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wearisome/['wiərisʌm]/ a. 使疲倦的, 使厌倦的, 乏味的...

Put the kids to work让孩子做点家务(ZT)

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Life for working parents is a strain. Many spend their days in what seems like a constant whirl, trying to hold up their end at work while keeping house and shuttling active kids to music lessons and sports events. There just isn't enough time to do it all.
  在职的父母们总是生活在高度紧张的状态下。很多人都像陀螺一样没日没夜地不停转,做好了本职工作,还要打理家事,然后还得车接车送自己那些精力充沛的孩子去学音乐、做运动。对他们来说,要做的事总是太多,而时间总是不够用。

  Book shelves and magazine racks are crammed with advice about how to handle all this, from simplifying life (easier said than done), to having it all (a recipe for dissatisfaction). Some say that fathers should pull more of their weight at home and take some of the pressure off stressed-out working mothers. That's a fine idea, but even in households where the load is shared more or less evenly between husband and wife -- a growing number -- there's often more than two working people can handle.
  书架和杂志架子上塞满了各种各样的建议去指导人们如何妥善处理好这些问题,从把生活简单化(说起来容易做起来难),到面面俱到(这是典型的让自己开心不起来的良方)。有人说,父亲应该承担更多的家庭责任,为不堪重负的在职母亲减轻一些压力。这主意的确不错,但即使两夫妻家务分工差不多均等,但由即要上班还要忙务家,两个人真的很难应付得过来。而且这种问题越来越普遍了。

  Others say that governments and employers should do more to help, increasing daycare funding and allowing staff to work more flexible hours. That would be nice, too, but probably of only marginal help in the end. Even the most flexible employers want their people to do a good job, just as most employees want to be useful workers. And how much real difference will the Conservative government's $100-a-month child-care allowance make in the lives of most parents?
  也有人说,政府和雇主应该为在职父母提供更多的帮助,比如增加儿童日托服务的经费,给予员工更加弹性的工作时间。这个建议听起来也不错,但是恐怕最终也不会有太大的帮助。因为即使是最可通融的老板也希望他们的员工能尽职尽责工作,就像大部分员工都希望自己成为有用之才。而对于绝大多数父母来说,保守党政府提供的每月100元的托儿津贴究竟能起到多少切实的作用呢?

  Still others say parents should be less ambitious for their children and have them cut back on their extra activities. But modern parents want to give their kids all the advantages and life skills that they can, not a bad thing, surely, and unlikely to change in our competitive, aspirational modern world.
  另外,还有些人则认为父母应该降低对子女的期望值,,减少他们的课外活动。但是现代的父母都希望尽其所能地为自己的孩子创造所有的有利条件,让他们掌握所有的生活技能,这的确不是坏事,在我们这个充满竞争和梦想的现代社会中,父母的这种观念是难以改变的。

  Amid all these proposals for lightening the load on working parents, one has been overlooked: Put the children to work. In many Canadian families, children contribute next to nothing to the operation of the household. If the stories couples tell each other around the dinner table or barbecue are true, modern parents struggle to persuade their children just to maintain themselves, much less to help out around the house.
  在所有那些帮助在职父母减轻负担的建议里,人们忽视了一条:让孩子参与家务劳动。在许多加拿大人的家庭,孩子几乎从不参与家务劳动。如果夫妇们在餐桌上或烧烤时互相讲的事情是真的话,现代的父母只是在努力让他们的孩子照顾好他们自己,但很少让他们帮着家里做些什么。

  Getting a son to take out the garbage once a week is considered a triumph. Most parents are content if their kids occasionally tidy their rooms.
  能够让一个孩子每周倒一次垃圾就已经是谢天谢地的事情了。如果孩子能够偶尔清理他们的房间,许多家长都会感到高兴。

