Quiz 33: All Joy and No Fun Why Parents Hate Parenting, Jennifer Senior

Psychology

Having a child from individual's perspective is mysterious. People assume that child's birth will make them happy but academic research shows that parents are not happier than their childless friends. Daniel Kahneman, a behavioural economist, surveyed 909 working women and found that out of nineteen pleasure giving activities, women ranked child care activity as sixteenth. It has been found that children don't make you less happy or happier as well. With birth of each child there is a diminishing return. Parents are more depressed than those who are not parents. The reason child care has become an emotional roller coaster nowadays is that: 1. Earlier, when urbanization had not taken place, children were great support. More kids were considered more helping hands. Children used to work in farm or help in business. But with the modernisation and technological modern avalanche childhood is seen as protected and privileged time. With all schools and degree's concept children became great expense. 2. Kids has now become bosses from staffs. The parent's life is now dictated by the terms of kids. 3. The children are seen as projects to be perfected amongst the middle and upper-income families. Middle class families spend time talking to their children and child's thought is considered special contribution. This is tiring for parents. 4. Though unlike in 1975, today parents spend more time with children, in spite of all the rush and daily tiring routine. Yet 85 percent of parents are dissatisfied that they spend less time with their children. 5. The children today have hectic schedule and parents find themselves churning between school, gymnastics, piano classes, dance classes, sports homework and many more. 6. Todays parents decide to have child later in life, first they invest their time in making money so that they can give better life to children. But by time a child is born, they realize that they have to give up their autonomy and freedom. 7. The market is full of stuffs that can help children's social and cognitive development, but then the parents fall into trap of comparison with other parents. Children are the best gift and bring a lot of joy in parents' life. But they also give moments of depression, exhaustion, anxiety and frustration. Loving the child and loving the act of parenting is not one and the same thing.

Having a child from individual's perspective is mysterious. People assume that child's birth will make them happy but academic research shows that parents are not happier than their childless friends. Children are the best gift and bring a lot of joy in parents' life. But they also give moments of depression, exhaustion, anxiety and frustration. Loving the child and loving the act of parenting is not one and the same thing. Today parenting is the toughest job. It can be made easier. However, money, age of children, or having knowledge of child development helps in parenting but it doesn't make parenting easier. Today's parents decide to have child later in life. They first invest their time in making money so that they can give better life to children. But by time a child is born, they realize that they have to give up their autonomy and freedom. This is very different from earlier times, when couples had children, immediately after moving out of parents' house. The more we delay to have children, the more expectations build up. The parents spend their adult life as professional and then they apply same reasoning in family planning. Therefore, age of parents, make parenting easier. The earlier we have children, parents easily adapt to and used to children. "Earlier is better."

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