Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Parents with children in home "no longer dominant force"

Society switches focus away from children

The USA is becoming a much more adult-focused society after being child-centered for decades, a report suggests.

Longer life expectancy, delayed marriage and childbearing, and increased childlessness add up to a longer life without kids, says the analysis, released today by the non-partisan National Marriage Project at Rutgers University.
. . .
In 1970, for example, 73.6% of women ages 25-29 had at least one minor child at home; 30 years later, 48.7% did.

In 1990, the most common household type was married couples with children. Now, single, childless households are the most prevalent.

And today, more women in their 40s are childless, the report says. One in 10 were childless in 1976; in 2004, it was about one of five.

Although Whitehead says Americans aren't "anti-child," she suggests that a society indifferent to parenting will further aggravate current attitudes and account for what Whitehead calls "the cultural devaluation of child-rearing."

"People who are rearing children and have children in the household no longer represent the dominant force in society or politics," she says.
. . .
"The so-called family-friendly programs that emerged in the '80s and '90s are being replaced with work-life programs," he says. "The terminology is changing to be more generic."
This seems contrary to much of our experiences, which indicate that since society is changing its concept of 'adult places', it is actually becoming more child-centric. Certainly places such as bars, late movies, and nice restaurants, once the domain of decorous adults, are now often filled with the shouts of children. This has changed even in my short lifetime.

Parents also seem to be developing as a louder and more influential plurality, even as the percentage of their life spent as parents of young children might be decreasing. As we can see from the AARP, NRA, and other lobby groups, just because you don't represent the majority doesn't mean you don't have a great deal of political influence.

In other words, statistics aren't dispositive of influence. Cultural factors assure that.

Also see another article on the report: Child-rearing losing appeal and the original report:

An Increase in Childlessness

Finally, a small but growing percentage of women do not have any biological children. In 2004, almost one out of five women in their early forties were childless compared to one out of ten in 1976. 8

Of course, many women who do not have biological children are nonetheless involved in rearing stepchildren, adopted children or other children in the household. But with increases in childlessness, a growing percentage of women will not spend any of their adult years in the tasks of child rearing.

This does not mean that most women are turning away from motherhood. Indeed, very few women are dead set against children from early ages. More commonly, they are childless as the result of other decisions in early adult life, including delay of marriage, marriage to a partner who already has children and doesn’t want more, or never marrying.

Relationship instability and uncertainty—especially the rapidly growing trend of cohabitation — also drives the recent rise in childlessness. Cohabiting women may postpone childbearing until they have a better sense of the long-term future of the relationship. However, if they wait too long, they may be at risk for never having children. Being in an unhappy marriage is yet another source of uncertainty. Married people who are worried about getting divorced are the most likely to remain childless. 9

Finally, high levels of educational attainment contribute to childlessness. Women who hold four-year college degrees are more likely to be childless than women with lower levels of educational attainment. [See “Marriage Gap” discussion in Social Indicators section.]


ChrisR said...

"This seems contrary to much of our experiences, which indicate that since society is changing its concept of 'adult places', it is actually becoming more child-centric."

I've been wondering about this and I think affluent nations are developing a Chinese-style "little emperor' syndrome.

People are having fewer kids, later. So those kids are regarded as precious and are totally indulged.

And since the parents have so much invested in their bundle of joy, you're not allowed to criticise or complain, whatever the circumstances.

Mercurior said...

notice how they say childless as if they are missing something, rather than using the childFREE.

hypnosis said...

Visualization is a tool that has been used for thousands of years by initiates of all the metaphysical schools. Today, it is incorporated into top athlete's daily routines and is used in business affairs frequently. It's use is wide-spread among highly successful people, either consciously or unconsciously, aware of its create power. So if it has stood the test of time and is still being used by high achievers we must come to the conclusion that it works! But has it ever worked for you?

If you answered 'yes' to the above question then you know how powerful this technique can be. If, on the other hand, you gave the more likely answer 'no' then take heart for I am about to reveal to you a sure fire way of reaching your objectives through this mostly misunderstood art.

The trouble with visualization is simple - its in its name!

When studying and contemplating the art of visualization most people have the impression that they must create visual images and make them real or life-like. Many people, in fact the majority, find this almost impossible to do. Even if they can formulate a solid picture of their objective they find it extremely difficult to sustain the image for any length of time. Either the image fades, changes or other intruding thoughts intervene.

