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Transition to parenthood essay

We know social support from a partner can protect women against developing postpartum depression, so our finding fits with that research. Lower-testosterone men may be more dedicated to their relationships or spend more time with children , helping to relieve some of the pressure on moms. If men had higher testosterone, moms reported higher levels of intimate partner aggression about six months later.

Testosterone is associated with more aggressive and competitive behavior. Our finding shows a potential dark side to high testosterone in the postpartum period. Dads also told us about their parenting stress at 15 months postpartum, reporting on emotions such as feeling trapped by parenting responsibilities, believing their children made too many demands on them and lacking warm feelings toward their children.

But after we statistically controlled for the relationship between low testosterone and depression, we saw that higher testosterone put men at greater risk of experiencing problems in the parenting relationship. This result suggests that, once you adjust for their potentially lower risk of depression, high-testosterone men may find parenting to be more stressful. Our results suggest that fathers of infants might be at risk at both sides of the postpartum testosterone spectrum.

At low levels, they might be more vulnerable to depression. But at high levels, they might have less satisfying and more aggressive relationships, less happy partners and more parenting stress. In terms of resilience to depression and stress, men with average levels of postpartum testosterone seemed to fare best. From an evolutionary perspective, lower testosterone during the transition to parenthood may help motivate men to invest in their family. In the animal kingdom, lower-testosterone males spend more time with infant pups and show less aggression toward them.

So it makes sense that human males would show shifts in testosterone as they adapt to parenthood. But these shifts may make men more vulnerable to mood disorder symptoms. Perhaps this is because lower-testosterone men are taking a more hands-on role in the family and helping more with infant care. After all, caring for infants is hard, draining work. In modern industrialized societies like the United States, many new parents lack the extended family support networks that can help lighten the burden of childcare. And in the U.

Just as new moms can feel overwhelmed and isolated after spending long hours tending to their babies, so too can dads.

Transition to Parenthood

If new dads or moms are experiencing depressed moods after the birth of their infants, they can take some comfort in the fact that these feelings are normal — and may even be rooted in our evolutionary biology. Postpartum depression affects the whole family and should be taken seriously. Read the original article. Darby Saxbe is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, where she is affiliated with the Clinical Science doctoral training program.

Her research focuses on stress, health, and well-being over the transition to parenthood. You have free article s left. Already a subscriber? Sign in. See Subscription Options. Testosterone levels in flux through life changes Testosterone is an androgen hormone , responsible for the development and maintenance of male secondary sex characteristics.


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Soon the chuckling and the questions would become name calling, shunning, and shaming. However, you will need to draw the line and do what's best to keep them safe, and if that means not always letting them express themselves then so be it. I also agree with Olivia and "Yes". Reading this article really helped me put an understanding on things that transgender and people that want to be different go through. The parents that let their children express themselves, in the long run your child would be happy. Frankels argument in this essay is simply, "Do we love our children best by protecting them at all costs or by supporting them unconditionally?

Even as kids, a person knows what they feel inside, and who they are. If we start at a young age teaching children that it is okay to be who they are, we are speeding up the process of equality together. Although Frankel did not show much emotion in the essay, I was still very moved by it.

Her lack of emotion gave the reader a chance to form their own opinion, she did not give a specific answer, she simply left it up to the reader to decide what the right choice was to them. I think she includes the "they say" very well in her essay, she gives the reader a chance to question what "they" would say, what the other children would say, what society would say, not only to her son but to her as well.

Towards the end of the essay is when Frankel presented the change from male to female, she stated "He had already decided. And he — she — never looked back. I think this was great placement for it to be said it was showing cross from one to the other, as she never looked back from wearing skirts, the family never looked back to calling her a boy.


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A whole new life was formed, and this was particularly moving to me. Thomas, you explained in your response that you feel that Frankel's opinion on parenting, "indicate to me a sense of laziness and overthinking with regard to what should be a simple concept," but I feel it was what a good parent should do. She did not make a life decision for a child on her own, she had to swallow her pride, her judgements, her thoughts of what others would think of her, and set it aside to allow her daughter to be happy. I feel that it would be particularly "lazy" to not listen to what your child wants, to put their needs and happiness aside to fulfill their own needs, or their sense of pride, to stray away from judgement.

