Parental and other Caretaker Roles

Parental roles are defined mainly by procreation, child rearing, and varying degrees of moral, social, and spiritual responsibility and authority over children

(and children-in-law) at different stages of the life course and in the afterlife. Being defined as a dual-parental team, a married couple is expected to take joint roles as much as possible in all areas of child-related activities, including pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare, as well as teaching children moral and working skills and making decisions for them (Du, 2000, 2002; Lei & Liu, 1999, pp. 142-143). At the beginning of the 21st century, many Lahu villagers in Lancang still adhere to their tradition of husband-midwifery, which expects a husband to serve as the midwife with the assistance of all four of the couple's parents and other relatives. A couple usually carry the infant and/or young child to the field, taking caring of the child while working together. Both parents share similar responsibilities in discipline, education, physical care, affection, and time spent with children. Many couples also receive supplementary childcare on a regular basis from their parents and older children, other relatives, and neighbors. The nonparental caretakers are of both sexes rather than being predominantly female. The behavior of these caretakers towards male and female children shows no consistent patterns of gender differentiation.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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