Parenthood: Parenting and Children

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Chapter 7
PARENTHOOD

Definition of Parenthood
Parenthood is the process of raising children who will provide continuity within the family. There is no greater satisfaction than seeing one’s children grow, learn, and enjoy life. Parenthood has been called the world’s most difficult job- offering no pay, no fringe benefits, no vacation and precious little thanks. A counselor once remarked that “the first half of our lives is spoiled by our parents, and the last half by our children.

A parent’s job is to give a child both “roots and wings”. This is not an easy task. Rearing children may indeed the life’s greatest mixed blessing. It is full of good times and bad times, frustrating challenges and elating successes. A baby’s first stumbling steps and first words, a teenager’s first love, a grown child’s first baby- all are important transitions that parents remember. At the same time, children bring heavy responsibilities and drain energy, finances, and time.

Conventional Wisdom About Parenting
The following is a list of commonly held folk beliefs called conventional wisdom regarding parenting: 1. Rearing children is nothing but fun.
Although childrearing can be fun, it is also a thankless and very demanding job. Parents have to make childrearing fun they are to enjoy it. 2. Children are always sweet and cute.
Although children can be adorable, they can also be selfish and destructive, as well as extremely active physically. 3. Children will turn out well if they have “good parents. Parents are an important factor in a child’s development, but they are only one influence among many, including school, the mass media, and the child’s peer group. The goal of parenting is to instill values and positive behaviors with the hope that children will internalize and them in their lives. But there are no guarantees. Some good parents work hard at parenting, only see their children get into great difficulty in life. 4. Children improve a marriage.

Rearing children is a team effort. The bond between partners can intensify as a couple raises children together. But children also tend to put tremendous pressure on an intimate relationship. 5. Good parents can manage any child, no matter what the child’s nature. This myth is based on the notion that a human being is born tabula rasa, a blank slate upon which the environment writes its script. But research on infants indicates that to some degree temperament is present at birth: some babies are calm and constant; others are cranky. Children also strongly shape their parents’ behavior. 6. Today’s parents are not as good as yesterday.

Standards for raising children have gotten higher, making the challenge for today’s parents greater. Society now expects more democratic approaches, ones that take the child’s feelings into account when decisions are made that involve older children in the decision-making process. 7. Couples without children are frustrated and unhappy.

Many singles and couples without children are very happy and content. Many of them do, however, have close relationships with children of extended- family members or of friends. 8. One child is few.

Many believe that an only child is spoiled and selfish. This is not necessarily the case. Having only one child has both advantages and disadvantages. One child is less Expensive to raise, is less demanding on the parents, places fewer limits on the parents’ freedom, and receives more parental attention. The disadvantages are that the parents may focus too much attention on or overprotect the child and the child may feel lonely and need more peer companions. 9. There are no bad children, only bad parents.

Most parents want the best for their children and do what they can to see that their wish comes true. Parents fail in parenting because of ignorance, lack of support, or their own unhealthy family background. 10. All parents are adults.

It is sad to know that nowadays many teenagers...
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