Which is something that for the rest of the child's life, and the families life they will receive, judgment. So in my opinion, this was a very brave choice, that they will forever have live with. But worth it for their child's happiness.

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I believe that Frankel made the right decision to let her child feel most comfortable as a girl, instead of forcing the gender she was born with, on her. Everyone's surroundings influence them somehow, and for people like Frankel's daughter, she was not phased by those influences to become a boy but she became who she really is. Confusion and asking questions in these cases are understandable.

Having your child convert from one gender to another can be hard, but it's worth letting them feel comfortable in their own skin. Towards the end, when Frankel describes the moment her daughter transitioned from "he" to "she", it was very moving to me. To have your own child talk to you in a perspective where you cannot relate can shatter a parent because of the lack of understanding they have. For a parent helping their child through this, they will worry about what others have to say, because it shows a reflection of how they raise their children.

And for them to care so much about what others think, shows how insecure a parent can really be. There a parents today that toss their child out on the streets or even abuse them because they aren't following the social rules of their gender. But parents like Frankel are a blessing to this world. She treats her child with the same love and respect as if she were still a boy. I agree with Mel Toth's statement that sometimes parents of transgender children want to provide unconditional love and support for their son or daughter but can have a hard time practicing that and making that transition.

When making a lifestyle change it won't be easy, and everyone involved will need an adjustment period.

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However, I disagree with what Toth said about Frankel making the whole process seem very simple in the article. Frankel and her husband were able to accept and unconditionally love their child for who she really was, but they did have fears and some reservations that Frankel expressed throughout the article. Such as, contemplating whether or not they should let their child wear dresses to school, repeatedly asking her child if this is what she really wanted, or trying to hide her fear of what other kids might say on the first day of school.

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Tisha said that parents want their children to be "happy and healthy" in all aspects. I agree with this statement and I think that is what causes parents, including Frankel, to have their fears and struggles. They want to tell their children to be who they are and be comfortable in their own skin, but fear what other people's comments could do to their child, or even fearing some might become physically aggressive. Frankel did the right choice by accepting who her child was. She didn't try to force her to wear shorts and T-shirts like a boy.

Frankel and her husband did accept their child with unconditionally love for who she truly was, but they did have some fears like bullying from the other kids. Its not about the child disagreeing with Frankel. While many people still subscribe to the tradition that only girls wear skirts and boys wear shorts and t shirts, Laurie Frankel allowed her son to wear skirts to his first day of first grade, despite what she feared other children would say to him.

There is a resounding sense that Frankel did the right thing by supporting her son no matter what, and I agree. I really appreciate that she felt comfortable enough to tell her story so that more people going through similar situations can feel more comfortable making a more informed decision about how to handle it.


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  • I think that Frankel really did the best thing for her child by allowing him to express himself in the way he feels comfortable and loving and supporting him unconditionally. I think through her article, Frankel sheds light on what that experience is like for the parent as well as what her son was going through at the time. I think Tisha also has a valid point when she brings up how role playing would have helped her child to help prepare her for the way others may react. I think it was a good idea for Frankel to role play with her son before he went to school so that he would have an easier time dealing with the comments and reactions of other students.

    I also agree with Sam when she says that parents should support their kids unconditionally. I think it is important that kids get to choose the life they want to live and, even though it may be difficult, parents should support them and love them no matter what.

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    He is mistaken because he overlooks the fact that for any parent or person, this situation is probably very stressful and confusing. Frankel did what she thought was best for her son by making sure that was what he really wanted and that he would be ready to face whatever came his way in the future.

    I think the fact that she talks about how now her daughter is happy with who she is and as a family, they are open and honest about their situation shows that her parenting style was successful in helping her daughter feel comfortable in her transition from a boy to a girl. Frankel was trying to make an argument as well because I am sure that there are parents out there that would not allow this type of behavior. I am sure that there are parents that would not want their child to go through that because they are worried about what others would say.

    I feel like there are some parents that would force their child to wear the clothes they are supposed to, girls wear dresses and skirts, and boys wear jeans and a shirt.