Why You Should Have a Good Story to Focus on in the Day

A ‘Period Dignity Officer’ Seemed Like a Good Idea. Until a Man Was Named.

On Monday, a man named John “Jay” Kelly started working as a “period dignity officer” for a nonprofit organization that helps men struggling with their periods at work. While it seems like a brilliant idea, the reality is far more complex.

The idea came up in the context of a conversation I had with my wife (a nurse practitioner) last month. She and I were talking about our kids getting into bed at night and the worry that there would be a bedtime story, or a reading, or a request for a dance because they thought it would be fun, or anything for that matter.

“Wouldn’t it be more effective to have something to focus on in the daytime rather than at bedtime,” she asked.

“I’m not sure we have a focus for the whole day or a good one,” I responded.

“That’s exactly what we need,” my wife said. “Then we don’t get caught up in the bedtime stories.”

But just because we don’t have a good one doesn’t mean we need to give up on bedtime stories altogether.

For years I’ve used bedtime stories as a way to engage with my three little girls. After we finished the first book (they are now in their 20s), I asked them to go to their rooms and read a book until they fell asleep. Sometimes they would ask me to read something else instead, and I would give them time to do that.

When my family started to have more kids, I tried something similar. I’d ask them to read a book in the morning while I got them ready for school, and a couple of hours later I’d ask them to go to school so that I could read a book. This seemed to work well when we had just started having children, and it kept them interested in reading and talking about books as long as we were around.

Of course, over the years there

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