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What it takes to be a parent

Think about each of the tasks listed for the different age groups below. Which ones would you feel pretty confident about? Which would you enjoy? And which ones would you find hard or distasteful?


Newborn to One Year Old - Infants:

  • Helping deliver the baby
  • Changing the baby's diaper
  • Feeding the baby with a bottle
  • DiapersGetting up at night to care for the baby
  • Cleaning up after the baby spits up on you
  • Taking care of the baby when you are sick
  • Figuring out what is wrong with a crying baby
  • Handling a baby who won't let you put her down
  • Dressing the baby
  • Stimulating and playing with the baby
  • Taking the baby to the doctor or medical clinic

One to Three Years Old - Toddlers:

  • Dealing with problems: wants constant attention, won't share, says "no"
  • Dealing with emotions like anger, rage, fear and sadness
  • Teen parentDealing with temper tantrums
  • Toilet teaching/training
  • Playing with your child
  • Teaching your child new words and sentences
  • Reading to your child
  • Handling your child when he hits or bites
  • Dealing with "messes" at mealtime
  • Changing the house to make it safe for your child

Three to Five Years Old - Preschoolers:

  • Dealing with your child's jealousy
  • Answering questions about sexuality/body parts
  • Taking care of a sick child
  • Dealing with your child's fears, such as nightmares about monsters
  • Baby foodFinding a preschool for your child
  • Working as a volunteer in your child's school
  • Keeping your child safe from strangers
  • Teaching your child right from wrong
  • Cooking for your child
  • Bathing your child
  • Dealing with a child who lies or spits
  • Dealing with bed wetting
  • Helping your child learn to read

Six to 10 Years Old - School-Age:

  • Selecting a school for your child's first grade
  • Helping your child with homework
  • Attending PTA meetings
  • Correcting inappropriate behavior: stealing, not wanting to go to school, etc.
  • Giving your child chores around the house
  • Taking your child shopping for clothes and toys
  • Playing sports with your son or daughter
  • Dealing with your child's feelings — sad, worried, angry, etc
  • Monitoring what your child reads, watches on TV, listens to, sees on the Internet
  • Baby and dadTaking your child on school/family outings
  • Becoming a baseball coach or troop leader
  • Teaching your child the facts of life
  • Encouraging your child's independence
  • Teaching your child values
  • Stimulating your child's intellect



Talk about it
Healthy relationships
Teens as parents
When it's scary
Dating Violence
What's a parent?
The legal father
What to expect
What it takes
Facts of life
Team parenting
Tips for parents


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