  There is no reason this has to be so. Leaving out infants and toddlers, most children are perfectly capable of setting and clearing tables, doing dishes and folding laundry. As they get older, they can cut and water grass, make meals, do laundry and vacuum floors. It wasn't very long ago that children were expected to be full, working members of the household enterprise. Daughters were taught early to cook, sew, knit, launder and care for younger children, often serving as little mothers to their siblings. Sons were expected to help with "manly" outdoor chores. Today nothing is expected. Children in many households are essentially parasites, living off the labour of their exhausted parents.
  我们没有理由这样娇生惯养我们的下一代。除去婴儿和刚刚学走路的孩子,大部分儿童都能很好地布置和清理桌凳,放置餐具和折叠衣物。当他们再长大一些,他们可以修剪和浇灌草坪,做饭,洗衣服和清洁地板。想当初,孩子们被看作全职的家务劳动者。那时,女孩子们很小就开始学习做饭,缝纫,编织,清洗和照顾更小的孩子,经常象个小母亲一样照看她们的弟妹。而男孩子们通常帮着做一些室外的力气活。但是,现在的父母对子女没有任何期望,许多家庭中的孩子实质就是寄生虫,天天让他们那些已经精疲力尽的父母们伺候着。

  That's not really the children's fault. Kids of whom nothing is demanded will do nothing. By indulging their children, many parents have become valets to their offspring. Even when they move out of childhood into adolescence and should be doing their own laundry and frying their own breakfast eggs, many kids act as virtual guests in their own homes -- and unhelpful guests at that.
  所有这些不是孩子们的错。没有盯着,孩子们是不会主动去做事的。由于纵容自己的子女,许多父母已经变成了孩子们的佣人。甚至当这些孩子从幼年步入成人后,他们本应会自己洗个衣服、煎个蛋了,但他们中的许多还是赖在家里,还是衣来伸手,饭来张口,就象个客人,而且还是个从来也不伸手帮忙的客人。

  This is more than a mere annoyance to overworked parents. It affects the broader health of society. The birth rate in Canada, indeed throughout the industrialized world, has plummeted. The population is rapidly aging, with all that means for productivity and pensions and health care. The reasons that people are having fewer children are complex, but one of them must certainly be that children don't give much back. Parenthood can be immensely fulfilling and enriching, but it's not much of a bargain. The old days when kids carried on the family business, farmed the family spread or took their aging parents into their homes are, for the most part, long past. Being a parent is a one way deal: you work for them, they live off you. Is it any wonder that so many couples decide that one kid is enough, or avoid parenthood altogether?
  这对过度操劳的家长们不单单是个烦恼,它还会影响到社会的健康发展。同所有工业化国家一样,加拿大的出生率正在直线下降。人口的迅速老化,那意味着社会生产力下降,退休金和健保系统都面临巨大的挑战。生育率越来越低的原因很复杂,但是其中一个原因肯定是因为子女对父母孝敬不够。父母对孩子无限地付出,却从不指望孩子回报什么。当初,孩子们会担当起家庭重任,会照看家里不断扩大的田地,会把年老的父母接到自己家中住,很大程度上这已是往事不堪回首了的事了。现在养育子女就是一味付出:你为他们尽力,他们依靠你生活。像现在很多夫妻只生一个或者根本不生,这也不足为奇了。

  No one wants to turn kids into household drudges. Children need time to take part in sports, do their homework and simply play. Carrying the bulk of the household burden is a part of parenthood, and most couples accept that. But a little help would be nice. Kids who are expected to do chores at home learn useful basic skills. They also learn that life is not a free ride. Canadian families might be happier, and parents less stressed, if the kids did more work.
  没有人想把孩子变成做家务的苦力。儿童需要时间去运动、做作业以及玩耍。父母理应承担沉重的家务负担,这一点大部分夫妻都认同。但是让子女帮一些小忙是有益无害的。参与家务劳动的孩子能够学习到有用的基本技能。他们也能认识到生活不是免费午餐。如果孩子们能多做一些家务,加拿大的家庭就可以更加幸福美满,父母们也能轻松一点。
  编注:以上是加拿大全国发行的最大日报-"环球邮报" 2006年7月4日发表的社论。

最后由 ωǒ所№不能 于 2006-07-10 08:55 编辑
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