All Joy and No Fun

All Joy and No Fun

The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

eBook - 2014
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Award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior isolates and analyzes the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear.
Publisher: New York, New York : ECCO, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2014
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780062072269
Branch Call Number: EBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (320 pages)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive Inc


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Julia__K Apr 24, 2015

A brutally honest, well researched look at the reality of modern parenthood (not parenting). Comforting and insightful, this book affirms that being a parent is often overwhelming and it's okay to question our loss of self.

Dec 05, 2014

I love it when a book approaches a popular subject from another perspective. Senior has addressed the topic of parenting from the view point of how children affect their parents. As a mother of two, much of this book held significance for me and put some science and research behind how and why my life has changed after becoming a parent.

Nov 28, 2014

Many parents would rather clean the house and go to Costco than have to play with their kids. Like Louis C.K. says raising kids is boring. So when exactly does it become the greatest thing you've ever done? It is humbling and not for the faint of heart. It will make you a better person or at least not so self-centered. Yet, above all it is pure joy even if sometimes is not fun at all.

Jun 15, 2014

I have always tended to use the words "Fun", "Joy," "Happiness[" rather loosely. Thus when I saw this title I was intrigued enough to check the dictionary meanings of Joy and Fun. It was enough to make me want to read the book; and I'm glad I did.
The book covers all aspects of parenting and the effects of children on parents as they progress through childhood and adolescence.
I learned of several important concepts such as "the experiencing self," vs. the "remembering self," and so on. But for me one comment says it all. One mother who was experiencing all kinds of problems with her son said she'd save a voice mail of his for like "forever."
This book's a must read for all parents and everyone contemplating parenthood..

BCD2013 May 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Examines undefinable aspects of parenthood by using quanitative and qualitative reserach to measure happiness, the state of "flow" and what role housework really plays in today's family structures.
- Jenny Baum

Jane60201 Apr 24, 2014

A good book for a mystified grandmother of 70+ with very young grandchildren (4&6). Explains why a 4 year old is taking ballet, karate, gymnastics and soccer and why the grandchildren never "go out to play."

ksoles Apr 14, 2014

Helicopter Parents...Tiger Moms...Panda Dads...bookstore shelves groan under the weight of resources explaining the effects of parenting styles on children. But how does having children affect parents? In the fascinating "All Joy and No Fun," Jennifer Senior connects a barrage of scholarship to her own case studies of numerous middle class families in an attempt to answer this complex question.

Senior organizes her chapters loosely by stage of childhood, explaining how each stage impacts parents both physically and emotionally. Infancy leads to sleeplessness, toddlerhood to constant negotiation, middle childhood to overscheduled lives, and the teenage years to inevitable self-reflection. Senior does not offer a how-to manual for parents here; she writes about parent-HOOD not parent-ING and gracefully shows how each generation of children inevitably and irrevocably changes the generation of parents who bore them.

Senior proves her talent as a writer throughout the book, transporting the reader into a family's Brooklyn kitchen on one page then beautifully glossing a complicated academic text on the next. Additionally, Senior does not shy from offering a dissenting opinion on oft-cited studies, making her a wise and cautious guide on the subject. As the mother of a 3.5 year old, my head nodded the whole time I read as I found numerous passages that begged to be shared with friends.

Yes, Senior concludes, life as a parent might not be much "fun." But something else lies in the experience of sharing life with children: meaning, connectedness, legacy and, above all, joy.

susankent Mar 24, 2014

TED alumnus Jennifer Senior asks some interesting questions and sites some new research, and since most parents love reading about other people's parenting experiences, this book is worth reading.

Mar 20, 2014

"And our kids have way more stuff than you and I had when we were kids. There's plenty for them to do ... and yet all of us feel like we have to be deeply, aggressively interactive and I'm not clear on whether or not kids benefit from that."

Mar 14, 2014

My favorite part of this book about parenting (not the same thing as a book that gives parenting advice) is that it put the concept of modern day parenting in historical context. Did you know that there were very few dedicated toys for children until about 100 years ago? Playgrounds weren't a thing until automobiles went mainstream and it became too dangerous to play in the street. Compulsory school went universal afer WWII, and childhood and youth culture as we now know it began. Women, many of whom were not in the workforce, spent LESS time with kids in the 1950s than they do now (by a factor of like 10 hours a week!). The term "parenting" iteself wasn't coined until the 1970s...All this is to say, we live in a confusing and ever changing time for what it means to be a good parent. There is much discussion here too about happiness, what it means to parent when our society puts so much priority on the happiness of the parents and children, even though it is a fleeting, evasive thing. Some interesting thoughts of parenting viewed through the lense of memory also. Much of the book discusses the challenges of parenting, but it covers the joys and satisfaction of parenting too. I really liked this book but I'm not sure it's for everyone. It feels like coursework for a sociology class. It isn't a particularly "fun" read and there's not any actual parenting advice in it. I found it validating though - parenting in general is hard. Parenting in a time when there is still much anxiety about mothers holding jobs outside the home, little extended family for support, or absolute uncertainty about what kind of upbringing best prepares kids for the "real world" - that's even harder.

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