Parental and Other Caretaker Roles

The parental role involves nurturing and providing for one's children from birth to adulthood. Owing to the central role that the family plays in one's social environment, bonds between parents and children are often very close. Children tend to live with their parents at least to the attainment of adulthood, and usually into early and even middle adulthood. This is because of the close emotional bonds forged between children and parents, economic difficulties, and a lack of affordable housing. Many young couples reside with one set of parents for many years.

Mothers, and oftentimes grandmothers, are the primary child-rearers. They provide physical care for children: they cook for and feed children, change diapers, and bathe children. A man's most frequent interaction with children is usually through play. Though legislation provides either maternity leave or paternity leave for families, working mothers usually take advantage of these benefits. It is very rare for a man to stay home with his children while their mother works. As a rule, working women take between 2 and 3 years of partially paid maternity leave to stay home with small children. Those who are unable to leave their jobs temporarily to care for children often seek to leave the child with a relative, usually the child's grandmother. Kindergartens are also an option, but many complain that the quality of public childcare facilities has declined sharply since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Private childcare arrangements are prohibitively expensive for most.

Other child rearing responsibilities such as disciplining, supervising/enhancing education (i.e., checking homework assignments), and dressing children for school are carried out by both mothers/grandmothers and fathers. The assignment of these tasks depends on the specific circumstances of each family and each caretaker's interests, special capabilities, and childcare philosophies.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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