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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 18, 2007 / 1 Iyar, 5767

No time like Father Time

By Malcolm Fleschner


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There's no question that, compared with previous generations, today's dads are much more involved in their kids' lives.


My research into American family life suggests that during the '60s and '70s, fathers' only real child-rearing responsibilities involved mediating unresolved disputes among the children, and then sometimes offering a wry, knowing comment before the credits rolled. I should note here that "my research" consists primarily of the thousands of hours I spent in childhood watching reruns of "Leave it to Beaver," "The Brady Bunch" and "Father Knows Best."


But while dads today are assuming greater child-care responsibilities, we're still a long way from sharing parenting duties equally with moms. According to one recent survey, the average American father still only spends seven minutes a day of "quality time" with his children. To put this number in context, the same American father spends more than an hour per day managing his fantasy baseball team. And that's in the offseason.


After handling 100 percent of carrying and birthing the children, moms might expect to take it easy for a while. But no, for the most part mothers are still responsible for the vast majority of feeding, clothing, bathing and potty training the kids, not to mention providing homework help, shuttling them to and from activities and berating dad for not helping more with the kids.


Meanwhile, on those rare occasions when dad grudgingly agrees to change a diaper ("number one" only, of course), he will typically emerge from the baby's room expecting the same sort of adulation the French showered on the allied troops liberating Paris in World War II.


Still, just seven minutes? Dads have to do better than that. After all, studies consistently show that a father's involvement is important for childhood development in critical areas like self-esteem, academic performance and the ability to make disgusting noises with a range of body parts.


I should note that these findings are often disputed, mainly by the National Association of Deadbeat Dads (NADD). I contacted the NADD headquarters for comment but only got an outgoing answering machine message stating the organization had moved, leaving no forwarding address, then adding, "And you ain't got no proof that baby's mine!"


My feeling is that the best way to encourage fathers to spend more quality time with their kids is simply to redefine "quality time." For example, many dads these days object to reading to children, mainly because books like "Fuzzy, the Cute Little Fluffy Bunny, Makes a Friend" get a little predictable sometime around the 8,000th go-through. So instead, why not read them material you're more interested in, like the sports pages? Or better yet, a book with genuinely educational value such as "21 Insider's Tips To Picking Racehorses?"


My hope is that by taking this approach, other dads will eventually start spending less time on non-kid-related activities and make their children the top priority in their lives. Because, frankly, that's the only way my fantasy baseball team is going anywhere this year.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:

03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

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