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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Time and Motion

Back in 1948 Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey produced a book called `Cheaper by the Dozen’. Their premise was that applying the principals of time and motion to a family group would enable a family to interact and respond by pulling together. The film was released in 1950.

I have a 1968 copy of the book in a Pan Books Edition. The inscription reads:

Who only reared twelve children
Who reared twelve only children

Do mothers really do everything? Food, clothes, school, homework, 11+ study, recreation, comfort, love, role model - in fact everything. Does this mean that while dads understand that they have children, a mother’s nurturing side enable them understand their children’s needs in a different manner?

What do dads do? A number of dads can do some of the non verbal and some of the maths. Some children even allow their dads to offer tentative solutions to verbal reasoning questions.
This brings us back to time and motion in the home. To fit everything into a early morning scramble for school I can think of a very wide range of activities that the average mum has to manage. This leaves dad able to spend just three minutes a morning revising key concepts.

Can you image the impact on the family as all concerned sit down to cereal and toast and the conversation opens:

“We were able to revise multiplication of factions and proportion this morning. Thanks to dad’s clever methods I think I now know how to do them.”

“I have always thought he was clever, that is why I married him.” (Fondly.)

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