February 1, 1997
THE WORKING FAMILY In 1997By Laurie Kobliska, Editor
STOCKTON DESK - It seems that there is a constant struggle for parents to balance work and family commitments these days.
Understanding what works and what doesn't is key to unlocking the mystery. However, strengthening the good habits and eliminating the bad is not always easy. It takes total commitment and group effort.
Families need to communicate regularly about each others needs and concerns and in todays hectic world, its important to make time for each other.
It may be weekly gatherings at the dinner table or a planned monthly meeting where specific things are discussed. Be realistic. Discuss what each person can do to improve the family commitment. It may involve housework to take some pressure off mom or it may be a commitment to being home for dinner 3 nights a week by parents and kids.
Children have many specific needs just as adults do. Look at your family's specific needs aside from your job commitment. If you start with the job needs there won't be enough time left for family.
Teach your children about the world of work by introducing them to what it is you do every day when your not with them. Teach them the importance and significance of it as well so they begin to understand what motivates you.
Talk to your family about the big picture but start with little ones. Don't expect things to change over night, however. Work at it a little dose at a time.
For example, commit to each other that every Sunday night you will all be home for dinner, just the family. Use that time to talk about the weeks events and family matters. Focus on the positive things that are happening at work. Share what's exciting about your job, not what's wrong with it. Similarly teach your children to concentrate on what went right in their day at school not what went wrong.
Praise and positive thinking is essential in a healthy family and is often overlooked. Nobody ever went to their grave wishing they'd spent more time at work!