Posts Tagged ‘Parent’

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A Subject Close to a Parent’s Heart

Traci Kenworth


I’ve read recently (as well as roundabout for a while) that boys aren’t reading like they should. Girls seem to latch onto books like goldfish to a pond. It’s natural and easy for them. Boys, on the other hand, struggle with the desire to crack those pages. Is it because of too much stimuli (video games, TV, outdoor activities—not saying anything of these are necessarily bad for them if done in moderation. With the exception of the last, which should also be encouraged.)? But, I’m wondering if our boys aren’t getting left behind.

My daughter reads (and writes J) up a storm. My son is the opposite. He barely wants to dive into any reading—unless it’s video game magazines, hunting, or guns. And I don’t mind him being interested in this material because at least it’s something. But I worry about how his selective reading might inhibit his performance in school. Through the recommendation of a friend of mine, when school starts, I plan to help him by letting him choose what he wants to read book-wise and reading a chapter to him at night, and allowing him to read another one. This back and forth experiment will hopefully broaden his horizons.

So much can be learned from books. There are adventures to take, a journey to self-awareness, and enjoyment that gives back. I hate to see the younger generation particularly boys miss out on that. I think part of this problem is there are so few male protagonists out there for them. Harry Potter, yes. Series such as Star Wars. But overall, there is a lacking. I think it’s time to encourage more diversity in books and better reading habits for our sons. Only by joining together can we give them a better future.

What are your thoughts? What are some of the things that helped you encourage your son to read more? Do you feel that boys do their fair share of reading equal to girls? If so, why? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Balancing Home-Life with Writing

Traci Kenworth


It becomes a challenge (with any career) to balance such with home-life. On one end, you have the kids, piled up laundry, dirty dishes, pets that demand attention, and at the other, there’s your job, that thing you do that supports/fulfills you. Writing is that for me. It’s my pick-me-up, face the bald facts, never-going to-end-till-I-die occupation. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As I think I’ve mentioned, writing kind of saved my life after my divorce. It brought me back to believing in myself, in going that extra mile, and restored my faith in the kindness of others. When you have such a life-line, it can drag you through shark-infested waters. I won’t say it’s been easy. There are hurdles like in any other field. You have to train, train, and train.

You also have to figure a way to prioritize things. For me, I spend the early morning hours and afternoons writing, I split the rest of my day taking care of the house and spending time with the kids. It’s not easy. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day, but there aren’t. We can only do what we can do. Don’t beat yourself up about tasks you don’t get finished, save them for the next day.

One step at a time, I guess, is how I balance things. Giving my all in all three areas. Someday if someone special pops into my life, I’m sure I’ll have an even tougher spin of the wheel. But I do love a challenge. I didn’t used to, but I’ve come to realize that they’re what keeps us alive and going forward.

The kids respect my writing, but they also know I’ll be there for them if they need me. And yes, I go through thousands of little interruptions a day, as I’m sure any stay-at-home or work elsewhere mom goes through. You take care of them then go on. Does it break my concentration? Sometimes. But the truth is, the kids will only be young once, I figure I better treasure them now before the house becomes silent to their laughter. So, no, when they need me, I do my best to be there.

And you know what? I still have plenty of time left to pursue what I love. Writing is a tangled, exciting, enriching, and glorious job. It can also be painful. That’s when we need to step back, enjoy some time away, and get back to the basics. You and me, kid. Life kicks enough dirt in our face, let’s do our best to wipe it away, and get back in there. Anything you put your heart into will pump back the rewards. Motherhood. A career. Your love-life. It’s only a matter of time to figure out how to handle them all.

When things seem over-whelming, just retreat to your quiet place. In fact, I recommend doing so, at least ten-to-fifteen minutes out of the day. Just relax your mind, dream a little, have a talk with your muse, whatever helps. It’ll calm and energize you and set you on your way again. So the secret to balancing your writing (aka career) with home life is to handle things as they come. Figure out what’s important to you, the rest will fall into place.

How do you handle your day-to-day tasks? Any advice to others on how to stop the craziness that is life and get down to what matters?



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