"We keep hearing about declining birthrates, but raising a kid is far more expensive -- financially, emotionally, and in terms of time -- today than it was a few decades ago. As she occasionally notes, things that were considered adequate, or even examplary, parenting then are now considered abuse or neglect. In fact, when you look at how the burden of childrearing has increased, it seems amazing that we see as many people having children as we do.I agree with this sentiment -- I've often wondered why now-a-days kids just have to have pre-school, soccer league, ballet lesson, music lessons, gymnastics, karate, as well as church involvement as a *bare minimum*. My father, for example, didn't benefit from any of these "enriching activities" and he turned out fine. In fact he probably spent his childhood playing in the forest, smoking cigarettes with his buds and reading comic books. All in all, we make parenting into more of chore than it should be, IMHO.
Society would be a lot better off (emotionally and demographically) if it would cut parents more slack on this stuff, though as she notes, much of the pressure is the result of competitiveness among parents, particularly mothers."
Tuesday, May 09, 2006