Adult Supervision Required considers the contradictory ways in which contemporary American culture has imagined individual autonomy for parents and children. In many ways, today’s parents and children have more freedom than ever before. There is widespread respect for children’s autonomy as distinct individuals, and a broad range of parenting styles are flourishing. Yet it may also be fair to say that there is an unprecedented fear of children’s and parents’ freedom. Dread about Amber Alerts and “stranger danger” have put an end to the unsupervised outdoor play enjoyed by earlier generations of suburban kids. Similarly, fear of bad parenting has not only given rise to a cottage industry of advice books for anxious parents, but has also granted state agencies greater power to police the family.
Using popular parenting advice literature as a springboard for a broader sociological analysis of the American family, Markella B. Rutherford explores how our increasingly psychological conception of the family might be jeopardizing our appreciation for parents’ and children’s public lives and civil liberties.
When a new baby arrives among the Beng people of West Africa, they see it not as being born, but as being reincarnated after a rich life in a previous world. Far from being a tabula rasa, a Beng infant is thought to begin its life filled with spiritual knowledge. How do these beliefs affect the way the Beng rear their children?
In this unique and engaging ethnography of babies, Alma Gottlieb explores how religious ideology affects every aspect of Beng childrearing practices—from bathing infants to protecting them from disease to teaching them how to crawl and walk—and how widespread poverty limits these practices. A mother of two, Gottlieb includes moving discussions of how her experiences among the Beng changed the way she saw her own parenting. Throughout the book she also draws telling comparisons between Beng and Euro-American parenting, bringing home just how deeply culture matters to the way we all rear our children.
All parents and anyone interested in the place of culture in the lives of infants, and vice versa, will enjoy The Afterlife Is Where We Come From.
"This wonderfully reflective text should provide the impetus for formulating research possibilities about infancy and toddlerhood for this century." — Caren J. Frost, Medical Anthropology Quarterly
“Alma Gottlieb’s careful and thought-provoking account of infancy sheds spectacular light upon a much neglected topic. . . . [It] makes a strong case for the central place of babies in anthropological accounts of religion. Gottlieb’s remarkably rich account, delivered after a long and reflective period of gestation, deserves a wide audience across a range of disciplines.”—Anthony Simpson, Critique of Anthropology
“Thirty-seven years ago, I vowed to write a truthful book about raising a deaf child.” Rebecca Willman Gernon followed through on her promise with her deaf daughter Amy Willman in this extraordinary new narrative. Many stories have been told about a parent’s struggle to help her deaf child succeed in a mostly hearing world. Amy Signs marks a signature departure in that both Rebecca and Amy relate their perspectives on their journey together.
When she learns of 11-month-old Amy’s deafness in 1969, Rebecca fully expresses her anguish, and traces all of the difficulties she endured in trying to find the right educational environment for Amy. The sacrifices of the rest of her family weighed heavily on her, also. Though she resolved to place four-year-old Amy in Nebraska’s residential school for deaf students, the emotional toll seemed too much to bear.
Amy’s view acts as the perfect counterpoint. Interwoven with her mother’s story, Amy’s account confirms that signing served her best. She summarizes life in boarding school as “laughter and homesickness.” She laughed with all of her deaf friends, though felt homesick at times. Amy thanks her mother for the gift of sign, asserting that a mainstream education would never have led her to earn a master’s degree and later teach American Sign Language at the University of Nebraska. Amy Signs is a positive albeit cautionary tale for parents of deaf children today whose only choice is a mainstreamed education.
The tech giants of silicon valley design their products to hook even the most sophisticated adults. Imagine then, the influence these devices have on the developing minds of young people. Touted as tools of the future that kids must master to ensure a job in the new economy, they are in reality the culprits, stealing our children’s attention, making them anxious, agitated, and depressed.
What’s worse, schools across the country are going digital under the assumption that a tablet with a wi-fi connection is what’s lacking in our education system. Add to that the legion of dangers invited by unregulated access to the internet, and it becomes clear that our screen-saturated culture is eroding some of the most important aspects of childhood.
