Pitch in, Dad
Fathers who dust and do the dishes aren't just making Mom happy. They're also raising better-adjusted kids.
"Seeing men perform domestic duties teaches children cooperation and democratic family values," says Scott Coltrane, a professor of sociology at the University of California-Irvine, in the latest issue of Parents magazine.
Coltrane analyzed data from more than 3,000 families. Among his findings: Kids whose dads perform chores are more likely to get along with peers and less likely to be troublemakers at school than those whose mothers do all the work.
The games they play
Boys spend twice as much time playing video games as girls, but the gap is expected to close as more games are designed with girls' preferences in mind, a survey by Michigan State University found.
The survey of more than 1,000 fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders, and university students in Michigan and Indiana was conducted in 2003. Among the findings:
- Eighth-graders lead the way in time spent playing games, with boys averaging 23 hours a week and girls 12 hours.
- Females prefer classic board games, card-dice games, quiz-trivia games, arcade games and puzzle games.
- Males prefer fighters, shooters, sports, fantasy role-playing games, action adventure and strategy games.
Dealing with dawdlers
Does your child take her sweet time getting things done? Some advice from Elizabeth Crary, author of "365 Wacky, Wonderful Ways to Get Your Children to Do What You Want" (Parenting Press, $9.95):
- Limit distractions. Consider putting her shoes or jacket in the hall, away from toys or television, and asking her to put them on there.
- Make the task into a game. Let her pretend to be something fun while doing a task.
- Let her know that you understand how she feels: "I know it's not always fun to have to get ready or eat breakfast when someone tells you to."
- If there is a certain task that she tends to dawdle over, consider making it routine to complete it at a similar time of day, such as before story time.
- Offer a reward: "I'll set the timer for 15 minutes. If you can get your clothes on before the bell rings, then we can stop for ice cream before the library."