50-50 PARENTING: Sharing Family Rewards and Responsibilities by Gayle Kimball

50-50 PARENTING: Sharing Family Rewards and Responsibilities

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This is only incidentally a how-to book on divvying up parental responsibilities. It is primarily a study on parenting styles in America today, on how shared versus traditional parenting affects children, and on how government and workplace policies put a severe strain on dual-career families. Kimball (50-50 Marriage, 1983) invested six years in interviewing, testing, and evaluating ""hundreds of parents and children"" as well as ""key family experts and progressive employers."" Despite this massive effort, however, her findings contain few surprises. Working mothers still do most of the child rearing; yet greater paternal involvement has positive results. Co-parented children have more self-esteem and are less prone to sex-role stereotyping. They tend to get along better with their parents, watch half as much television as the national average for teens, and the girls have higher career aspirations. The book's major contribution lies in the insights expressed by parents and children from all types of families: traditional, egalitarian, divorced, remarried with step-children, and in collectives in which several families share parenting. They discuss problems, solutions, and relationships, which--along with interpretations by child-guidance experts--supply a sort of child-rearing road map for families of all stripes. Kimball's avowed purpose ""is to provide examples for parents and policy makers moving toward equality in various family styles."" She has managed to cram an enormous amount of information into her book, and most of it is pertinent--if not exactly earth shaking.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Lexington Books--dist. by Kampmann (9 East 40 St., New York, NY 10016)