Gender gap emerges in school readiness

Toronto Star- Editorials and Opinion, Nov. 26, 2003. Page A28

A report released yesterday by the Canadian Education Statistics Council entitled Education Indicators in Canada found that boys may be at a disadvantage to girls when entering school. Here is an edited excerpt:

The developmental stages of early childhood are complex, multidimensional and interdependent. For example, the ability to participate in age-appropriate conversations is in part dependent on a child's oral acuity, or physical development. For any one child, his or her stage of early childhood development can influence how prepared he or she is to enter school .

Long-term success in school, as well as later in life, may be influenced by what a child achieves in the first years of school. The first years in school lay the foundation in reading and writing, mathematics and science concepts.

James Heckman, Nobel Prize winner in economics, has claimed that "all the available evidence points to the great long-run value of raising the skill levels and motivation of the very young. Research in psychology and economics indicates that skill begets skill; early learning promotes later learning. Investment in the education and training of the very young earns a far higher return than investment placed in a teenager or middle-age adult."

In recent years, all orders of government in Canada have turned their attention to the question of whether children are ready to enter school fully prepared for the academic and social challenges they will face. ...

Once they enter Grade 1, children are expected to begin learning to read and write. Access to books and pencils and language development during the pre-school years help prepare children for the reading and writing challenges they will confront in Grade 1.

Although the majority of 4-year-olds, according to their parents, looked at books, magazines or comics at home, by themselves, a gender gap emerged: 79 per cent of girls looked at books daily, compared with 64 per cent of boys.

Young children develop an appetite for reading when they are surrounded by reading material, have the opportunity to see adults reading as a habit and are read to at a very early age. This seems to have been the case for a majority of young children in 1998-1999: Two-thirds of 4- and 5-year-olds had an adult who read to them every day .

However, this means that about a third will enter school without this high level of familiarity with books and printed material.

There was no difference between boys and girls in their access to an adult who read to them daily. However, there is a difference in terms of parents encouraging their young child to write: 65 per cent of girls' parents encouraged them to write daily, compared with 51 per cent for boys.

Canadian Education Statistics Council Link

Read the complete report

Statistics Canada's Centre for Education Statistics develops surveys, provides statistics and conducts research and analysis relevant to current issues in education, training and literacy. Its program is developed in consultation with the Canadian Education Statistics Council (a partnership of Statistics Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada) and other education stakeholders.

Education indicators in Canada: Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program

Volume 2003, number 1 HTML
Volume 1999, number 1 HTML
Catalogue No.: 81-582-XIE
Latest issue: 2003 no.3
Release date: November 25, 2003
Frequency: Occasional
Medium: Internet    Also Available in: Paper
Language: Separate English and French editions
Status: Available
Subject: Education
DSP: Yes
ISBN: 0-662-35373-0



Parenting: Baldwin Speaks Up

May 7, 2007

Many celebrities would shrink from view after a PR nightmare like Alec Baldwin's leaked voice mail in which he calls his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, a "rude, thoughtless little pig." But Baldwin wants to use the media scrutiny to give exposure to parental alienation, the controversial "syndrome" caused by one parent's systematically damaging a child's relationship with the other parent.

A Mother's Heartbreaking Story of Parental Alienation

A Kidnapped Mind

A Kidnapped Mind

What does Parental Alienation Syndrome mean? In my case, it meant losing a child. When Dash was 4 1/2 years old his father and I broke up. I dealt with the death of our marriage and moved on but Peter stayed angry, eventually turning it toward his own house, teaching our son, day by day, bit by bit, to reject me. Parental Alienation Syndrome typically means one parent's pathological hatred, the other's passivity and a child used as a weapon of war. When Dash's wonderful raw materials were taken and shaken and melted down, he was recast as a foot soldier in a war against me.


Psychiatric disorder may have led boy to fatally shoot father

Rick James Lohstroh, a doctor at UTMB, was fatally shot this summer, apparently by his 10-year-old son.

ABC13 Eyewitness News, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Dec. 29, 2004

The 10-year-old Katy boy accused of murdering his father this summer is now the face of an unofficial psychiatric disorder that may have lead to his father's death.

Some psychiatrists call it Parental Alienation Syndrome and they say that's why the son killed Doctor Rick Lohstroh last summer. The syndrome is basically caused by a bitter parent who poisons a child against the other parent, usually in cases of divorce.

The Globe and Mail

Parental alienation cases draining court resources

Study says such cases should be moved out of court system, handled by individual judges

The Globe and Mail
May 13, 2009

An escalation in parental alienation allegations is draining valuable courtroom resources, a major study of 145 alienation cases between 1989-2008 concludes.

"Access problems and alienation cases - especially those which are more severe - take up a disproportionate amount of judicial time and energy," said the study, conducted by Queen's University law professor Nicholas Bala, a respected family law expert.

"One can ask whether the courts should even be trying to deal with these very challenging cases." Read More ..

National Post

Custody judges rule on vengeance

Courts criticized for recognizing 'parental alienation'

National Post
March 27, 2009

Toronto -- The scope of the courts' reach into family affairs has long been contentious, but a recent trend in Canada's legal system has brought a new controversy that has some onlookers praising judges and others condemning them for accepting what they call "voodoo science."

More than ever before, Canada's judges are recognizing that some children of divorced and warring parents are not simply living an unfortunate predicament, but rather are victims of child abuse and suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome.   Read More ..

Parental Alienation

Canadian Press

B.C. judge bars mother from seeing daughter

Court orders one-year ban after 'unfounded' abuse allegations made about teenager's father

March 10, 2009

VANCOUVER - In a case of extreme parental alienation, a mother has been banned by a B.C. Supreme Court judge from seeing her teenage daughter for more than a year.

Because of the urgency of the matter, Justice Donna Martinson issued the terse, two-page ruling outlining 15 conditions the parents must follow, including that the mother, known only as Ms. A, not see her daughter until at least March 31, 2010.

The decision came after the mother alleged extreme emotional abuse by the father, which she claimed was putting the teenager's safety at risk.

"I am satisfied that Ms. A's allegations are unfounded," Martinson wrote.

"I am further satisfied that she has continued to undermine the relationship between M and her father and has acted in ways that are detrimental to M's psychological healing."

Names have been stripped from the court ruling to protect the girl's identity.

The judge has ordered that both the mother and maternal grandmother have no contact with the girl, which would be enforced by police if necessary.