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JOIN HERE   WHY SHOULD I?
Over 200 top tips and words of advice, to help you really get the most from the time you spend with your kids
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Searched for: 3/27/2017 - Found: 7/30/2008 to 8/5/2008
Cautionary Tales For Children
Wonderful witty poems great for reading to your children. The stories and rhymes will stay with them for the rest of their lives.


Research has shown how important YOU are to your children and how as a dad the things you do, and keep on doing, really count, whether you live with them, or you are a single dad and are only able see them once a month, once a week or more, what you do really matters. This site is dedicated to all dads but will be of special relevance to the single dad. Remember, you are half the reason your children exist and they need you whether you live with them or not. As their dad, you have what it takes to make their lives successful and fulfilling no matter how often you see them. This site is about all the positive things that we as parents have to offer our children.
Microblog Microblog

Avoiding pain: Why we stay where it hurts

Microblog
By Chris Barnardo

A hundred years ago if you asked a psychologist what made individuals to do the same things, good or bad, over and over again, the answer would have been our ”Basic Instincts”. In the 19th Century it was believed that a myriad of innate drives accounted for more or less every repetitive human activity. Today the opposite view is held. Despite the regular discovery of genetic markers for predispositions to almost every type of behaviour, it is generally accepted by the professionals that our highly advanced capability for learning makes the concept of hardwired human instinct largely redundant. The question of whether we are a product of our genes or the result of our upbringing is called the nature - nurture debate and the answer has some important implications for society and how we treat people who do bad things. For many, this is troubling, because if we are all born the same, it logically follows that we all have just as much potential to be a Harold Shipman as we do to be a Mother Teresa, because as the product of our upbringing, it is only the circumstances of our birth which determine our personality and what we are capable of doing with it.
. . . Great minds have argued the nature vs. nurture question since at least the times of Aristotle, but whatever the answer, it doesn’t really address the question of whether, beneath all that, there is a fundamental underlying animal instinct at the root of all human behaviour. Even if you do accept the empiricist’s view of things, that we are born as a blank canvas (tabula rasa), each ready to be inscribed with our unique personality as sketched out by our personal experiences, it must still be the case (as the artist Mark Rothko demonstrated) that the blank canvas itself has a form. Further it would seem reckless to think that evolution hasn’t provided some non-learned, innate drives as an essential indemnity against the vagaries of our upbringings, to ensure that individuals survive long enough to pair up and reproduce, and thus propagate the species.
. . . After some considerable thought I have come to the reductionalist conclusion that there is indeed a single basic human instinct that despite our intelligence drives everything we do throughout our lives: The Avoidance of Pain. It is a simple as that. It’s a drive that’s particularly easy to understand and runs as an obvious survival theme throughout the animal kingdom, unless you subscribe to the rather bizarre (and convenient) notion that animals do not feel pain, in which case it may be rephrased as: The Avoidance of Unpleasant Stimuli.



Figure 1. Avoiding pain: The simple decision
We have evolved to fundamentally avoid pain for obvious reasons
I have tested the theory out on a number of people, and the initial reaction to the idea is always the same:
“Surely pleasure seeking must also be a basic instinct.”
However, that argument is quickly dismissed. After all, seeking pleasure itself is highly unlikely to be a basic drive, because it has no direct evolutionary benefit. Amoebas or ants may or may not feel pleasure, but they certainly must avoid conditions that will harm them, otherwise they would have become extinct. Instead, pleasure may be viewed as a second order reinforcing by-product of critical-to-survival pain avoiding strategies.
. . . In 2003, research psychologists set up an experiment where they monitored their subjects’ brain activity while exposing them to the emotional pain of social exclusion1. The results showed that emotional pain is dealt with in the same areas of the brain that are responsible for processing physical pain, confirming the commonsense notion that being sidelined, ignored or left out can hurt just as much as any physical injury. The research team put forward the suggestion that humans' need for inclusion evolved in response to our reliance on social bonds for survival, where social distance from a group could lead to death. They postulated that we have evolved a sensitivity to anything that would indicate that we're being excluded as an automatic alarm signal for us to re-establish social bonds before we get into trouble on our own.



Figure 2. Avoiding pain: The complex decision
Avoiding pain in bad relationships is complicated by the masking effect that initial isolation and separation pain has on the long term generally reduced pain visibility
I suppose it was obvious all along; we stay where it hurts, because we know it will hurt more if we leave. It’s a bleak conclusion, but just the simple act of reaching it opens the door to a better place. Life is far too short to waste staying where it hurts and certainly far too long spend it all in pain. Once we learn how to see what really lies beyond today’s decisions, I have a feeling that basic human instinct of self preservation will take over and prove that those 19th pioneer psychologists were on to something after all.



1. Naomi I. Eisenberger, Matthew D. Lieberman, Kipling D. Williams, Does Rejection Hurt? An fMRI Study of Social Exclusion, Science, Vol. 302. no. 5643, pp. 290 – 292, 10 October 2003
dadcando

