Originally published in TEACH Magazine, September/October 2007 Issue By Richard Worzel [Traduire] One thing I hear from teachers on a regular basis is that a small, but growing percentage of parents are ignoring their responsibilities as parents, that they are leaving their kids to grow up as uncivilized savages instead of learning how to be responsible human beings. Such parents are shirking the jobs they (probably) volunteered for, and endangering the rest of us, harming themselves, but most of all harming their own children. Their kids come to school as ill-mannered, foul-mouthed brats with an attitude that makes it hard for them to learn, and interferes with teachers’ ability to teach other kids as well. So how should you, in this day and age, be a responsible parent? What is the job description that goes with the position? Well, first, children need to know that there are limits to what they can do and how they can behave. This isn’t just to keep them pacified and manageable; it’s also to help them feel safe and develop confidence. Minor children of all ages, including teenagers, will test the boundaries that you set, pushing against them, and they’ll do it partly because they want to know where they are safe. If your messages are consistent about what they can and can’t do, then they know that as long as they stay within those boundaries they will be secure. If your messages are not consistent, if you’re harsh and unreasonable when you’re feeling cranky, and easy-going and permissive when you’re feeling good, then you’re sending mixed messages, and you create anxiety in the minds of your children. They never know how to act, and wind up focusing on your behaviour rather than their own. Moreover, when you are inconsistent, you are guaranteeing that they will give you a progressively harder and harder time, nagging and whining to get their own way. If, on the other hand, they know that when you say “no”, it’s final, then they will stop once you’ve said no. What this also means is that you have to think through what limits you set, and not just for today, but for years to come. For example, my wife and I made it an iron-clad rule when our kids were young that, except when we were playing with them, we never lied or exaggerated. When our kids were older, they knew that they could absolutely rely on what we said to be true, whether it was about drugs, or sex, or our reasons why they couldn’t stay out past a certain time. Sometimes that was uncomfortable, as when they asked where babies came from when they were young, or what we thought of marijuana when they were older. Being consistent also means exercising a great deal of self-control. Disciplining children is never easy, but it has to be done, not by hitting them, but by making sure they know there are consequences for inappropriate actions. And the discipline has to be measured, meted out without anger, and consistent from one event to another so your kids learn what’s right from what’s not. Parents who fail to discipline are setting their kids up for failure, and dumping their garbage on other people, especially teachers. If you don’t discipline your kids, or if you aren’t consistent about it, your children will be disruptive and probably rude, which will make them hard to teach and jeopardize their future careers, their ability to get along with other people, and their ability to fit in successfully in society. Next, you need to love your kids, and that means you need to spend time with them. You absolutely cannot substitute “quality time” for “quantity time”. Quality time is a cop-out, an attempt to buy love. If you don’t spend time with them, the message you are sending them is that they’re not important. And since you are the most important things or people in their lives, they will draw conclusions about their own self-worth from your actions. Buying them presents may make their faces light up, but spending time in the evenings, on weekends, and on holidays together will make them feel good about themselves and about their relationship with you, which will become even more important as they get older. You need to model the behaviour you want them to have. They usually won’t pay much attention to what you say, but they will watch what you do and take that as an indication of what they should do. If you lie and cheat, behave rudely to other drivers, overeat, act the couch potato, or yammer on your cell phone ignoring the people you’re with, and irritating the strangers around you, you’re giving them permission to do the same. When you get involved in community work and invite them to join you, you send a message about how to be a responsible citizen in far stronger language than any amount of empty preaching. These two things – spending time with them, and being a good role model – are the toughest and require the most self-discipline because there’s always the temptation to ease off, and you can’t. Next, let them know what they can’t do. Set limits on the amount of time they spend gaming, on the Internet, talking to friends on the phone or texting. Establish rules about what movies and videos they may and may not watch – then monitor what they are watching and be consistent and appropriate to their ages. They may at times find ways around your restrictions, as when they visit friends. If you find out about it, tell them they can’t visit those friends anymore. If they want to spend more time playing online computer games, then work out a system whereby they can earn such time by getting ahead with their schoolwork. Make sure they know they’re supposed to say “please” and “thank you” and be courteous towards others. In short, teach them how to behave, because they won’t know unless you do. This will provoke arguments and heavy-duty eye-rolling, but it’s important. There are a lot of things out there that can harm them emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. And our society seems to be doing its best to undermine your efforts as parents. In particular, you’re being told that it’s your responsibility to insulate your children from all the negative effects of a society that has a commercial interest in corrupting them with inappropriate films, videos, computer games, and more. It’s almost as if organizations are attempting to entice your kids to wallow in the mud while they simultaneously tell you it’s your job to keep them clean. It’s unfair, and it makes a tough job even tougher. Jim Garbarino, a sociology professor at Cornell University, describes this environment as a “toxic society.” Some parents believe that our schools should teach behaviour and courtesy. I’ve had teachers tell me about parents who berate them because their children are rude, as if it’s the teacher’s fault. They’re wrong. Schools can only continue what the parents have largely done. If your kids are rude, then the reason is probably you. And finally, make allowances for yourself. Parenting is difficult, and no one can ever be perfect at it. Don’t let the guilt of past mistakes drag you down or make you angry with them or yourself. Do the best you can, and when you slip, resolve to do better next time. Richard Worzel (@futuresearch) is Canada’s leading futurist who speaks to more than 20,000 business people a year. careless-parenting-vs-responsible-parenting There is no single right or wrong way to parent, but maintaining basic standards of safety and behavior can make the difference between responsible and careless parenting. Many individuals parent in ways that reflect their own upbringing, explains North Shore Family Services. Even if a parent acts in ways that are careless, however, it is never too late to change approaches and adopt more responsible parenting strategies.

