The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis

  • 8h 47m 6s
  • Nate G. Hilger
  • Recorded Books, Inc.
  • 2022

Few people realize that raising children is the single largest industry in the United States. Yet this vital work receives little political support, and its primary workers—parents—labor in isolation. It's almost as if parents are set up to fail—and the result is lost opportunities that limit children's success and make us all worse off. In The Parent Trap, Nate Hilger combines cutting-edge social science research, revealing historical case studies, and on-the-ground investigation to recast parenting as the hidden crucible of inequality.

Parents are expected not only to care for their children but to help them develop the skills they will need to thrive in today's socioeconomic reality—but most parents, including even the most caring parents on the planet, are not trained in skill development and lack the resources to get help. The solution, Hilger argues, is to ask less of parents, not more. America should consider child development a public investment with a monumental payoff. To make it happen, parents need to organize to wield their political power on behalf of children—who will always be the largest bloc of disenfranchised people in this country.

The Parent Trap exposes the true costs of our society's unrealistic expectations around parenting and lays out a profoundly hopeful blueprint for reform.

About the Author

Nate G. Hilger is an economist and data scientist in Silicon Valley. His work on the origins of success in children has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other media outlets. He has published articles in the Quarterly Journal of Economics and other leading academic journals.

In this Audiobook

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 - An Alternate Reality
  • Chapter 2 - What Parents Really Do
  • Chapter 3 - Teaching Old Parents New Tricks
  • Chapter 4 - Why Parents Can't Build Skills on Their Own
  • Chapter 5 - Skill Development and Racial Inequality
  • Chapter 6 - Getting More by Asking for Less
  • Chapter 7 - Why we Don't Invest in Skill Development