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Congratulations, working parentsThis is it -- The...


Congratulations, working parents

This is it -- The Week of the Working Parent. The Maryland Committee for Children, a statewide advocacy group for families, has designated today through Friday as a time for working parents to get a little recognition -- especially from their employers.

Children in many day care centers and nursery schools around the state will be making name tags and signs for their moms and dads to wear and take to work, to show just how many parents are in the work force. There are also lectures and workshops planned for the week.

The committee has compiled a folder of "Tips for Working Parents" to be distributed through sponsoring businesses this week. Here are some of those suggestions:

* Encourage your child to make choices from an early age. Give real choices and make sure you can accept what your child decides.

* Limit the number of rules that you make. It is easier to stick consistently to a few rules. Make the rules primarily those that involve health, safety and sanity.

* Help younger children develop a routine and learn about the importance of preparing ahead of time by asking them to lay out clothes for the next day the night before or helping them set out breakfast dishes before bedtime.

* Explain to your child that homework is his responsibility. Your job is to help him decide how and when he will meet that challenge.

* To encourage reading, let your child read to you. Encourage preschoolers to tell stories based on pictures. Plan frequent trips to the library and allow children to select their own books.

* Parenting doesn't come naturally. It's hard work for which there is little preparation. Parents deserve support and encouragement to do their jobs well.

Men, the sorry sleepwalkers

Men are more likely to apologize first and sleepwalk more than women, according to studies on gender differences reported in McCalls magazine. Studies show that men actually do more talking than women at meetings, in mixed-group discussions and in classrooms. There's only one place where women may dominate the conversation: at home. And not surprisingly, women control the television remote control only 34 percent of the time; men control it 55 percent of the time.

Laughing matters

Find your baby's funny bone. Laughter can make your baby feel better, think more clearly and connect more surely with the social world,

experts say. When your baby laughs, he or she is watching to see if you'll laugh, too. Your response will determine whether he or she goes on chuckling or stops. To discover your child's style of humor, watch what makes him or her laugh, then laugh along.

Struggling fathers

If you're a childish father, you may have trouble being a father to your child. An Ohio State University study of 177 fathers ages 25 to 58 showed that those who were struggling with the problems and concerns of adulthood, such as relationships, health and work, used less positive child-rearing practices. Such fathers were less accepting of their children, more likely to use guilt to control them and more lax in enforcing rules.

Worth noting

* "Losing a Parent as an Adult" -- a workshop to explore and understand the grief process through discussion and group support, sponsored by Jewish Family Life Workshops. Mondays in June from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jewish Family Life Institute. Registration necessary by Friday. For more information, phone 466-9200, Ext. 387.

Family Forum welcomes items of interest to families. Send them to: Family Forum, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.

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