Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Week: Parents and Illness


The Week is an excellent publication that gives a short summary of the news. I have been writing a little commentary of my own on topics I find of interest in the magazine.

“The average paycheck for top executives at 200 big companies in 2010 was $10.8 million—a 23 percent gain from 2009”--NYTimes. The median household income has been decreasing in the recession. In 2009 the number was about $46,000 and projected to decline further.

Older generations are hemming and hawing about the new satirical children's book “Go the F—k to Sleep.” Old-ass columnists convinced that the younger generations are ruining society have claimed, “today's 20- and 30-somethings never quite grew up themselves, so the self-sacrifice and patience required to raise children comes as something of a shock. Now that they've been forced to behave like adults, they're angry—and worried they're not up to it.” Hold on a sec. That's kind of a big accusation—the latest generation of parents are immature brats that haven't got a clue how to be a parent. The age of first-time parents in the US has steadily been increasing. People are waiting longer to have kids—for a variety of reasons. Among the well-reported and numerous reasons being that these new parents want to be more emotionally mature and financially secure.

That's right, our new parents want to be more mature. But more mature than what? Well their parents and the people railing against this wry attempt at explaining the perpetual condition of parents of young children. Y'know the parents that were barely out of college and in many cases barely out of high school to raise kids. What a presumptuous notion to call these new parents immature.

So what is this about? This is about a book by Adam Mansbach that is written in the form of a children's picture book and directed at frustrated parents. I have personally encountered the book in Powell's and found it to be hilarious and insightful. As a former child that refused to sleep under any circumstances I can imagine the frustration I wrought upon my parents. It is no fault of the author's that he merely called to attention the difficulties of being a parent. I think we can sufficiently put to rest those who claim the sky is falling. And we can turn back mirror back on them.

Also, apparently people who live in urban environments are more excitable and are more nervous under stress. The other claim is that there would be 30% fewer people with schizophrenia. Not sure how I feel about all that but I think that it should be investigated further.