you the perfect relationship, it’s not a magic cure all. What it is, is a starting point to build a strong and long lasting relationship. In the next few Relationship blog posts we’ll be talking about other skills you’ll want to build to make or keep that relationship moving towards everlasting love.

Some topics we’ll be approaching are:

  • How to argue
  • Fighting, it’s a mental problem
  • Here’s my button… do you want to push it.
  • I’m sorry
  • Forgiveness means never forgetting
  • If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all
  • Kiss me
  • … and more

Come back soon.

Chip & Honey Toodee

Shopping with children…

Shopping with young children can be incredibly… well, you know the drill, or do you?

To make the shopping experience more fun and relaxing, we did a few things. Now, mind you this will take some time, effort and commitment on the part of you the parent. The first thing we always suggest is “DO NOT BLUFF”.  Every child at some point and time will have a meltdown at the mall, and you’ll hear the parent saying something like, “If you don’t stop we’re going home” and they repeat this a dozen times until finally the kid gets a chocolate bar or something to shut them up, or they just let them wail. We say, take them home. Yes, it is very inconvenient to leave the mall and have to do it all over again some other time… But a one time inconvenience is worth a thousand silent trips. Think of it as short term pain for long term gain.

Here are some of the things we used to do with our kids pretty much from the time they could walk and crawl. The first thing we did, was go straight to the toy section. We would set a 15 minute time limit on our watch or phone and when the alarm went off, we’d tell the kids that it was time to go. This was a look time, or as my wife taught the kids, it was “window shopping”; you look at all the stuff and then we talk about what we’d like to have and why. 

Rule 1 to doing this is never buy a toy when you’re window shopping.  Rule 2, spend those 15 minutes talking with your kids about the toys. What you like about them, what you don’t like etc… when the fifteen minutes is up you tell them to put what ever they are holding back on the shelf and while you’re walking away you talk about some of the stuff that you’ve seen. At the beginning the child will most likely ask for more time in the toy section. Just tell them that you’ll come back next time we come shopping. If they argue, ask them if they enjoyed the time looking, and then ask if they would like to do it again next time they come back. That’s the rule of window shopping.

The impulse aisle; all the colors, gum, candy, chocolate mmmmm…. I used to love watching people look at my kids in this aisle. I remember telling the kids it was time to go and they came without a word of protest, and there was a lady there and she asked, “How do you get them to leave without a hassle?” I told her that 1, we never ever buy anything from the impulse aisle and number 2, we told the girls that they could play a game in the aisle while we waited for our turn. The game was simple… find all the candies that were not in their proper place and put them in the right area. Sometimes it would be one or two pieces, other times it took a little longer, but they had fun doing it.

Remember to let the kids know when you are window shopping and when you are not. When you go to the toys, you say, “OK, we’re gonna window shop for 15 minutes, then we are going to go buy you some clothes” or what ever you have to buy.

If you want this to work you have to be consistent; do it every time the same way and watch the magic. When you’re in a rush, let the kids know a few times on the way to the mall that today you don’t have time to window shop, that means you won’t be stopping by the toys and most times they’ll be cool with it. Another important thing is for parents to be prepared for switch-flipping. If you’ve been out for a while already, there’s a good chance a young child will reach a breaking point and suddenly be ‘done’. Just done. A meltdown ensues and there’s no consoling. The best time for shopping with all its sensory overload is early on or right after nap time. Also bring a snack and a book or favorite toy.

Hope this works for you.

The value of Time & Money.

When my kids were little they thought we bought stuff with a card. “Can you buy this or that Dad?” my daughter would say; “No, we don’t have the money for it.” I would reply,  “Just use your card” she’d say. Turns out the card is not a magic buying utensil. My girls were about 1 and 3 at the time I started to explain the value of time and money.

Let me start by saying that at this time we were a one income family. I was working for a thrift store making minimum wage, and thank God for Canada and the Child Tax Credit, otherwise it would have been even tougher to make it than it already was. My wife and I had agreed that one of us would stay home to raise the kids, at least until they were in school.  Back in 2002 our grocery budget was about $400.00 a month. Our friends wondered how we could survive on such a pittance? Well, it wasn’t easy, but we bought things in bulk and made a lot of food from scratch. The cookies, the pizza, the mac and cheese what ever we could make we did. Once in a while we came into “extra” money, like a birthday card from my mom, or my wife’s parents would give us a little cash to help us out. Years before I would have taken the handouts as an insult to my manhood and my pride, but I knew that it was given out of love, and we appreciated it. Those times of “extra” money we would go to the store and let my daughter pick one thing that she wanted and could share with her little sister. It was usually some bright package of instant meat/cracker/cheese something or other, and they really enjoyed the snack. My wife and I chose a bottle of the highest alcohol content for the lowest price on our monthly date night, usually a sherry, but when the “extra” cash came in we splurged for a nice bottle of Vodka.

