Parents were those believed to have created a child through repeated acts of intercourse, but caring for a child—in particular, "growing" through feeding— defined the quintessential parental role. Therefore, since nonnuclear kin routinely took the Arapesh child off to care for and feed it for a week at a time, the child grew up regarding many of its kin as "parents." As noted, both sexes played a role in childrearing, though mothers appear to have borne more of the work than fathers. As their children grew up, fathers began to spend more time with their sons and mothers more time with their daughters, but there is little to suggest that parents differed greatly in the ways that they educated and disciplined their children or in the amount of time and affection they invested in them.
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