Jennifer Senior


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Jennifer Senior is a contributing editor at New York magazine. She lives in New York with her family.

Average rating: 3.86 · 9,210 ratings · 1,394 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
All Joy and No Fun: The Par...

3.86 avg rating — 9,210 ratings — published 2014 — 20 editions
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“Parents can project into the future; their young children, anchored in the present, have a much harder time of it. This difference can be a formula for heartbreak for a small child. Toddlers cannot appreciate, as an adult can, that when they’re told to put their blocks away, they’ll be able to resume playing with them at some later date. They do not care, when told they can’t have another bag of potato chips, that life is long and teeming with potato chips. They want them now, because now is where they live. Yet somehow mothers and fathers believe that if only they could convey the logic of their decisions, their young children would understand it. That’s what their adult brains thrived on for all those years before their children came along: rational chitchat, in which motives were elucidated and careful analyses dutifully dispatched. But young children lead intensely emotional lives. Reasoned discussion does not have the same effect on them, and their brains are not yet optimized for it.”
Jennifer Senior, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

“No matter how perfect our circumstances, most of us, as Adam Phillips observed, “learn to live somewhere between the lives we have and the lives we would like.” The hard part is to make peace with that misty zone and to recognize that no life—no life worth living anyway—is free of constraints.”
Jennifer Senior, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

“Everyone is moving at the same speed toward the future. But your children are moving at that same speed with their eyes closed. So you're the ones who've got to steer.”
Jennifer Senior, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

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