My kids didn’t realize we were poor at the time. How could they? They had no concept of money. So how did we teach them the value of time and money? Well, we started by explaining why I left home every day at 8am. Dad is going to work and when he works, his boss gives him money for that work. When we went shopping and my daughter wanted a toy or what ever, I would tell her how long I would have to work for said item, and at $7.50 and hour, that could be a lot of work. I would say to her, “Daddy has to work a whole day to buy you that.” and I would explain that it would mean cutting costs other places. Every couple of weeks my wife would pick me up at work, or go for a walk with the girls and pop by my work. This gave the girls an opportunity to see what I was doing during the day, this was Daddy at work making money.

This was the beginning of helping them understand the value of time and money and the relationship they have. It wasn’t like they got it the first day, but after a while they started asking, questions differently… When they wanted us to buy things, they would say, “How long would you have to work, to by this for me?” I would tell them, and sometimes they would surprise me by saying “That’s a lot of time”.  Today, they’re teenagers and young adults living on their own, and I often like to joke about how they’re beginning to realize how far money doesn’t go… I do see, now, that the lessons of childhood, still play a part of how they see time, money and the value of both.

 

 

Times they’re still changing.

Sung to the music of Bob Dylan’s Time they are a changin’

 

Come gather around people with all your cell phones

Your texting and tweeting but you’re really alone

And your uploads and downloads to slow you bemoan

and the faster speeds you are cravin’

You think that you’re living except you’re really a drone

It’s your life you are exchanging

 

Come trollers and haters, you’re not women not men

It may never change, if so, I ask when

And you judge everything, by the color of skin

It’s your own lives that you are now maimin’

You think that your clean, you’re living in sin

It’s your life you are exchanging

 

Come sinners and righteous, the big and the small

It’s time that we stand, and start feeling appalled

There’s an upgrade here that must be now installed

We are all disengagin’

keep charging you cell phone that’s how it forestalls

It’s your life you are exchanging

 

Come users and losers let’s make a stand

It’s our minds and our hearts we need to expand

Not data or memory of that thing in your hand

Your future is what you are waging

Raise your head look around please don’t misunderstand

It’s your life you are exchanging

 

Don’t wait for the time, when we stand aghast

Posing questions that should have been asked

Time is precious, you can’t live in the past

I despair that I’m not persuading

Because time moves and it only moves fast

It’s your life you are exchanging

Written by Patrick Clermont

Who am I?

 

 
‘Twas just about midnight,
I looked out the window.
I saw what I saw, but,
It couldn’t have been so.

I observed looking up,
In the night sky to see,
It was old Kris Kringle,
Sitting there on a tree.

‘Twas the craziest thing,
So, I squinted my eyes.
Santa had something,
Between his big thighs.
It was hard to believe,
It went straight up his arse.
An immense Christmas tree,
This must be a farce.

He seemed to be injured,
Yet, the reindeer were laughing.
Yes, Santa looked dreadful,
Still Rudolph was clapping.

And then I saw sticking,
Out his massive red nose,
The top of said tree,
it was fairly exposed.

He suddenly let out,
An extremely big sneeze,
then out popped a star,
To come crown it with ease.

I ran out and shouted,
“Hey! will you be all right?
Are you stuck there, marooned?
Will you be there all night?”

He looked down toward me,
I believe he did say,
“You dumb SOB,
do you deem this okay?”

I saw he was still,
Holding on to his toys.
I told him to drop them,
I had no secret ploys.

He looked as if through me,
Did he visit my heart?
Santa yielded a look,
Then he let out a fart.

He relinquished the toys,
at long last he gave in.
I had me a plan,
I could finally begin.

I propelled all the toys,
To my home right away.
I started to sell them,
Oh! what would he say?

The stuff sold real quickly,
the response was quite swell.
And then I bid Santa,
A convenient farewell.

I’m guessing the doctor,
Was mistaken with three,
For my heart didn’t grow,
Not a single degree.

Education is the key to a country’s success.

If we want our country to succeed, we need to offer the best education possible. We also need to offer it at an affordable price. The following are some basic ideas of how Canada could offer post secondary education at a reasonable price and help stop the bleeding of the student loans program.  In 2015 the Government was writing off about $16 Billion in loans, that’s a huge loss not only to the Government, but also for students who find it hard to make payments and for those who can’t make payments.

 

The following is a basic list of things we could do to improve the system. This is not a fix all, but a way to start moving the ball towards a system that won’t break people who want to go to school and also will help those who can’t afford to go to school.

