Isnin, 6 Januari 2014

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Parenting

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Parenting

A radical sabbatical

Posted: 02 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

Tired of playing Supermum? Get your family to take a year off from everything but school.

A ROUND of "busy-mum poker" led to Joanne Kraft's wild idea.

You know the game, the one with verbal banter that sounds something like this: "I have to be at three soccer practices tomorrow afternoon."

Then another mum ups the ante: "I'll see your three soccer practices and raise you choir lessons and three dozen cupcakes for a bake sale the next day."

Joanne and her friend Kim Vaccaro had just such a conversation one New Year's Eve while their husbands watched a game in another room and their eight children – each family has four kids – played downstairs.

No more shuttling: Taking a year off from extracurricular activities gave this family quality time together. (Keith Eric Williams/The Kansas City Star/MCT)

Taking a year off from extracurricular activities gave this family quality time together. — The Kansas City Star/MCT


At the time, about four hours of Joanne's daily life was devoted to shuttling children to and from school, soccer practice, voice lessons, baseball practice and games, all after a long day at work as a police dispatcher. Dinner involved lobbing shinguards and cheeseburgers into the back seat.

"I felt like a Third World taxi driver," she joked.

So when Joanne and Kim mused about what life would be like if their families took a year off from everything apart from school, Joanne was ready to make the leap. So was her husband, Paul.

The Kraft kids? Well, they didn't anticipate what they were in for.

Meghan Kraft, who was playing soccer, taking singing lessons and participating in community theater at the time, thought her parents were just going through a phase.

"I didn't think they were serious," she said. "I thought it was something that would just fade out."

But ol' Mum and Dad were serious. Any activity that required Joanne's driving services was off-limits for the entirety of 2007, with the exception of school and on-campus sports.

It was, as Joanne calls it, a radical sabbatical.

And it revolutionised the family. Now Joanne has penned a book chronicling the adventure, Just Too Busy: How To Take Your Family On A Radical Sabbatical and hopes the lessons will inspire other families.

In addition to the activity timeout, the family went on monthly field trips, with the children taking turns picking the destination. The first few field trips were packed with activities — ice skating, a matinee, a picnic — all in one day.

By later in the year, simpler was better: a day spent lounging in pyjamas while reading books and watching movies. Together.

It's been four years since the sabbatical, but the memories have become some of the fondest for the Krafts.

"I look back on it as a sweet time with my family," said 19-year-old Meghan, who was 15 when the sabbatical began.

David, now 16, dramatically improved his grades that year. He learned "that I could survive a year without sports and have fun with the family once in a while."

Grace missed soccer but acknowledged that "it got us all closer together."

The following year brought another sabbatical, though this one by happenstance – no TV.

Joanne had been moving furniture, and Paul didn't have time to immediately reconnect the cable. A few weeks passed, and while Joanne was envisioning her reunion with Paula Deen, it was her eldest son who questioned reconnecting the TV, saying that it was nicer without it.

It's been nearly three years since the family has had network television in their home. Netflix movies are watched together on a TV that lacks cable. They'll occasionally catch a show on the computer via Hulu or

"I've gotten pretty used to it," said Samuel, 10.

"As in you like it, or as in 'I've eaten gruel every day for 10 years, so I'm OK with gruel'?" Paul asked his son.

"The gruel," Samuel said, with a sheepish grin.

In the years since the sabbatical, they've added activities back to the schedule, but in measured doses.

"We didn't sign them up for stuff they weren't really into," Joanne Joanne said. "What we should be doing is raising responsible adults, not acting as our children's social directors."

The sabbatical approach worked for the Krafts, but it might not for work for everyone. Start small, even just setting a goal of eating dinner at the family table a few nights a week.

"It forces you to be a little more intentional as a parent and as a family," Paul said. — The Sacramento Bee/ McClatchy Tribune Information Services.

More American dads pitching in with child care

Posted: 29 Dec 2013 06:15 PM PST

Among findings: 81% of fathers played with their children.

MORE US fathers are rolling up their sleeves to change diapers and read bedtime stories to their children, a government survey finds.

Released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the survey involved more than 10,000 American men, with results finding that more men are getting involved in domestic life and child care, from mathematics tutoring to bath time.

Findings showed that fathers with children younger than five helped bathe, diaper, and dress their kids several times a week. More than 90% of dads ate meals with their kids a few times a week, and 66% tucked them into bed with a book several times a week.

Practically all fathers who lived with their children under five played with them. Among them, 81% played with them daily, and 18% played with them several times a week.

Plus dads give themselves a pat on the back: almost 90% said that they thought they were doing at least a good job of parenting.

And this is positive news for both mums and kids, since prior research has found the men who are involved in their children's lives and daily care have happier, more satisfying marriages while also strengthening bonds with their kids. – AFP Relaxnews

Access the report (PDF only):


0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved