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Thursday, September 12th, 2013
The 2013 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament has finally come to an end, which means that the season is winding down and the players’ schedules lighten up. For the dads on the ATP tour, this means some added family time. Top ranked players James Blake of the United States, Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, and Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland share how they manage being a dad while playing, their most memorable moments with their kids on the tour, and their favorite things to do in New York during the grand slam. Turns out, even the tennis players who travel the world up to 42 weeks of the year value the same parts of parenting as you.
James Blake, dad to Riley, 1
What has your most memorable moment been with your daughter, Riley, on the tour?
JB: It’s every day. Every day is something new, it’s so much fun. The first time she walked was the day before I left for Atlanta and I couldn’t be happier that I was still home. I watched her walk across the basement floor and once she realized she could walk…just nonstop. I don’t think she’s stopped walking since then. It’s been a month and a half and I don’t think she’s stopped walking or running. And she’s started to mimic. So when I say “night night” she says “night night” back. Every day is so much fun.
What do you most look forward to doing with her now that you have officially retired from the game to spend more time with your family?
JB: I’m looking forward to being around and not even thinking about missing another milestone. I’m lucky to have that luxury, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Lleyton Hewitt, dad to Mia, 7, Cruz, 4 and Ava, 2
What was your funniest or most memorable moment with your kids on tour?
LH: Some of the best moments are when I’m taking them on court after I’ve had a good win—that’s obviously pretty special. I’m fortunate enough that I have kids who are young enough in age that I can still be playing on the tour and they can understand what dad’s doing on tour. Travling a lot, your priorities change, obviously. It’s not so much about my schedule as much as it is about their schedule and what’s best for them.
Stanislas Wawrinka, dad to Alexia, 3
What’s your most special moment you’ve had when your daughter travels with you?
SW: The first time she came to see my warm-up match in Basel last year was great. She was really happy. It’s more important that when she’s on the tour, she’s really happy to be at Daddy’s work. I like to play with her at night and when I have days off.
Has she been to New York? What do you like to do with her around the city?
SW: Yes, last year she was here. She went to Central Park a lot. For a kid it’s not easy in New York—it’s a big city. It was not easy for us because I leave early in the morning and come back late. When I had a day off I went to Central Park with her to ride the horse carriage and she loved it! She said, “I want to do it with Daddy and Mommy!” It was a great memory.
Image: James Blake by Herbert Kratky/ Shutterstock.com
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Monday, June 10th, 2013
Editor’s Note: In a post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month. He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.
As a dad and a pediatrician who has worked with families of all types and sizes for more than 30 years, I want to tell you about a great book written for moms that dads should read, too. After all, why should moms be the only ones who know the secrets for turning chaos to calm?
From Frazzled to Focused: The Ultimate Guide for Moms Who Want to Reclaim Their Time, Their Sanity, and Their Lives is written by Rivka Caroline, a Florida-based time management and organization expert who juggles seven kids, a speaking and consulting career, and graduate school. I discovered this book when the author asked me to review it for a possible endorsement because of my own time management book, No Regrets Parenting.
I loved Caroline’s book, and endorsed it with this quote: “From Frazzled to Focused is a brilliant blueprint for recapturing minutes, hours, and days otherwise lost to inefficiency and disorganization. This book will change your life.” Yes, it’s that good. But notice nowhere in that endorsement do I mention moms — or, for that matter, dads. This is a really wonderful book for moms and dads because efficiency, effectiveness, prioritization, and systemization are gender-neutral goals. This is not a book full of platitudes and bumper stickers. Instead, it’s a concise, organized, and focused 180-page playbook with an action plan for achieving, de-cluttering, and systemizing your work and home life.
