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Cohen, Sayer, and Dow on Modern Parenting

New York Times article notes that raising children has become a more time-consuming and expensive task.

Claire Cain Miller, writing for The New York Times, reports how parenthood has become a more demanding task than it used to be. Over the years, parents have increased the amount of time, money and attention they put into raising their children. The challenge for parents, called “economic anxiety”, is proving their children with a good start in life to ensure they will climb to a higher social class with more opportunities to thrive. Faculty Associate Philip Cohen comments,“As the gap between rich and poor increases, the cost of screwing up increases . . . . [T]he fear is they’ll end up on the other side of the divide.”

In general, investing in children is a positive thing since children benefit from time with their parents, stimulating activities and caring parenting styles. Faculty Associate Liana Sayer added, “It’s still an open question whether it’s the parenting practices themselves that are making the difference, or is it simply growing up with college-educated parents in an environment that’s richer in many dimensions? . . . I don’t think any of these studies so far have been able to answer whether these kids would be doing well as adults regardless, simply because of resources” said Sayer.  

Race is a factor that plays a key role in parenting. Black parents tend to raise their children in mostly black neighborhoods to face less racism. Faculty Associate Dawn Dow argues, “[Parents] are making decisions to protect their kids from early experiences of racism. . . . It’s a different host of concerns that are equally intensive.” 

See the complete The New York Times article