Establishing Discipline

Discipline is often one area in which the line between careless and responsible parenting is thin. Discipline that is too harsh may leave children feeling fearful, anxious or dependent. Overly harsh discipline may include severe corporal punishment, punishing one child for his sibling’s misbehaviors, yelling at a child over simple mistakes (for example, a small child spilling a drink), or cursing at a child. Lack of discipline can also have negative effects. Specifically, inadequate discipline can lead children to have a poor understanding of rules and social expectations. Children who have no discipline—or inconsistent discipline—may struggle to thrive in school and have difficulty complying with authority figures’ directives. They may also feel entitled to receive benefits or privileges and thus struggle to maintain a healthy work ethic. Responsible parenting balances love and understanding with effective limits. Although responsible parents will not always make the right disciplinary choices and may at times be too harsh or too lenient, they will strive to learn from these mistakes and guide their child toward a healthy outlook.

Positive Parenting



Establishing healthy boundaries can differentiate a responsible parent from a careless parent. At its most basic level, a boundary is where one person ends and another person begins. Helping a child understand his or her role in the family and society is an important responsibility for parents. Because the roles that children learn in their youth can affect their interpersonal relationships well into adulthood, a responsible parent should be prepared to set boundaries for their children, enforce those boundaries and have discussions about their role in the family and in society as a whole. For example, while it is good to give children choices about what they wear, what they watch on TV, and how they schedule their free time, giving children too much say in how the household is run can be unhealthy. Remember: You are the parent and have ultimate control over how to run your household. This does not mean you need to discount your child’s opinion, but rather, mitigate choices with age-appropriate expectations and boundaries. Remembering that you are the parent and not the child’s friend is also an important boundary and a key quality of responsible parenting. Your child will not always like your choices (and might express this strongly), but your role is to help your child transition into a responsible, independent adult and this role is not always compatible with your child’s wishes. Although having an angry, pouting child may be frustrating or stressful, coping with these behaviors is yet another part of responsible parenting.