Whether at home or at work, these From Frazzled to Focused guiding principles and recommendations apply to all parents:
- Switch from doing it all to doing most of it (and know that’s okay)
- Lack of time is actually a lack of priorities
- 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of your time and effort
- Work expands to fill the time available for its completion
- Create a “to don’t” list
- Streamline your home and your head
- Avoid decision overload
You’ll learn when to “do,” to “delegate,” and to “delete.” And deleting some of the items crowding your thoughts and your desk may be the most important paradigm of all for many of us. You’ll come to recognize that “practice makes good enough,” that perfection isn’t the be-all and end-all. This realization is really liberating.
Dads can particularly benefit from Ms. Caroline’s advice for systemizing, and her supermarket analogy is spot-on: When you go grocery shopping, you put more than one item in your cart at once so you’re not constantly driving back and forth to the store. Get ahead by always thinking, “What can I do now that will make things easier later on?” Batch your tasks, and block out chunks of time for doing them — returning phone calls and e-mails, paying bills, and filing should be done in batches, not piecemeal as the e-mails or bills arrive. Although the second half of the book is devoted to specific spaces in your home, taking control of those spaces isn’t just mom’s work; dads live in those spaces, too. Both Mom and Dad can use the principles in this book for equally effective rethinking of the workplace and the work mentality.
So, with Father’s Day approaching fast and the usual panic setting in about buying yet another necktie, take this message from Caroline’s book to heart: “Last-minute problems are a lot easier to take care of when they aren’t actually happening at the last minute.” Get this book for Dad. Do it now, while you’re thinking about it, so you don’t have a last-minute problem on June 16.
Happy Father’s Day!
Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).
Image: A busy daily schedule book via Shutterstock.
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Monday, December 10th, 2012
Iron May Prevent Behavioral Issues in Small Babies
Iron supplements may help boost brain development and ward off behavioral problems in babies who are born a bit on the small side, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
Could Kids’ Salt Intake Affect Their Weight?
Children who eat a lot of salty food also tend to down more sugary drinks — which, in turn, might be related to their risk of obesity, a new study suggests. (via US News and World Report)
School Lunches To Be Allowed Unlimited Meats, Grains, USDA Announces
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday that the department will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains. Several lawmakers wrote the department after the new rules went into effect in September saying kids aren’t getting enough to eat. (via Huffington Post)
ADHD Linked to Oxygen Deprivation Before Birth
Children who had in-utero exposure to ischemic-hypoxic conditions, situations during which the brain is deprived of oxygen, were significantly more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder later in life as compared to unexposed children, according to a recent study. The findings suggest that events in pregnancy may contribute to the occurrence of ADHD over and above well-known familial and genetic influences of the disorder. (via ScienceDaily)
Oxytocin Produces More Engaged Fathers and More Responsive Infants
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A large body of research has focused on the ability of oxytocin to facilitate social bonding in both marital and parenting relationships in human females. A new laboratory study has found that oxytocin administration to fathers increases their parental engagement, with parallel effects observed in their infants. (via ScienceDaily)
ADHD, Babies, behavioral problems, birth, fathers, iron, Noelia de la Cruz, oxygen deprivation, oxytocin, Parents Daily News Roundup, salt, school lunches, USDA | Categories:
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
3 Hours of Daily Exercise Suggested for Young Children
For children under age 6, getting at least three hours of daily physical activity, spread out over the day, may be a good goal, researchers say. (via Fox News)
Kids with ADHD Have Dimmer Prospects: Study
Children with ADHD symptoms tend to fare worse as adults than do kids without problems in school, according to the longest follow-up study of the disorder to date. (via Reuters)
France Considers Ban on Homework. Should the U.S.?
While a homework-free society remains a mere dream here, students in France may soon bid adieu to homework if French President, Francois Hollande, has his way. (via Today)
Fathers Matter When It Comes to Their Teenager’s Sexual Behavior
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A new study by New York University professor Vincent Guilamo-Ramos and colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that fathers’ parenting behavior influences the sexual behavior of their adolescent children. (via Science Daily)
ADHD, Exercise, fatherhood, fathers, homework, homework ban, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, sexual behavior, teen sex, teens | Categories:
Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Looks like Dad is going to get a little more appreciation than just on Father’s Day! A recent study from Brigham Young University shows that dads play a huge role in helping their young children develop persistence. According to researchers, fathers who practiced “authoritative parenting” raised persistent kids who had better grades in school and lower rates of recklessness later in life.