MicroBlog Archive
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WEEK 14, 2009
Dad… can we make something?
Making something with the kids for homework can turn into a memorable and heroic enterprise.
WEEK 13, 2009
How to stop arguing: Part 2
How do you stop an argument if you are already in one, here are our top ten tried and tested ways of halting an argument in its tracks
WEEK 12, 2009
How to stop arguing: Part 1
Ten reasons actually why people argue (and that's not including what they argue over) to help you avoid the argument traps and habits
WEEK 11, 2009
Getting ready for a new arrival
When you become a dad for the first time your life changes dramatically,so here are ten top tips on how you can prepare practically for the new arrival
WEEK 10, 2009
Don't say goodbye...
Ten top tips for dealing with all the goodbyes a single dad has to say and keep on saying.
WEEK 9, 2009
Can I do that again?
Think twice before you dismiss your kid's quirkiest comments, because children approach life with such an open mind, that there is often a great deal of sense in even the strangest things they say.
WEEK 8, 2009
Food of the gods
Chocolate isn't all bad, in fact it's mostly good, see our top ten reasons why chocolate is good for you
WEEK 7, 2009
The last thing I remembered was...
Everyone has their own way of recognising the importance of the moment, but here are my top ten tips, conveniently sorted in to Mind, Body and Soul.
WEEK 6, 2009
Caring for a sick child
Caring for a sick child is never easy, but if you are divorced or separated then you might find these top ten tips helpful
WEEK 5, 2009
On Passion, Love and Happy Endings
My top ten couples through history and how they measure up on Passion, Love and Happy Endings
WEEK 4, 2009
Another Place at Breakfast
Introducing a new partner to your kids in the right way can make things so much easier for everyone, read our top ten tips for getting it right
WEEK 3, 2009
What's better than a New Year?
We can learn some good lessons from the traditional values upheld at Chinese New Year, we pick 10 customs that would be worth following.
WEEK 2, 2009
Who needs New Year's Resolutions?
Ten of the best New Year's resolutions designed to help you make 2009 your year.
WEEK 52, 2008
Christmas is here
Christmas is here!
WEEK 51, 2008
Christmas without your kids
Every parent's nightmare and many single dads' reality, is a Christmas Day without your kids. Here are ten top tips on how to have a great Christmas even if you aren't able to see your kids on the day itself.
WEEK 50, 2008
Finding dad a date: Part 2, The Dates
Read the second installment of James's search for a new partner with the help of the Absolute Radio Breakfast Show team
WEEK 49, 2008
Finding dad a date
Finding a date is never easy, but it is doubly hard when you’re a single parent. Read the first part of James's story here
WEEK 48, 2008
Christmas and the kids
10 top tips on how to make the most of the Christmas season with your kids when they don't live with you.
WEEK 47, 2008
What do you do about holidays?
10 practical top tips about how plan and negotiate your access over the holidays.
WEEK 46, 2008
Tackling a teenager
10 top tips on how to maintain a sense of fairness and discipline and yet still managing to remain friends with your teenager through those difficult teenage moments
WEEK 45, 2008
Reliable routines
When parents split up their children’s routines are the first casualty. New routines need to be set up quickly; we've ten top ideas here
WEEK 44, 2008
Rules for Rules
With the right kind of rules kids feel confident, here's our ten top tips for getting getting the rules right in your home
WEEK 43, 2008
Smack or snack
Post separation discipline can turn out to be a problem, so here are our ten top tips for basics of discipline and how to get things working smoothly in your home
WEEK 42, 2008
Getting it right on your first date
Ten tips on how to make sure that a first date turns into a second date
WEEK 41, 2008
Ten great first dates
Where you choose to go on your first date says a lot about you as a person and how you think, so make the most of it with these top ten tips for a great first date venue
WEEK 40, 2008
Getting started with internet dating
Internet dating is a good way to meet new people, so here are some top tips to help you get the most out of online dating
WEEK 39, 2008
How to encourage your kids to read more
So, everyone knows how good reading is for their children, but how do you encourage them to read, or read more. Here are ten top tips to get you started and get your children reading books.
WEEK 38, 2008
The best ten British TV comedy series shows ever
The beneficial effects of laughter 10 of the funniest British TV comedy shows to help start you laughing your way to health
WEEK 37, 2008
Ten ways to be positive
Ten practical ways to be positive when it's tough, from the queen of positive thinking, Dawn Stannard
WEEK 36, 2008
10 ways to grow your kids' creativity
Developing your children's creativity is your job and a very important part of their upbringing, here are ten ways you can help them develop their creativity
WEEK 35, 2008
Relativity: When dark days feel like months
When you are experiencing the trauma of a serious relationship break up, ironically Time seems to slow down, dragging out the pain and making things much worse.
WEEK 34, 2008
Feeding the machine
It's Randomised Variable Interval Reinforcement that makes gamblers gamble and traps normal people in destructive manipulative relationships where they feel unlovable
WEEK 33, 2008
Avoiding pain: Why we stay where it hurts
How can the avoidance of pain be the main human drive when we tolerate so much discomfort in our relationships and our day to day lives?
WEEK 32, 2008
Burning Building
Internet dating is like being in a burning building looking for someone to help get you out, but the only people who can help you are trapped in the same building with you
WEEK 31, 2008
How far have we come?
Humans have been evolving for 1 million years and it's been 10,000 years since Cro-Magnon man developed the family unit, how far have we really come?
WEEK 30, 2008
Who put that cup there?!
What is it that is so seductive about blame? No one is immune to its satisfying qualities and its effects ripple through society at every level. Our kids are an easy target...
WEEK 29, 2008
Winners and Losers?
A thoroughly modern school sports day, that's more about taking part than about making one winner and loads of losers out of us
WEEK 28, 2008
Living apart together
Society is changing, and more and more people have two places they call home, so why is Shared Residence still such an issue?
WEEK 27, 2008
The Children Act, 20 years on, so what's going wrong?
A TV documentary asks what exactly is going wrong with the Children Act, 20 years after becoming law. You can take part and have your say.
WEEK 26, 2008
Mummy says we need a haircut
Do you feel like you're being told what to do by your ex-partner? We explain a little of what's going on and how you can deal with it.
WEEK 25, 2008
Alchemist's Dream
Single parents achieve the alchemist's dream of putting separated things together to turn lead into gold for their kids
WEEK 24, 2008
Happy 100th Birthday, Father's Day
100 years after the first Father’s Day, is this day just another “Hallmark Holiday” or a special time we can use to say what we really mean.
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