Marriage, the Family, and Personal Fulfillment

By David A. Schulz; Stanley F. Rodgers | Go to book overview
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12 PARENTS AND CHILDREN

In the revised edition of Decent and Indecent . . . I now start . . . with the needs of infants and young children for a sensitive, enthusiastic kind of care if they are to develop into warmhearted, creative people. They can receive this from loving fathers, mothers, grandparents. But each year it is harder to hire a full-time substitute caretaker whose personality and attitude approach those of good parents. . . . If neither parent is willing to take part time off from a job for a few years, they might do better without children.

Benjamin M. Spock


INTRODUCTION

By common understanding, children make a family. A young couple very often hesitate to call themselves a family until children are born; indeed, some young couples do not really feel themselves to be married until they have children. In some areas of the world today, such as rural Sweden and among the Swazi of Africa, a marriage is not considered consummated until the wife has borne a child.

Parenthood has been even more romanticized than love in American Society.1 Thus most young people look forward to growing up, getting married, and having children as the normal and natural sequence of events. In this context, the idea of someone's not wanting to have children seems

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1
E. E. LeMasters, Parenthood in America, 2nd ed. (Homewood, III.: The Dorsey Press, 1974), pp. 8-32.

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