Start Reading

035: Parenting: All joy and no fun?: Making time with our kids both fun and joyful!

0 page


Today's episode is about a book I read way before I started the podcast, called All Joy and No Fun (Affiliate link) by Jennifer Senior. I actually got a question from a listener recently asking me whether there’s any research on whether and how her divorce might have impacted her son’s development. It turns out that there is, and quite a lot – so I decided to make a series out of it.

We'll have one episode on how divorce impacts children, and a second on single parenting and step families, and we’ll open the whole lot up with this one on All Joy and No Fun, which is basically about the idea that if you ask a parent what is their greatest joy they will invariably say “my kids,” but if you ask them moment-by-moment if they’re having fun with their children then unfortunately the answer is pretty often “no.” I know that a lot of factors can lead to divorce but surely “all joy and no fun” is among them, so it sort of seemed like it fit with the other two topics. Since I first read the book several months ago I’ve had a chance to think about it a bit, so I’ll start as usual with the research and will end with some ideas on how we can change our approach so we can have “some joy and some fun too.”


Campos B., Graesch, A.P., Repetti, R., Bradbury, T., & Ochs, E. (2009). Opportunity for interaction? A naturalistic observation study of dual-earner families after work and school. Journal of Family Psychology 23(6), 798-807. DOI: 10.1037/a0015824

Cherry, K. (2016). What is flow? Retrieved from:

Cowan, C.P. & Cowan, P.A. (1995). Interventions to ease the transition to parenthood: Why they are needed and what they can do. Family Relations: Journal of Applied Family & Child Studies 44, 412-423.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., Abuhamdeh, S., & Nakamura, J. (2005). Flow. In A. Elliot (Ed.), A Handbook of Competence and Motivation. (pp. 598-698). New York: The Guilford Press.

Doss, B.D., Rhoades, G.K., Stanley, S.M., & Markman, H.J. (2009). The effect of the transition to parenthood on relationship quality: An 8-year prospective study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychiatry 96(3), 601-619. DOI: 10.1037/a0013969

LeMasters, E.E. (1957). Parenthood as crisis. Marriage and Family Living 19(4), 352-355.

Mitchell, T.R., Thompson, L. .Peterson, E., & Cronk, R. (1997). Temporal adjustments in the evaluation of events: The “Rosy View.”  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 33(4), 421-428.

Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2001). Dlow theory and research. In C.R. Snyder, E. Wright, & S.J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology. (pp. 195-206). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rossi, A.S. (1968). Transition to parenthood. Journal of Marriage and Family 30(1), 26-39.

Senior, J. (2014). All joy and no fun: The paradox of modern parenthood. New York: HarperCollins. (Affiliate link)


Read on the Scribd mobile app

Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.