Raising kids is hard!

This article, by Pamela Druckerman was published on October 13, 2016 in the New York Times was [See link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/14/opinion/the-perpetual-panic-of-american-parenthood.html]. It was titled The Perpetual Panic of American Parenthood.

Here is my reaction: Raising kids is difficult and that experience is shared among parents all over the world. But in the USA, and in American politics, the topic seems to get less traction, although in this election season it gets some attention.

Parents receive government supports of varying degrees to raise their kids, but that support in the USA is much lower than elsewhere, nearly non-existent.

The outcome of this is outlined in a study to be published in the American Journal of Sociology which finds that “Americans with children are 12 percent less happy than non-parents, the largest “happiness gap” of 22 rich countries surveyed.” That is, among 22 countries surveyed, American parents with children are the most unhappy by comparison to American who are not parents. This is a rebuke of the US culture and society values.

The author traveled and lived in other countries, and has some base to compare the issues involved in raising kids in those countries and in the USA. Other countries offer supports such as high-quality day case, after-school activities which allow kids to both socialize and for the parents to have time for themselves or to carry out needed chores without the kids underfoot. College costs are significantly less, in some cases the annual cost is less than the cost of a single week in an American college! American realities can be a shock to people from other countries, and in some cases shock them in a very real way.

The author tells of her own experience how the opposite effect was true fro her: Leaving the US created some palpable sense of relief insofar as motherhood was concerned.

The article also provides a bit of analysis and contrast of the approaches and solutions proposed by the two candidates for President.

Thank you, Pamela Druckman, for shining a light on this issue.

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