The key to being an “authoritative” parent and not an “authoritarian” is granting kids personal freedom, while still holding them accountable for their actions. Dishing out appropriate levels of discipline will help children build persistence, so try to refrain from making empty threats that they will inevitably tune out.
Of course, it’s tempting to get your kids to break out the toothpaste by telling them dirty teeth will fall out, but it won’t benefit them in the long run, as one of our readers quickly found out. The funny dad’s best threat? “Either you get dressed right now, or you’re never going to get dressed again.” (For more seriously silly warnings, click here!) Rather than pretend to revoke clothing privileges, though, why not give your discipline tactics a makeover that will encourage perseverance instead? Your kids will thank you for it later.
Image: Father and son via Shutterstock
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Friday, March 9th, 2012
Report: USDA School Lunch Meat Contains “Pink Slime”
McDonald’s and other fast food chains may have gotten rid of “pink slime” from its burgers, but the gooey sounding chemical treatment that removes bacteria from meat is popping up elsewhere: Kids’ school lunches.
Polish Woman Saves Babies with 75 Days in Labor
A Polish woman lay nearly upside down in labor for 75 days to save the lives of her two premature babies after the first of three foetuses growing inside her was born prematurely and died.
Heart Screens for Kids Not Ready for Prime Time
Routinely giving children electrocardiograms could detect some cases of potentially fatal heart problems, but it would also cause many false-alarms along the way, a new study suggests.
Toddler’s Tantrum Gets Family Booted from JetBlue Flight
The subject of “appropriate behavior” for children on airline flights is back in the news again. This time it comes after a Rhode Island family was kicked off a JetBlue flight in the Turks and Caicos when the family’s 2-year-old toddler threw a temper tantrum before takeoff, NBC 10 of Providence reports.
Tea Parties with Dad May Result in Better Grades
Fathers who sip pretend tea, play school alongside stuffed animals or act out storybooks with their toddlers are doing more than establishing their “fun Dad” image. They may be giving kids an academic boost that lasts at least through elementary school, a new study of low-income families suggests.
Teen Sex Ed: Instead of Promoting Promiscuity, It Delays First Sex
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On Thursday, the Guttmacher Institute, which conducts reproductive health research, came out with a study that suggests censoring sex ed won’t actually lead to teens safeguarding their virginity until they slip on a wedding ring. But sex ed classes, even the really G-rated ones, get teens to wait longer before they start having sex.
Friday, June 24th, 2011
New dads, now you can learn how to prepare for fatherhood with “Show Dad How” by Shawn Bean. Bean, the Executive Editor of Parenting magazine (often confused with Parents magazine) and his staff put together this 156-page, illustrated guide to help dads through the toughest, most puzzling challenges of baby’s first year and beyond.
Divided into three sections (Prep, Deal, Play), the book offers a mix of practical and tongue-in-cheek advice for every situation: how to pack a diaper bag, decipher the color of baby poo, and serve green eggs and ham as a meal.
For new moms, there’s even a “Show Mom How” illustrated guide.
Read more about new fathers on Parents.com
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Friday, June 17th, 2011
Father’s Day is this Sunday, and we have plenty of ideas to make the #1 dad in your life feel extra special.
Nothing quite says “I love you” like homemade gifts the kids spent time putting together. We have 12 Father’s Day crafts that moms and kids can make — from a super neat desk organizer to a personalized paperweight. Print a “Greatest Daddy in the Galaxy” certificate or create a royal crown to make dad king for a day.
If there’s a new dad in the house, alleviate his new father fears with these tips and teach him the how to be an awesome dad.
Handmade cards are also great to give, like these printable Father’s Day cards kids can color and decorate.
Happy Father’s Day!
More Father’s Day ideas on Parents.com
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