Thursday, March 29th, 2012
A new study conducted by the financial education and family planning group DoughMain.com has found that parents are divided on whether children should earn allowance as a reward for doing chores. According to the study, an overwhelming 89 percent of parents revealed they assign chores and 51 percent give an allowance — but only 21 percent of those parents that provide allowance said the primary reason for allowance was recognition for chores.
Twenty-six percent of the parents surveyed also said they give non-monetary rewards, like extra television or computer time, as a reward for the completion of chores.
The study’s authors argue that parents should connect chores and allowance, because it has the dual purpose of rewarding helpful behavior and teaching financial responsbility.
“We believe many parents are missing a critical opportunity by connecting the two into one powerful chores and allowance system. For many children, allowance is their only form of income, and we think when connected to chores, this type of responsibility is also instrumental in learning good financial management,” said Ken Damato, president and chief executive officer of DoughMain, in a statement.
Image: Piggy bank, via Shutterstock.
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Monday, March 26th, 2012
Giving new ammunition to spouses who quarrel about the division of daily child-care tasks, a new study out of the University of Virginia is asking whether women “like” such jobs more than men. The New York Times reports on the response from the 181 heterosexual college professors with children 2 or younger who were surveyed for the study:
On 16 out of 25 child-care tasks — like changing diapers, taking a child to the doctor or getting up in the middle of a night to attend to a child — women reported statistically significant higher levels of enjoyment than men. The only parenting issue that gave women less pleasure than it gave men was having to manage who does what for the child. Over all, women’s scores were 10 percent higher than men’s.
Is it really true that women end up shouldering more of the parenting burden simply because they like it more — or at least dislike it less? Steven Rhoads, a University of Virginia political-science professor and the study’s lead author, surmised that some women may have inflated their enjoyment scores because of feelings of guilt or cultural pressure. But he also said some research suggests that a woman’s parenting skills are deeply rooted in biology. Women with high levels of testosterone, for instance, often show less interest in babies, while a father’s testosterone levels are known to drop when a new baby arrives, ostensibly a biological mechanism to encourage bonding with the infant.
Image: Mother changing diaper, via Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Chances are you’ve seen the YouTube video of Tommy Jordan, the North Carolina dad who shot his teenage daughter’s laptop. Viewed more than 22 million times in one week, the video has sparked passionate debate across the Internet.
Jordan’s 15-year-old daughter posted an angry, hurtful rant on Facebook about having too many chores, and Jordan—who’d spent hours the previous day updating her laptop—was furious that this was how she was using it. “Today was probably the most disappointing day of my life as a father,” he says at the start of the video. He reads his daughter’s post to the camera and then shoots her laptop eight times.
Comments on YouTube are split: Many say Jordan’s reaction is too extreme or criticize his use of a gun. But many others praise his tough-love approach with comments like “Give this man a medal” and “Tommy Jordan for President.” On Time.com, columnist Susanna Schrobsdorff notes that many parents of teenagers dream of doing what Jordan did:
It is both disturbing and so deeply satisfying that you can’t watch it without reliving every fantasy you’ve ever had about hurling one of your teen’s gadgets out a window or under a car after they’ve used it to ignore you or deceive you, or distract themselves from something they’re supposed to do.
KJ Dell’Antonia of the New York Times Motherlode blog writes that “Mr. Jordan acted childishly,” but she says she’s felt his anger: [I]f you’ve grounded a kid in anger, or yanked an arm or felt an ugly expression on your face and heard a tone in your voice that you’ve never used with anyone other than your beloved child, you know what I mean. Our children infuriate us like no one else.”
Jordan hasn’t spoken to reporters, but he has posted comments on his Facebook page. (He says child protective services did pay him a visit, and found his guns stored securely.) He also mentioned lessons he and his daughter have drawn from the experience. From the Los Angeles Times:
“We’ve always told her that what you put online can effect you forever,” [Jordan] said. “She’s seen first-hand through this video the worst possible scenario that can happen. One post, made by her Dad, will probably follow him the rest of his life; just like those mean things she said on Facebook will stick with the people her words hurt for a long time to come. Once you put it out there, you can’t take it back, so think carefully before you use the Internet to broadcast your thoughts and feelings.”
Readers, what’s your take on the laptop-shooting dad?
Image: Tommy Jordan screenshot via the Los Angeles Times.
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