When couples become parents, marital satisfaction often declines (1)(2). Research has found several factors that influence this transition’s outcome. For one, a baby brings more household responsibilities and a new area of childcare responsibilities. “It is not the unequal division of labor, but rather the perceived fairness of the division that is most strongly associated with relationship satisfaction” (2)(1). For two, spousal support is also a factor. Predictive of marital satisfaction, spousal support is especially significant “during the transition to parenthood as couples consider their spouses a primary source of support” (2). When couples have similar parenting attitudes and expectations of what it will be like once they are parents and between what they actually experience, marital satisfaction is greater (1).
Couples co-parenting is an extension of their “marital relationship to include interactions centered on their child.” Higher competitive co-parenting is related to a decline in fathers’ marital satisfaction and when mothers support of their spouses’ parenting decreased, so does their marital quality (3). “A lack of preparedness for the baby and the strain and conflict created by role negotiation” can lead to a decrease in marital satisfaction; and “when there are discrepancies between women’s expectations for their partners and their actual post-birth experiences, women exhibit poorer adjustment to parenthood and lower levels of marital satisfaction” (1).
So what can couples do?
- Be deliberate when negotiating the roles of being new parents (1)
- Decide who will take care of what household tasks. Take time to reevaluate how things are going as family circumstances change (4).
- Share childcare responsibilities. Allow the father to spend as much time caring for the baby as he can. Discuss your parenting values and concerns together (4).
- Make sure you communicate clearly with one another. Let your spouse know your needs and feelings and strive to work together to make things better for one another (4).
- Balance work and parenting (4).
- Work on developing a strong, stable marital relationship before children are born.
In short, try to keep realistic expectations for yourself and your spouse before and after the baby arrives (1); and always do your best to support one another in your parenting efforts (2) (3).
For more information see:
1 Adamsons, K. (2013). Predictors of relationship quality during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Reproductive & Infant Psychology, 31(2), 160-171. doi:10.1080/02646838.2013.791919
2 Chong, A., & Mickelson, K. D. (2016). Perceived fairness and relationship satisfaction during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Issues, 37(1), 3-28 26p. doi:10.1177/0192513X13516764
3 Christopher, C., Umemura, T., Mann, T., Jacobvitz, D., & Hazen, N. (2015). Marital quality over the transition to parenthood as a predictor of coparenting. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 24(12), 3636-3651. doi:10.1007/s10826-015-0172-0
4 Berk, Laura (2010). Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 7th ed. Boston, MA.
Each child has the right to a posterity.
“It is natural for each person to want to create progeny and to live into the future through them. This is each child’s destiny. Propaganda against the building of families is a direct assault on this destiny.”
Each child has the right to faith.
“Religious families better protect their children physically and psychologically when compared to families which reject religious faith.” Research shows that religious parents are more likely to use warmth and express emotional work with their children; and they are also more likely to protect their teens from premarital sex. For these reasons and more we should advocate to protect the freedom to exercise religion.
Families of the same religious faith tend to live near each other in the same neighborhoods. Neighborhoods centered around a religious community often promote the family unit as the cornerstone of a healthy and balanced society. For example, in one study, neighborhoods with a higher number of Christians had lower rates of divorce, abortion, and children born out of wedlock. Even the non-Christians living with a higher population of Christians were less likely to divorce, have an abortion, or have a child out of wedlock. Helping create good, protective neighborhoods, promotes healthy child development.
Each child has the right to innocence.
By innocence Carlson means “the opportunity to have a true childhood, the chance to mature normally in terms of physical, emotional, and moral development.” There are many threats to children’s innocence these days: war, child labor, media, and ideologically-driven education. The best way to protect children’s innocence is to have them live with their biological parents who are married to one another.
Each child has the right to a tradition.
Tradition ties the living to those who have passed on. It helps individuals remember the life lessons and sacrifice that their ancestors have gone through for them. It gives children emotional stability that helps them survive. Helping preserve traditions, especially during times of distress, helps families stick together and be able to rebuild their homes and families after the struggle has passed.
As individuals, families, communities, and governments choose to help more children receive these rights they divinely deserve, children will be better protected, have a better chance at reaching their optimal development, and be better able to improve their world and provide healthier environments for their own children.
For the full article see:
Image from: http://www.blackgirldangerous.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-TALKING-TO-KIDS-ABOUT-RACE-facebook.jpg
This is part two to the post explaining what children really need (see part 1 here). Below are the next three rights Carlson says children deserve.
Each child has the right to a home built on marriage.
Research has come to the conclusion that
“children are most likely to be healthy, happy, well-behaved, and responsible; most likely to succeed in school and in life; and least likely to be promiscuous, delinquent, or users of alcohol and illegal drugs if they live with their two natural parents who, in turn, are lawfully married.”
A good home is one that puts children at the center of daily life and allows them to help with the household work, where parents are the “prime educators” and start teaching moral values early on, and it allows for appropriate autonomy and authority. Marriage brings a man and a woman together that each bring complementary gifts to the union. One study found that the bonds wives formed with one another in a neighborhood reduced the rate of violent crime. Fathers in the homes of the same neighborhoods were found to protect against out-of-wedlock births. So “a husband and a wife complement each other; each marital partner brings unique talents to the building of a home, so that it becomes greater than the sum of its parts.”
Each child has the right to siblings.
The growing trend in developed nations is to only have one child.
Siblings are “critically important in shaping for the good the moral and psychological character of children.”
Those who are an only child have been found to be more likely to disrupt the classroom and display more behavior problems in learning, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and anxiety. Sibling relationships are also the longest blood relationship that people can experience. These attachments keep growing over the years if they are given the opportunity to occur through the birth of a sibling.
Each child has the right to ancestors.
Children who know about their ancestors have a greater sense of “emotional wholeness and personal security.” It also helps them develop a sense of purpose and meaning to life if they are connected to their ancestors, their living family, and their future descendants. Children love to hear and share family stories, so we should tell our children stories from our own past and stories from our ancestors’ lives.
Though research supports that children benefit from siblings, married parents and a connection to extended family, parents sometimes have contrary views.
What do you think about the “rights” of children listed above?
For the full article see:
Images from: http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1697705!img/httpImage/babies-getty-jpg.jpg, http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-the-various-levels-of-cousins.htm, https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjDyqDEkMLSAhXGZiYKHUMmB1kQjxwIAw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theworldofchinese.com%2F2015%2F04%2Fchinese-family-titles%2F&bvm=bv.148747831,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNHgsVE7S5Smkys5s5Hqg38OPYCvJQ&ust=1488897794733006