Parental Responsibilities: A List for Parents

Are you keeping up with your parental responsibilities?

Get hired for a new job and you are likely to be handed a list of “job responsibilities.” 

Buy a new electronic device and with it you’ll receive a manual explaining every detail you need.

Give birth to a child and…well, you’re kind of on your own.

It seems that there should be a list of instructions or “responsibilities” that parents should receive before heading home from the hospital.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

Worry no more, however.  We’ve compiled a “Cliff-Notes” version of everything you need to know with regards to parental responsibilities.   It is, by no means, a complete list – but it is sure to help those that need those extra little reminders.

With that being said, here is our list of important parental responsibilities:

1.  Provide for your child’s PHYSICAL needs!  This boils down to the basics – food, clothing, and shelter. 

2.  Provide for your child’s medical needs.  This means that you should do all that you can to assure that your child is as healthy as humanly possible.  Your child should see a pediatrician (and a dentist) regularly.  Proper medical, dental, and psychological treatment should be sought-after as needed.

3.  Establish boundaries, routines, and limits.  Without these elements in place, your child is sure to “fall apart at the seams.”  Your child needs structure, consistency, and rules that are enforced.

4.  Make sure your child feels loved.  Affection, attention, and reassurance are key to making your child feel good about himself/herself.  If you aren’t able to provide these then perhaps you should have reconsidered having a child (children).

5.  Provide moral guidance.  In other words, teach your child to be a decent human being!  Reinforce values such as honesty, kindness, dependability, responsibility, empathy, patience, respect, consideration, and loyalty (to name a few). 

6.  Encourage your child to think for himself/herself.  Don’t push your political/religious beliefs onto your child.  Sure, it’s okay to expose them to those ideas – but don’t make your child feel as though he/she will not be accepted or loved by being “different’ than what you happen to want or expect from him/her.

7.  Encourage healthy habits.  Teach your child to value healthy foods, exercise, and anything that promotes a healthy mind (reading, learning, etc.).

8.  Provide appropriate supervision – but allow for a fair amount of independence (depending on age and level of responsibility).  Your daughter wants to spend the night at a friend’s house – and there are two older teen boys that live there as well?  Might be better to have her and her friend stay at YOUR place instead…

9.  TREAT YOUR CHILD WITH RESPECT.  Sure, he/she might not always deserve it – but don’t allow your own personal “issues” to prevent you from treating your child with a fair amount of respect.  When it comes to children/teens, you are likely to “get back” what you “dish out.”  Be respectful – and maybe you’ll get the same in return.

So, there you have it…our own personal list of parental responsibilities.  Though there are many more parental responsibilities that could certainly be added – we’ll stick with the ones we’ve got.

We hope you can relate to the parenting responsibilities on our list – and that you are ahead of the game when it comes to meeting these goals.  If so, then you are one step ahead!  Congrats!

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