Intensive Parenting Is Bad for Parents’ Social Lives

The economists Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti explain that the turn to intensive parenting was, in part, a reaction to rising economic inequality. In their book, Love, Money and Parenting, they argue that in countries with high social inequality, such as the U.S. and China, parents are required to do far more to support and prepare their children, because business and government do so little. This reality stands in contrast to low-social-inequality countries that have more family-friendly policies, such as Germany and Sweden. Looked at another way: If I don’t have to worry about paying for good-quality preschool, high school, or college; if I know that my child will be okay even without a college degree, because there are plenty of decent jobs when they leave home; if I know I won’t be bankrupted by my child’s illness—let alone my own—then it’s easier for me to relax and hang out with my friends.

According to one study, the average number of close relationships that adults had with friends, co-workers, and neighbors decreased by a third from 1985 to 2004. Meanwhile, the number of hours they spent with children skyrocketed. From 1965 to 2011, married fathers nearly tripled their time (from 2.6 hours to 7.2 hours a week) with children, while married mothers increased their time by almost a third (from 10.6 hours to 14.3 hours a week) in the same time period, according to a 2013 report by Pew. In that time, single mothers almost doubled the amount of time spent with their children, from 5.8 hours a week in 1985 to 11.3 hours a week in 2011, while single fathers went from less than one hour a week in 1985 to about eight hours a week in 2011.

Spending more time with children has been a trend over the past half century, not just in the U.S. but in other wealthy Western countries. However, many of those societies have social policies that don’t force parents to create this time by giving up their social lives. Instead “many Scandinavian and Western European countries have obtained shorter standard work weeks through legislation or collective bargaining,” according to a 2020 report by the Brookings Institution.

Friendships matter. Although countless studies report their value in maintaining physical and emotional well-being, it seems that when American parents feel crunched, their friendships tend to get sacrificed. In many ways, today’s parents seem to hope their children will provide the meaning and support prior generations of parents received from adult friends, hobbies, and organizational memberships. According to a survey conducted in 2012 by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, nearly three-quarters of parents of school-age children said they hoped to be best friends with their children when they’re grown. This hope is being fulfilled, to some degree. Studies show that parents and their adult children have far more frequent and affectionate contact than they did only four decades before.

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Free Social Statistics Workshop

Join us in person or online (via TEAMS) to learn how to examine the population characteristics of your local community using online community profiling tools.


From: 1:15 PM to 2:30 PM,
Monday, 19 April 2021


Ormeau Community Centre






Safe and Liveable Communities


City of Gold Coast


07 5581 6642



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Mackay’s learn-to-drive program help migrants get behind the wheel and end social isolation

Faced with an unfamiliar environment, new road rules, and lack of family nearby, 22-year-old Manchi Lin asks herself a question many migrants struggle with: how will she obtain a provisional driver’s licence?

Clocking up the 100 hours of supervised driving needed in Queensland was the primary challenge.

Ms Lin moved to Australia in 2018 to study and lives alone on the Gold Coast while her family is in Taiwan.

After six attempts, she recently received her learner’s permit. But the challenges have kept coming.

“It can be difficult to find people to supervise … as supervisors need to have an open licence and have held it for one year,” Ms Lin said.

“Driving lessons are really expensive, and 100 hours is a lot”.

Recognising the need for more support, a community group in North Queensland hopes to make obtaining a licence more accessible.

Valeriya Edsall from The Neighbourhood Hub in Mackay said migrants, regardless of what country they come from, often had a limited support network.

Grappling with the English language was just one barrier for some migrants. 

“There exist additional barriers for women experiencing and escaping domestic violence,” Ms Edsall said.

“There might be difficulties with having documents and also financial barriers.” 

The organisation has received funding through the Department of Transport and Main Roads to provide up to 10 free driving lessons for migrants in the region.

It is already oversubscribed.

“There was such a massive interest in enrolling in this program among the migrant community, and we could only accommodate 30 people,” Ms Edsall said.

The program helps migrants get their hours up to obtain a provisional licence.

Other programs like the PCYC’s Braking the Cycle or the Salvation Army’s “Drive for Life” offer similar help, but advocates said more support services were needed across regional Queensland to help prevent the isolating impact of not having a licence.

Neighbourhood Hub general manager, Nicollette Ffrost, said it could be difficult to secure employment without a licence.

“If you look at it from an economic connectedness standpoint, it prevents them from attending a volunteering opportunity, some sort of employment prospect or a job interview.” Ms Ffrost said.

Ms Lin said not having a driving licence did decrease her employment prospects.

“I’ve applied for jobs that are in the suburbs in Gold Coast. It’s kind of impossible to get to, or it might just be a longer ride,” she said.

The Neighbourhood Hub’s Valeriya Edsall said there was a massive gap in supporting migrants to start driving on the roads safely.

“We definitely need more programs to help migrants get their provisional licence,” she said.

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F1 2021: Daniel Ricciardo Formula 1 social media war, Romain Grosjean crash

Daniel Ricciardo’s bad blood with Formula 1 executives is raging again after a social media post that left the Aussie driver shaking his head.

The McLaren driver this week hit out at senior figures in Formula 1 over the inhumane glorification of crashes in ongoing promotion of the sport.

The 31-year-old led the contempt directed at Formula 1 following a series of replays being shown of former Haas driver Romain Grosjean during his frightening fireball crash at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

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The former Renault and Red Bull racer was scathing in the aftermath of Grosjean’s crash, saying it was “disgusting” that the live TV broadcast continued to show a loop of replays of the scary incident during the hour-long break before the re-start of the race.

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The last thing the school curriculum needs is ‘more social engineering’

Sky News host Rita Panahi says the last thing the school curriculum needs is more social engineering, but that’s just what the Victorian government has in mind.

Ms Panahi said Education Minister James Merlino was working with a sexual assault campaigner who wished to “further entrench concepts such as toxic masculinity and slut-shaming” into the school curriculum.

“I’m all for kids being taught about consent in school, but it should be done from a fact-based legal framework. Kids should be taught what constitutes consent, that people who are inebriated cannot consent, nor those below a certain age,” she said.

“But they should not be brainwashed in the divisive politics of the activist class. Teaching impressionable kids about so-called toxic masculinity will only end in what we saw in a Victorian school with boys being forced to apologise for being born boys.

“Wouldn’t it be refreshing if there was as much focus on academic excellence as there is on indoctrination in Victorian schools? Perhaps then, our students wouldn’t trail those in Kazakhstan.”

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Social paddle group

Saturday, March 27, 2021, 7 – 8am

Social paddle group

Social paddle groups are a fun way to meet other locals, form relationships, get fit and explore our gorgeous waterways. Just by participating every week you can challenge yourself to go further, improve posture and confidence, and develop fitness and general health – all while having fun in the great outdoors.

Venue: Budds Beach Reserve
Address: River Drive, Surfers Paradise
Suburb: Surfers Paradise
Bookings required: Yes
Category: Active families, Active kids, Water fitness, Water-based recreation
Contact name: Go Vertical SUP, Linda
Contact phone: 0423 716 625
Cost: $15
More info:

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Donald Trump to ‘redefine’ the social media game as he plans his return

Donald Trump will be back on social media in the next few months with his own platform which his senior adviser describes as “redefining the social media game”.

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Trump Will Be Launching a His Own Social Media Platform in the Next Few Months

Former President Donald Trump’s senior advisor Jason Miller said Sunday on Fox News Channels “MediaBuzz” that Trump will be launching a social media platform in the next few months.

Host Howard Kurtz asked, “Donald Trump obviously has been booted off Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, which were a great megaphone for him. Does he plan to get back on social media perhaps with some new outfit?”

Miller said, “I do think we’re going to see President Trump returning to social media and probably about two or three months here with his own platform. This is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media. It’s going to completely redefine the game. Everyone will be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does. But it will be his own platform.”

Kurtz asked, “Just to follow up, will this be a platform that the former president will create himself, working with another company? Obviously, he’ll be starting from scratch. He won’t start out with 88 million Twitter followers.”

Miller said, “I can’t go much further than what I was able to just share. I can say it will be big once he starts. There have been a lot of high-powered meetings he has been having at Mar-a-Lago with teams of folks that have been coming in. I got to tell you it’s not just one company that’s approached the president. There have been numerous companies. I think the president knows what direction he wants to head here. This new platform is going to be big, and everyone wants him. He’s going to bring millions and millions, tens of millions of people to this new platform.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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Australia’s social cohesion is being destroyed by the ‘perpetually indulged’

Sky News host Cory Bernardi says Australia’s societal fabric is being dismantled by the “perpetually indulged” who complain about government but wish it to be more interventionist.

