In Italy, you see families walking together quite often, pushing strollers. You see this in the US too, but in my experience, it is usually at the zoo and not casually walking about town, at least with dad. As I wrote my book on Dadhood, I wondered how the USA compared with Europe in raising children successfully. This is the latest I could find.
An excerpt from my book, “The Power of Dadhood”
“In February 2007, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) released a report that said, among the twenty-one wealthiest nations, the United States was the worst place to raise a child. The United States ranked low on the scale regarding children who eat and talk frequently with their families and had the highest proportion of children living in single-parent families. Single-parenthood was associated with “a greater risk of dropping out of school, of leaving home early, of poorer health, of low skills, and of low pay.
Conversely, the study revealed that children in the Netherlands, Spain, and Greece “were the happiest,” and children of the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal “spent the most time with their families and friends.” The evidence in the Netherlands and Spain supports the obvious: children’s welfare—their health and happiness—is greatly enhanced by involvement with those they love.
A partial explanation of the report’s low ranking of the United States is the competitive nature in the job market, making adults less available to their children. Jonathan Bradshaw, one of the authors of the study, stated, “The findings we got today are a consequence of long-term underinvestment in children. They [the United States and also the United Kingdom, which ranked next to last] don’t invest as much in children as continental European countries do.” (Farley)”
SO the US and UK were in last place. Not anything to brag about. We may have bigger homes, fancier cars, and larger bank accounts, but our parenting may suffer for it. It is a shame that when your children need you most, in their early years, it is also when parents are struggling in the workplace, spending time moving up the ladder instead of bouncing kids on their knees. It is important to be able to provide properly for your children, but it must not be forgotten that your attention trumps private schools and things.
We are competitive people and that is a good thing. But if we keep in mind that our children are more important sometimes than a little more overtime, then we have the proper perspective. On the other hand, those of us that are not competitive don’t always use our extra time in the best of ways! Balance is always the key to parenting!
This was a rush job. I'll add captions and correct error later!