526 chapter 20 adolescence and the life cycle

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526 Chapter 20 Adolescence and the Life Cycle HS_HEALTH_U06_C20_L3 12/8/03 12:55 PM Page 526
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Responsibilities of Parenthood fter marriage many couples decide to start a family. Some A couples choose to adopt a child. is the legal process of taking a child of other parents as one’s own. Mature couples also may make a choice to bring foster children into their lives. Becoming a parent can be an exciting experience. Most parents find raising a child to be both challenging and rewarding, and they take great joy in loving and caring for their children. Parents watch with pride and joy as the child grows and develops within a healthy family environment. Parenting is a serious, ongoing responsibility. Parents must provide protection, food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care. Parenting also involves providing guidance, instilling values, setting limits, and giving unconditional love. Providing Guidance Parenting involves providing guidance and teaching children that each individual is responsible for his or her own successes and failures. One way to do this is by encouraging children and helping them develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Another aspect of parenthood is guiding and protecting children while teaching them to make their own decisions. Watching children learn to get along with others and solve their own problems is a satisfying experience for a parent. When parents are joined by the extended family—grandparents and other family members—in their role of promoting a healthy family, the joy of raising children becomes a shared experience. When children see family members interacting in a mature, loving, and caring manner, they are more likely to grow up to be healthy and productive. Instilling Values Parents with a strong commitment to their value system and spir- ituality wish to pass on these important aspects of life to their chil- dren. As children grow, they develop a set of values, the system of beliefs and standards of conduct that they find important and that will guide the way they live. Values help children develop strong character and resiliency to resist the negative influences they may encounter. Parents who teach positive values help their children become happy, mature adults. Adoption F or teens the challenges of parenthood are especially difficult. The consequences of teen parenthood include financial problems. restraints on educational and career plans. emotional stress. limitations on personal and social life. 527 Lesson 3 Mar riage and Parenting A child can bring pride and joy, but he or she also brings new responsibilities. What role does this father have in promoting a healthy family?
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Setting Limits One way parents can help their children develop positive values is to set limits and establish a clearly defined set of rules. When children learn limits, they become , or able to make correct decisions about behavior when adults are not present to enforce rules. When children must be disciplined, parents should follow these guidelines:
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