In Be the Parent, Please, former New York Post and Wall Street Journal writer Naomi Schaefer Riley draws from her experience as a mother of three and delves into the latest research on the harmful effects that excessive technology usage has on a child’s intellectual, social, and moral formation. Throughout each chapter, she backs up her discussion with “tough mommy tips”—realistic advice for parents who want to take back control from tech.
With the alluring array of gadgets, apps, and utopian promises expanding by the day, engulfing more and more of our lives, Be the Parent, Please is both a wakeup call and an indispensable guide for parents who care about the healthy development of their children.
The Crucible of Consent
James E. Block Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress HQ784.P5B56 2011 | Dewey Decimal 649.10973
Why do free people submit to any rule? How is consent of the governed formed? Block argues that the source is found in the nursery and schoolroom, where the necessary synthesis of self-direction and integrative social conduct —so contradictory in logic yet so functional in practice—are established without provoking reservation or resistance.
From the all-star cast who brought you The Seven Deadly Virtues comes a book with a look at the good life… or the crazy-stressful-overwhelmed life… of a father.
The Dadly Virtues is a tongue-in-cheek collection of encouragement and guidance for any stage of fatherhood, from pacifying babies to prepping for senior prom, from cutting the cord to getting the first, “Best Grandpa” t-shirt. P.J. O’Rourke sets the stage with the chapter, “What Do Men Get from Fatherhood? Besides What They Put In …” and then is followed by:
•Matthew Continetti’s, “Newborn Terror: The Moment You Realize that ‘Bundle of Joy’ Is a Euphemism for Something Very Different.”
•Stephen F. Hayes’ “Siblings: The Best Gift You’ll Ever Give Your Kids.”
•Jonah Goldberg’s “Get Your Kid a Dog: The Moral Case for Pets.”
•Tucker Carlson’s “In Praise of Adventure: How to Fill a Child’s Life with Excitement and Danger (without Getting Them Killed).”
•Michael Graham’s, “Dating: Enjoy the Movie and Please Keep the Impregnation to a Minimum.”
•Christopher Caldwell’s “College: It’s Not as Bad as You Think; It’s Worse.”
•Andrew Ferguson’s “Emerging Adults and Empty Nesters: Just When You Had Fatherhood All Figured Out.”
•Toby Young’s “The Dark Side: Bad Parenting and the Things We Think, but Do Not Say.”
•Joseph Epstein’s “Thanks, Grandpa: Grandfatherhood and the Spirit of the Age.”
Father-to-be, two-time-dad, or granddad, each essay will make you laugh and, at the same time, reinforce your commitment to the virtuous—the dadly—life.
In Russia during the second half of the eighteenth century, a public conversation emerged that altered perceptions of pregnancy, birth, and early childhood. Children began to be viewed as a national resource, and childbirth heralded new members of the body politic. The exclusively female world of mothers, midwives, and nannies came under the scrutiny of male physicians, state institutions, a host of zealous reformers, and even Empress Catherine the Great.
Making innovative use of obstetrical manuals, belles lettres, children’s primers, and other primary documents from the era, Anna Kuxhausen draws together many discourses—medical, pedagogical, and political—to show the scope and audacity of new notions about childrearing. Reformers aimed to teach women to care for the bodies of pregnant mothers, infants, and children according to medical standards of the Enlightenment. Kuxhausen reveals both their optimism and their sometimes fatal blind spots in matters of implementation. In examining the implication of women in public, even political, roles as agents of state-building and the civilizing process, From the Womb to the Body Politic offers a nuanced, expanded view of the Enlightenment in Russia and the ways in which Russians imagined their nation while constructing notions of childhood.
Just what do we know about the current generation of young Americans? So little it seems that we have dubbed them Generation X. Coming of age in the 1980s and '90s, they hail from families in flux, from an intimate landscape changing faster and more profoundly than ever before. This book is the first to give us a clear, close-up picture of these young Americans and to show how they have been affected and formed by the tremendous domestic changes of the last three decades.
