Sunday, May 8, 2016

Parenting is hard--thanks for hanging in there, mothers (and fathers)!

In all of the families we visited, regardless of social class, parents were caregivers. It was parents, not children, who were responsible for making sure there was food in the house, that children were bathed, that they had clean clothes to wear, got dressed in clothes that matched, and went to bed in time to get enough sleep. Parents watched over their children when they were sick, signed them up for school or other activities, and took them to the dentist and the doctor. These routines, present in all families, were taxing for adults, even in middle-class families. Children, while often charming, can be difficult, too. Parents in all social classes struggled with children who dawdled, lost things, rejected food as unacceptable, did not do as the were asked, and, at times, resisted, subverted, and tested the limits of their parents' control.
Annette Lareau, Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, 2d ed. "with an update a decade later" (Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press, 2011), ch. 5

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