In becoming parents, the marital partners enter into a new developmental phase. The conception of the child is an act of mutual creativity during which the boundaries between the self and another were temporarily obliterated more completely than at any time since infancy. The infant is a physical fusion of the parents, and their personalities unite within the child. for many women, creativity as a mother becomes a central matter that provides meaning and balance to their lives. The husband usually has strong desires for an offspring and can be transformed by it. The child can profoundly affect one or both parents, and the influences are reciprocal-a child's needs or specific difficulties uncover a parent's inadequacy. following the child's development, each transition into a new developmental phase requires an adaptation by the parents, and one or another of these required adaptations may disturb a parent's equilibirium. And the personality changes, emotional difficulties, and regressions of a spouse that occur in response to some phase of parenthood can upset the marriage. Not only do children identify with parents, but parents also identify with their children. The parents take pleasure in child's joy and suffer with the child's pain more than in almost any other relationship. certain respects e parents lives again in the child. Through the process of identification the child can also provide one of the two parents with the opportunity to experience intimately the way in which a person of the opposite gender grows up. Parenthood also provides the opportunity to be loved, admired, and needed simply because one is a parent and, as such, a central and necessary object in the young child's life. The many potentialities for emotional satisfactions from parenthood manage to outweigh the tribulations and sacrifices that are required. The child also exerts an indirect effect through changing the parent's position in the society, for new sets of relationships are established as the parents are drawn to other couples with children of the same age, and for a new impetus toward economic and social mobility often possesses the parents. frequently the couple's relatedness to their own parents improves and grows firmer once again. Parenthood, the satisfactions it provides and the demands it makes, varies as life progresses : and changes with the parent's interests, needs, and age as well as with the children's maturation. There are phases in the child's life that the parents are reluctant to have pass, whereas they tolerate others largely through knowing that they will soon be over. The changing lives of the children provide many satisfactions that offset the tribulations, uncertainties, and regrets. The parents change. The young father, who was just starting on his carrier whom the first child was born, settles into a life pattern. He becomes secure with increasing achievement and interacts differently with the youngest child and provides a different model for him than for the oldest. The mother may have less time for a second or third child than for her first, but she may also be more assured in her handling of them. The birth of a baby when the parents art in their late thirties will find them Less capable of physical exertion with the child and less tolerant of annoyances, but they are less apt to be annoyed. Eventually the children min and leave home, but the couple do not cease to be parents.
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