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Orientation Chapter 25 The Realities of Parenthood.

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1 Orientation Chapter 25 The Realities of Parenthood

2 The Responsibilities of Parenthood  The responsibilities of parenthood begin with everyday caregiving.  Children depend on adults for their needs.  Nurturing a child in all areas of development takes knowledge and skills, combined with the time and energy to do what is needed.  Caring for a child is work, and it’s not always fun.  Challenges continually arise.  Handling behavior, illness, and messiness are all part of being a parent.

3 The Responsibilities of Parenthood  New parents find that their lives change tremendously when a baby is born.  Daily routines become focused on the baby’s needs.  Free time for the parents becomes more limited.  *See 25.1 p. 254.  As children grow older, the demands continue.  As this stage, parents spend much of their time teaching their children how to care for themselves, picking up after them, helping with homework, guiding their behavior, driving to activities, and just listening to them.

4 A 24-Hour Job  Caring for a child is a 24-hour-a-day job.  Parents are responsible for their children at all times.  Many parents also have a full time job that creates demands on their time.  Some options for working parents:  Divide household tasks between both parents  Alternate caring for the child (shift work)  Ask relatives to assist with babysitting  Professional child care

5 Financial Responsibilities  Prenatal care – care for the mother and the baby before birth  Crib  Car seat  Diapers  Clothing  Equipment  Furniture  Postnatal care – care for the mother and the baby after birth  Immunizations  Food  Toys  Larger clothing  Medications

6 A Shared Responsibility  When a child is born, both parents are responsible for financial support.  Even a parent who does not live with a child still has financial responsibility.  The law requires this parent to contribute to the financial support of the child.  Unfortunately, some parents try to avoid this responsibility.

7 The Desire for a Child  Many people want to have children even though there are many responsibilities.  The decision to have a child needs to be backed up by sound reasoning.  Some people have unrealistic ideas about what having a child can mean to them.  Having a baby is not a sign of adulthood.  Babies are not a cure for problems or troublesome situations.  Having a child for the “wrong” reasons can lead to regrets.  Some couples think that having a baby will strengthen their relationship. This is most often not true.  No reason is the “right” reason unless a person is ready in several ways.

8 Readiness  How do you know when you are ready to be a parent?  People who are ready for parenthood are emotionally mature.  With emotional maturity comes fully developed emotions, or feelings, and the ability to handle them well.  One needs patience, sympathy, a degree of selflessness, self-control, and self-confidence.  Although some people never reach a high level of emotional maturity, most people do become increasingly mature as they near adulthood.

9 Financial Readiness  Financial readiness should come before childbirth.  No one should consider having a child until he/she has financial stability (the ability to meet everyday living costs).  Parents must be able to support themselves before taking on the responsibility of child rearing.

10 Personal Readiness  When a baby is born, the child gives the family a new and different focus.  Often the parent’s needs are pushed behind the needs of their children.  Time that parents once had for each other and entertainment is now gone.  Parents have to make sacrifices.

11 Teen Parenthood  It is especially difficult for teens to adjust to parenthood.  Teen parents face the special problems that parents in their 20s or 30s usually do not face.  Teens are not mature enough – emotionally, financially, or physically – to take on the responsibility of caring for another person.

12 Development in Process  Teen years are personally demanding.  This is a time of difficult transition from childhood to adulthood.  Teens begin to know themselves and understand their values.  They start thinking about goals and what they want from life.  Most are still learning how to be responsible for themselves.  With all these challenges, having a child can get in the way of a teen’s own development.  Having a baby greatly limits future plans/goals.

13 Education and Work  Teens are usually not financially prepared to have a baby.  Most have low-paying jobs that cannot support a family.  Many teens are still trying to finish school.  Finishing school is extremely important to a teen’s future.  The better your education, the better are your career options.  Teen parents might have to change or postpone their career plans.  Starting a family before finishing your education can be come a lifelong career disability.  People who drop out of school and don’t return later will have a harder time getting a good job.

14 Physical Concerns  Teen mothers run risks for the baby and for themselves.  Many pregnant teens delay seeking prenatal care from a doctor.  Studies show that babies of teen mothers are more likely to be premature or have low birth weights.  Low birth weight can cause such problems as cerebral palsy and mental retardation.  Very young teens endanger their own bodies.  Pregnancy puts a great deal of stress on the body.  Toxemia (buildup of poisons in the blood) and anemia (lack of iron) are 2 blood conditions that become a concern for pregnant teens.

15 Planning Ahead  Having a baby before you are ready can cause problems.  Being a parent should be a choice made after much careful thought.  Once you choose to become a parent, that decision is permanent.  A baby changes everything.  Because it takes 2 people to have a baby, be sure to talk it over with your partner when the time comes.  Discuss the roles each of you would play in the child’s life.  The happiest and healthiest children are those who are born to parents who honestly want them and who are ready for them.

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