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Making Time To Work On Projects With Kids

First Posted: 08/24/11 02:03 PM ET Updated: 10/24/11 06:12 AM ET

Homework

By John J. Edwards III on The Juggle

Sharing our vocations and avocations with our children isn’t just a matter of participating in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work. There can be all kinds of creative ways of sharing what you do with those you love.

For me, that’s taking the form of a writing project with my daughter—one that’s running up against my busy schedule and penchant for procrastination.

My daughter, nearly 10, is an enthusiastic reader and writer. From school reports to her own just-for-fun short stories (such as the tale of Facelessia, a girl without a face), she writes with a verve and freedom that make me wistful for my own days as a precocious creative writer. So when my wife suggested that I write a book based on ideas from our daughter, I agreed right away.

The initial idea was simple: a girl who can make her dreams come true. From that I wrote a rollicking prologue, setting up some ground rules (she can dream up early delivery of a magazine subscription, say, but not a million dollars or world peace) and ending with a foreboding setup: She had just had her first nightmare. My idea girl loved it, and I was pretty pleased with it myself. I was all set to move on to Chapter 1.

And…that was several weeks ago. I’ve made various gestures toward getting back to it—putting a printout of the prologue in my briefcase, taking out my notebook with the intention of doing some outlining—but something has always intruded. It’s not really that time is impossible to find; I just have to prioritize it. Hopefully, having written about it here will spur me to move forward with our cross-generational story-spinning.

Is there an aspect of your work that you can share with your children? What projects have you taken the time to start with your kids? Where do you find the time?

Read the full story on WSJ.com.

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Filed by Jessica Samakow  |