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Coparenting: Children

  • By: James P. McHale
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Between the time they are born and their entry into adulthood, nearly all children are parented, socialized, and acculturated by two or more different individuals who, as a collaborating unit, bear responsibility for the child's care and upbringing. Together, these accountable individuals serve as the child's coparents, that is, the collective of adults who guide the child to adulthood, shape the child's skills and sensibilities, and provide him or her with a sense of safety and security in the world. In the majority of families around the world, this coparental unit includes the child's biological mother, working in tandem with the child's father and/or with grandparents and other relative caregivers to provide the child's core family base. In cases where both biological mother and father ...

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