• U.S.

Your Family: Jun. 14, 1999

2 minute read
Daniel S. Levy

IT HURTS ME MORE THAN YOU Last week the Nevada assembly joined the debate over whether spanking deters bad behavior or teaches kids it’s O.K. to use violence for resolving disputes. A new law explicitly allows parents to spank their children and stipulates that official records of abuse charges be erased if the parent is cleared. Proponents hailed the return of discipline, while critics noted that expunging documents will make it harder to track abusive parents.

PAYBACK TIME If you’re looking forward to more leisure time once the kids leave for college, think again. Several new studies, noting that an increasing number of adults are caring for their aging parents, project that by 2005, fully 37% of U.S. workers will be more occupied with elder care than with child rearing. And it’s not just families who are feeling the pinch. Estimates say employees who miss work in order to care for parents are already costing U.S. business as much as $29 billion a year in lost productivity.

TAKE A HIKE The more crowded our cities and suburbs become, the more we love to get away to the woods. Target Travel Club reports that 48% of families it surveyed like to pitch a tent as part of their vacation. Visits to national parks continue to rise, to a projected 295 million this year from 256 million in 1989. Besides the essentials, campers and hikers increasingly are packing such high-tech gizmos as night-vision goggles and hand-held global-positioning units that help Dad lead the way home without bread crumbs.

–By Daniel S. Levy

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