Are Parents Responsible for Their Children’s Behavior?

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Effective parenting has never been as important as it is in today’s family setups. This notion stems from the fact proper parenting approaches go a long way toward shaping how children will behave in the future. Each aspect of education and upbringing can affect the individuals and socie

Psychological and psychosocial studies have for a long time taught us that parenting without a reasonable basis can definitely result in confusion in the developmental process of any child (Commons and Miller, 2007). This is why many attempts have been made to improve parenting styles. Indeed, effective parenthood is a crucial job in the life of any person who decides to have kids. Many studies undertaken on the factors affecting child demeanors have discovered that parents are responsible for their children’s behavior, be it good or bad.

Although other factors such as peer influence and other experiences while growing up have been shown to affect the children’s behavior, parental involvement has been numerously cited owing to the level of influence parents have over their children as compared to other factors. Hence, parents are the ones who should be blamed for their children’s behavior.

Parents have moral and legal responsibilities towards their child. If they set a bad example to their children, they will definitely follow in their steps. In other words, they are the primary teachers and discipliners of their children. Many parents fail not because they are inadequate or lack love for their children but because they procrastinate and they give warnings that they do not follow through.

Parents should recognize that bringing up well-behaved children requires a thorough comprehension of how their behavior is connected with their child’s behavior. Consequently, they should impart moral values such as respect and discipline to the children. All parents have a responsibility when it comes to raising their children, for no one will do it for them.

A study undertaken by the NASUWT teachers’ union concluded that lack of parental support is a major crisis behind pupils’ lack of discipline. More than two in three teachers identified lack of support from parents as the most fundamental factor that influences pupils’ behavior.

The teachers cited a lack of adequate support from the parents to help them maintain high standards in pupils’ behaviour. Thus they feel let down by the lack of parents’ support in shaping the pupils’ behavior. In fact, some parents even fail to send their children to school with the right material for their learning, for example, books and pens. Instead, they allow them to go to school with mobile phones, iPods, and MP3 players.

Mobile phones and other electronic gadgets will always cause disruptions in classrooms, and this makes the pupils not concentrate, leading to lower grades. Lack of concentration in the classroom also prevents the children from taking in valuable lessons that could influence their behavior (Vogler, Masters, and Merrill, 1970). Although some parents cited lack of funds as a source of their waning influence over their child’s behavior, studies have shown otherwise.

Low-income families can still influence their children’s behavior by a great margin. Besides, some parents use this excuse as a scapegoat for escaping their parental roles. Some parents pay less attention to their children’s academic activities and hence may not even know whether children are attending classes or not.

The relationship between a parent and his/her child is a determinant of how well the child will adjust to life outside of the home, their performance in school, as well as what kind of relationships they will form with people outside the family setup. Most parents have failed to establish close relations with their children. They do not spend adequate time with their children, are always busy with work commitments, and some are very hostile to their children.

The relationship between parent and child significantly helps in a child’s emotional and mental development. As parental affection and influence decrease and the amount of time children spend in non-parental care increases, an increased likelihood of behavioral problems both at home and at school is observed. Parents are critical in every aspect of a child’s development (Cavell and Strand, 2002).

They can and should provide healthy, stable environments for their children besides providing a loving and nurturing relationship with them. All of these aspects are likely to promote the behavioral development of a child.

Parents are expected to spend time with their children and are expected to teach their children the behaviors that are embraced or shunned by society. They should be committed to building a strong relationship with their children and must actively contribute to building their children’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

Some parents even lack the confidence to face their own children and hence are not able to counsel their children on good behavior. When parents have a good relationship with their children, they are able to enforce positive values and acceptable standards of good behaviour and ensure that their children embrace these values in their day-to-day lives. Consequently, parents should create time for their children in order to establish a close relationship that can have a long influence on the child’s behavior.

Authority, responsibility, discipline, and accountability constitute the foundation of a sensible behavioral structure in all persons. Parents fail to exert these four premises of behaviour in their children, and this has gone a long way into shaping their children’s failure to uphold moral values and etiquette.

A letdown in the display of proper protocols from parent to child could result in children taking up unwanted habits, and if further displays of bad conduct continue to be shown to the child, a potentially criminalized foundation could be laid. Parents do not let their children be accountable for their mistakes as they always cover them, and this makes the children believe that the act was not wrong. Parents should learn to discipline their children whenever they display bad behavior.

Besides, their reaction to their children’s behavior should be that of deterrence and a form of warning. Sometimes parents react passively. They give in to their children’s misbehavior because they do not feel like confronting the problem, and this only worsens the child’s behavioral problems. When parents fail to understand the motives behind their children’s bad or wrong behavior, their children tend to end up in dangerous and catastrophic situations, such as becoming juveniles.

They should always evaluate their child’s behaviour, discipline them appropriately, and say no to their demands when necessary (Newman & Newman, 2011). A child should learn at an early age that consequences follow undesirable behavior. This will assist the child to grow into a productive member of the society.

Parents should, at times, not be blamed for their children’s behaviour, for they always try their best to instill good morals in them. It is the wish of all parents to bring up children with good morals. Critiques have argued that parents should not be blamed for their child’s behavior as behavior is shaped by various environmental aspects. The critics forget that parents are the first people who instill discipline in their children. Hence, whatever foundation they lay on their children will be carried for the rest of their life.


Parents play a very vital role in their children’s development, and the success of the children will mainly depend on the foundations imparted to them by the parents. Most studies show that parents are to blame for children’s behaviour. Hence, parents must take a greater role in shaping their children’s future regarding the embrace of morally acceptable behavior.

They must bear in mind that children’s development at home should take precedence. In addition, they must be committed to building a strong relationship with their children and must actively contribute to building their children’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

Influencing the child’s behavior should begin with establishing a close relationship with their children and making proper use of their authority over their children, but not in a coercive manner. If parents are not held responsible for their children’s behavior, who is to be blamed then? It is their duty to make the children grow into disciplined and responsible members of society.