8 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR KIDS FROM THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS LOL 😜
A growing number of GTA parents are conflicted about how to broach the subject of the Toronto Maple Leafs with their children. The Leafs got off to their worst start in 25 years, winning just two of their first 14 games. Now, having only lost one of their last eight games in regular time, the Leafs are giving fans that slither of hope that they will so cruely rip from your grasp later in the season.
Toronto's long-term exposure to what experts are calling "just real bad hockey" is taking its toll. Children who watch the Leafs regularly experience an overall drop in their happiness levels, with many exhibiting symptoms of nihilism and the "all-the-time-sad". And when parents confront their kids about their poor grades, many are met with, "I'm not failing, I'm just losing the right way," a quote they attribute to coach Mike Babcock.
A recent report out of Ryerson confirmed that watching the Leafs for an hour a week had detrimental effects on a child’s overall wellbeing. The report explains, “Research has shown that when a child is shown footage of the Toronto Maple Leafs the same areas of the child's brain light up as when we showed them a dramatization of a puppy being sucked up into a propeller engine.”
Child psychologist Dr. Jack Storey offers these pointers to parents:
1. Emphasize it’s not their fault
Kids who turn on a Leafs game without supervision will often become confused when they see the puck fly so relentlessly into the Leafs’ net over and over and over again. They will internalize the negative feelings this conjures. It is important to hug them and calmly explain, “No sweetheart. This isn’t your fault. It’s Burke and Ferguson and Nonis and Shanahan’s fault. And Phaneuf’s a little bit, too.”
2. Help build your child's self-esteem
Watching the Leafs on a regular basis can erode your child's self-confidence and even cause depression. Try to encourage them to make healthier decisions with their free time, such as reading, playing outside, or watching the Montreal Canadiens.
3. Look for “teachable moments”
When the Leafs falter, take a moment to explain what went wrong and what the Leafs could’ve done to avoid the mistake. Take a moment to get down to their eye level and firmly tell them, “Phaneuf is too slow to have pinched there,” or “Jon Bernier doesn’t know who Nelson Mandela is because he’s a big dumb idiot.”
4. Monitor their social networking
Tell them that punctuating their tweets with #LeafsNation or #Phaneuf4Prez is something that has the potential to negatively impact future employment opportunities or their ability to run for public office one day.
5. Talk to your child about the joys of living without the Leafs
Emphasize how good she feels when she isn’t choosing Leafs players for her hockey pool. Point out to her how existentially nourished she feels when she’s not looking at the Leafs organizational depth chart. Help her to be responsible for her own well being.
6. Be specific about the science
Help your kids understand what is happening in their bodies chemically when they watch the Leafs. Explain to them that their dopamine levels are directly affected by each failed power play breakout, or each time Glenn Healey says, “See, Reimer just has to make that save”.
7. Walk them through their hockey dysmorphia
Being constantly inundated by bad hockey can cause hockey dysmorphia. Kids will become completely unhinged and lose their grasp of what hockey is supposed to look like. Be patient with them, but firm when explaining, “No sweetheart, these ducks couldn’t sweep the Leafs in four. They’re just eating the bread we’re feeding them.”
8. Discourage them from spending too much time in the basement
Studies have shown that kids who identify as part of “Leafs Nation” are 20 times more likely to be afflicted with a vitamin D deficiency and a fear of direct sunlight. Try to keep them above ground as much as possible.