There are responsibilities a parent is expected to do like feed, clothe, and shelter their children. The vast majority of parents do this without a second thought. But that is certainly not enough. Our children need love, support, and attention. Let’s go over five duties, responsibilities, jobs, and/or obligations parents have towards their children that are basic, but not always emphasized. These are commitments that must have a high priority. They are also promises, stated or not, that you must keep.
It is very important that one of your obligations is to create fond memories that will last for a lifetime. I once had the opinion that the last thing I would spend my money on was a vacation, my logic being that you would have nothing to show for it when it was over. But I couldn’t have been more wrong! Good memories bring experience, nostalgia, and depth to anyone’s life. A life without good memories is empty and vapid, a canvas of stick figures. When you create memories, the canvas of your children’s lives becomes alive with colors, style, and definition. Memories that you want to remember usually include family time together, moments of achievement, and fun.
Young children are like clay and can be molded into something more wonderful than if left to fend for themselves. You want the clay to be supported with a tough inner structure. Parents have to work with what they are given, but they can always make the best of what they have to work with. This means they must teach guiding principles like honesty, a good work ethic, respect, and kindness to others. Children must be challenged and also be mentored through those challenges. Those who struggle to succeed are much stronger than those to whom things are given.
Although a few individuals appear to be naturally confident, almost all of us need to experience successes to learn the feeling of confidence. This is a trait most parents don’t think about improving in their children. It’s not difficult to do with a little imagination. Give them reachable challenges, and when they succeed, make the next challenge a little more difficult. These challenges are like lifting weights. Each success makes them stronger, and you do it gradually. Know their fears and find ways to address them. Helping children to erase their fears will be something they may appreciate above all others.
Protect your children, especially from danger! That includes situations and people. Being protective doesn’t mean they shouldn’t deal with adversity. Actually, allowing your children to work through things helps to protect them by teaching cooperation, instincts, and survival. Do protect them from bad influences or bad habits. Be strong and insist on certain principles to keep them out of dangerous situations or succumbing to peer pressure. Be in charge—be a leader and great example.
The home is the place where kids should feel safe and at ease. It the place where failures can be understood and explained--where you give them the courage to try again. Parents should be the best cheerleaders your kids have. Encouragement, support, mentoring, love, and understanding are what parents can give to them better than anyone else, because you want them to succeed so much. Be aware, however, not to give your kids comfort for the wrong reasons. For instance, comforting your son for receiving a bad grade is not a good idea.
To be successful in these obligations as a parent, you must be a person of character, have good parenting skills, be consistent, and take the time necessary to do the right things for your kids. In short, you must be there and be involved in the important things in their lives. You are a provider, teacher, master communicator, judge, and most of all, an example to your children. Sometimes you will think they aren’t listening to you, but be assured, they are ALWAYS watching you!
These obligations are discussed in my book on Dadhood. Thanks for reading.