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License for Parents

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Parents do not require licensing for them to present optimal results in overseeing a child’s growth and development because it is difficult to define standards that apply equally to parents from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

Cases of child abuse and neglect highlight the impacts of poor parenting, and raises doubts concerning the decision to enter parenthood. Parenting is not solely restricted to individuals who bear a child. Although most parents are biological mothers and fathers, a significant percentage of adoptive parents nurture offspring of biological parents.

Although some people, especially biological mothers and fathers enter parenthood when they are least prepared, the largest percentage of individuals takes over parental roles after comprehensive deliberations. Parenting is a special responsibility considering that it does not generate any form of returns to the parent. Instead, it requires significant inputs in the economic, social and emotional aspects. Parents do not require licensing for them to present optimal results in overseeing a child’s growth and development because it is difficult to define standards that apply equally to parents from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

Licensing creates procedures and standards upon which the concerned party benchmarks its actions. Any deviations in this regard introduce consequences as stipulated in the license. The proponents for the licensing of parents compared parenting with any other responsibility that requires a set of rules and regulations. In this regard, they assert that individuals who fail to meet a particular threshold should not undertake parenting roles. This group claims that regulated parenting will ensure that children access appropriate education, necessities such as good food, clothing, shelter and security. According to the proponents of licensing for parents, policies concerning the provision of education and other aspects defined as necessities for children will create a framework that guarantees appropriate upbringing for children.

On the other hand, the opponents of licensing for parents assert that the myriad of roles for a parent depict parenting as a vocation that requires personal resolve and motivation rather than subjection to guidelines and standards in order to derive appropriate outcomes (Brennan & Noggle, 2007). The lack of a defined scope for parental roles upon which stakeholders can base guidelines and procedures for parenting introduces barriers to licensing of parents. Thus, it is considerably difficult to obtain uniform standards for parenting that will apply to all parents. Furthermore, different economic and social settings force parents to adopt diverse approaches in bringing up children. A variation in the environment within which a child grows exposes children to diverse forces, which if not controlled may have adverse effects on a child’s growth and development. Such aspects may require parents to adopt measures that individuals in different societal settings consider as poor parenting.

While the suggestions on standardized parenting highlight aspects that require support due to the changing society, proponents of licensing for parents ignore the consideration that it takes resolve and determination by a parent to nurture a child. Imposing regulations on parenting will introduce procedures that some parents may find difficult to follow. Although a parenting license may describe the importance of appropriate parenting, it cannot influence the will of a parent to nurture their child, especially in the emotional aspect (Westman, 2001). Furthermore, parenting licenses will discourage individuals from entering into parenthood if they do not meet the stipulated criteria for parenting. Thus, although it is crucial to promote regulations that protect children from maltreatment, cases of child maltreatment do not warrant the adoption of licensing as a measure to encourage appropriate parenting. Establishing bodies that focus on matters of child welfare, and granting them the power to take corrective measures on errant parents, will mitigate cases of child abuse and improper upbringing (Austin, 2007). It is possible to tackle cases of child abuse and maltreatment without imposing a restrictive framework based on which parents execute their duties.

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