Who is happier: Parents or non-parents?
It’s a conundrum that burns hot in the cultural discourse. Are parents made miserable by dirty diapers, long sleepless nights and needy kiddos? Or are they on cloud nine, because of the love and meaning their offspring bring to their lives? Or is it perhaps some mix of the two, as journalist Jennifer Senior argues in the new and much-buzzed-about “All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood” (Ecco, 2014)?
Beyond demographics, parental happiness may be linked to the goals parents have when caring for their children children. Bonnie Le, a doctoral candidate supervised by psychologist Emily Impett at the University of Toronto, has found in a separate line of work that parents get a joyfulness boost when they interact with their kids with the intention of providing love and security, but feel less happy when parenting from a place of self-consciousness. Trying to convince others that you’re a great mom or dad, whether at the grocery store or on social media sites like Pinterest, may be a losing proposition, in other words.
Read the whole story: LiveScienceMore of our Members in the Media >