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Home-Alone America: Why Today's Kids Are Overmedicated, Overweight, and More Troubled Than Ever Before
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Top Customer Reviews
She systematically dissects the various arguments, both pro and con, and demonstrates the far-reaching effects on kids. Definitely an eye-opening book.
While some of the suggestions offered are mere theory (e.g., the hypothesis that young girls' fertility cycles are affected by non-related males living in the household, which may contribute to earlier sexual experimentation), it is research worth reading.
She points to two major factors which have led to more and more single- parent families, the first is the historically high- rate of divorce and the increasing rate of illegitimacy. But is not only in the single - parent families but in the homes in which there are two working parents in which absenteeism from the family has increased. She points out that today seven out of ten mothers work outside the home. And that half of them would continue to do this even if they did not need the money. She says that what benefits the parents as individuals might not necessarily be of benefit to the children. And she points too to a widespread effort to conceal the unpleasant conclusion that a working parent, and especially a working parent may do more harm for the children than the good. She in this regard points to evidence which suggests that the families which do have a parent at home for most of the time have less disturbed and problematic children than those who do not. She cites Francis Fukuyama who says that one reason Americans from Asian families do so well in education is that the mothers of these families devote themselves more to home and children.
This is an important and illuminating wake- up call to America.
I love how smugly the author makes parents the bad guys. Hey Mary, I can't wait to see my boss's face when I tell her I need a new shift that ends at 2 so I can be home for my kids. I know she and the rest of the company will cheerfully support my decision to tighten my belt, let go of some luxuries, and embrace a simpler life for the sake of my children... oh wait, been there, done that, was told "This is a 40 hour position. If you wish to resign, you could apply for a part-time position in the company... which currently we don't have. And, part-time employees are not eligible for medical benefits." America's employers aren't interested in flexible solutions for parents, and our child-free co-workers file grievances whenever policies seem to give parents leeway to attend to their families.
And it's great to shake her disapproving finger at single parent families, but it's not like all of those women rushed joyfully into single-dom. Plenty of women have been shocked to see their husbands walk out the door... and those women have to rush out to get work, because even though men seethe and insist they're being bled dry, child support is a laughably small amount. Oh wait, that's assuming you're even getting your child support - it's still fairly simple to not live up to the responsibility of supporting a child. Not that I am bashing the gentlemen, though Mary essentially does so in her left-handed way for the entire book.Read more ›