'Parents have no right to impose their own values and beliefs on their children.' Discuss.

Most parents in our society are loving and responsible; they are naturally relied upon to provide care and provision for their children. A child’s needs not only include their health and physical well-being, but also the holistic development of their moral values, ethics, and cultural understanding. To say parents have no right at all to superintend their children’s development is wrong, however, agreeing that they have every right to assert their values and beliefs may be taking too extreme a stance as well. A child’s needs will change over time and so when and how a parent should impose their values and beliefs should also follow. Let us examine the circumstances to determine when is it acceptable for parents to exercise their control. Parents, as the legal guardians of their own children, hold the possibility of educating their children and instilling proper values in them Young children are impressionable and they learn by watching, listening, and imitating how the adults in their lives to act. As the parents are primary caregivers they lay the foundation for values like integrity, respect, responsibility, and diligence to be inculcated in their children. It is up to parents to enforce discipline to ensure their children learn sound ethical and moral values. This ensures their children will be raised to be proper citizens of society and reduces the risk of them growing up to become social deviants. On the other hand, a child has the right to live his life in the manner that he chooses. Parents should not domineeringly force their children to live their lives in accordance with their own expectations, without regard for their children’s choices.

Each individual is unique and different, and no one should live a life that is already engineered by his or her parents. It is selfish, and some will also say egotistic, for parents to use their children as a means to fulfill whatever ambitions they did not pursue when they were younger. Children should not be taught to live out the unfulfilled dreams of their parents.
Moreover, even if well-intentioned, imposing their values and beliefs too much may breed prejudices or cause their children to grow up too reliant on them to make choices. The ability to rationalize for themselves is an important skill that teaches them independence. Having children always blindly accepting their parents’ thoughts would negate this natural aspect of mental development.
Some may argue that since parents are the ones that bring their children into the world, they have every right to dictate how their children live their lives. This school of thought, while valid, is a narrow-minded one that does not take into account that everyone has the right to pursue their own happiness.
Parents should accept that their children may have different views. Constantly putting them down and trying to impose their own beliefs all the time may instead cause children to become resentful, as it gives the impression that their parents do not respect them. With a strained relationship, children may not easily accept their parents’ views no matter how much they try to dictate it. As a child approaches his teenage years. parents should perhaps consider playing a more supportive and mentoring -role rather than that of an enforcer or disciplinarian. This would allow children the space to grow with the knowledge that their parents trust and respect them. A healthy parent-child relationship would be more likely to keep a child receptive to their parents’ advice should they need it as they grow older.
Ultimately, parents only have the best interests of their children at heart. While it is my opinion that parents have the right to, and should. enforce important universal values and beliefs when their children are young, they should also apply wisdom in judgment. Allowing their children to develop their own thoughts and pursue their own happiness – provided these are neither unhealthy nor damaging could be more beneficial. subject to each child’s age and maturity.

(658 words)

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