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Dads On The Air 25 November 2008 2GLF FM 89.3 10.30am to 12.00 and ONLINE - WRD

Book: "Real Kids in an Unreal World: Building Resilience and Self Esteem in Today's Children" by Margaret Dent. Also White Ribbon Day biases and stereotyping.

Dads on the Air


Local Sydney Time: 10.30am to 12 midday Tuesday 25th November 2008
USA Eastern time: 7.30pm to 9pm Monday 24th November 2008
USA Pacific time: 4.30pm to 6pm Monday 24th November 2008
UK GMT time: 11.30pm to 1am Monday night (Tuesday morning) 24th November 2008

2GLF FM 89.3 in Sydney
and ONLINE via live streaming at
or in MP3 format at


Special Guests:

- Margaret Dent

- Micheal Woods

As always, Dads On The Air is covering a lot of ground this week. We begin talking to author Margaret Dent about her new book: Real Kids in an Unreal World: Building Resilience and Self Esteem in Today's Children.

Then we talk with Dr Micheal Woods, lecturer with the Men's Health and Resource Centre at the University of Western Sydney on the controversy surrounding White Ribbon Day (WRD).

Many critics are now expressing concern over the social consequences of the repeated linking of men with violence in taxpayer funded public campaigns and the inflamed misuse of statistics to bolster an ideological position which paints men as violent patriarchs. We'll also be taking a look at the demise of the Federal Magistrates Service in Australia, created in a sense as a counterbalance to the Family Court. While many questions remain over the failure of reactionary elements within family law to embrace shared parenting, the Magistgrates Service was generally seen as faster, fairer and less expensive.

Here's the blurb for Maggie's new book. Below is a copy of the press relese on domesic violence and White Ribbon Day from Men's Health Australia.

Maggie Dent's new book Real Kids in an Unreal World: Building Resilience and Self Esteem in Today's Children:

At last, someone with a common sense parenting approach talking about kids being real kids!

Parenting and resilience specialist Maggie Dent has just released her fourth book and in her refreshingly honest and uncomplicated way she shows today's parents the keys to raising happy, healthy kids who will be able to cope with our rapidly changing world.

"It may well be the first time in history that over-parenting can be creating as much challenge to healthy child development as poor parenting." Maggie argues.

In her latest book Real Kids in an Unreal World: Building Resilience and Self Esteem in Today's Children Maggie has developed a holistic model of the 10 essential building blocks that create both resilience and self esteem in children  that will last for life. It is solution focused rather than problem focused because Maggie believes the clever intellectual world we live in is "over pathologizing" our children  always looking at flaws in development, poor behaviour and problems rather than looking at the bloody obvious  kids are kids who are slowly learning skills, knowledge and understanding according to their own unique inner programming. Yes they can be noisy, messy, unpredictable, easily upset and hard to get them to do as you want them to do - at times and that's because they are children, not just little adults!!

In some ways Maggie Dent brings to the parents the same common sense and practical wisdom that Shannon Lush brought to cleanliness. There appeared to be a 2 generation gap where the modern world disconnected Grandmothers and older aunties from passing on the timeless gems of their generation. Maggie is passing on the basics of good mothering that allows a child to develop life skills that will support them later in life. In a nutshell, the little things in childhood often become the big things in adulthood! Real children need real experiences with real people to grow healthy  just as they have since mankind began! It's a common sense holistic approach that encourages connectedness, character and compassion.

"We must avoid being too precious with our kids and over protecting them from life's unpleasantness  because life sometimes sucks and hurts, and we need to know how to bounce back when it does!" Maggie argues that play is just one of the essential building blocks that build resilience however she argues the play that benefits rarely comes from using a remote control of any kind while sitting on a couch.

We can't change the world however we can change the choices we make for our children. And we can start now.

Here's a press release from the group Men's Health Australia, for which Dr Woods acts as a spokesman:

Domestic violence: the other half of the story

Media coverage of a new report released last week by the White Ribbon Foundation (WRD) focusing solely upon violence by men against women and girls, has been criticized by a leading men's health organisation for only telling half of the story. "One would think after following last week's news, that the only violence happening in Australian society is male-on-female. Nothing could be further from the truth," said Greg Andresen, Media Consultant with Men's Heath Australia.

In last week's press, White Ribbon Chairman Andrew O'Keefe claimed that many boys hold violence supportive attitudes, reporting that "close to one in three (31%) boys believe 'it's not a big deal to hit a girl'". Men's Health Australia points out that the 2001 National Crime Prevention study cited actually reported the exact opposite: close to one-in-three (31%) boys believe 'When a girl hits a guy it's really not a big deal'. Mr O'Keefe also stated that "nearly one in three (32%) boys believe 'most physical violence occurs because a partner provoked it,'" omitting the fact that a large percentage of girls (25%) also believe this.

The co-author of the report, Michael Flood claimed last Monday that "nationally up to half of all young people have seen or heard verbal, emotional or psychological violence used against their mothers." Mr Andresen says, "while this may be true, Dr Flood neglects to mention that the level of violence against fathers witnessed by young people occurs at similar levels to violence against mothers. He also fails to mention the level of mutual couple violence which is much more common than exclusive violence by either sex. Young people witnessing these forms of violence by their parents or step-parents are just as at-risk as those witnessing violence against their mothers."

Young people's experiences of physical domestic violence between their parents/step-parents Also missing from last week's media coverage was reportage of the general acceptance by young people of female-to-male violence. Young people are more likely to say a woman is right to, or has good reason to, respond to a situation by hitting, than a man in the same situation. And while males hitting females is seen, by virtually all young people surveyed, to be unacceptable, it appears to be quite acceptable for a girl to hit a boy.

Men's Health Australia is calling upon the White Ribbon Foundation to help reduce violence by providing an accurate understanding of its occurrence. "All victims of violence deserve our support, no matter what their gender, age, ethnicity or sexuality", Mr Andresen said.

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