How have members of this generation fared at school and at work, as they have moved into the world and formed families of their own? Do their struggles or successes reflect the turbulence of their time? These are the questions A Generation at Risk answers in comprehensive detail. Based on a unique fifteen-year study begun in 1980, the book considers parents' socioeconomic resources, their gender roles and relations, and the quality and stability of their marriages. It then examines children's relations with their parents, their intimate and broader social affiliations, and their psychological well-being. The authors provide rare insight into how both familial and historical contexts affect young people as they make the transition to adulthood.
Perhaps surprising is the authors' finding that, in this era of shifting gender roles, children who grow up in traditional father-breadwinner, mother-homemaker families and those in more egalitarian, role-sharing families apparently turn out the same. Also striking are the beneficial influence of parental education on children and the troubling long-term impact of marital conflict and divorce--an outcome that prompts the authors to suggest policy measures that encourage marital quality and stability.
Table of Contents:
Family, Social Change, and Transition to Adulthood Study Design, Measures, and Analysis Relationships with Parents Intimate Relationships Social Integration Socioeconomic Attainment Psychological Well-Being
Conclusions, Implications, and Policy Recommendations
Appendix: Tables References Index
Reviews of this book: An important new book...Paul Amato and Alan Booth painstakingly analyze data from a large national sample of families, seeking especially to isolate the independent effects of divorce on children from the effects of preexisting marital conflict. The results call into question the rationalizations of our high divorce rate...Amato and Booth estimate that at most a third of divorces involving children are so distressed that the children are likely to benefit. The remainder, about 70%, involve low-conflict marriages that apparently harm children much less than do the realities of divorce...This remarkably countercultural conclusion will provoke many predictable reminders about toxic marriages and many repetitions of the familiar bromide that marital unhappiness, not 'divorce per se' is the real problem. But because of this book, we also will have a more informed discussion of the moral dimensions of the decision to divorce. Amato and Booth have helped us to recognize more clearly the potential conflicts between parental responsibility and adult desires for freedom, romance, sexual gratification and self-actualization. --Norval D. Glenn and David Blankenhorn, Los Angeles Times
Reviews of this book: [This] longitudinal study of the consequences of family instability and change in the USA...focused upon two generations--the parents and their offspring--and looked at how the relations between them changed over the survey time...[The] study provides an excellent opportunity to test some favorite popular assumptions--such as whether witnessing unhappiness in the parental home would lead to the inability to have happy relationships in one's own home. Or does having a 'liberated' or non-traditional mother harm children's development? The advantage of a longitudinal study is that we can examine these differences on the same people over time...This study would be of relevance to youth researchers interested in the 'life course' perspective as it provides a range of data and information of a kind which is seldom normally available...This is a well organized and documented study discussing quantitative findings in an accessible and enlightening way. --Claire Wallace, Journal of Youth Studies
Reviews of this book: A Generation at Risk summarizes [Amato and Booth's] pioneering longitudinal study which, between 1980 and 1992, interviewed a representative sample of 1,193 married persons with children. Amato and Booth also interviewed the adult children in 1992 and 1995. The book uses the life-course perspective and considers the impact of changing historical contexts on these families. It is intended for professionals, although the conclusions are vital to anyone who has even a passing interest in changes in contemporary families...This landmark work will frame scholarly discussions of parent-child dynamics for many years and belongs in every major library. --Larry R. Peterson, History
Reviews of this book: This important and disturbing book...carefully examines how parents' socioeconomic resources, gender roles, and degree of marital happiness affect their children's lives...It strikes a resounding note of alarm at recent trends in American family life. The work is based on the results of a finely drawn 15-year study of a nationwide sampling of married couples and their adult offspring. There are no glittering generalizations here; Amato and Booth provide rich contextual detail and easily readable tables as they consider, for example, the effect of maternal employment on daughters' social integration (largely positive)...Public libraries should not be deterred by this book's scholarly presentation: it speaks to us all. --Ellen Gilbert, Library Journal
Reviews of this book: What are the long-term effects on children of the great changes in the family that have occurred over the past several decades?...Paul Amato and Alan Booth's impressive study is one of the first to provide us with long-term data on this generation...Theirs is one of the few longitudinal surveys to measure marital quality and then to follow offspring for a long period, during which some of the parents divorce...A Generation at Risk is an important addition to the literature on the long-term effects of families on their children. --Andrew J. Cherlin, American Journal of Sociology
From Library Bookwatch, a publication of The Midwest Book Review
Collaboratively written by child and family therapists Daria Medwid and Denise Chapman Weston, Kid-Friendly Parenting With Deaf And Hard Of Hearing Children: A Treasury Of Fun Activities Toward Better Behavior is a first-rate, "user friendly" resource for parents of hearing-impaired offspring. Individual chapters address a range of key parenting issues including dealing with school problems, overactivity, cultivating social skills, the importance of setting limits, unique difficulties in communicating, and much, much more. Kid-Friendly Parenting With Deaf And Hard Of Hearing Children is very highly recommended reading, for parents and anyone else working with hearing-impaired young people.
