Parental Rights And Responsibilities

Written by Harini Natarajan

Children are a gift from heaven, but raising them the correct way can be challenging. When a child is not brought up properly, it affects their thought and behavior. On the other hand, children who are supported and loved by their parents tend to excel more. So, what duties fall on the shoulder of parents? Scroll down to learn about the parental rights and responsibilities that every parent must take care of.

What Are Parental Rights And Responsibilities?

Parents have legal rights and responsibilities towards their children. Parents need to provide shelter, food, clothes, education, and medical care to their children until they are old enough to take care of themselves. Even if both the parents do not live together, depending on custodial arrangements and visitation rights, each party has to perform their duties for bringing up the children.

Before we deep dive into the responsibilities of a parent, let’s look at whom these responsibilities fall. Is it only the biological parents who can exercise them? Not necessarily! Here are the people who can have parental responsibility towards their child.

Who Has Parental Responsibility?

  • Biological mothers and fathers inherently have parental responsibility.
  • The parents whose names are on the child’s birth certificate.
  • Adoptive parents or who become parents through surrogacy.
  • The man married to the mother.
  • Anybody recognized as parents by the court

Read on to explore the parental responsibilities you should be aware of.

7 Parental Responsibilities

1. Fulfill Basic Needs

  • Home: Parents should provide a safe, abuse-free environment where your child feels protected. If your child is a few months or 1-4 years old, the house should be baby-proofed to prevent harm from sharp objects or glass. The parents should make sure that the neighborhood is child-friendly and not dangerous.
  • Food: Parents need to provide sustenance for their children – healthy meals like fruits, vegetables, and greens. They need to make sure their children have access to clean and pure drinking water. Keep alcohol and other non-ingestible products away from the children.
  • Clothing: Another basic need for children is clothing. This does not mean parents have to splurge on designer clothes. But make sure your children have proper and decent garments to represent themselves well.
  • Hygiene: The parents must teach their children the importance of hygiene. Make them have a bath daily, brush their teeth, clean themselves, and change their clothes regularly. Teach them washroom habits, how to wash their clothes, put trash in the bin, and keep things clean.

2. Support Every Possible Way

  • Financial And Educational Support: Parents need to provide financial support for the education of their children. They have to enroll their children in school and bear the cost until they finish their college education.
  • Emotional Support: Parents need to be there for their children emotionally. They need to inspire them to do better and support their hobbies. Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular activities and show up when your child is performing somewhere. Give them words of encouragement and do not belittle their hopes and dreams.
  • Medical Support: Parents must provide medical care to their children. They need to take them for regular checkups and support them financially for treatments or medication.

3. Teach Moral Values

It is important to inculcate moral values in your kids from a young age. They need to know how to interact with others and behave in the right way. Parents need to teach their kids compassion, respect, kindness, patience, and honesty. Children should be groomed properly so they do not harm other children or animals.

4. Protect The Child

Your children need to know who they can talk to and whom they cannot. They must know they cannot speak to strangers or take candy from them. Parents must teach their children what inappropriate touching is. They need to build a safe atmosphere so that the children can be open about all issues. If you have a regular babysitter or nanny, check up on your kids to protect them from harm or abuse.

5. Respect The Child

Do not talk to your child like they are dumb. Children are smart, and they understand things better than we give them credit for. You have to earn your child’s respect, and they have to earn yours. Listen to your child when they try to tell you something. Never belittle their opinions. How you treat your child is what they remember about you, and in turn, will treat others the same way.

6. Teach Them Discipline

When you discipline your child, make sure not to abuse them physically, verbally, or emotionally. Do not hit your child or yell obscenities at them. Do not make fun of your child for crying and being emotional. Instead, you can do the following –

  • Talk to your child firmly, letting them know that they have done something wrong.
  • Punishments can be taking away TV time or grounding them to their room.
  • Discuss with your child why they are punished and also hear them out.
  • Always be level-headed when talking to your child. Do not let your emotions drive you. How you behave with your child is how they will behave with others.

7. Spend Time Together

Your child needs to have you present in their lives. Entertaining your child with materialistic things does not indicate you love them. Being there for them in every circumstance shows your love.

Take your child out once a week and do something they love. Build a hobby with your child. Your kid needs to realize that they can always come to you for help, support, or advice whatever they are going through.

However, things are handled a little differently in cases where the parents are divorced or separated.

Parental Responsibility In Divorce Or Separation

In divorce or separation, where a child is involved, the court decides if both parents get joint custody or a single parent gets sole custody. If a single parent gets custody, the court decides the other parent’s visitation rights and child support. However, any major decision concerning the child needs to be taken by both parents.

While judges decide on whom the custodial rights fall on after a divorce, the scenario is different in Florida.

Florida Parental Responsibility And Child Custody

Under the Florida Parental Responsibility, both parents retain their full parental rights. The shared responsibilities are

  • Moral and religious beliefs of your child
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Medical care for the child
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Legal activities concerning the child
  • Access to school records
  • Changes to the child’s living or social environment.


Children thrive in a loving environment. Hence, bringing up your child with love and care is crucial. The way you raise your child will exhibit itself in how your child treats others. So, spend time with your child and provide them the best possible care. Support and protect your kids and watch them grow uninhibited.

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As Chief Editor, Harini sets the tone and editorial direction for StyleCraze to deliver engaging, interesting, and authentic content revolving around women's health, wellness, and beauty. She has over 14 years of experience in content writing and editing for online media. She specializes in the areas of Beauty, Lifestyle, and Health & Wellness and is proficient in Medical Sciences (Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Biochemistry). Her background in Biomedical Engineering helps her decode and interpret the finer nuances of scientific research for her team. