Presentation on theme: "Preparing for Parenting. Why is it hard to be a good parent? Parenting skills are not automatic. Parenting involves relationships with people. – The parent-child."— Presentation transcript:
Preparing for Parenting
Why is it hard to be a good parent? Parenting skills are not automatic. Parenting involves relationships with people. – The parent-child relationship is more one sided than other relationships. Training to become a parent is not as clear as training for most jobs. Years ago children could see their parents handling younger brothers and sisters, but now families are smaller with fewer extended families.
Reflection: Which resources would help you learn more about parenting skills?
Learning Parenting Skills Professionals and or successful parents to give advice Literature (books, journals, magazines,) that are accurate, practical and available Childcare and parenting classes (community colleges and local American Red Cross chapters may offer such classes) Families with infants and young children (spending time with children by babysitting and volunteering can help you understand what it is like to care for children)
Deciding About Parenthood Deciding whether to have children or not is a personal choice. The husband and wife should agree on the decision and should discuss their feelings about parenthood before they marry. The decision is unlike many life decisions in 2 ways: – The decision to parent is permanent-You cannot change your mind! – A decision to not parent is not permanent. Couples have a longer period of time to decide whether to become parents. Young couples have 15 or more safe childbearing years. Adopting increases this time by a few years. Even couples who decide they never want to have children can change their mind later.
Discuss: What feelings and attitudes about parenthood should couples discuss before marriage? How could an unplanned pregnancy affect parenting success? What are some reasons a couple may delay parenthood?
Reasons for Choosing Parenthood We want to share our love with a child. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a cute little baby? Our parents want grandchildren A child can make us proud Our older child needs a brother or sister. Others will see me as a stable, reliable person. A child will comfort us in our old age. A child will make us love each other.
Activity “Is This a Good Reason for choosing Parenthood?” In small groups, plan and present a skit depicting poor reasons for becoming parents.
Think/Pair/Share: What problems could occur if children are unable to meet parents’ goals? What problems may occur when a couple has a child to reestablish love? List possible end results.
Reasons for Not Choosing Parenthood We’re not ready for a child. A baby costs a lot. A child will tie us down. A child will interfere with our careers. Our child could be sick or disabled. Our marriage could fail and I don’t want to be a single parent.
Enrich: Analyze television programs or movies that address themes of balancing family and work roles. Watch “Jon and Kate plus 8”. Answer questions about parental stress. – How did Kate react to the children when the noise level was high? Why do you think she reacted that way? – How did Jon react to the demands of the children at dinner time? Why do you think he reacted that way?
Factors to Consider To prepare for parenthood, couples need to know how children will change their lives. They should look at the strengths and weaknesses of their present relationship. Remember that, for children’s healthy growth, their strengths should balance each other.
How Children Affect Relationships Couples should ask themselves the following questions BEFORE marriage: – Are we loving and sensitive to others’ needs? – Are we careful not to judge people and their ideas? – Can we recognize and respect other’s rights? – Are we self disciplined? – Do we relate well to others? – Are we flexible enough to accept changes? – Are we brave about challenges? – Can we be honest about our feelings for one another?
After answering those questions, couples should think about how children would change their relationship Do we have the time and energy to give to children? Do we want to share much of our time together with children? Are we doing in our daily lives what we want our children to do? (Are we good role models for children?) If a couple can answer these questions positively, they may be ready for parenthood.
Children and Relatives and Friends Couples must also look at their relationship with relatives and friends. Good relationships with others are positive for the couple and their possible children. Couples should ask themselves these questions: – Do our relatives and friends share our basic priorities? – Can we ignore small differences in beliefs? – Can we ask for advice and also use our own judgment? – Can we tell others about our needs and accept the help they offer? – Can we recognize other’s needs and offer our help? – Can we avoid abusing others’ generosity, including time and money? – Can we share fun times with others?
Activity On your worksheet titled “Couples Relationships Affect Parenthood” list words or phrases that describe strong and weak couple relationships
Advantages to children’s relationships with others Relatives and friends provide children with their first link to the outside world. Grandparents and older relatives can teach children about the past. When many relatives and friends care for children, they feel more rooted to the family.
Sharing Responsibilities Couples should examine how they feel about home care responsibilities. They then need to consider how children will affect how they share responsibilities. They should ask: If we become parents, will there be major changes in the way we share responsibilities? Can we agree on how to divide home and childcare tasks? If one of us works outside the home, will we fell we are contributing to our goals equally? How will the full time employee develop a close relationship with the children? How will the full time homemaker meet personal needs for adult time and interaction? If a couple plans carefully and tries all ideas, they can divide tasks so both partners are happy.
Activity Parenting License Project Design a Parenting License, certificate and study guide to help them get their license. Work in groups of 2 and be ready to present your project in class tomorrow. Your study guide should show several parenting responsibilities and what to expect when becoming a parent.
Managing finances Children cost a lot! How do we earn and spend our money now? Are we happy with our budget? Do we have regular savings we could us to met child related expenses? If now, can we adjust our budget to meet such expenses? Can we expect more income or lower expenses during the next few years to help offset child-related costs? What type of savings goals do we need for a child? What is an estimate of child-related expenses for the first and next several years?
