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Thursday, May 18, 2017

PARENTS' EQUAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE CHILD: A Voluntary Clearing of the Social Rumble


Author: Prince Foday
A household is comprised of mother, father and the child. The child is at the center of the household, hence, the mother and father should have equal responsibilities to the child. Responsibilities in actual fact are financial and non-financial and in most cases the non-financial aspect of the responsibilities are ignored.   The child should be a great figure and their greatness, concern and responsibilities need to be upheld by households and other stakeholders. The parents’ equal responsibilities to the child are ideal in maintaining the lattice structure holding the household together. The parents brought the child to this world, so the equal attachment of both parents to the child is a great thing to maintain. In most cases, one or both parents do allow their dominant self-interest attribute to lead to a fragile family bond and this is not helpful to the child. Both the parents have to eliminate the overriding self-absorption and take up shared responsibilities to the child. The concept of shared responsibility may be alien to some societies but experience had shown that such hypothesis is sure to pass the litmus test of ensuring a peaceful society. The truth is both parents may not have the same income flow and in such varying income situation there is the need to consider the non-financial contributions that are neglected my most families and stakeholders. Most researchers are finding it challenging to attach value to the non-financial contributions of both parents. However, an estimated value can be the way forward in determining the non-financial contributions and bridging the gap of short-sightedness.  

The child lives in a society, for which, both parents are part of and at the pivotal point of making the child maintain the link with their society. Parents have equal responsibilities to enable their child to maintain healthy relationship with society. The child can maintain healthy relationship with society if both parents imbibe good manners in their child. Parents have equal responsibilities to be role model to the child. The parents should show good values and respond to the ethics of society and guiding the child towards that path should be equally shared by both. Such shared responsibility to the child is a way of averting potential anti-social behaviour or the odds that weigh’s against society.

In the household, there is that domestic environment that involves making sure the child has a roof over her or his head, putting food on the table for the child, ensuring that the child is clean and wearing ironed and cleaned cloths, taking the child to school, guiding the child for school work and others not mentioned. Parents should have equal responsibility in maintaining a well-balanced domestic environment for the child.

There is a circular flow of income between households and businesses. The circular flow entails the household spending their income on goods and services produced by businesses. Households are meant to purchase the goods and services and businesses producing those goods and services have to use the income from households to buy inputs for production in order to maintain the circular flow of income. Both parents, as part of the household, should have shared and equal responsibility to buy those goods and services needed by the child. The child needs shelter, food, clothing and other miscellaneous items. These items involve money or finance to buy. Both parents should have the shared responsibility to finance the purchase of those items that are part of the child’s well-being.

Maintaining the child’s spiritual well-being has an important role in the life of the child. Both parents have equal responsibility for the child’s spiritual well-being. The parents have shared responsibility in ensuring that their child knows that God exist, know about the scriptures from God and encourage the child to practice what is enshrined in the scriptures. The child should be made aware of the different religious denominations, the need to be tolerant and take up the mantle of peace. The parents have shared and equal responsibility for developing the spiritual well-being of their child, as the response to that will heal any potential deviation from God’s spiritual expectations of mankind. The child is part of mankind and the parents have shared and equal responsibility to teach and enable the child to live to the expectations of God’s scriptures.

The child has emotional attachment to the parents. Parents are required to be sensitive to such emotional attachment and ensure that the child is not deprived of it. The presence of the parents (both father and mother) is a source of peace for the child. Both parents are looked at as two poles maintaining the child shield or protection. The absence of one of the parents in the life of the child creates an incomplete situation and a source of doubt in the mind of the child. Both parents are obliged to maintain the child’s protection and should not create the scenario of a broken family.

The assumption of equal responsibility by parents to their child is the way forward in maintaining the stability of the child. The shared and equal satisfaction of the above issues raised is a sure way of keeping a strong family bond and contributing to the expectations of society. Both mother and father are important elements in bringing up  the child, so shared and equal responsibilities to the child’s sound frame of mind is what the parents are required to act on. The equality in dispensing those responsibilities to the child is what the parents should have to solidly maintain. Divorces and separations are never the right options for the parents as this will wholesomely affect the child. Both parents have to work as a strong and unwavering team in ensuring a thriving relationship and a sound household environment. Other stakeholders (relatives, friends, government and so forth) linked to the family have to provide the needed support and environment for the sustainability of the bond, as a deviation from the expected will create an unstable scenario for the child and recipe for social unrest. It is not the right thing for other stakeholders to play the evils game, as this will surely bounce back. Supporting the family to be in the position to take up shared responsibilities to the child and building the enabling environment for an unshakeable parental team are the path way to a peaceful society.  

Author:

Prince Foday
Reporter, Human Rights



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