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Responsible Parenting

— Dr.Prof.Rameeza Rasheed

Digital magazine iMantra

The media is full of reports about all sorts of crimes such as acts of terrorism, crimes against women, robbery and small thefts, corruption on large scale at all levels of administration, juvenile crimes, religious clashes , unethical corporate practices, murders for gains, anti national activities etc., which made persons like the former Election Commissioner Sri. T. N. Seshan to make a remark that India at present, is facing crisis of character and hence, there is an immediate need for corrective steps through suitable reform process and that process should start from the education sector . He made a right suggestion because, we generally believe that the task of character building and personality development lie with the teachers and therefore, the schools have to arrange for value education since they are not only knowledge centers, but also character building workshops.

But, the present day school education system is burdened with heavy curriculum and the teachers are under great pressure to complete the syllabus in time and to train thoroughly the students in it, so that they would face the examination with full confidence. Besides, they are also responsible for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities Hence, the schools are not willing to allot time for value or moral instruction and it is difficult to get teachers with an aptitude and capability to teach this subject, Therefore, the task of rendering value education in the modern world rests with the parents.

The pre- school years and the non-school hours in the formative years of the children are spent at home. Hence the parents are the first role models for the children. Usually children tend to copy or follow the conduct, the attitude and mannerisms of the family members particularly of the parents. Their behavior plays a major role in shaping the children’s character. Young age is a very impressionable age and whatever is taught at that stage plays a major role in shaping a child’s personality or character. Nobody expects the parents to give moral instructions everyday to their children. But considering the fact that good and bad habits are usually picked up from them, the parents have to understand the concept of, “responsible parenting.”


Digital magazine

What is, “responsible parenting”?
The parental responsibility does not stop with taking care of their children’s physical wellbeing alone. It extends to the development of their mental, emotional and psychotically wellbeing and character building too. The parents can perform these duties by creating a good home environment, exhibiting right attitude towards life and thus setting themselves as role models. No one expects that all the parents to be perfect in their behavior, but as for as possible, they can exhibit their best behavior in the treatment of service providers , elderly family members, the disabled persons and in their relationship they maintain with their neighbors , relatives and friends.

“Responsible parenting” involves taking deliberate attempts to portray good conduct before the children. Such an effort is the need of the hour because, the modern world exhibits total loss of values among the leaders and the citizens and unethical practices has become the way of life. Hence, it is important to insulate our children from external influences which may guide them into wrong paths. If the value education rendered at home is very strong, children from such homes are likely to have strength of character and can not easily be influenced by bad examples.

“Responsible parenting” demands , following up of values of life in their daily life such as honesty, integrity, kindness, compassion , morality , patriotism etc., When parents instill in their children’s minds these values and other lessons such as faithfulness for ones own religion and tolerance towards others religion, treatment of women with dignity and equity, civic sense, adherence to laws of the land, sympathetic attitude towards under privileged and compassion towards differently abled persons, there is a possibility of shaping the children’s character on expected lines. The parents can perform this task slowly but steadily and through personal example or through narrating of real life incidents throughout their childhood days.


Digital magazine If a father is an alcoholic or smoker or gambler or abuses his wife and often exhibits violence in his behavior, he can not preach good values to his children about these matters. A home with such a father will create psychological and emotional disorders in the children’s minds and that would affect their personality development and character building process. The parents can not criticise the bribe takers and talk on corruption with high moral authority if, they have the habit of getting things done through bribe giving .If the parents are in the habit of lying even for small matters, the children will become habitual liars. If the parents are intolerant towards other religions their children will grow as religious fanatics and will become unfit to live in harmony with other religious communities which, is a fundamental requirement in a multi religious, secular nation. If they are habitual law breakers, their children will not be law abiding citizens. Such parents are bad role models and indulging in “irresponsible parenting.”

If outside influence and not home environment is responsible for the children’s undesirable conduct, they are to be corrected through carrot and stick method .For these matters to happen, the parents should spend quality time with their children. Such a quality time spent with them sends a message to the children that they are important in their parent’s lives. Hence, extension of unconditional love and spending of quality time with children play a major role in “responsible parenting”

About the Author
Dr. Prof. Rameeza Rasheed is a retired Professor of Economics with 30 years of teaching in JBAS college for women (formerly SIET college)-Chennai.

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