Parenting is the process of nurturing a newborn from birth to maturity. Parents take up the role of providing material, financial, and emotional needs of the child as he develops into an adult. Several society members enjoy the responsibility of parenting. This is because parenting is not limited to biological parents only. Some parents adopt and raise their children because they cannot bear their own. This is often the case in homosexual marriages and heterosexual marriages where either of the parents cannot bear children. Foster parents and surrogate parents also enjoy the role of parenting. Guardians may also take this responsibility in cases where a child’s biological parents are dead. Irrespective of the circumstances, parenting requires extensive skills in order to be effective. However, most parents fail in some areas while parenting their children. On the other hand, the ideal parent is able to strike a balance between love and discipline to ensure his or her children grow up to be responsible and healthy adults (Pieper & Pieper, 2005).
Ideal parenting requires one to fulfill all the roles of an ideal parent. Society expects an ideal parent to take care of their children’s emotional, physical, and financial needs. Parents cushion their children against the cruelty of the world and they are responsible for their actions in society. They also protect the children from harm as they develop. The main description of an ideal parent is a provider. An ideal parent is able to provide for the material needs of his children. They include basic necessities, such as clothing, shelter, food, and education. He is also able to provide comfort for his children in terms of entertainment and other luxuries. Although this ability depends on one’s financial status, the ideal parent endures his children to enjoy these basic needs within his financial means. An ideal parent shares a strong relationship bond with his or her children. This is the first form of attachment the children know and they are likely to build their future relationships in a similar manner. The ideal parent understands this and ensures that his children are able to develop good attachment styles in their childhood. The ideal parent also cares for his children’s emotional needs and health needs. He loves his children and disciplines them in equal measure, ensuring that his children develop into responsible adults (Brooks, 2012).
In order to fulfill these roles, ideal parents require a set of ideal characteristics. For instance, the ideal parent needs to have good temperamental qualities. They also have desirable personal qualities such as high self-esteem. Such parents are also psychologically and physically fit and they have good inter-relationship skills. Excellent problem-solving abilities also enhance the parent’s efficiency in parenting. Parents can only impart the values that they already have to their children. This is because children often learn by imitation. It is thus crucial that the parents uphold high moral values. These include integrity, honesty, and transparency (Brooks, 2012).
The job advertisement for a parent describes an ideal situation of parenting. It shows that parenting requires full commitment since it is a full time and lifetime job. A parent does not have any day off or even holidays. He is responsible for his children from birth to maturity. The job also comes without any financial benefits and one does not retire from the job. One does not also choose his or her children before taking them up. This description implies that the parenting process is not easy. This is because no one would apply for such a task because it is taxing and does not pay. However, I disagree since parenting offers a sense of satisfaction and rewards in bounds of joy. Individuals who do not have children long to have a chance to parent and thus the responsibility of parenting is a blessing to those who are lucky to have children. The ideal parent does not consider his task as a burden but rather a joyous responsibility (Valenti, 2012).
Ideal situations are often far from real situations. This is also the case in parenting. Parents are human beings who impart their overall characteristics to their children from generation to generation. They are not perfect since they have individual weaknesses and strengths. Thus, they impart both their positive and negative characters to their children. This implies that parents have different styles of bringing up their children. From my parenting experience, I have learned not to point fingers at parents who do not meet the ideal definition of a parent. This is because I also often fall short of the ideal due to various reasons.
Various factors affect a parent’s ability to carry out parenting. Parenting in itself is not an easy task. It requires extreme input from both parents in terms of time, care, and finances. Some parents may be lacking in some of these resources. Parents who take up full time and part-time jobs sacrifice time that should be invested in their children. Such parents often have enough financial ability and thus they are able to hire help in parenting. Thus, their children end up learning from the hired help rather than from the parents and this affects how they turn out as adults. Lack of financial ability makes it hard for some parents to provide the best resources for their children. For instance, poor children may not acquire good education due to a lack of fees. Such parents fall short of the ideal description of a parent that is able to provide for all the needs of the child consistently. However, this does not imply that the parent does not love his or her child (Valenti, 2012).
An individual’s emotional and personal characteristics may also make it hard to meet the ideal description of a parent. Some parents are incapable of forming stable relationships with other people and this affects a child’s development of attachment styles. Other parents may be psychologically unstable hence unable to provide their children with stable emotional development. In addition, one’s temperament may prevent him from being the ideal parent in that one may overindulge the child while another punishes the child harshly for every little mistake. Some parents may also be overwhelmed by the responsibility of bringing up a child due to their personal traits. For instance, a parent with low self-esteem may not help her child develop into a confident adult (Pieper & Pieper, 2005).
If I were to offer a license for parenting, I would not include all the characteristics of the ideal parent in it. Rather, I would require that every potential parent is able to provide for the essential needs of a child. These include basic needs such as shelter, food, clothing, education, and emotional stability. Thus, I would not allow abusive parents to give birth to children unless they get help first. I would also require that every potential parent is able to provide the essential financial needs of a child before thinking of giving birth to one (Carter, 2011).
Brooks, J. (2012). The Process of Parenting. 9th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Carter, D. K. (2011). Parenting coordination: A practical guide for family law professionals. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
Pieper, M. & Pieper, W. (2005). The smart love parent: The compassionate alternative to discipline. New York: Innova Publishing.
Valenti, J. (2012). Why have kids?: A new mom explores the truth about parenting and happiness. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.