Daria Medwid is a child and family therapist and school consultant who works with deaf people in the Greater Boston, MA area.
There are few groups more stereotyped and demonized than "welfare mothers," particularly low-income, African American women raising children in the inner city. But what are the day-to-day stories behind the stereotypes? How do African American mothers (both single women and those living with a partner) in poor families handle their roles as parents? What support networks do they rely on to help raise their children? How do their personal histories affect their parenting styles?
Sociologist Katherine Brown Rosier spent three years interviewing and observing Indianapolis mothers as their children made the transition from a Head Start program to kindergarten and through second grade, analyzing the families in their homes, schools, and other social settings. She brings forth the voices of the mothers, children, and their teachers, providing a multifaceted picture of how low-income African American families cope with the daily pressures and responsibilities of child rearing.
Rosier also examines how larger socio-economic factors influence these families' specific circumstances and histories. What child-rearing strategies do these mothers employ, she asks, to promote a smooth transition into school despite complex discontinuities among their homes, schools, and communities? How are these strategies viewed and supported or impeded by teachers, family, friends, and neighbors?
Until now, most research on poor African American families has focused so intently on the problems confronted by this seemingly homogenous group that the routine practices of every day life have been ignored. In this unique project, Rosier allows the families' individual experiences and thoughts to contribute to and complicate current research.
Early in the twentieth century, maternal and child welfare evolved from a private family responsibility into a matter of national policy. In Mother-Work, Molly Ladd-Taylor explores both the private and public aspects of child-rearing, using the relationship between them to cast new light on the histories of motherhood, the welfare state, and women's activism in the United States.
She argues that mother-work, "women's unpaid work of reproduction
and caregiving," motivated women's public activism and "maternalist"
ideology. Mothering experiences led women to become active in the development of public health, education, and welfare services. In turn, the advent of these services altered mothering in many ways, including by reducing the infant mortality rate.
Our society is engaged in heated debates about family values, child care, education, and the future of children. Largely missing from these debates is any serious discussion of the complex vocation we call "parenthood." This book recognizes parenthood as a lifelong process in which parents and children grow together. The distinguished contributors call for families, employers, communities, government, and society to give parents real help with their day-to-day concerns and challenges. Parenthood in America brings the insights of experts in child development, education, health, media studies, economics, history, sociology, and human services to bear on practical aspects of childrearing and on the kinds of policies that have a real effect on parenting. In response to the stresses of parenthood today, they call for:
o family-friendly workplaces and decent childcare options
o pediatric health care for all
o programs that aid children’s development as well as their physical health
o recognition by professionals of parents’ expert knowledge about their own children
o alternatives to vapid or violent games and TV programs
o prioritization of time for family meals, talks, chores, and activities
o valuing of caring relationships above wealth and possessions
o appreciation of cultural and religious diversity
o supportive networks among parents, teachers, pediatricians, and childcare providers.
Raising the World
Sara Fieldston Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress HV881.F52 2015 | Dewey Decimal 362.7
Sara Fieldston shows how humanitarian child welfare agencies sponsored by Americans filtered political power through the prism of familial love after World War II. These well-meaning institutions shaped perceptions of the United States as the benevolent parent in a family of nations, and helped to expand American hegemony around the globe.
"We may either smother the divine fire in youth or we may feed it," Jane Addams writes. Suffused with Addams's abiding compassion, tempered with her pragmatism and humor, and shot through with anecdotes of her own experiences with young people, The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets is a level-headed assessment of the challenges facing urban youth and the most effective ways to meet them.
