Parents and their offspring

Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・Anthropology ・Harvard ・5 Sources

A parent is someone who is the basic caregiver of their offspring. The person qualifies to be called a parent if the children are of the same species as them. According to the human perspective, parents are individuals who take care of other people especially their off-springs regardless of their ages. This paper discusses various aspects of a parent. It highlights the broad categories of parents and relationship to children and also based on their nature. It further defines the roles and responsibilities that make a parent. Can a person qualify to become a parent by fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of a parent as provided by the law?

Parents exist in various forms; some parents are biologically related to the children and some who are not linked. Biological parents are those who sired the child. In this definition, they are the parents who contributed either the sperm or ovum. These parents are related to the child by blood and thus the parents and children DNA has a high probably to match. Their genes are about 50 percent alike, and thus the children inherit various characteristics from their parents. Some physical and biological features are inherent. However, parents are not limited to natural. Close relatives such as grandparents can be parents where they are left with the duty to take care of the children. In various scenarios, children find themselves in the hands of their grandparent due to some circumstances such as the death of parents. The grandparents, in this case, qualify to be called parents since they are obligated to take full responsibility to care for the children. Parents may also come through adoption. Adoption is a legal process which ensures that potential parents are given the rights to take care of children. The children, in this case, don't relate to the parents biologically, but the law obligates them to perceive the adoptive parents as their biological parents. The parents under this category have the rights and responsibilities to protect and provide all the necessities as required by the law. The difference between these parents and the biological parents is that their agreements can be revoked by the legislation in an event they fail to fulfill the obligations. Moreover, if such happens their status changes since they don't share any DNA traces with the children hence cannot be linked to them. The most common way of adoptive parenting is long-term foster care. Foster caring is the adoption of children for a particular period of time. The parent, in this case, has the duty to take care of the children but is not obligated to continue with the role after a period. Moreover, the parent doesn't have the rights to change the name of the children. The difference between fostering and adoption is that with adoption the parent is given more rights and responsibilities such as those of biological parents. However, both forms of parents have children under their care for a reasonable length of time. Finally, parents can also be surrogates. Surrogacy is a contract whereby the parent asks another person to carry their pregnancy. Once the child is born the parent assumes the role of parenthood. Parents of this nature are those who have been obligated by circumstances to being pregnancy. In most cases, the reasons behind surrogacy include health issues whereby the parent is advised by practitioners to avoid pregnancies due to the risks attached. Sometimes the marriage involves two couples who are of the same sex thus cannot sire a child. The contract ends when the carrier is compensated by the person, and the parent takes the full responsibilities of a biological parent.

Being a parent is a task that requires commitment and purpose in other peoples' lives. A parent is limited within the tenets of the law and moral codes of the society to perform particular activities and roles for their children. A parent is not just a figure that is present to make children secure and to have someone to call a parent. They have roles and responsibilities coded by the society and nature that qualifies them to be parents. However, before understanding these functions and duties; one ought to know that parent is a broad term. Apart from analyzing the parents about their relationship to the children; parents can also be categorized regarding their nature and character. In this category, parents belong to three classes namely consultant, helicopter and drill sergeant. A consultant is a role model to the children. It is the kind of a parent who doesn't poke nose to children affairs and is always working on themselves to avoid mistakes that children will copy. It is the kind of a parent who shows love and affection to the children and is ever there to show their support. The parent is ever available to assist their children in different ways to tackle life. They live as examples, and in most cases, they will provide models and practical scenarios that evoke children awareness and purpose to live within the limits of law and moral codes. The parents give their children priority and they are ever present for them in all aspects. The other parent is the helicopter parent. This is the kind of a parent that most children loathe to have. The parent is always hovering about the life of their children. They are constantly blaming their children for mistakes and provide less help. They are not role models but are ever whining whenever the children make a mistake. In most cases, the parents offer negative information to children to discourage them. These folks are inclined to negativities and thus focus on the weaknesses of the children. They are parents who protect their kids from negative environments. However, these are the kinds of parents who enhance the status quo of their children. They are willing to go miles in search of better platforms for their children if they adhere to their rules. These are parents who are ever concentrating on the hostilities of the world and protecting their children from them. They are perhaps some of the best parents in that they don't mislead their kids to follow what child's beliefs if what they believe is wrong. Finally, the drill sergeant is best defined by the term dictator. These are the kinds of parents that no child can desire to have. They are parents who offer fewer opportunities for their children to grow. They are usually very demanding and will not stop asking for more. Their messages are not constructive but destructive for example they use an offensive language where they tasks are not fulfilled. The parent is a dictator and directs what to be expected from the child. They are keen on decision making capabilities of the children because in an event where the child fails to make a decision that falls within the limits of their beliefs; they assume the role and force decisions for their children. They ensure that children follow their instructions and decisions by using threats and orders. If neither the rules nor the advice is adhered to, these parents use force and punishment to send their message. Such kinds of parents are the worst parents since they offer little help regarding child's growth. They are often linked with the kid's resilience to codes of conducts in schools and stunted growth in personal development. Children under such care lack the self-esteem to take them to great heights because they always live in fear.

