Third Way of Parenting

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

A professor from a Lutheran college offers an interpretation of the crises affecting American families that is not frequently heard: Children need both parents. “The equality debate has run its course but something is still missing: domesticity,” Ryan C. MacPherson said at a Capitol Hill symposium on Friday. “Now, instead of spending a lot of time with mom and none with dad, kids now spend no time with either parent.”

Since both parents are likely to be working, kids go “from day care to sports, then home,” MacPherson said. MacPherson chairs the history department at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. The conference he spoke at was organized by The Family in America, a journal of public policy.

MacPherson urged against government regulation to achieve more family time. “It leads to the Swedish experience of mothers working at taking care of other people’s children,” he averred.

“Fifty years after The Feminine Mystique, America needs not better career opportunities or expanded education for women, but a revival of domesticity among women, men, and their children,” MacPherson wrote in the winter issue of The Family in America. “Public policies that encourage homeschooling, home entrepreneurship, family flextime in the workplace, and a shorter work week may prove more helpful than those that focus on gender equality in the labor market.”

“To require employers to treat all workers identically simply reinforces the career mystique’s distorted view that a worker is a worker and nothing else. It was this ideology that displaced husbands from their wives, fathers from their children; lamentably, women in their quest for equality have embraced the same dream, realizing too late the social fragmentation it causes.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.

 

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