Blog – Dr. Shimi Kang.

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vitality training

Have you ever been so absorbed in an activity that you were able to tune out all distractions and lose track of time? Did your body and mind feel like you were in a special rhythm? Maybe you were running a race, and you were focused completely on your body. Or when you were writing or painting, all your creativity seemed to come out of nowhere. This magical feeling is called a "flow state." Bu...

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“MASON” WAS A HIGH achiever and a dream student in any school. By grade 10, Mason, whose name has been changed to protect his privacy, was consistently on the honor roll and a top athlete. He was known to be driven, hardworking and responsible. So it was shocking to all who knew him when he was caught plagiarizing an essay – submitting a paper he’d found online as his own work. Since thi...

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AS SOCIETY HAS progressed, many of us have swapped physical interaction for online interaction and daylight for artificially emitted blue light – including our children. We’re seeing toddlers with faces glued to smartphones and tablets, and as kids reach school age, they’re often encouraged to spend time on iPads and other devices to do schoolwork. But what does this mean? What are the po...

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Summer camp has always meant facing a certain amount of challenges – mosquitos, making new friends, learning to play new sports and games. In other words, it’s an opportunity for kids to become more resilient. Over the past several years, resiliency – being able to withstand difficulties and rise to the occasion when necessary – has become one of the qualities parents want most for their ...

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In honour of April’s Stress Awareness month, I wanted to take this time to touch upon a subject that many women of the 21st century are struggling with in silence, day after day, whether they are aware of it or not. During this month, many experts in all fields of health will come together in hopes of spreading awareness and increasing public understanding of this growing issue that is seemin...

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Tigertown is a pushing, demanding, and stifling workplace. The hours are long, the management is predatory, the employees are solitary, and there is little community — definitely no mentors, and no time for fun or collegial bonding. Tigertown is an incubator for an insidiously growing problem: workplace bullying. Although school-based bullying in children and youth has achieved much attention...

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“Sam” – whose real name I’m not using to protect his privacy – was a first-year college student when he was referred to me. He was taking English and music, and he had slashed his arms with the bow of his violin. He told me it was not a suicide attempt but rather a protest against his childhood. Sam told me that as a child, he was a star student, excelling in academics and mu...

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When “Tyler” was a child, he was anxious. He may have inherited his tendency to worry from his mom, who was obsessed with “what ifs” and what others thought. Or maybe it was his father, who pushed him hard in school and extracurricular activities. Whatever the case, his parents often tried to solve his problems for him, which greatly diminished his ability to cope with adversity as...

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As a psychiatrist specializing in teens and young adults, I bear witness to an alarming and insidious toxin that has increased in potency over the 15 years of my practice: online pornography. Though often dismissed as harmless, pornography has had a devastating impact on the well-being of many of my patients, and it can affect a person’s mental, physical and social health. By age 15, childre...

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First off, please tell us a little bit about you – your background, your family, your personal mission and what led you to it. My personal mission is to spread the message that a balanced lifestyle with enough play, social connection, and downtime is vital for human health. My work as a psychiatrist and research in addiction and motivation combined with my experiences as a mom of three kids –...

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Most of us have probably been there. You say to yourself “today is when I finally stop putting things off” or “this is when I shed those extra pounds.” Perhaps it was, “I’m going to stop buying those things I don’t need and climb out of debt” or “quit smoking” or even “wasting time on the Internet.” We start off with the best intentions and feel committed when we set thes...

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Sex and gender are clearly common topics for societal issues. Unfortunately, it is not always a positive conversation. Signs of a hypersexual, gender-stereotyped culture clearly pop out with a quick scan of recent news headlines. We see gender insults in the current presidential campaign, deep concern about the presence of rape culture on college campuses, judicial blocking of gender-neutral bathr...

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Just a few weeks earlier, Jesse was excited to start grade five and share with his friends all the good stories he had from summer camp and playing baseball. But this past week, Jesse's father noticed his son's behaviour was changing quite dramatically. Usually eager to share what he was learning in math and science, Jesse gave a simple shrug of his shoulders and said, "It was pretty boring to be ...

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With the official end of summer and start of school, come changes to routines, new schedules, and certain adjustments. This sudden change of pace for families can sometimes leave parents feeling like they are performing a difficult juggling act! While some children will be excited to see all their friends together again, others may groan at the thought of recess being their only time during the d...

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The Roman playwright Terence once said, “I am human, and nothing of that which is human is alien to me.” If everyone shared and behaved according to this empathetic belief, bullying certainly wouldn’t be as prevalent as it is. With 14 per cent of U.S. students (PDF) reporting being bullied and five per cent bullying others in 2014, bullying is a regular affair both inside and outside school...