All the parent's categories discussed in this paper have various responsibilities and duties to carry for their children. The law defines parents by not the categories alone but through the legal duties. This section discusses various responsibilities that qualify persons to be parents. A parent is required to provide the basic needs to the children. The parent is obligated by the law to fulfill biological needs such as food and shelter. Denial of such needs might force the bill to revoke parenthood. A parent is, therefore, a primary satisfier of the wants of a child. Moreover, the parents are obligated to protect their children from negative environments. The term negative environment, in this case, refers to all circumstances around a child growth that might hinder their development process. Parents are instead required to offer a proper environment which will boost a child's growth. They have to provide all necessary factors in a child's environment that foster their metacognition, improve their social skills and enhance their health. Parents have a duty to protect their children's properties. The function requires that inherent properties or any property whatsoever that belongs to the child require being under the watch of the parent. They also have to support their children both mentally and physically. The children are expected to grow healthy and to portray resilience to societal factors that could affect them. However, parents have a responsibility to correct their children. The law grants them the responsibility to punish their children whenever they go astray. The disciplining however is limited to a certain level which the law demands not be surpassed. They also have an obligation to provide guidance and be the role models for their children. Children learn from their parents a lot of things during their growth and development. Therefore, whenever parents compromise moral codes of conduct, the chances are high that children will also compromise the same at some point in time.


Parents are indeed crucial for child development and in the life of the child in general. Their presence provides a special emotional attachment that none other parties can offer. They shape the lives of people and are instrumental in their future ventures. It is, therefore, true that children who don’t grow around their parents have a hard time to attach themselves to the society because they lack the knowledge and understanding drawn from parents.


Bainham, Andrew. "Who or What Is a Parent?" The Cambridge Law Journal 66, no. 1 (2007): 30-32.

Lionetti, Francesca. "What promotes secure attachment in early adoption? The protective roles of infants’ temperament and adoptive parents’ attachment." Attachment & Human Development 16, no. 6 (December 2014): 573-589. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed March 6, 2017).

Fitzgibbons, Richard P. "Growing up with gay parents: what is the big deal?." The Linacre Quarterly 82, no. 4 (November 2015): 332-336. ATLA Catholic Periodical and Literature Index, EBSCOhost (accessed March 6, 2017).

Sverdlov, Aviva, and Dorit Aram. "What Are the Goals of Kindergarten? Teachers' Beliefs and Their Perceptions of the Beliefs of Parents and Agents of the Education System." Early Education And Development ;27, no. 3 (January 1, 2016): 352-371. ERIC, EBSCOhost (accessed March 6, 2017).

Smith, William R. "So Sexy, So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids." Themelios (Online) 38, no. 1 (April 2013): 163-165. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed March 6, 2017).

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