Parenting – When Does the Responsibility Start and When Does it End?
Parenting is the raising and nurturing of children in a way that empowers them to lead a better, safer and secure life. But when does the responsibility of the parent actually start? And when does it really end?
In my opinion, the responsibility starts before the birth of the child. In fact, it starts even before the conception! And the shocking reply to the second question is – it never ends!
When you give birth to a child, it is important that you are physically, financially and mentally prepared to take responsibility of its rearing. You should be confident that, under the present given circumstances, and taking into account your future circumstances as you foresee them, you will manage to nurture your child at least to the point that you can take care of their physiological, social, educational and security needs.
Once you’re fully prepared, your parenting responsibility moves to the next stage – after conception and before birth. The mother should not smoke or drink during pregnancy, it adversely affects the child. This could be to the extent of being physically or mentally retarded (or both). If the father smokes, it is important not to smoke when his wife is around. This means that she should stay away from all smokers – passive smoking is almost as dangerous as active smoking. Taking care of one’s own mental and physical health, avoiding stress, having an overall good mood and being in a happy state of mind, etc are some of the things a mother should do during pregnancy. In fact, it is said that the mother’s environment is 100% responsible for the child’s values, even before birth. This includes the music she listens to, the movies that she watches, her thoughts, etc.
Next comes the stage just after the birth of the child. I will purposely skip this section as this information is very common and you can easily get it by searching on google. You will also find this information at http://www.bharatbhasha.com/parenting.php
During parenting, parents play different roles of life which include but not limited to:
Policeman: You need to analyze when it is right to let the child have its way and when you should firmly put your foot down. It is all about balance and socio economic conditions. Give some freedom when required but deny something that is not good for him / her. This does not necessarily have to be similar to a policeman’s behavior, but you can lovingly make the child understand what is good for him and what isn’t.
Friend: More often than not, children trust their friends more than their parents. If you can be “that friend”, you can be assured that the child won’t hide anything from you, much less, do something against your wishes. If you’ve created that attitude from its early understanding stages, you shouldn’t have a problem in accomplishing this goal.
Detective: Yes, you need to keep a hawk’s eye on your child. And at times, it may even be necessary to contract a real detective if you suspect the whereabouts of your child. While some parents do not agree to this on the pretext that they trust their children, I will still agree to it. You can trust the child but you cannot trust the environment, your child’s friends, and the overall things that try to change or manipulate the thoughts, the feelings, the attitude and the general outlook on life, of your child. If you do not believe me, trying answering this question and see for yourself:
Have you trained your child to the point that they can easily understand when someone is trying to persuade / manipulate them to do something which is wrong, and they are completely fulfilled when it comes to all of their physiological needs, their social needs, their need to feel needed, their need to be noticed and felt understood, their need to be right, and their need to have a sense of power?
If even one of these is missing, it means that you need to keep a check on his / her belongings, conversations, behavior, attitude, spending, etc, even if you don’t like to. If you can afford a big allowance and you want him / her to enjoy it, at least make it a point to keep track of the expenses.
Due to limited space, I will have to end this article here. Do remember – your responsibility of parenting continues even after the child grows up, finishes school, finishes college, gets married, and has his own children. The most dreaded words that a parent fears to listen (but many have to listen) are “If you can’t take care of me, why did you give birth to me?” For some more great and free parenting information, do visit http://www.bharatbhasha.com/parenting.php.