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Some things only money can buy — better access to education, health care, and security, not to mention iPhones, BMWs and exotic vacations. However there is one vitally important thing that money cannot buy. There is mounting science of how the wealthy are disadvantaged in one area that may mean more to them than anything else — the fundamentals of their children’s health. An Economist co...

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Summer, where did you go? It seems like I blinked and all of a sudden your alarm clock free mornings, warm beach days, and carefree weekends were instantly gone. Now, it's the third week of the back-to-school rush and my kids and I miss you more than ever. From climbing trees to slouching over desks — the transition from summer sovereignty to school routines hasn't been all that easy in my hous...

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Deputy Kevin Sumner, working as a school resource officer at Latonia Elementary School in Covington, has been sued by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for allegedly handcuffing an 8-year-old boy with ADHD, by his biceps at the back, because the wrists were too small, as a part of punishment given for not complying with orders. ACLU’s Disability Counsel, Susan Mizner has said that using...

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Who killed summer vacation? That’s the million dollar question — literally. Long gone are the days of casually taking a few weeks off with the family to go on a road trip, or jetting off to a remote destination where the real world ceases to exist. This is the problem recently addressed by Jack Dickey in a June issue of TIME Magazine, where he talks about the raising concerns and effects of w...

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A couple weeks ago, I was invited by CBC Radio to speak about a rather controversial topic brewing amongst parents and their teens regarding teenage clothing choices. This subject was recently spotlighted after a 17-year-old high school senior in Moncton, New Brunswick, made a statement by wearing a full-length halter dress against school policy, exposing her shoulders (including both bra straps),...

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Have you ever felt that fluttering feeling in your stomach? The kind that rises up into your chest and makes your heart race and even though you couldn’t possibly have any idea why you’re feeling that way, all you know is that the decision you’re about to make feels either very right or extremely wrong? Those feelings and that reaction in your body are based on human intuition. And the impul...

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Laura was a first year university student when I met her in the hospital emergency room. She had slashed up her arms with the bow of her violin. She told me it was not a suicide attempt, but rather an act of desperation to cope with her feelings of exhaustion and anxiety. As a child, Laura was a star student excelling in academics and music, and she spent a lot of time in those activities. Laura...

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In honour of April’s Stress Awareness month, I wanted to take this time to touch upon a subject that many women of the 21st century are struggling with in silence, day after day, whether they are aware of it or not. During this month, many experts in all fields of health will come together in hopes of spreading awareness and increasing public understanding of this growing issue that is seemingly...

READ MORE

In honour of April’s Stress Awareness month, I wanted to take this time to touch upon a subject that many women of the 21st century are struggling with in silence, day after day, whether they are aware of it or not. During this month, many experts in all fields of health will come together in hopes of spreading awareness and increasing public understanding of this growing issue that is seemingly...

READ MORE

Tigertown is a pushing, demanding, and stifling workplace. The hours are long, the management is predatory, the employees are solitary, and there is little community — definitely no mentors, and no time for fun or collegial bonding. Tigertown is an incubator for an insidiously growing problem: workplace bullying. Although school-based bullying in children and youth has achieved much attention o...

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Let’s be serious. Most immigrant parents do not have the time, money, resources, or will to be over-controlling, hovering, tiger parents. As the child of immigrant parents from India, I find it hard to sit quiet while the intelligence, commitment, life experiences and core values of hardworking immigrant parents are bypassed, and the credit for their children’s success is given to an overbeari...

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We are raising our children in an era of dangerous paradox. We are the most educated group of parents to walk the earth, yet our children stand a much higher chance of developing serious conditions such as stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression, obesity, diabetes and addiction. While all of these problems also have roots in our genes, the fact that they are all on the rise in children has nothing t...

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"I know it doesn't feel right but everyone else is doing it." These were the words I said far too often a few years ago when I was a new parent. It seemed to be the only response I could muster up when a well-meaning grandparent or friend (with no kids) commented on how busy we were as a family because of all my kids' activities. I did not say these words proudly. I said them with a pang of guilt...

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‘Helicopter parenting’ has become synonymous with parents who hover too much, but what are Tiger, Jellyfish and Dolphin parents? Dr. Shimi Kang defines the animal metaphors associated with parenting styles. ...

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Ninety Four percent of employers agree that collaboration is an imperative skill for 21st century job success for new graduates. Even though social bonding is in our human nature, we often forget this truth. I see it all the time — highly intelligent university and college students who minimize their social connection with others because they deem their peers as opponents rather than teammates. ...

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I’d be lying if I said a big part of me wasn’t happy that my daughter has shown no signs of “Bieber fever”. Yet, she’s only four years old, so she does have a chance of catching the disease that research suggests is more infectious than the measles. I’m not kidding, researchers at the University of Ottawa, used mathematical models to conclude that Biebermania behaves like a real diseas...

