Mar. 27th, 2017

Jennifer Senior drafted many memorable phrases in this non-guide on parenting.
  • "Ego depletion" - the idea that self-control or willpower draw upon a limited pool of mental resources that can be used up.
  • Avg of 6.8 hr of sleep for parents of children under 10.
  • One of the most difficult things about being a parent is that you have to bear the fact that you have to frustrate your child.
  • No graph in the world can do full justice to these unexpected moments, these sweet little bursts of grace, and they leave sense memory on the skin - the smell of the child's shampoo, the smoothness of his arms, that's why we are here leading this life, isn't it, to know this kind of enchantment? The question is why such moments, at least with small children, feel so hard won, so shatterable and so fleeting, as if located between parentheses.
  • (Flow: balanced between boredom and anxiety.) Yet parents of young children often describe the sensation of lurching back and forth between these two poles, boredom and anxiety.
  • (Children) are the last binding obligations in a culture that asks for almost no other permanent commitment.
  • Women... cannot afford the luxury of unambivalent love for their husbands. Many women carry into their marriage the distasteful and the unwieldy burden of resenting their husbands. (due to chore division)
  • Compliance requests are usually associated with time-sensitive matters, (which leads to stress.)
  • Edmund Burke: “Law sharpens the mind by narrowing it."
  • energetic details / an aria of conflict and over-commitment
  • "the accomplishment of natural growth" vs "concerted cultivation"
  • Children became 'economically worthless and emotionally priceless"
  • In early 19th century, first high chair made its appearance, literally signifying children's new found elevated role; they'd earned themselves a place at the table.
  • Modern childhood was invented 70 years ago, the length of a cat nap in historical terms.
  • The moment children stopped working for adults, everybody became confused about who's in charge.
  • (The way things were:) Behind the ignorance and ineptness of any individual laid the sureness of folkways. .. (yet in America, there are no folkways to rely on.) The whole promise of America.. was that its citizen are not hidebound by tradition or immutable social structures.
  • The word Mead uses to describe American father's relationship with his son is "'autumnal".. he's preparing his son to surpass him.
  • Uncertainty make (parents) vulnerable.
  • (Overscheduling): it's the problematic logic behind any arms race.
  • In adolescence, ingratitude is seasoned with contempt.
  • It's a dicey business, being someon'es prefrontal cortex by proxy
  • the painful art of self control / flood of dopamine during teenage years

  • Both more parents survived and more children survived early childhood (in forming the new demographic)
  • (Through mass media) children's aspirant age has risen while their parents' has fallen.
  • Adulthood is about an overcoming, "disciplining developmentally inappropriate insanity".
  • Helplessness born of experience for adults, and the lack of for teenagers.
  • C.S. Lewis: Love must work towards its own abdication.
  • (Parental joy tends to be passive, grounded in attachment, and leads to slower heart beat.)
  • constant pressure to maximize one's emotional returns
  • a self that happiness would be a fitting response to
  • Therapists helping despairing parents should not be afraid of creating a sound amount of tension through reorientation towards meaning towards one's life. Choosing parenthood gives strength and structural integrity of one's life through meaningful tension.
  • the experiencing self (how we live) loses out to the remembering self, (which is who we are)
  • Children as our superegos



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