Parental Responsibility


Being a parent is by far the most difficult, challenging, frustrating and tiring responsibility of any that you could have in life. However, it is also the most rewarding, enjoyable and fortunate too.

The minute you become a parent, or even the minute you find out you're going to be one - the opportunities that are presented to you for you to worry are ten a penny. Anxiety, stress and worry as a parent is normal (or should be as without it, you lack compassion, surely). Even when they grow up and become independent, capable of so much on their own like walking to school, going for a bike ride, even making their own breakfast and of course, annoying you on purpose - the worry does not end. Naturally, regardless of this, any good parent wants their children to be happy, have friends, be sociable, do well in school and live. 

But being a parent and having those responsibilities should not be taken for granted or abused. As a parent, you not only have a responsibility to your children but also to the rest of the world to raise your child in a way that makes the world a better place. You see, you should raise your child to be the best of you. To be the type of person who has respect, dignity, integrity, tolerance, humour and kindness. To raise a child to be ignorant, intolerant and unkind, who has no respect, is not their fault - it is simply bad parenting.

I appreciate not every child turns out how you would want, no matter how good your parenting skills are - some go off the rails and lose the morals you have instilled in them, but this is not about the choices they make, it is about the choices you make on how to raise them.

Every single day of a child's life, as a parent, you teach them right from wrong. You teach them something that is factually correct (or completely incorrect if you chose), but whatever you chose to tell them - they will believe. Because they are children. With that power, comes great responsibility.

For example, I teach my fifteen-month-old that a dog barks, a cat meow's and a cow moo's, but I could equally mix all of those up and she would grow up believing that as factually correct. It is my responsibility to make sure that what she learns, how she behaves, is right.

It saddens me to see that more often, parents make the wrong choice. They abuse their position of power, their fortunate responsibility of being a parent. They teach their children to act in the wrong way, to treat people with aggression and arrogance rather than tolerance and kindness.

Yes, every parent is scared of the world our children are growing up in - it's a particular shit storm at the moment and no-one knows where it's heading. But ultimately, we still have a responsibility. No matter what life throws at you, retain your dignity, integrity and respect. If every child was brought up this way, it would make the world a better place - bit by bit.

So, having a child isn't just about how much money they can get you, or how much attention you receive from it - having a child is one of the worlds greatest gifts. Do not teach your child to be ungrateful, unkind, thoughtless, impatient, cocky, arrogant or self-righteous. Teach them to be grateful for everything they receive, kind to anyone they meet, thoughtful at every moment of their lives, patient with even the most difficult of people and ultimately an honourable person. They will thank you for it in the end and you'll have the pride of knowing you've raised a good citizen and it might be tiny, but you've changed a part of the world - because those types of people are getting harder to come by.

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