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In complete shock and dismay, my son stood staggered in front of the television screen. Adorning bright shades of green, yellow and navy blue his cheering was quickly silenced as Germany's pressure on Brazil intensified. Goal after goal, I could tell the bleak reality of my son's beloved team was slowly sinking in. With a fierce score of 7-1, my soccer aficionado couldn't believe Germany eliminate...

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When I was younger, my mother established the same bedtime routine. Some nights I was more grateful than others, but the question always challenged me to think deeply about the positive aspects of my life. As the youngest of five children in a "non-privileged" immigrant family, everything I owned was a hand-me-down, so I learned to be grateful for non-material other things: a loving family, sincer...

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As my husband piles the last piece of luggage into our jam-packed car, I slowly roll call all of my family's travelling necessities in my head. Passports? Check. Toothbrushes? Check. Bathing suits? Check. Sandals? Check. Reassured that everything is successfully stowed away, I calmly slump in the passenger seat and take a sigh of relief…Ahh, summer vacation. ...

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For interview #11 in the Self-Care series I have the pleasure of introducing you to Dr. Shimi Kang. When I first learned about Dr. Kang’s work, I felt like I was meeting a kindred spirit. Though I had never connected with her before, I knew I wanted to chat with Dr. Kang about self-care, and I am so glad I asked. Dr. Kang is an award-winning, Harvard-trained doctor, researcher, media exper...

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Nature is our ultimate utopia: It refreshes us, inspires us, even heals us. Why not take the path less travelled and explore something green today? Your health will thank you for it. Dorothy Walsh is a self-confessed garden junkie. The 37-year-old Hamilton, ON, mom is a member of a community garden where, for the past three years, she has been escaping to grow vegetables, to weed and to enjoy a f...

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If one believes in cultural stereotypes, my birth should have been a day of mourning. I was the fourth girl born to traditional Indian parents. And because I was an overachieving student who started medical school at the age of 19, one may also assume that my immigrant parents were pushing, hovering tiger parents. Neither of these are true. My birth was celebrated loudly and authoritarian tiger pa...

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Self-motivation is the holy grail of parenting. When you have successfully cultivated your child's inner drive, you can sit back knowing that you've given him or her the one thing they will need to thrive in our fast-changing society. You've also provided them with the key to happiness; when we are truly self-motivated, we are driven to seek out the connections that bring us joy and solve problems...

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One of my young patients, who was just 10 years old, was struggling with low self-esteem and school frustration that led to depression and anxiety symptoms. When I asked him what he thought led him to feel this way, he said one thing (among many others) was being told he had a “pencil-holding deficiency.” This caused him to have messy printing and trouble with written output. Written output is...

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I just accomplished my childhood dream of becoming an author, but my mom won’t be able to read my book. She never went to school, so she can’t read. Because of this, she never hovered over my homework and didn’t even know I applied to medical school when I was 19. She didn’t read any parenting books or blogs either. My mom parented me (and my four siblings) simply with what she felt in her...

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Another much-needed new book. The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy and Motivated Kids Without Turning Into a Tiger hits shelves today. The author, Shimi Kang, M.D., is just amazing. As the medical director for Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver, B.C., Dr. Kang has witnessed the consequences of parental pressure (tiger mom) firsthand. As the mother of three childr...

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Shyness is completely normal in children and most of the times nothing at all to worry about. In fact, a new study conducted by the University of Colorado and the University of Connecticut examined shyness. They found that shy children know the answer to questions just as often as outgoing kids, but they are just not as eager to state the answer out loud. However, if shyness interferes with what a...

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As a young child, I had a lot of free time to feed my growing imagination and I would create layers upon layers of stories in my head. These fictional stories intensified when I was outside in nature. While digging aimlessly in the dirt, I was a scientist trying to discover a new species of life. Soaring through fields of grass, I believed I was a superhero who was saving Mother Nature from the cl...

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Many years ago in the middle of tantrums with a toddler, I had a feeling of lost over take me and my father in law said something that has stuck deep inside me since. Along with his personal advice as a father and papa, he pointed us into the direction of books. He said “you are not the first to experience this, the chances are you will find your answer in a book.” Books were off our radar, w...

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The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids Without Turning Into a Tiger By Shimi K. Kang, M.D. “ Tiger Mom” “Helicopter Parents” “ Bubble Wrapper” “Jellyfish Parents” I don’t know about you but I am tired of all the parenting labels that are being flung around lately. When Penguin Canada announced that The Dolphin Way was to be published s...

