KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research

What’s the Measure of Parenting? Happiness vs. Meaning

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 @ 05:01 PM

The pursuit of happiness is an unalienable right claims the United States Declaration of Independence. Despite all of our advances, studies show we are not happier now than in previous eras.  When it comes to parenting, some research shows that parenting doesn’t make one happier.  Two leaders in the parenting field, Kyle and Marsha Pruit, have summarized this view of parenting well.  The “happily-ever-after” family picture is a common dream of many, from all socioeconomic levels and cultures.  Yet studies of families show that the happiness reported by couples drops off as their first child joins the family, and continues to decline through their children’s mid-teenage years.  Although parents still report having kids as incredibly rewarding, juggling the responsibilities of children, their relationship, and daily life can be overwhelming at times.  Along with the joys of raising children, parents may experience lots of new expenses, health issues, questions without answers, uninvited advice, exhaustion, postpartum depression for moms and/or dads, disruptions in intimacy, and less independence and opportunities to socialize. [Read more in Kyle and Marsha Kline Pruett (2009). Partnership Parenting:How Men and Women Parent Differently—Why It Helps Your Kids and Can Strengthen Your Marriage, Da Capo Press,Cambridge,MA, pp. 3-5].  

Read More

Tags: Parenting Assessment, measuring parenting, well-being, happiness