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Outsourcing Parenthood

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How did our ancestors raise so many kids, while modern parents struggle with the fast pace of life?

It’s unclear, but to help solve such First World problems, many businesses now offer traditional caregiving services ranging from planning birthday parties to teaching children how to ride a bike. According to a new paper in the Journal of Consumer Research, by outsourcing traditional parental duties, modern-day parents feel they are ultimately protecting parenthood.

To determine the role of the marketplace in modern-day parenting, the authors conducted in-depth interviews with participants who varied in parenting views, practices, and challenges ranging from income to social class and the availability of help from immediate family.

The interviews revealed that parents are more willing to turn to the marketplace for help once they have provided a strong baseline of activities that allow them to direct how care is given, protect their connections as parents, and assert their role as the primary caregiver. Achieving this balance helps parents maintain their feelings of responsibility, control, and intimacy.

Read more http://www.science20.com/news_articles/outsourcing_parenthood_it_takes_the_marketplace_to_raise_a_child-143423
August 27, 2014
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