“No one wants to take responsibility for themselves anymore and yet that was the key to Australia becoming such a great nation, we had resilience,” he said.

Mr Bernardi said those who wish to make Australia better should not rely on the government to fix problems but should reclaim “that sense of patriotism” and the inner pride which comes with independence.

“As the old saying goes, a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything you have.”

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Micro-town gives people with cognitive impairment, dementia independence and social engagement

A small community in Bellmere, just north of Brisbane, is turning the traditional aged care model on its head, providing a sense of independence, engagement and normalcy to its 120 residents, many of whom live with cognitive impairment such as dementia.

The micro-town has all the facilities you might expect: a cinema, corner store, cafe, beauty salon, GP, dentist and even a town centre.

“It’s essentially just like a little suburb but it caters to older people and people who are living with a disability,” New Direction Care CEO Natasha Chadwick told ABC Radio Brisbane.

“I am a very big believer in inclusiveness, and I don’t understand that when someone gets a brain disease or impairment we, all of a sudden, think that they need to be in a secure ward and a secure area away from everyone else,” she said.

Instead of one large, hotel-style facility often seen in traditional aged care, the micro-town has 17 separate houses with seven people living in each.

“They enable people to have their independence and freedom and continue to be the person that they were when they were at home, before they had to move into care.”

Each dwelling has a trained “house companion” who is responsible for everything from meal preparation to medication management, and who is supported by a team of specialists.

“We have 24/7 registered nurses, allied health … podiatry, dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists,” Ms Chadwick said.

Ms Chadwick’s model was inspired by a similar village called Hogeway in the Netherlands, that caters specifically to people with dementia.

“The founders have been here to our micro-town … and they loved it, but they also recognised it’s very different from what they do,” Ms Chadwick said.

“The concept of a small town is the same, but their model is very much focused exclusively for people living with dementia, whereas ours is inclusive.”

Ms Chadwick said about 70 per cent of the residents at New Direction were living with a cognitive impairment, many of them with dementia, including 20 per cent who were living with severe dementia.

Dementia Australia’s Advocacy and Research executive director, Kaele Stokes, said physical design that promotes independence can have a profound and positive impact on people living with dementia.

“We know the physical environment can have a significant impact on people living with dementia, both in terms of enabling individuals and disadvantaging them,” Ms Stokes said.

“The dementia-village style of accommodation is one model which evidence suggests can have a positive impact on the autonomy, independence and wellbeing of a person living with dementia.”

Ms Stokes said Dementia Australia had long called for dementia-friendly design to be incorporated in residential aged care as well as more investment in dementia-specific training for all staff.

“Simple, relatively low-cost changes in colour schemes and basic design can make a significant difference to the quality of life of someone living in residential aged care,” she said.

Ms Chadwick said often aged care facilities became a “scary place”, closed-off to the community with outsiders only entering to visit loved ones.

She said the village model invited people to utilise the facilities like the cafe, store and gym, promoting an authentic community.

So, how much does it cost?

“Because we are funded by the Commonwealth … it doesn’t cost any more than it does to go to a traditional aged care community,” Ms Chadwick said.

“The difference is that we have to supplement our revenue because the Commonwealth revenue that’s currently provided to aged care is not enough for those services.

“So we supplement our revenue through other services that we provide out to the community, as well as to our internal community.”

The model is growing in popularity around Australia, but Ms Chadwick recognised there were barriers for some facilities to make the switch.

“Many of the larger providers, they have billions of dollars of assets in buildings and this kind of change is significant,” Ms Chadwick said.

“To have to change the way that those buildings have been developed: very traditional, institutional or hotel-style into a house, is going to take quite a bit of cash … as well as will, the culture change that we need as an industry.”

Ms Stokes said regardless of what kind of facility a loved one is moved into, great care should be taken to ease their transition.

“An abrupt change of environment, routine or engagement can be disruptive for a person living with cognitive impairment and their ability to adjust to change may be impacted,” Ms Stokes said.

“A carefully stepped out transition plan that reflects the individual preferences and needs of an individual, builds collaboration between the individual, their families, carers, healthcare professionals and staff, together with a well-designed environment, can help maintain abilities, reduce risks and provide meaningful engagement by providing essential prompts and accessibility to support a person with dementia.”

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