Raising children is a very sensitive issue in every society because it determines what the future generation will be. The aim of this study is to find out whether both parents should assume equal responsibility in raising a child. This question has often been hotly debated.
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However, just as the conception of a child requires father and mother participation, the ideal environment to raise a child and ensure wholesome development regardless of other factors is a setup where both parents play their role in nurturing their kid. This is necessary not only for ensuring a proper physiological development of a child but also for meeting all his/her needs.
Introduction to the concept of parenting and the role of parents in a child’s life
Parenting involves all the processes that promote and support growth, development, and social well being of a child from the infant stage to maturity (Cruise, Rogers &Salekn, 2000). Parenting process aims at instilling skills and values as well as ensuring a proper protection to children.
Research shows that each parent has an equal responsibility in the upbringing of his/her child, in order to make a process wholesome and productive. Both parents are in a better position to bring up their child since they both contributed to the birth of the same child. Arguments based on the ability of the parents should not make the responsibility of bringing up a child the one shared by a single parent.
A parent who is not financially stable to cater for his/her child’s needs can be of great emotional or social support. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that both parents are obliged to take equal responsibility for their children as they are bound by the law and social ethics (Cruise, Rogers &Salekn, 2000).
The question of whether parents are married, divorced or live separately should not be of any importance in determining their responsibility towards their children. What is important is to ensure that their child is brought up in the best way possible.
This means that both parents should have equality with regard to guardianship of their child. This is done by ensuring that the physical, emotional, medical care and educational needs are met successfully (Cruise, Rogers &Salekn, 2000).
The legal provision for both parents to participate in assuming equal responsibility
According to Contreras (2001), the law in different states expressly provides for the equal participation of both parents in raising a child. The act of ‘the equal sharing of parental responsibility’ as amended by Wisconsin state code aims at balancing the parenting pattern, especially in socialization in order to improve mother-child and father-child relationship.
The act focuses on promotion of the roles of parents in upbringing of their children. The role of both parents in raising a child is recognized by law in many states. For example, in the US, a healthy parent-child relationship is deemed to preserve the safety of the child as well as provide for the nurture of dependent individuals.
This has led to the state giving this relationship a great legal consideration. At the local level, the federal government and the state should be more involved in this relationship, especially in protecting child’s welfare, which is guarded from abuse or from being neglected (Goodpaster & Kirby, 2006).
According to the international human right, both parents constitute a family as long as the upbringing of a child is concerned, and they, therefore, have equal responsibility in raising of their kids. The concept of raising children is like a company where every decision should involve as well as be informed to every partner.
This would provide a harmonious environment conducive for the successful development of a child. It also helps protect a child from the influences of the parents’ relationship that might have negative effects on the child.
Reasons for this argument
Assumption of equal responsibility of both parents in a child’s life is important as it allows the kid to enjoy attributes associated to different genders. It also helps instill positive values in a growing child. In the early days of child’s life, the mother’s care is of a paramount importance which should be also supported by that of the father.
As the child grows up, his/her father as well as his/her mother plays an important role in instilling such values as responsibility, brevity, making wise decisions and helps create a peaceful environment in the home.
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This could be attributed to his masculine nature which gives his child a sense of security, and thus, helps them develop socially. The collaboration of both parents in raising a child yields fantastic result as it gives children a sense of security (Goodpaster& Kirby 2006).
Research shows that children raised by a single parent often show defiant behavior. The responsibility of both parents is to nurture children to become strong and responsible citizens as well as be able to support themselves in the future. Nurturing children will help them learn new things and develop both physically and emotionally.
The refusal to raise a child by one parent or absence of a one parent in the life of a kid makes the child distant from them as his/her mind and identity as well as character and world-views are still developing. Consequently, these children could resort to dangerous means to make up their loss (Contreras 2001).
When both parents are involved, an open communication on responsibilities is ensured, thus helping children feel secure. Regardless of the relationship status of the parents, they should be able to bear their responsibility to create a sense of confidence in the future in their child. Parenting agreements can be drawn up in cases where the parents are unmarried or separate.
A contractual agreement that states that both parents intend to raise the child can be drawn. It contains the specifics of the agreement like visitation, time spent together, each individual’s contribution among others, and all these are in a bid to ensure that the child is well taken care of. Permanent parenting plans involve the state’s goal of such a plan to ensure the child’s welfare.
This is aimed at ensuring physical well-being, maintaining the child’s emotional stability, and providing for their needs among others. These goals are achieved by minimizing the influence and authority of each parent, guarding the child from harmful parental conflicts and also making the parents meet their responsibility (Cruise, Rogers &Salekn, 2000).
Parental right roles have shifted over time due to the changes in the family setups and different circumstances surrounding the birth of children. However, the law has shifted with these changes to accommodate these changes to ensure the welfare of children. For example, the father once had a sole control over the child, but today’s laws recognize the mother’s need and ability to share it.
The participation of both parents helps a child to form healthy relationships in the future. According to Contreras (2001), this is done because for the healthy growth and development of a child, the role played by a male and female figure is important in molding the different aspects of a child’s character.
It also provides them with a psychological welfare that is of a great importance in their development and also influences the outcome of the nature as adults. They are also able to have a suitable role model to guide them as they grow.
Exceptional and very few cases when exemption from responsibility can be allowed
There are exceptional cases where a parent can be exempted from participation in raising a child. The cases of severe mental illness, abuses of the child, neglect, or abandonment, or long jail sentences could lead to a parent being cut off from his/her responsibility of raising the child (Goodpaster & Kirby, 2006).
This is because the institution of parenting should be able to provide the children with the physical and emotional comfort that ensures that the child’s development is carried out successfully. This is not possible with the above mentioned situations.
It is evident from the study that the concept of a family is very important in raising a child. It does not necessarily have to be included in the concept of a marriage, but the institution defining the role of both parents in nurturing the child is of a paramount importance as far as raising a child is concerned.
It should also ensure that children are raised to become responsible adults who will be future parents (“Parenting, posts parenting divorce mistakes and strategies”, 2012). It is, therefore, evident from the study that both parents should assume equal responsibility in child’s upbringing.
Contreras, D. (2001). Psychology of thinking. New York, NY: Prentice Hall Publishers.
Cruise, K., Rogers, R., & Salekn, K., (2000). Prototypical analysis of antisocial personal disorder, crime justice and behavior, Bristol, U.K: University of Bristol.
Goodpaster, J, R., & Kirby, G., (2006). Thinking (4th edn.). New York, NY: Prentice Hall Publishers.
Parenting, posts parenting divorce mistakes and strategies. (2012). Dr.Phil.com. Web.