All joy and no fun summary
All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer SeniorThousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. Award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior now asks: what are the effects of children on their parents?
All Joy and No Fun is an indispensable map for a journey that most of us take without one. Brilliant, funny, and brimming with insight, this is an important book that every parent should read, and then read again. Jennifer Senior is surely one of the best writers on the planet.-Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness
In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior isolates and analyzes the many ways in which children reshape their parents lives, whether its 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 todays mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear. Recruiting from a wide variety of sources-in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology-she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthoods deepest vexations-and luxuriate in some of its finest rewards.
Meticulously researched yet imbued with emotional intelligence, All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our cultures most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives. By focusing on parenthood, rather than parenting, the book is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today-and tomorrow.
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What are the effects of children on their parents? Academics have long studied the question, and most readers have some back-of-the-hand knowledge of the subject. But rarely have those two groups been in conversation—until now. Jennifer Senior successfully connects a barrage of scholarship with the real experiences of moms and dads, and the resulting book , All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood , is completely fascinating. Chapters are organized loosely by stage of childhood, explaining how each stage impacts parents.
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I found this book fascinating, enjoyable and sometimes mildly frustrating. It was fun to read, and I learned a lot. This is not a book about child-rearing but about the effects of child-rearing on middle-class American parents, and the results are interesting and sometimes sobering. Chapters deal consecutively with the impact of early parenting on parents' sense of autonomy, effects on marriage, some of the joys of having young children, the demands -- especially social demands -- on parents of pre-adolescent children, and the vicissitudes of the adolescent years. In the chapter on the loss of autonomy, Senior uses interviews with parents as well as a review of the literature to tell her story, a juxtaposition which occurs throughout the book.