The importance of parental authority



A large number of teenagers today feel that parents have abdicated their duties of wielding authority and assuming responsibility for the direction of their children's lives. Some parents refuse to do so and others are unable to exercise their rights. As a result, there is growing rebellion against parents. In some countries, the Courts flout parental authority. Parents are punished for disciplining their children. 'Child Rights' are paramount and parents must fall in line or be punished by the Courts.

The philosophy of Humanism claims that it is alright for children to exercise independence from restraints and to rebel against parents.

But the authority vested in parents comes from God with the diktat "Train up your child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not turn away from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

Children are our heritage and whether married, separated or divorced, we still have the responsibility of their proper upbringing. However as Socrates said, "There is only one profession that is untutored and untrained - Parenting." Parenting is our privilege and responsibility and we learn from our own experience and from the wisdom of those who have gone before.

Parental authority involves:-

• Leadership to enable the child to grow into a well balanced, affectionate, warm person with a positive attitude to life. What is taught in childhood is internalized and contributes to his character and personality. He must be able to differentiate between right and wrong.

• Nurturing with love. A child who is confident and secure in the love of his parents is more likely to accept rules and restraints. Parents must spend quality time with children, express love for them, compliment them on their positive points and lavish praise for good behaviour.

• Discipline will be effective after proper instructions and role modeling. Children are given rules to live


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