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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Parental Responsibilities
  Nobody ever said it was easy to raisechildren. They don’t come with guidelines or instructions, and they certainly don’t come with a pause button. What they do come with is a crucial set of physical and emotional needs that must be met. If parents fail to meet these specific needs, there can be wide-ranging and long-lasting negative effects. The following outline provides eight essential responsibilities parents must adhere to in order to foster their children’s physical and/or emotional well-being: 
1. Provide a safe environment:
· Keep your children free from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
· Keep unsafe objects away or out of reach of your children.
· Get to know your children’s caregivers
· (get references or background checks).
· Correct any potential dangers around
· the house.

• Take safety precautions. Use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, lock doors at night, always wear seatbelts, etc.

 2. Provide their basic needs:
· Water
· Nutritious foods
· Shelter
· A bed with sheets, blankets, and a pillow
· Medical care as needed and medicine when ill
· Clothing that is appropriate for the weather conditions
· Space (a place where he or she can go to be alone)

 3. Provide self-esteem needs:
· Accept your children’s uniqueness and respect their individuality.
· Encourage (don’t push) your children to participate in clubs, activities, or sports. 
· Notice and acknowledge your children’s achievements and pro-social behavior.
· Encourage proper hygiene.
· Set realistic and age-appropriate expectations for your children.
· Use any misbehavior as a time to teach, not to criticize or ridicule. 

4. Teach and display morals and values:
· Honesty
· Respect
· Responsibility
· Compassion
· Patience
· Forgiveness
· Generosity 

5. Develop mutual respect:
· Use respectful language.
· Respect their feelings.
· Respect their opinions.
· Respect their privacy.
· Respect their individuality. 

6. Provide effective and appropriate discipline:
· Structured
· Consistent
· Predictable
· Fair 

7. Be involved in their education:
· Communicate regularly with your children’s teachers.
· Make sure your children are completing their homework each night.
· Assist your children with their homework, but don’t do it for them.
· Talk to your children each day about school.
· Ask open-ended questions about  their day.
· Recognize and acknowledge your children’s academic achievements.

8. Get to know your children.

· Spend quality time together.
· Be approachable.
· Ask questions.
· Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Now that you’ve seen the list of parental responsibilities, look at what are not parents’ responsibilities: 
· Supplying your children with the most expensive designer clothes or shoes.
· Picking up after your children and cleaning their rooms.
· Dropping everything you’re doing to give a child a ride somewhere.
· Providing your children with a telephone, television, computer, or game system.
· Bailing your child out of trouble every time he or she does something wrong.
· Maintaining an unlimited supply of treats, chips, sodas, or junk foods.
· Replacing toys or other items that your children have lost or misplaced. 
Reprinted from by Chris Theisen 2001. 
9:49 am edt 

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