Jennifer Senior's 'All Joy and No Fun'

A mother helps her son dry off after a dip in the pool in the summer of 2012 in Fairport, N.Y. (CNS photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier)

For teachers, counselors, parents and anyone else involved in educating and shaping the next generation, I highly recommend Jennifer Senior's book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. The book is the enemy of a highlighter; halfway through, I think even my iPad ran out of its highlighting capacity.

In the book, Senior sets out to explore the questions raised in 1968 by sociologist Alice Rossi: "What was the effect of parenthood on adults? How did having children affect their mothers' and fathers' lives?" (Italics in original.)

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"This book attempts," she writes, "to look at the experience of parenthood systematically, piece by piece, stage by stage, in order to articulate--and in some cases quantify--what today's parents find so challenging about their lives."

Over the next week, I'll be blogging about some of the key passages in the book, sharing sections that I've found particularly edifying, unsettling or thought provoking. I would like readers to contribute their thoughts, perhaps in a format that resembles an online book club.

Click here to purchase the book at Amazon. We'll start sometime in the middle of next week.

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Anne Chapman
4 years 6 months ago
This sounds interesting. Are you a parent, Matt?
Matt Emerson
4 years 6 months ago

Anne, thanks for reading and commenting.

I am not a parent. One day, I hope!

-Matt E.

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