Finances Indirect costs -resources used to meet child-related costs that could have been used to meet other goals. – Examples: time given up to pursue a hobby because this time must be spent interacting with the child; the impact that time out of the labor force will have on career opportunities. A worker out of the workforce for several years may miss career opportunities and may need to be retrained before entering the workforce again. Foregone income –potential income given up by a parent who leaves the workforce and stays home to raise a child. Discuss: why is foregone income greater for a one-child family than for a 2 or 3 child family?
Discuss Why is it important to consider childcare preferences before having children and preferably before marriage? Homework Assignment: “The Cost of Parenthood”
Managing Careers Couples must decide whether they will both work or whether one will care for children at home. Today, because most women work, child care decisions are extremely important. Parents must decide who will care for the baby, as well as how much time they will take from work when the baby is born.
Maternity Leave The time mothers take off work for the birth or adoption of a child is called maternity leave. The length of maternity leave varies from company to company. 6 weeks is often the minimum length offered. Maternity may be paid, unpaid or partially paid. Maternity leave allows the new mother time to regain her strength and to get to know her newborn. It takes time to recover from pregnancy, labor and delivery. Life with a newborn is often hectic and exhausting for the first few weeks.
Paternity Leave Some employers grant paternity leave to fathers. This is time (usually unpaid) for a set period after a child’s birth or adoption. At the end of paternity leave, the company must offer the father a job ad salary comparable to the one he left. This time helps the father care for his recovering wife and child. Problems that men face are economic hardship caused if the leave is unpaid, and some say their companies might not give them salary raises and promotions if they choose to take leave. Discuss: what advantages does paternity leave provide for the family? The baby? The father?
Family and Medical Leave Act A law called the Family and Medical Leave Act protects the rights of many women and men to take unpaid maternity or paternity leave. This law applies to companies in the US with more than 50 employees. It grants these workers a total of 12 weeks unpaid per year to provide care for family members in certain situations. One of the situations is the birth or adoption of a child.
A second federal law applies to maternity leave. This law states that employers are required to treat leave for childbirth and recovery as a medical disability. This law may require partial pay during the maternity leave. Of course, before having children or adopting, it’s a good idea to check with your employer to see what the policies are. This will help you calculate forgone income costs.
Discuss: why would treating maternity leave for childbirth and recovery as a medical disability be an advantage for families with newborns?
Problems with Family and work Working parents often encounter problems as they care for their families and try to balance work responsibilities. Dual career couples will need to answer the following questions: – Can we find good childcare during working hours? – Can we balance job demands and children’s needs? Can we work out mutual responsibilities for child and home care tasks? – Can we make enough time for ourselves as individuals and as a couple free of other concerns? – Can we be organized? Can we be flexible and met changes in our schedules? What will we do to meet the needs of a sick child? What will we do when job demands are heavy for a short time? – What other options do we have?
Family Planning After considering all of these factors, many couples practice family planning. Family planning happens when a couple decide how many children they want and when to have them. It is easier to plan a family now that in the past because many options are available for controlling conception. Couples can use birth control methods to help them delay having children until they decide to conceive.
Consult a doctor The doctor can explain each method in terms of the following: – How the method works to prevent pregnancy – How successful the method is at preventing pregnancy when used properly – Directions for using this method – This method’s side effects and risks – Effects, if any, the method has on future fertility – The method’s costs
Family planning is a couple’s personal choice The doctor will review the couple’s health history and give them a complete checkup. The couple should think about which method they’d prefer. Religious beliefs and likes/dislikes will play into a decision. It is important that a couple is mature enough and responsible enough to use the contraception effectively.
Time between Pregnancies To protect the health of other and child, doctors advise a year or more between pregnancies. There is also less jealousy between children when they are born about 3 years apart. This is because older children can help with the new baby and still feel needed. Some research also shows this spacing may allow each child to develop better. It gives parents time to work with each child alone before they must divide their attention.
Infertility & Sterility About 80-85% of all couples who try to conceive will do so within a year. Couples who do not conceive within a year are known as infertile. About half of these will later conceive. Most will need medical assistance, but some will conceive on their own. The remaining couples will not successfully conceive, for one or both partners are sterile. This means the couple will be permanently unable to conceive or the wife is unable to carry their fully biological child.
Infertility & Sterility Both men and women account for fertility problems. Reproductive diseases and problems with the reproductive organs are the main causes of infertility and sterility. Being exposed to drugs, chemicals, and radiation can hamper fertility. It is also true for sexually transmitted diseases, smoking, and being overweight. Excessive exercise, being underweight and aging can also lead to problems.
Major causes of infertility and sterility Women Lack of ovulation Hormone deficiencies Irregular ovulation Damage to reproductive organs Men Low sperm count Hormone deficiencies Inability of sperm to move Damage to reproductive organs
Discuss: What are some feelings couples might have as a result of infertility or sterility? What affect could trying Art methods have on couples’ feelings? Would counseling be helpful throughout this experience?
Activity Infertility worksheet: You have been trying to conceive a child for 13 months without success. You and your spouse have a secure relationship, a nice home and successful careers. You waited to start your family until you were both ready. After fertility counseling and the advice of your doctor, you have decided to try_____________________. Support your answer. Include estimated costs, advantages and disadvantages, moral or legal issues and your anticipated results.