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Equal Responsibility in parenting

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    Equal Responsibility

    In raising a child, both parents should share equal responsibility. From the start of humanity, it has always been thought that women should take care of the children while the men were the breadwinners. However, things have changed now and both parents have began to take equal responsibilities of their children. Parenting is a two person concept and does not mean one parent can take on more of the responsibility of a child’s development. The roles of the mother and the father play a different part in parenting. Daughters look up to their father as an ideal husband and sons look up to their father as a role model. Both daughters and sons look up to their mother as an individual with endless love to give. Both roles help one another in creating a healthy child. When there is no equal responsibility in raising a child, the child would learn to love one more than the other. If a child is being raised by only one parent because the other is busy at work or etc, the child is spending more quality time with that parent only. Both parents don’t share the same amount of time with the child thus; the child’s love is not equal for both. When the responsibility of a child is dependent upon one parent because the other parent does not have enough time, often the child becomes a misfit.

    Both parents must take equal part in the responsibility for a healthy child. Statistics show, being raised by two parents equally allow the child to have a higher chance of growing up normal (Rosenburg). God made the birth of a child to be between a male and a female. Both sexes took part in making the child, so both should be equally responsible for the child. The child is not owned more by either parent, and it would be unfair for one parent to take more responsibility than the other. According to Carry Fitness, an online website on healthy lifestyle, “As times change, mothers change to meet the new roles that they are expected to play. Gone are the days where most mothers just cared for the family and the home. Mothers today are a lot of things to a lot of people. Mothers still have to fill the mother role, but it is not felt that they are the only ones responsible for rearing the family.” Women may be looked upon as having the duties of taking care of the house and children, but that does not mean the father does not have any responsibilities. In the present, there are men who stay home and take those duties while women go to work. Although both parents may not have time together to take care of the child, they can balance the responsibility of the child when either parent has time.

    Both parents can take turns in taking care of the child and that would allow the child to have a healthy life. A child needs both a mother and a father to turn out as a healthy child. Both parents contribute differently to the child’s growth. The father plays an important role in how the child develops. According to The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children, Children who are involved with their fathers have better educational outcomes. Studies show that an active fathering leads to better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement for the child (Rosenburg). Not only does the father play a significant role in the child’s academics, but emotions as well. Children being involved with their fathers are more likely to be emotionally secure. If the responsibility of a child is only depended on the mother, the child would lack those categories.

    In order to raise a child, teamwork within the parents is required. The roles of both the mother and the father contribute to the child’s development. A child’s happiness and development depends on the quality of their relationship with the parent. Parenting is pulling together, dividing the load, and affirming one another often. The way that parents interact with each other has a lot of influence on their children. A child’s sense of safety and well-being is closely linked to how their parents behave toward one another. Children’s happiness and development also depend on the quality of their relationship with a parent. Severe conflict between parents is associated with problems in children such as behavior and development (Moon). Children learn from how they see their parents interact. Equal responsibility means an interactive relationship between the mother and the father. With more responsibility and care of one parent, the child may be emotionally distant from the other parent.

    The child may feel they only have one parent that spends time with him/her. Single parents who have multiple children may not have a lot of individual time for each one may cause the child to feel abandoned (Moon). If the child feels this way, it may lead to creating problems to attract attention. The child may create problems such as making a mess, screaming, crying, etc. These problems used to achieve attention would create bad habits for the child. Bad habits cannot be broken as described by Sumner in her short essay, “Marriage.” Sumner’s husband has a habit of not cleaning up after himself after he drinks a glass of milk at night even though she always reminds him to. The marriage counselor tells Sumner it is a habit her husband cannot break (Convergences 463). Sumner’s husband most likely created that bad habit when he was being raised. Just like Sumner’s husband, those children who need to attract attention would have unbreakable habits as well. Bad habits are not what parents want their children to possess and making both parents have equal responsibility for the child will prevent that. When one parent is out of the picture, the single parent must take the role as both mother and father. In the present, the divorce rate is very high causing many children to not have both parents be able to raise them. Raising a child on your own is not as efficient as a stable, two-parent home. A father cannot have the same influences as a mother can to her child, vice versa. When one parent is left with all the responsibility, there is no support or anyone to back up that parent if anything goes wrong. A child always needs a role model to look up to in the family. Children tend to want to be just like the same sex parent (Campbell). For example, a son might need his father as a older male to look up to and same goes with a daughter and a mother.

