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ERIC Number: EJ829804
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan-23
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Good News and Bad News on Parenting
Caplan, Bryan
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n20 pB5 Jan 2009
Sociologists focus on the theory that parents spend less time with their kids than they used to. But fact-checking popular perceptions about the evolution of parenting indicates that fathers spend much more time with their children than they used to (from a weekly average of 3 hours of primary child care in 1965, to seven hours in 2000.). A more surprising finding is that today's average mother also spends more time in primary child care. The down side of this, says the author, is that parents are making large time investments in their children that are unlikely to pay off. Commenting on tired, grouchy faces or parents at children's events, Caplan suspects that a major reason for parents' lack of enthusiasm for their role is one of diminishing marginal utility. And, rather than desiring more parental attention,r many children wish their parents were less stressed and tired. Perhaps, suggests the article, it would be good for the world if parents stopped trying so hard. Parents would be better off, because they would be doing less of something that has lost its charm. Children wouldn't be worse off, because parental investment has little payoff. In fact, concludes Caplan, if we take children at their word, they'd be better off. Kids know better than anyone that if mom and dad aren't happy, nobody's happy.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A