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Parenting Is Always Challenging, Do We Need A License For Being A Parent?

Parenting Is Always Challenging, Do We Need A License For Being A Parent?

We need a licence as a proof of qualification for driving, teaching, doctoring and many more things. We believe that these things require professional qualification because it’ll be dangerous to have unqualified people perform these jobs.

Parenting is not an easy job. How a child is raised shape the kind of person they become in future. But despite the fact that parents have a very great impact on their children, no license is needed for being a parent.

Even the basic needs for a child can be a great challenge for parents.

You must have heard about the many sleepless nights a parent has to get over when their baby wakes up in the middle of the night crying for food; or the many times a toddler just want to be held in the arms instead of walking in the street even though the parent is already exhausted after a whole day out playing with the child etc.

Children depend on their parents for pretty much everything ranging from basic survival needs to care and guidance. They need attention and parents simply can’t ignore the attention their children need.

Aside from the basic survival needs such as feeding and accommodation; responsible parents should be aware of the children’s development too.

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To teach children the right attitudes and values, parents have to be good role models.

Children tend to learn about morality from their family, so parents are responsible for being a role model and demonstrate the appropriate values to children. If a parent wants to teach their child about the importance of being honest, they should demonstrate honesty in front of them.

As children grow bigger and reach the stage of teenagers, it may be difficult for parents to communicate with them. Teens start to become aware of their individuality, and tend to question or even challenge their parents’ authority[1] but this can be a great chance for parents to demonstrate their communication skills and respect of individuality when they try to talk with their young boys or girls.

Parents should show that they’re willing to listen to their children and openly talk about their thoughts. It is hard, but patience is the key to maintaining a good parent and child relationship here. When children feel that they’re being respected, and that their parents are treating them and talking with them like an adult, they’re more willing to talk about their issues and will also show respect to their parents and other family members.

Parenting is always about striking a balance; and it’s never easy even for anyone who’s not a parent.

Children are not like machines; there isn’t a standard way to input data that automagically leads to desirable ‘outcomes’. Parents have to learn how to properly nurture their children by striking a balance about discipline and freedom; and very often, they have to learn on the go by observation and accumulating experiences.

A good parent is able to be strict about certain boundaries while at the same time allowing their child plenty of freedom to explore and learn on their own.[2] Setting boundaries which the child must stay within teaches them to respect others and to control themselves; on the other hand, giving a child enough room to develop themselves shows that the parent respects and trusts them.

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After all, learning through experience is crucial to building a person’s character.

Bad parenting will have tremendous consequences, for both the children and the society.

We can look at an extreme example of this: in 2011, an 11-year-old was involved in a gun-relating crime, and was arrested for that.

Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan said,[3]

I think we attribute it to parents who need to pay more attention to their children. The problem almost always starts at home. Some role models set poor standards for behavior and are unaware of their children’s habits.

Another example is, in 2009, a 6-year-old crashed his family’s car in an attempt to drive himself to school after missing the bus because his mother was sleeping at home.[4] The boy allegedly “learned to drive” by playing the M-rated video game GTA.

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These are just a few of millions of unfortunate stories of parents who set their children wrong boundaries and do not care for their needs as they should have, and ruin their future as a result. And good parenting can prevent all these from happening.

Besides all the challenges in raising children, parents have to make sacrifices in life, especially their pleasures.

This is particularly true for a new parent.

Besides all the necessities such as diapers, day-care, and medicine that parents have to spend on the children, they have to change the way they live and make sacrifices to a certain extent.

A good parent has to be willing to give up a lot of good nights’ sleep, the times to hang out with friends and the quiet ‘me time’ to just rest and do nothing.

Parents probably can’t have the used-to-be romantic times with just the couple having a dinner date or going out for a movie any more because most of their time and energies are spent on being with the children, and they simply prefer resting than any kinds of dating activities. It’s also hard for them to just put off their lovely children for some times.

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However, going through the hardship of raising a child can also be an invaluable opportunity for the couple to understand themselves and each other better.

Parenting is not easy; but nothing worth it comes easy.

Now that you understand the many challenges that a parent faces, what do you think about the idea of having a parent’s license?

Even though there’s no licence for being a parent right now, parents should hold themselves accountable. Parenting should always be taken seriously and it’s good for parent-to-be to get better prepared before they welcome their children.

For instance, they can read books on parenting, join some parenting workshops and learn from other parents’ experiences. They can also look up to their own parents as role models, and reflect on their own childhood experiences.

But the lesson here is that, parenting is an art that can’t be underrated, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges of parenting.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Wen Shan

Proud Philosophy grad. Based in HK.

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

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