    When a daughter is being raised by the father whether because of a divorce or the mother isn’t taking equal responsibility, the daughter has no older female to look up to. The struggles male and female go through in their lives are not quite the same; therefore a father cannot fully raise a daughter on his own. The father does not know what it is like to be a female and cannot help as much as a mother could be able to. Equal responsibility in this case would allow the child to get all the support he or she needs. A child needs a father and a mother, not one or the other. My friend, Jeffrey Le, has only a father to take care and raise him because his mother passed away when Jeffrey was at a very young age. From his past to his present, Jeffrey’s attitude towards life isn’t so great. He has a careless attitude about everything and does not have great success in his education. By not having a mother to raise him, Jeffrey never experienced the maternal affection a mother gives her child. Both parents possess the power to teach moral lessons to their child; however, without one or the other, some lessons can never be learned. Jeffrey only got half the lessons learned from what a child with two parents had the ability of learning. Also not every parent has perfect parenting and everyone has flaws to them. According to Scott’s short story, “Report on the Difference between Men and Women,” there are flaws of gender. In the short story, Scott’s husband wants her to make him frozen lemonade.

    The story shows men would rather have something done for them than do it themselves (461-462). Just like how Scott and her husband balance each other out with her husband’s flaw, parenting should be balanced within a mother and a father. During my childhood, my parents raised me equally, the best they could. My father and mother both took care of me when I needed to be taken care of. I received both the fraternal and maternal affection by having both parents raise me and that led to my success in life. The lessons both of my parents taught me contributed to how my life was shaped. What one parent cannot teach you, the other parent can. Not everyone goes through the same experiences and having two parents allows the child to have views of both perspectives. Also each parent contributes to the development of the child in their own way. The lessons my father taught me, my mother would input her thoughts and experiences as well. Feeding me with more knowledge only made me more prepared for what was to come. Being raised by two parents is only beneficial to the child in many ways such as financial, emotional, mental, and physical. According to Raising Children in God’s Will, Rev. Sun Myung Moon states, “The baby has to become a true person under its parents’ guidance. You provide for your children with the notion of what man is. The world in which your parents are living says, “Become this kind of a person,” and you provide what is needed to realize this.” My parents guided me to the person they wanted me to become and took me step by step to achieve that. They taught me what was right and what was wrong with life lessons and experiences. The person my parents wanted me to become and the future they wanted me to achieve were aspirations they had for me.

    Being both of their children, my father and my mother took equal responsibility on how I developed. Thus, the responsibility of children should be equally balanced by both parents. The roles of the mother and the father are important on how a child develops. There is no support when one parent is taking all the duties in raising a child. When there are both parents, each parent can support one another in parenting. Parenting involves teamwork and is not about one person managing all the duties in raising a child.

    Works Cited
    Campbell, Janice L. “Why a Mother’s Happiness Matters.”Momscape: Your life – easier, betterand more balanced. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2010. . Moon, Rev. Sun Myung. “Parents’ Responsibility for Their Children’s Lives – Raising Children

    in God’s Will – Sun Myung Moon.” Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Moonies, and the
    Unification Church in their own words. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2010. . “Roles of Mothers in Society.” Natural Home Remedies. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2010. . Rosenburg, Jeffrey. “Fathers and Their Impact on Children’s Well-Being.” Child Welfare

    Information Gateway. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2010. .

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    Frequently Asked Questions

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    Should both parents take equal responsibility in raising a child?
    In conclusion, it is important for children to have parents that share responsibilities equally. Not only does this assist the child in their development, but it also shows them that both parent's love them and have their best interest at heart.
    What is equal parenting?
    Equal shared parenting — also called 50/50 custody — is a co-parenting arrangement in which parents have equal time with their child and make all major parenting decisions together. This joint physical and joint legal custody arrangement is becoming more common as gender norms around parenting evolve.

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