The University of Wisconsin Press

Parenting / Child Development / Public Health

Parenthood in America
Undervalued, Underpaid, Under Siege
Edited by Jack C. Westman, M.D.

"We can turn our parenting failures around. We can and must build communities that care about besieged parents and that demonstrate their caring through action. We know what to do. Will we do it?" —T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., from the foreword

Our society is engaged in heated debates about family values, child care, education, and the future of children. Largely missing from these debates is any serious discussion of the complex vocation we call "parenthood." This book recognizes parenthood as a lifelong process in which parents and children grow together. The distinguished contributors call for families, employers, communities, government, and society to give parents real help with their day-to-day concerns and challenges.

Parenthood in America brings the insights of experts in child development, education, health, media studies, economics, history, sociology, and human services to bear on practical aspects of childrearing and on the kinds of policies that have a real effect on parenting. In response to the stresses of parenthood today, they call for:

  • family-friendly workplaces and decent childcare options
  • pediatric health care for all
  • programs that aid children's development as well as their physical health
  • recognition by professionals of parents' expert knowledge about their own children
  • alternatives to vapid or violent games and TV programs
  • prioritization of time for family meals, talks, chores, and activities
  • valuing of caring relationships above wealth and possessions
  • appreciation of cultural and religious diversity
  • supportive networks among parents, teachers, pediatricians, and childcare providers.

"Bringing together the thoughts of some of the best thinkers in parenting and family life education, Parenthood in America will undoubtedly set the stage for decisive change to support parents and families in the next century."—Anne S. Robertson, coordinator of the National Parent Information Network

"I commend this fine book to anyone who is interested in expanding their appreciation of the critical roles that parents play in shaping the future of our nation."—Kerby T. Alvy, founder and executive director, Center for the Improvement of Child Caring

Jack C. Westman, M.D., is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison. His many books include Born to Belong: Becoming Who I Am; Licensing Parents: Can We Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect?; and Who Speaks for Children? Individual and Class Child Advocacy.

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March 2001
LC: 00-010976 HQ
320 pp.    6 x 9

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Paper $22.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-17064-6
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Updated November 17, 2011

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