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Hockey great Wayne Gretzky often said "You miss every shot you don't take." The same is true for learning opportunities: if our children decide against trying something, they will never know what they may be missing out on. However, trying new things means being comfortable making mistakes and failing. As children try new things, make mistakes and fail, they learn that not everything works out on ...

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I have a problem with the concept of “Tiger Mom” and it is a very personal one: I saw how damaging the overbearing, helicopter parenting style can be first hand during my years at an all girls private school. The school that I attended was noted for academic excellence and while the school itself was a nurturing and supportive environment (I say this with all honestly), I saw a lot of girls de...

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Ever wonder why it is that previous generations were able to have to many kids and still manage to keep the house in one piece? Ever stop to consider why it is so hard to make time for your spouse? And have you ever stopped to consider what the long term effects of your parenting are? If you have ever pondered any of these questions, The Dolphin Way is a must read. In it, Dr. Shimi Kang proposes a...

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There are not many things parents feel more conflicted about than the issue of technology. There is no doubt that technologies like the Internet and iPads are all around us and are here to stay. And like anything, there are many drawbacks and benefits of technology use. On one hand, kids can spend too much time with it, look up inappropriate information, and can even become addicted to technology...

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What is the Dolphin Way – and what are some of the ways in which it differs from some of the other parenting methods touted recently? Many of the prevalent parenting styles today describe parents that “take over.” Whether it is the “Amy Chua-like” Tiger parent pushing piano, the Helicopter parent hovering over homework, the Bubble Wrap parent over-protecting, or the Snow-Plough parent s...

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Dr. Shimi Kang, author of The Dolphin Way: A Parent's Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids-Without Turning into a Tiger, advocates these seven guiding principles of parenting the Dolphin Way. Click here to see online article In her upcoming book The Dolphin Way: A Parent's Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids-Without Turning into a Tiger (Tarcher, Penguin May 2014),...

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“I have no friends.” This is what Alan, a 10 year old patient of mine said to me. However, after speaking to his mother, I realized he had plenty of other children who wanted to play and spend time with him. His problem was not that he didn’t have friends; it was his perception of not having enough friends. Interestingly, this is something many kids (and adults) often feel. We are hardwired ...

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Some parents do not set clear routines, rules, or expectations when it comes to homework. I call this permissive jellyfish parenting which often leads children down a path of late assignments, poor organization skills, and ineffective time-management skills. Other parents hover and micromanage their child’s homework. In fact, a study by the Bett Educational Technology Tradeshow found that in on...

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As we emerge from the torrent of weather storms this winter, I can't help but take note that many of us parents have been caught up in a bigger, perhaps more destructive storm — that of modern day parenting. Parenting has always been stormy. I'm sure the ancient Greek parents flew into panic when their teenagers showed more bare shoulder under their togas than they liked. Yet, I bel...

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As a child, I built a wonderful bond with Mother Nature. Whether I was climbing her tall trees or rolling down her grassy hills, nature was always fun, carefree, and supportive of my need for exploration. Although she had her cold spells and rainy days, I considered Mother Nature as my confidant, play-mate, and one of my favourite educators. She taught me how to be curious, how to problem-solve an...

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Theoretically, I understand how calling a little girl bossy could possibly deflate her willingness to speak up, however how much does this actually play out in reality? (Because in general, bossy people don't like being told what to do!) More importantly, I see a much bigger culprit against women's leadership flourishing amongst us, the other B-word — Barbie. Click here to link to online Huffin...

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This is not usually how I roll, but I am lucky enough to be attending the 86th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 2. As a busy mom of three who just finished writing a book, I had little time to watch all the best picture nominated movies so I have been speed-watching what I can this last week. It is amazing what movies can teach us and make us come to terms with. Here is my parenting ...

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Since the opening ceremonies on February 7, my family had a serious case of Olympic fever. Along with many Canadians, the winter games have become a permanent fixture on our television screen, and a major topic of discussion around the dinner table. Occurring only once every two years, the Olympics present valuable learning opportunities for adults and children of all ages. Even as the 2014 Sochi ...

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Microsoft, a company worth more than $19 billion that employs over 10,000 staff globally, has only had three CEOs in its 38-year history. After 14 years of bold, larger than life Steve Ballmer, Microsoft announced their new CEO — modest, understated 46-year-old Satiya Nadella. Quoted as being an icon of the new style of 21st century leadership, there are a few things kids and parents could learn...

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A historic 700 000 people showed up in the City of Seattle on February 5th, 2014 to celebrate with their champions at the Super Bowl Parade. Many of us cheered from a distance, but as a parent and youth psychiatrist, I couldn’t help but notice that the 48th Super Bowl supplies us with a unique teaching opportunity for our kids. The Super Bowl (or any current event you are following together) ca...

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Dr. Shimi Kang

Disrupting how we understand innovation & achievement.

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