Planning a Family Chapter 10
Objectives • List six things that parents are responsible for providing to their children • Name four characteristics that indicate personal readiness for becoming a parent • Summarize why parents might have a hard time adjusting to their new roles as parents • Identify four basic problems teen parents will face • List three options available to teen parents
Rewards and Responsibilities • Rewards of Parenting • Welcoming a child into the world can bring great joy • Parents develop new skills, strengths and understanding of their child, spouses and themselves • Parents often feel happiness and love that they have never felt before • Children can also enrich an already strong marriage
Rewards and Responsibilities • Responsibilities of Parenting • Parents are responsible for providing: • Constant Care • Love • Security • Shelter • Guidance • Financial Support - Each stage of childhood is different, requiring parents to constantly meet new challenges
Parenting Roles • Parents often play the roles of: • Housekeeper • Cook • Chauffer • Friend • Playmate • Coach • Tutor • Counselor - Caring for children is a 24-hour a day job, the responsibility can not be put aside for a while
Parenting Roles • Parents also have the responsibility of being good role models • Whether they realize it or not, children are constantly observing their values, character traits and skills in their everyday actions • For better or worse, children will pattern themselves after the examples set by their parents • What values have you learned from your parents? Both good and bad?
Readiness for Parenting • Parenting is a lifelong, life-changing commitment • The decision to have a child needs to be backed up by sound reasoning • A child CAN NOT fix problems or weaknesses in your life • Children deserve to be born to parents who are ready for parenthood • People need to analyze their parenting readiness – which is their level of preparation
Readiness for Parenting • Emotional Readiness • Emotional Maturity means being responsible enough to consistently put someone else’s needs before your own. • Emotionally Mature parents have the inner resources to put the needs of their child before their own • They have patience, sensitivity, self-control, and self-confidence • If parents cannot cope with their own emotions, they will have trouble handling a child’s emotions
Readiness for Parenting • Financial Readiness • Raising a child is expensive, couples should assess their financial readiness to become parents • They need to determine how they will manage immediate and long-term costs of raising a child • Questions couples should ask themselves include • Will there need to be spending cuts? • Will we need a larger living space? • Can we afford for one parent to stay home? • How much will child care cost if both parents work?
Readiness for Parenting • Personal Readiness • Management Skills • Parents need to know how to use their time, money and energy wisely. • Flexibility • Parents who are flexible are better able to meet daily challenges. At a moments notice, parents might need to clean up a spill, take care of an argument or head to the hospital. • Willingness to Sacrifice • Parents often need to sacrifice their time, money and personal interests for their children. • Consistency • Parents need the maturity to behave consistently. Establishing and enforcing rules, routines and limits help children feel secure and understand their boundaries
Adjusting to Parenthood • The Mother’s Recovery • Not only is there a physical recovery, but many women also experience bouts of depression and anxiety – the rush of hormones can make new mothers feel emotional • A newborn needs to be fed and changed 10-12 times a day, around the clock • Adjusting as a Couple • A father may feel like an outsider when the mother and baby get a lot of the attention • Studies show marital satisfaction often decreases after the birth of a baby • Spouses tend to fight more and show each other less affection • Couples who acknowledge and deal with the challenges are more likely to experience a stronger marriage • Planning Ahead • The decision to become parents deserves careful thought and discussion – the couple should discuss how they will handle the demands of parenting along with their other responsibilities and goals.
Reflection Part I • On a separate piece of paper, answer each of the following questions on a separate piece of paper: • Identify three rewards of parenting • Summarize the different aspects of a readiness new parents have to deal with. • Describe why new parents tend to be very tired.
Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy • Adjusting to parenthood can be hard for anyone, but especially hard for teens • Teen parents face difficulties that parents in their 20’s and 30’s do not • Most teens are not mature enough, physically, emotionally or financially • Teen parenthood has predictable consequences. The four basic types of problems are • Health risks • Education challenges • Financial Issues • Emotional and Social stress
Health Risks • One complication teen mothers are more at risk for is an iron deficiency which deprives the baby and mother of oxygen • Babies born to teen mothers are more likely to be premature – which means born before 37 weeks • They are also more likely to have a low birth weight (less than 5lbs 8 ounces) • Premature babies run greater risks for serious health problems such as vision and hearing loss, respiratory problems, learning disabilities and mental retardation.
Health Risks • A female teen has high nutritional needs, when she becomes pregnant there must be an extra emphasis on nutrition to help the baby grow • Many teens put off getting medical care because they do not want to face the fact they are pregnant – however – those who take proper care of themselves have a great chance of having a healthy baby
Babies Born to Teen Parents • Tend to have: • Less supportive and stimulating home environments • Have higher rates of behavioral problems • More likely to be neglected and abused because their teen parents do not know how to handle the stress and emotions of being a parent • More likely to become teen parents themselves
Education Challenges • It is important for teen parents to finish their schooling, at least through high school • Unfortunately, many drop out to support themselves and their baby • Nearly HALF of all teen mothers who drop out never return to finish their diploma • Without a diploma it is hard to make enough money to support a family, and in turn puts the burden on society to help the family.
Financial Issues/Emotional Stress • Most teen parents experience financial problems • It is important to determine Paternity, the legal identification of a man as the father, it legally ensures he is responsible even if he decides to not be a part of the child’s life • Teen parents do not have the freedom or money to hang out with friends as much as their peers do • Teens realize quickly that they must give up a lot to be a good parent
Teen Parenting Options • Marriage • Most people would agree that a strong and successful marriage benefits parents and their children • Adoption • Closed adoption – is an adoption in which the birth parents do not know the names of the adoptive parents • Open adoption – is an adoption where the birth parents and adoptive parents know something about each other • Single Parent • Teens considering single parenthood need to be realistic and ask the right questions • Single teen parents can be successful, but it is not an easy road