Parents must adapt their relationships to include the

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Parents must adapt their relationships to include the new infant Parents often have to reshape their conceptions of themselves & their identity Parenting responsibilities are most demanding during infancy – infants are completely dependent o (3) Authority Stage – parents create rules & figure out how to effectively guide children’s behavior Occurs when children are about 2 to 4 or 5, occurs during toddler years and preschool Parents make decisions about how much authority to exert over their kids
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o (4) Interpretive Stage – parents help children interpret experiences w/ social world beyond the family Occurs when children enter school until beginning of adolescence, during middle childhood Parents answer their children’s questions, provide explanations, and teach them Parents often reflect on their strengths and weakness and review their view of parenthood Parents have to negotiate how involved to be w/ their children o (5) Interdependent Stage – parents renegotiate relationship w/ adolescent children to allow for shared power in decision-making Occurs when children are teens or during adolescence Parents don’t let adolescent children have complete autonomy over decision-making Adolescents and parents adapt their relationship for more negotiation o (6) Departure Stage – parents evaluate success and failures as parents Occurs when children are in early adulthood and about to depart from parents Lasts from when oldest child moves away until youngest child leaves Parenting is bidirectional – parents influence their children, children also influence their parents o (1) Parent characteristics – parents have unique traits & qualities that affect their decisions Includes age, gender, beliefs, personality, knowledge, mental and physical health Parents who are more agreeable and conscientious are warmer & provide more structure Parents who are less anxious & less negative support their children’s autonomy more Parents may learn parenting practices from their own parents Parents dissatisfied w/ their own parents’ approach may change their parenting methods o (2) Child characteristics – characteristics that children have that influence their parents Includes gender, birth order, temperament (innate personality), health status Temperament – biologically based personality, includes emotional reactivity & mood Children w/ easy temperament enable their parents to feel more effective Cranky or fussy infant elicits fewer positive reactions from their parents – parents feel less effective Parents w/ difficult children may be come more punitive and less patient w/ their children Less satisfied w/ marriages and have greater challenges balancing work and family o (3) Contextual Factors & Sociocultural characteristics
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Includes economic hardship, religion, politics, schools, social support, neighborhood Parents who experience economic hardship are more easily depressed and frustrated Parents vary in how much they emphasize goals for independence & individual achievements Universal goal of parenting – promoting development of skills necessary to function effectively in one’s community
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