Parenting Essay

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Every parent has his own personal philosophy of child rearing. Many issues are controversial because there are supporting facts to both opinions. One major issue in today’s society is whether to breast or bottle feed an infant. Another difficult issue is how to discipline a child. Some parents believe that spanking in certain situations is acceptable, and some view it as child abuse. Many parents believe religion is an essential part of growing into a moral person, and many do not. Family meals are important to some families, and unnecessary to others. Another big controversy is placing a child in daycare. Some couples believe it is completely wrong for the mother to work outside the home. Other couples say that without two incomes, they would not make it financially.

When I have a child, I will choose to breast feed him. I think it is very important to the infant’s health. Colostrum, the fluid that comes in before the real milk, allows the baby to receive immunity to many infections, and also enables the infant to gain necessary weight faster than bottle-fed infants (Dr. Spock, 1998). In breast milk, eight percent of the cells are macrophages. Macrophages are cells that kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses (Complete Book of Breast Feeding, 1987).

Breast feeding is much easier and more convenient, because it can be done at any time of the day, without preparation. With bottle feeding, there are bottles to wash, formula to mix, refrigeration to worry about, and warming of the milk that must be done (Dr. Spock, 1998). This is all very time consuming for a new mother to deal with. Another advantage to breast feeding is the low cost factor. The mother must have a healthy eating plan, but it does not cost more for her diet than usual. Formula tends to be very expensive for new families to have to worry about.

Breast feeding satisfies the infant’s natural instinct to suck. Being at the breast allows the child to suck as long as he needs to, and this may reduce the chances of thumb-sucking later (Dr. Spock, 1998). I believe breast feeding builds a bond between the mother and infant. It allows them to feel closer together than a bottle would provide. One mother stated, “I never knew what I was missing by not nursing my first baby. I loved him and I enjoyed him, yes, but I never got so many of the little ‘extras’ that I get from this one”(Complete Book of Breast Feeding, 1987, p.18).

I think it is important to try to breast feed a baby until he is at least six months old. I think this is ample time for the bonding to occur. I will have to return to work a few months after the baby’s birth. This means that I will have to start combining breast and bottle feeding. At this time, I plan to breast feed before and after work. I will provide bottles only during the time that I am at work. I do not want to use unnecessary formula. While I am away from the baby, I would prefer to use pumped breast milk or provide apple juice. I think the decision to breast feed will contribute greatly to the continuing health of my baby. Discipline is another decision that must be made when raising a child.

I believe spanking, with limitations, is necessary in disciplining a child. Discipline means to teach, not to punish. I know that some parents cannot discriminate the difference between beating a child and lovingly correcting a child. For that reason, I believe some parents should not spank their children. A regular beating, by a parent that is rejecting, causes the child to become depressed, easily frustrated, or aggressive (To Spank Or Not To Spank, 1994). I do not believe that a child should ever be abused, but I think it is ridiculous to consider all spanking child abuse.

In some cases, a light tap on the bottom is necessary. “In order for spankings to be effective, a child must be capable of understanding what it is the parents are trying to communicate with the spanking and the reprimand that follows” (To Spank Or Not To Spank, 1994,...
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