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Tips for living

Today: What to do when Daddy comes home

In a recent priesthood lesson, everyone in the class was given a copy of "How to Be a Good Wife," a list of 10 steps to a good marriage that purportedly came from a 1950s home economics textbook.

Among the steps were: "Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal … "; "Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives … "; "Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum …"; "Don't greet him with problems or complaints … "; "Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. …"

Catch the drift? Thought so.

There's some disagreement over whether the list is a legitimate '50s document — or an Internet hoax (see www.snopes.com/language/document/goodwife.asp). But everyone should be able to agree that in the year 2009, it's hooey.

So what should a family do when Daddy comes home?

Like the song says, put your arms around his neck and give him a kiss.

Tell him some good things that happened that day — chances are you've already texted him about the bad.

Give him a few minutes to change out of his clothes before you hit him with that night's "honey-do's."

And what should Daddy do?

Don't pretend that your workday is over. There's dinner to get through and children to pay attention to.

Help out with the evening chores. Two people can get through the dishes and children's bedtime preparations much faster than one.

And Mommy and Daddy should make sure to set aside some time to talk and be together after the children have gone to bed. That will give them some precious time to communicate with each other without those little voices demanding attention.

Robert Walsh

rwalsh@desnews.com