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Home-Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs, and Other Parent Substitutes Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 4, 2004


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, November 4, 2004
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230041
  • ASIN: B000EXYZVS
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As if women didn't have enough to worry about trying to decide on the correct balance between careers and motherhood, and then worrying about their decisions, Eberstadt maintains that working mothers are responsible for rising juvenile delinquency, underperformance in school, childhood obesity, and a host of other maladies. To her credit, she doesn't let fathers off the hook, but mothers are seen as the main culprits. Citing research detailing the adverse impact on children of absent parents, Eberstadt makes a passionate, convincing argument that Americans have focused too much attention on the needs of adults. Nearly half of all children have no fathers in the home, and more than half under the age of six have working mothers, leaving young children to fend for themselves in day care, where they are exposed to all manner of illnesses and bad behavior. The results are children who act out in various ways and a society that drugs them or ignores them. She offers no "snappy solutions" but strongly urges parents to spend more time with their children. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

...Eberstadt does not apologize... -- Edward Wyatt, New York Times

...[u]rges all adults to think about the needs of children, and some to make drastic changes... -- World Magazine

Home-Alone America is a fine first salvo in what may be a changed war. -- Kelly Jane Torrance, Washington Times

A book that should be read by every concerned parent, pastor, and policy maker. -- R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

An intense meditation on what matters most... -- Maggie Gallagher, syndicated columnist

Goes way beyond the headlines to show the effects of absent parents on nearly every area of children's lives. -- Susie Currie, Weekly Standard

Mary Eberstadt has written an unwelcome book. That doesn't make it any less important or less necessary. -- Rich Lowry, syndicated columnist

Mary Eberstadt has written an unwelcome book. That doesn't make it any less important or less necessary. -- Rich Lowry, syndicated columnist

The great and unarguable theme...is that families are a very good thing and parental care is of decisive importance... -- James Q. Wilson, Wall Street Journal

[An] important, thought-provoking book. -- Myrna Blyth, National Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Mary Eberstadt is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. She has written widely for magazines and newspapers, among them First Things, Policy Review, the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal, and Commentary.

Customer Reviews

She admits there is neither simple panacea nor even a complex solution.
Craig Matteson
And the ironic thing is, it may well be the stresses and unhappiness caused by parental separation that is getting the kids into more trouble to begin with.
Amazon Customer
I wish every teacher, every mom and dad, every person even thinking of becoming a mom or dad would read this book.
Kelly Kalichman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Eberstadt actually focuses on parents (that's plural) both Moms and Dads, deadbeat Dads, as well as divorced parents who use toys and junkfood for short-term rewards or to compensate for the face to face time that they can't have with their children.

She talks about busy parents who use junk food, videos, video games, locked houses, and perscription drugs as substitutes for their attention.

She talks about the dangers that she sees with the early socialization of children before they're really ready. (i.e., putting kids in Daycare before the age of 3).

She talks about the dangers of kids who come home from school and are alone until parents return from work.

She also devotes considerable time to the rise in childhood obesity and how the above factors contribute to that.

This is certainly not a mere "Blame the mom" screed as some might call it. THere is a nuanced and deep look at parenting in these busy times.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There is a lot of noise in our society about our troubled young. And that is well because it is true. There are also an almost infinite number of suggestions on how to "manage" these problems: counseling, more counseling, medication, raising daycare standards, yet more counseling and more medication, and on and on it goes.

This powerful book asks a somewhat different question. What if the problem isn't the kids? What if their reactions are reasonable responses to a toxic environment of outsourced childrearing (to daycare and medication), of absent fathers, of transient relationships in their relationship role models, and in consistently bad advice given them on sex, careers, and marriage?

She points out the current themes in popular music are abandonment, hurt from missing parents, rage against parental neglect, and the need for oblivion to escape the pain of loneliness. It isn't rebelling against mom and pop anymore. It is more like where are mom and dad and why don't they care about me. This is sad and painful on all fronts.

Mary Eberstadt is clear and honest in her facts and analysis. She admits there is neither simple panacea nor even a complex solution. She advocates beginning with a new consensus that it would be better for both children and adults if more American parents were with their kids more of the time. I know that sounds simplistic, but it is not simple. Given the financial burdens most families have taken on, it is very hard to make something like this happen. However, if we decide we believe we need our kids and they need us and that time together is important, we can make adjustments in our lives to make that happen.

I hope this book is widely read and widely discussed in thoughtful ways rather than just the normal political yelling at the other side. The topic affects us all. We all have an important stake in this and we all shoulder some of the blame. So, let's get at it.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Henry Cate III on March 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The author explores a number of issues arising from children not being raised by their parents. Over the last couple decades more and more children no longer have a parent to greet them at the door when school is over. This is largely driven by the mother going into the workforce, and to some extent by the huge increase in divorce. Children are now being raised by daycare centers, by the schools, and sometimes they are raising themselves. The author covers in detail many of the problems that have resulted from these changes.

There is no easy way to summarize all the types of problems explored in the book. I'll just mention of few of them. The author shows how many daycare centers are germ factories, for children are much more likely to catch a disease in a daycare center. The less time a parent spends with a young child, the more likely the young child will become violent. There has been a huge increase in the percentage of children who are fat and truly obese. Historically parents controlled how much children got to eat, but now often children get to decide. There are a lot more mental health problems now, versus a couple decades ago. Teachers and daycare centers are turning to drugs to medicate children for what had been considered normal juvenile behavior. Many of these drugs haven't been fully tested. It was fascinating to read about how much of the popular teenage music now is a cry for parents to be parents. Five of the top ten most frequently reported diseases in 1995 were STDs. Most children having sex are having sex in an unsupervised home. This is just a small sample of the dozens of problems children in America are now facing.

If you have children, this is a good book to read. It will help you understand the true costs and potential dangers your children may be exposed to if you try to outsource the raising of your children.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Carrington on April 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Parents need to pay attention to the consequences of allowing caregivers other than parents to play a major role in raising our children.

Our kids are in trouble- from obesity to suicide to emotional and behavioral problems requiring medication. No one can deny this.

I would challenge parents to look at themselves and their values as they watch the decline of childhood around us. This is not an easy task- we all want to be comfortable and challenging the notions of our selfish or materialistic motives is not easy.

I should know. Not only was I a psychiatrist who worked with troubled families, but I have had to make tough decisions about my own professional career, money and family.

It is easy for this book to be dismissed as a conservative diatribe against modern feminism but it is so much more.

It is a plea for our children and our future and it deserves to be read.

There are so many options available to families now. I work from home and encourage other moms to do the same. We can save our children, one family at a time.
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