 

Student Loan Reform Program

  1. The Federal Government sets aside X $ and sets up a student loan system of its own.  100% of the grant system is to be used up every year. This Grant system will be funded by adding another deduction from tax payers and businesses. A payroll tax of 0.25% or $0.25 for every $100. and a business tax of 0.10%. All funds from the previous year must be used as grants and student forgiveness.
  2. Government must charge bank of Canada rates on student loans and no more.
  3. No interest accrues until the person makes an annual gross income of $25000.00, although payments are still made.
  4. As part of receiving a student loan, students must commit to having all wages garnished at a minimum of 1% , this will directly go to paying student loans. This would include any work done while going to school.
  5. Any parent, friend or family who chooses to help can also have a % of their pay directed to help reduce the burden of a specific student.
  6. For a period of 7 years, all student loan payment would be tax deductible, and would be treated the same as RRSP deductions.
  7. Student loans will be made payable via automatic deductions from work pay. Just like RRSP, CPP, Employment Insurance… Borrower will be able to increase payments by going to payroll and asking for increases in deductions.
  8. Goals will be set for loan forgiveness, students who reach a 90% grade will have  X $ of loan forgiven depending on total of funds available in the government program.
  9. All current loans would be transferred to this program.
  10. All loans would be accessible via one simple to use site.
  11. All loans payable by online banking/bill payment.
  12. Book fees need to be regulated. It seems that every year new books need to be bought at ridiculous prices. All books need to be available online, for download and price adjustments need to be made.

http://www.metronews.ca/news/canada/2015/11/02/a-by-the-numbers-look-at-what-the-federal-government-doles-out-in-student-loans.html

http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/young-money/what-happens-when-you-cant-pay-off-your-student-debts

http://globalnews.ca/news/2193843/canada-student-loans-program-to-ramp-up-collection-efforts-documents-show/

Dear Mr. Prime Minister Trudeau (regarding student loans)

Mr. Trudeau, do you need help with revamping Student loan rules and regulations? Here’s a little advice.

 

Hey there Mr. Trudeau, now let’s go get things done.

You’ve got a majority… yes, that means you won.

You want to change the world, come on now and let’s go

Let’s help the kids at home, you can now don’t you know.

It’s not hard to make a change, with majority

Just pretend our kids are yours, they’re priority….

 

Now we could make some changes, to those student loans

Get rid of all those losses, students wouldn’t moan… (I mean they’d still moan… just a little less)

Fancy, not losing money, every single year

Students paying back their debts, I can hear them cheer.

I know just what you’re thinking, all this can’t be done.

Let me spell it out for you, do it one by one…..

 

(Now this is just the basics, tweet me if you want specifics)

 

If you didn’t know, you give all kinds of credit,

Charity, RRSP’s, child care, you get it.  (NO, Ok so….)

RRSPs are deducted from your income,

You pay a little less tax that year, see how it’s done?

The government could give those, to those who repay.

Debt goes down, a little bit and they make headway…

 

All those kids are part of, a thing called family,

Some folks might like to help, reduce the agony.

So give them a credit, like line 349,

Charity begins at home, this should be just fine.

Make it all simple, to deduct it from our pay,

Help these kids get out of debt, don’t lead them astray.

 

There are things that you could do, to help kids do it right

Help the kids of Canada, don’t add to their plight.

With your majority, and all those brains at work,

Don’t dismiss this lyric as just some genius quirk…

Show us you care enough about the future Gen

Put your heart and soul at work, mostly just your pen….

Dear Santa

I have food in my cupboards,
And food in the fridge.
I have stuff in the freezer,
My pantry a smidge.

Over my head there’s a roof,
And heat in the place.
(never enough for my girls),
But, ample for grace.

I have two socks for my shoes,
A coat, scarf and hat.
My trousers need no mending,
My shirts are pressed flat.

I have family and allies,
In love we do share.
I abide in a country,
Where freedom’s like air.

I possess all essentials,
For Christmas this year.
So, if you must pass me by,
Please be of good cheer.

Get-up-and-go spend more time,
With people in need.
And I’ll try to help you out,
With a pleasing deed.

When I see you circling,
My stop you wont make.
I’ll remember you’re working,
At easing heart ache.

Merry Christmas.

My Robot

I don’t need a woman to satisfy me,
I’ve got my robot and she is she.
I don’t need a woman, who doesn’t do,
I’ve got my robot, how about you.

Slowly, yes slowly over the years,
My love for her grows, I shed no tears.
She’s there for me now and whenever I want,
When life is short, she does not taunt.

She bears no children, she’s hassle free,
I’ve so much time to think about me.
As I grow old, she does not decay,
‘Til the moment I die she’s there to stay.

No war, no hate, no murderous scheme,
She helps me live my selfish dream.
No cry, no sound, of children I hear,
It has been that way for many a year.

And now as I enter my final sleep,
I see how far, I see how deep.
She knew what I wanted, there was no guess,
She gave me all that, and left no mess.

No one has come to replace my life,
No humans born, to cause me strife.
No humans born, to continue the way,
Robot oh Robot, has won the day.