Reap What You Sow

Responsible parenting involves more than just guiding your children in the right direction; it also involves monitoring your own behavior and reactions and responding in a way that you would like your children to model. In other words, you reap what you sow. For example, if you curse, yell, or demean other people—even in a joking manner—your children will likely pick up these behaviors. «Do as I say, not as I do» rarely works and can be an example of irresponsible parenting. As a responsible parent, part of your job is to model the types of behaviors and values you would like to see in your children, including patience, respect, and a good work ethic. That said, if you are like most parents, you have picked up a few bad habits throughout your life. If you want you child to avoid these habits and mistakes, take the time to look at your own behavior and make positive changes. If you slip up and curse, for example, apologize to your children and show that you know you made a mistake and are striving to change for the better. Recognizing your shortcomings can also be a good way to help children learn the value of self-awareness and taking responsibility for your own choices and behaviors.

Responsible Parenting: Self-Care

Although you may see your children as your primary responsibility, it will be difficult to meet their needs if you are not meeting your own needs. While many parents will be forced to take on a second job, work overtime, and push themselves to their emotional and physical limits at some time or another, this is not sustainable over the long-term. Even the most energetic parent cannot be at his or her best when he or she is not caring for him or herself. This does not mean that you need to take a vacation you cannot afford or ignore your children, but rather ensure that you are getting a reasonable amount of sleep, are eating regular meals, and are nurturing your relationship, if you have a spouse or partner. Even putting you children to bed 30 minutes early to give you and/or your partner time to rest and rejuvenate can help you feel more collected and patient as a parent.

Finding Help: The Ultimate Parental Responsibility

Meeting Basic Needs Scroll to Continue

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All children have several basic needs: physical, emotional and educational. A responsible parent is aware of the dimensions of these needs and is prepared to provide for her child appropriately. Additionally, because children’s basic needs evolve with age, a responsible parent should have a basic knowledge of child development and understand how children’s needs and behaviors evolve across the lifespan. Likewise, responsible parents understand that each child is unique and does not try to take one-size-fits all approach to parenting. This is particularly important if a child has physical, emotional or cognitive limitations. Parenting Help One hallmark of responsible parenting is knowing when to seek help. At times, meeting all of your child’s needs on your own will be difficult—if not impossible. Thus, a responsible parent recognizes the limitations of their knowledge and patience and reaches out to others, such as family, teachers, and therapists for support. Responsible parents recognize that they will never be able to have all the answers to their parenting dilemmas. Likewise, responsible parents will seek out assistance, even if it feels painful or embarrassing; no one wants to admit that they are in over their heard, but this is a normal parent of parenting and the human condition. Whether the parent needs help with discipline or the child’s behavior or academic performance, responsible parenting might involve asking for help from a counselor, social worker, pediatrician, or private parenting class. Similarly, if a family is struggling financially, a responsible parent will reach out to community resources when necessary to ensure that a child has nutritional food to eat and a safe place to live, even if this type of help-seeking behavior feels uncomfortable to the parent. If you are feeling uncomfortable seeking help, talk to other parents. Even if their lives seem «perfect» from the outside, you will likely find that many of them are either in the same situation as you or have been in your place at sometime in the past.

Responsible Parenting: Teaching Your Children

Activities You Can Try: Teaching Children Respect in 5 Minutes or Less

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional. Tochukwu Ibe for Daily gospel vibe on February 16, 2018: Great article, In other to have a responsible and a wealthy child you must teach them to value of honesty. teach how them money management and how to live like entrepreneurs. Teach them how to fulfil spiritual principles for wealthy which are tithing and offering. Thanks peachy from Home Sweet Home on March 14, 2016: parenting is not easy, we learn as we grow older Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 31, 2014: This is one of the best parenting articles written. Parenthood is about guiding, encouraging, and helping children to reach their goals. It is love and forgiveness for mistakes a child makes. It is appreciating and respecting a child’s individuality and personality. It is nurturing and developing a child’s special talents. Responsible parents are thoughtful parents who believe that parenthood is not just the act of bringing children in the world without thinking about the emotional, physical, and socioeconomic ramifications on the children in that family. Responsible parents PLAN for their children and have children that they can afford to take care of emotionally, financially, and psychologically. Great article, voted up! Responsibility is a crucial thing when it comes to a parent. How responsible you are as a parent defines how your child will grow up.
There are multiple aspects of parenting. Each aspect plays a crucial role in how you raise your child. Amongst all the others, responsibility is an essential element, and you must not overlook it. When you become a parent, there is an added responsibility on your shoulders –the responsibility of another human being, especially in the early years. You have to take care of most things that concern your child. A Mother and Child Via Pexels You have to feed them, bathe them, help them go to sleep, but more than everything, you have to shape your kids. How you behave and act in front of your kids has a lot of impact on their personality. However, being more responsible is not something that you can develop overnight. It is a lifelong process in which you practice being more responsible until you develop a sense of responsibility. Here is how you can become more responsible as a parent.

