Mom and Dad are spending more time caring for their kids, writes economist Bryan Caplan in Chronicle of Higher Education. But is it worth it?
Time-diary studies show fathers and mothers spend more time caring for their kids than they did 40 years ago.
But the benefits of parental attention wear off as children grow up, Caplan argues. In the long run, nature beats nurture. And parents who do too much may burn out, which isn’t much fun for children or parents.
One notable study by Ellen Galinsky of the Families and Work Institute found that while most parents believe their children want more face time, only a tiny minority of children actually do. In contrast, about a third of children wish their parents were less stressed and tired. What kids seem to want from their parents isn’t more time; it’s a better attitude.
In other words: Take it easy, Mom and Dad. Your kids will be fine.
Hmm. I’m not convinced that parents have so little lasting effect on their children. On the other hand, neglectful parents probably aren’t reading the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Via Division of Labor.