When this book was first published in 1909, Addams was the most famous woman in America. A celebrity and a spiritual leader, she was widely regarded as practical, realistic, and endowed with a special insight into the problems of urban America. The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets--her favorite of her own books--establishes Addams as an accomplished writer as well as a reformer. In this compact volume she examines the causes for the discontent of youth in the city, chiding educators for their "persistent blindness to youth's most obvious needs."
Addams argues for the importance of providing direction and focus--for example, through public recreation, practical education, and experiences in the arts--for the pent-up energies of young men and women. She takes a realistic view of their basic social and sexual drives and their disaffection and alienation in an industrial world. At the same time, she rejects the hereditary explanations for delinquency that prevailed in her day. Allen F. Davis's introduction provides a biographical profile of Addams and a commentary on her importance as a writer and a social activist.
Extinguishing the minds (and souls) of our children in ten easy steps
Play dates, soccer practice, day care, political correctness, drudgery without facts, television, video games, constant supervision, endless distractions: these and other insidious trends in child rearing and education are now the hallmarks of childhood. As author Anthony Esolen demonstrates in this elegantly written, often wickedly funny book, almost everything we are doing to children now constricts their imaginations, usually to serve the ulterior motives of the constrictors.
Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Childtakes square aim at these accelerating trends, in a bitingly witty style reminiscent of C. S. Lewis, while offering parents—and children—hopeful alternatives. Esolen shows how imagination is snuffed out at practically every turn: in the rearing of children almost exclusively indoors; in the flattening of love to sex education, and sex education to prurience and hygiene; in the loss of traditional childhood games; in the refusal to allow children to organize themselves into teams; in the effacing of the glorious differences between the sexes; in the dismissal of the power of memory, which creates the worst of all possible worlds in school—drudgery without even the merit of imparting facts; in the strict separation of the child’s world from the adult’s; and in the denial of the transcendent, which places a low ceiling on the child’s developing spirit and mind.
But Esolen doesn’t stop at pointing out the problem; he offers clear solutions as well. With charming stories from his own boyhood and an assist from the master authors and thinkers of the Western tradition, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child is a welcome respite from the overwhelming banality of contemporary culture. Interwoven throughout this indispensable guide to child rearing is a rich tapestry of the literature, music, art, and thought that once enriched the lives of American children.
Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child confronts contemporary trends in parenting and schooling by reclaiming lost traditions. This practical, insightful book is essential reading for any parent who cares about the paltry thing that childhood has become, and who wants to give a child something beyond the dull drone of today’s culture.
While parents spend significant time as well as money on children, most estimates of the "cost" of children ignore the value of this time. Folbre provides a startlingly high but entirely credible estimate of the value of parental time per child by asking what it would cost to purchase a comparable substitute for it.
New mothers face a barrage of confounding decisions during the life-cycle of early motherhood which includes... Should they change their diet or mindset to conceive? Exercise while pregnant? Should they opt for a home birth or head for a hospital? Whatever they “choose,” they will be sure to find plenty of medical expertise from health practitioners to social media “influencers” telling them that they’re making a series of mistakes. As intersectional feminists with two small children each, Bethany L. Johnson and Margaret M. Quinlan draw from their own experiences as well as stories from a range of caretakers throughout.
You’re Doing it Wrong! investigates the storied history of mothering advice in the media, from the newspapers, magazines, doctors’ records and personal papers of the nineteenth-century to today’s websites, Facebook groups, and Instagram feeds. Johnson and Quinlan find surprising parallels between today’s mothering experts and their Victorian counterparts, but they also explore how social media has placed unprecedented pressures on new mothers, even while it may function as social support for some. They further examine the contentious construction of prenatal and baby care expertise itself, as individuals such as everyone from medical professionals to experienced moms have competed to have their expertise acknowledged in the public sphere.
Exploring potential health crises from infertility treatments to “better babies” milestones, You’re Doing it Wrong! provides a provocative look at historical and contemporary medical expertise during conception, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and infant care stages.