A Responsible Parent Sets Clear Boundaries

When you are raising a child, it is vital that you set boundaries. Boundaries should make sense and be in favor of both parties. There must be a way in which you expect your kid to act in the house. For example, if you set a rule that your kids shouldn’t watch TV after an hour, and they should go to bed by 10pm, then ensure that they follow it. Staying up until late on weekends and bingeing on a movie series once in a while wouldn’t hurt much, but your kids must know not to cross the boundary. Likewise, parents should inspect and monitor their own behavior and actions as well. There has to be a decorum that you should maintain in your house. If you have a habit of smoking or cursing, avoid doing so around your kids. Kids are known to pick up bad habits quite quickly when they see them frequently. Setting boundaries can be your first step towards becoming a responsible parent. A Father and Son Via Pexels

Discipline Your Kid

Disciplining is an essential factor when it comes to parenting. Whether you like it or not, you have to discipline your child at some point in your life. In contrast, this does not necessarily have to include punishing your child or spanking them. You can discipline your child positively and constructively. Doing so makes the equation between you and your child clear about what is acceptable and what is not. So, kids know how you will react if they act wrongly. You may also opt for logical consequences when choosing to discipline your kid. So, your kids know the result of the action, and they will be held accountable if they act in a particular manner. Besides, this only makes them more conscious and responsible for their own actions. Since you both know the outcome, you do not have to chase your kid around the house every time they play mischief or act out. A Mother With Her Daughter Via Pexels

Know The Difference Between Protecting & Over Protecting

When your kid is growing, you must constantly keep an eye on them. There are many physical activities in which they need your help. Failing to help them may even cause a severe injury to them. So, you must ensure that you are there for your child around them to protect them and keep an eye on them. For example, when your child is learning to ride a bike or walk, you shouldn’t leave them alone; hold their hands and balance them until they have mastered it. Protecting and over protecting both come out of love and care for your child. However, when you over protect your child, you actually make them dependent and weak in every aspect of their life. If this becomes a habit, your kid may never learn to do things on their own. For example, if you pick up your kid in the fear that they might fall every time they choose to walk, they will never learn to walk on their own. A Kid Riding a Bike Via Pexels

Communicate Better With Your Child

One of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to parenting is communication. Parents usually feel that their responsibility for a kid is only meeting their needs like bathing them, walking them, feeding them, etc. However, the responsibility of a parent transcends way beyond these things. Communication is one area in which you should be strong, especially with your child. Children have loads to talk about, hundreds of questions to ask, and thousands of opinions to give. All of this goes unsaid if you choose not to sit and communicate with them. The advice, values, and lessons that you impart to your kids in these conversations stay with them forever. Plus, when you spend time with your kids, they teach you a lot of real-life lessons, too. Besides, spending time with them and listening to their bantering only makes your relationship stronger. A Mother and Daughter Via Pexels Being responsible is something that every parent should practice. Many individuals might be responsible even before becoming parents, but the definition of responsibility changes when you become a parent. Your actions and behavior not only affect your responsibility towards yourself but also towards your children. Besides, when children see their parents being responsible beings, they emulate them and eventually grow up to be responsible humans in the near future. READ NEXT: Is A Parent Still Responsible For Their 18-Year-Old? Source: Flux Magazine, WikiHow, Teach

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