Month: June 2021

Dyslexia Mythologized: Part I

Not a week (perhaps not a day) goes by where I don’t have parents  coming to me concerned their child has “dyslexia.”

I will ask, “Why do you think she has dyslexia,”


Commonly the response is a variation of, “Well, I think there are these ‘was/saw’ and ‘b/d’ reversal things.  Also  sometimes I see him writing a ‘p’ for a ‘g’ so, yeah, there are those reversals.”

The characteristic responses reveal our deeply held mythologies as to what we believe dyslexia to be.   We seem unable to  shake the beliefs from our mental tree.

As we head into the July 4th  holiday,  try this experiment with some of your relatives and friends by asking, “Hey, Aunt  Abigail (or whomever), what do you know about dyslexia?  What do you think it is?”

My prediction is that 99 – 100% of the responses will be some variation of,  “Isn’t that when you read upside down and backward…You know, like the letters and words are upside down or reversed or something, right?

The predicted answer will come from all walks of life regardless of the person’s  level of education and experience.

How the mythologies became part of our collective mental consciousness is well beyond my pay grade.  Perhaps you have some idea and I would love to get your view.

Please let me know if my prediction is accurate or not and we will pick up after July 4th with Dyslexia Mythologized Part II.


Copyright, 2021
Questions or topics email Dr. Selznick.  Not in the South Jersey area? For a free 15 Minute Consultation, contact Dr. Selznick: email –

“Fun Dad Nation”

Every generation creates its own parenting style based on a variety of factors and variables shaping our view of what it means to be a parent.

For some time, I’ve jokingly referred to modern dads as a part of “Fun Dad Nation.”

These dads are a blast.  Involved with all kinds of sports, they love playing video games and doing goofy stuff at the dinner table – what a package!

As we go into Father’s Day here’s one bit of caution to the dads of Fun Dad Nation.  Hierarchy still matters in the family.  That is, parents need to be parents.  It can’t be “Fun Dad” all the time.

As I write this I  reflect on a memory from my own childhood to illustrate with a simple example.

Watching sports with my dad in the family room a couple of my dad’s friends came in to join him. Without blinking, my dad immediately commanded, “Get up, Richard, and let Uncle Frank sit down.”

(There is no way my dad would let Uncle Frank be relegated to the cheap seats while his punk kid sat in one of the “grown up seats.”  There was plenty of space on the floor for me to place my behind, so off I went perhaps unhappily.)

It’s my sense that the dads of Fun Dad Nation have a tougher time with this concept.

In other words, it is a more child-centered, less parent-centered era.  We are very oriented to making sure the kids are happy and comfortable.

Has it gone too far in that direction?

Many children that I meet seem to be running the show, making the demands, wanting pleasure without compromise.

Regardless of what parent era we are talking about, children still need direction from someone (preferably a parent) with clarity and a backbone.

Wishy-washy parenting never plays well with kids – they sense the weakness and take advantage of it.

So, dads of Fun Dad Nation, listen up.

It’s ok to give a directive  or set the rules, that may even make the kids a bit uncomfortable, even a little put out.

Restore order in the universe.

The tail can’t wag the dog.

Copyright, 2021
Questions or topics email Dr. Selznick.  Not in the South Jersey area? For a free 15 Minute Consultation, contact Dr. Selznick: email –

“Same As It Ever Was…Same As It Ever Was”

Adults often look at the younger generation with a combination of bewilderment and horror over the way they conduct themselves on a day-to-day basis.  Shaking our heads quietly (or not so quietly) we wonder, “What’s the matter with them?  What’s the matter with kids these days?”

(For someone like myself who has been in the business of working with children this can become even more pronounced, as every year of getting  older, the kids stay the same age.  So, back in the earlier part of my career the gap between a 15 year  old and myself, was maybe 15 years or so. Now…well, let’s leave that out of the discussion.  Let’s just say the gap is considerably wider.)

When it comes to children and their issues, it’s important to keep perspective, which is often not easy to do.

With that in mind, the following should help us keep a perspective as we shake our collective head:

— “We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient.  They frequently inhabit places they shouldn’t and have no self-control.”  (An inscription found in a 6,000-year-old Ancient Egyptian tomb.)

—  “When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint.”   (Hesiod, 8th Century BCE)

—  “Our youth now love luxury.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents; chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.” (Socrates, 469 BCE)

—  “The world is passing through troubled times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest, and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.”  (From a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274)

—  “Children are natural mimics—they act like their parents in spite of every attempt to teach them good manners.”  (Mad Magazine, circa 1963)

Or as the Talking Heads said in their classic song, “Once in a Lifetime,” stated, Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.



Copyright, 2021
Questions or topics email Dr. Selznick.  Not in the South Jersey area? For a free 15 Minute Consultation, contact Dr. Selznick: email –

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