Skip navigation
C. Balancing Parenting and Employment

Narrator: This is Science Today. A recent study reported that people in this country work longer hours than those in other industrial nations. In families with two working parents, these long hours become problematic when raising children. Rivka Polatnick, a research sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, says because more than one third of U.S. preteens are taking care of themselves after school, there has to be a better way to combine parenting and employment.

Polatnick: That's not something that's an easy issue, but we need more flexibility in the workplace, we need better options for part-time work, we need better living wages so that parents don't have to face these impossible equations of time versus money.

Narrator: And it's not just a matter of parents busily pursuing material possessions.

Polatnick: It's just to provide good housing, good education - you know, those core things that parents want to provide for their kids. They need to work these kind of long hours and they need full-time incomes. So, we need to find ways to change that reality if we want to have adults with time for their kids. Something has to give.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.