Understanding What Is Parental Responsibility - youngparents.net

Understanding What Is Parental Responsibility


what is parental responsibility

“What is parental responsibility?” is a question most parents face at some time. At the basic level, it involves making sure that your child stays healthy and is surrounded by people who are in their best interests. But parental responsibility goes much further than this. In the United Kingdom and some of the European Union countries, parental responsibility also means taking care or the provision of healthcare for your child.

What Is Parental Responsibility?

Parental Responsibility

A father plays an important role as a parent. He is the protector of his daughter or son and this responsibility means protecting them both physically and emotionally. However, just as with other parents, a father also has to make decisions for his child and this is where parental responsibility can become complicated. He must be careful not to let his actions affect the welfare of his child in the way that he would want them to be.

Decisions relating to medical treatments for a child are one of the most commonly encountered areas of parental responsibility. Decisions about what is safe for a child and what is not safe are very controversial and sometimes they require the involvement of a doctor. Doctors have the right and a responsibility to determine what is appropriate for a particular child. The European Communities, including the United Kingdom, set out certain age limits as to when a child can be treated by a doctor and when parental responsibility begins to be determined.

Parental Responsibility Deals With?

Parental Responsibility

Another area of parental responsibility deals with how parents cope with raising a child under different circumstances in their lives. Parental responsibility is most often focused on single parents, especially divorced parents. A divorced mother or father will have a very difficult time trying to take care of their child. They have to adjust their work and family life to meet the needs of their child. Raising a child as a single parent can be very demanding and one parent may be overwhelmed, leaving the other parent feeling very inadequate.

It is important to remember that a child has his or her own opinions and feelings about important decisions in their lives. Children have a right to express those opinions in a variety of ways and do so in a manner that will not end up harming them. However, expressing an opinion about medical treatment for your child, whether good or bad, is a decision that should only be made by someone who has been involved in that child’s life and understands them. A doctor is not someone who has experience with children and should never make decisions about any aspect of your child’s life without getting your support and your advice first.

Level Of Parental Responsibility 

The level of parental responsibility is also tied to the gender of the child. In today’s society, it is more common for a girl to be raised by both parents. A boy may be raised by only one parent, or even by just one parent. In a two-parent home, the mother is considered the primary caregiver. Even though a couple may live together, they are still legally separated and should still have joint custody of the child unless the mother shows the father’s ability to care for the child.

Another example of parental responsibility is visitation. When you are not married, you are the legal child’s guardian. If you are married, you are the child’s spouse. If you are not legally separated, you can visit your child once a month for a couple hours under the visitation schedule that was set forth when you were married. You can also visit with your child for an extended period of time without visitation rights being terminated just because you got a divorce.

Final Thoughts

A final consideration of parental responsibility is determining what level of responsibility you want to assume. If you don’t know what level of responsibility you want to assume, consider what you would have done had you been a parent before you were an adult. How would you have made different decisions? What would you have done if the situation were reversed? As a child you had certain responsibilities, and as an adult you should consider what those responsibilities are and how those responsibilities would affect your parenting.

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