This type of visualization is almost impossible to sustain and luckily it is not at all necessary. Why? Because it is in the subconscious mind that your visualization needs to be placed and there is good news. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between an imaginary event and a real one. Your visual image only needs to be a strong visually as any other imagined event. However, that is only half the story.

If all you had to do was just imagine stuff and your world automatically changed to reflect your imaginings this world would be full of chaos (not to mention all those creepy crawly bug-eyed monsters!). Therefore, there are a few more steps to complete before the visualization is passed to the subconscious for manifestation.

Let's try a little experiment. Remember a scene from your past that has a lot of good feelings around it. Any good memory will do, like the first time you heard the words "I love you" from your partner, an amazingly spectacular sunset, a great holiday event or your last birthday. Pick one and remember it. How clear is the image? Can you remember any sounds? What way did you feel? Is there any sense of touch, taste or smell? Identify how your memory works. Is it mostly visual, auditory, kinaesthetic or of a feeling nature?

Now we are going to create an imagined event in our lives that has the same strength and potency as that image. So relax and let's go.

Imagine something that you do everyday, something that you did yesterday, today and will do tomorrow. Let us take the example of waking up tomorrow morning. Don't try to add or take anything away, just think about it and analyse the scene. Is it dark or light? Are you lying next to someone in bed? Do you still feel tired? Has the alarm clock sounded? Are you irritable that you have to get up or full of joy at the dawn of a new day?

You will find that the imagined event is very similar to the memory with probably one key difference - your point of perspective. Is the memory behind you and the future event in front of you? Is one to the left and one to the right? Maybe they are both in front of you or the future seems to move in a clockwise direction. Whatever the perspective the thing to notice is that they are very similar in appearance.

Now imagine doing your future event a week from now, then a month from now, then six months from now. Where are those images placed? Are they moving further away, going clockwise, from left to right? This is your time-line and using it is important in visualization as you will see later.

Ok, let's imagine something that is very unlikely to happen and see where it differs from the last image.

Imagine you are sitting somewhere familiar which is extremely comfortable and relaxing to you. Now imagine that a person you know well comes up to where you are and says "hello". Imagine them telling you that they want to show you a new trick. All of a sudden they have three juggling balls. They throw them in the air and begin to juggle with ease. Then they begin to whistle one of your favourite tunes. You suddenly realize that there is a strong smell of flowers in the room and notice a vase of them just behind the juggler. Imagine laughing loudly at the scene and feeling joyful at the experience. Then the person juggling leans forward stands on leg and puts the other leg outstretched behind them. All the while still juggling and whistling. Then they begin to hop on their leg as a small bird flies over to perch on their head. Once you have the imagined event and stayed with it a few moments just let it fade.

Ok open your eyes. What was the difference between the two images? Can you spot any? Did you use more, less or roughly the same senses in your fantasy event as you did in the future one? Did you see them from different angles? Was the picture bigger in one than the other? Was the sound clearer, the feelings more acute or the smell stronger? Take some time and go back to each scene in your mind. How does the future event differ from the fantasy one? Are you looking at both from a different vantage point? Do you see yourself in the image of one but not the other? Analyse the scenes and see where they differ.

Have you identified how the future event differs from the fantasy one? If you have then its time to make visualization work for you! Take a goal that you have been working on or would like to achieve. Nothing too far-fetched at this point please! Pick something that is possible but at the moment seems a little impractical. Once you have it form a mental image of what it would be like to have, be or do that thing or be in that experience. Remember to form it the same way you do a memory. Give it the same strength visually, in sound, feeling, taste and touch - use your mind in its natural state. All you have to do is imagine the scene.

Ok how does it differ from the scene of waking in the morning? Can you identify the differences in perspective, sound, taste, touch, feelings and what you hear?

Now there will be one other key thing that differs in the images- it is very simple but often overlooked. You know that the future event is going to happen! This is reflected in the way we experience the image. So what we are going to do is fool your subconscious mind into thinking your goal is definitely going to happen by manipulating your goal image!

Once you know what the differences are in each image begin to change the goal image so that it is seen the same way as the future event in your imagination. Place the visualized scene in exactly the same position with the same perspective as your future event.

Place it in the correct position on your time-line. You may already begin to feel that the goal is more possible. Visualise in this way everyday and you will condition your subconscious mind to manifest the experiences necessary to make your goal attainment certain.

One more thing to remember: During the day think about your goal often. This reinforces the visualization and will begin to dispel doubt from your mind. hypnosis