Parenting today: 'All Joy And No Fun?'

'All Joy and No Fun'
'All Joy and No Fun' by Jennifer Senior
Book cover courtesy of publisher

We expect parents to want the best for their children. But lately, we seem to be awash in parents who are consumed with eking out every opportunity to help their kids gain a competitive edge, sometimes even at the cost of happiness. Jennifer Senior examines the toll of being an architect for your brood in her new book, "All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood."

As a contributing editor at New York magazine, Senior wrote a cover story on the subject a few years ago, which touched a nerve. One of the controversial themes that emerged from the report was the scientific research that suggested parents were less happy than couples who didn't have kids. Senior says it's tough to quantify the benefits and different ways kids can positively enrich their parents' lives.

"A lot of the material that I read about joy and meaning is something that I think about all the time now," Senior told NPR. "And I do feel like -- having spoken to parents of adult children and watching them well up with this wild sense of pride and accomplishment knowing what they know about who they've produced in the world -- it's sort of an unrivaled feeling."

Senior joins The Daily Circuit to discuss what she learned about the changing roles of parents.

Senior will appear at Talk of the Stacks Feb. 18 at Hennepin County Central Library, 7 p.m.

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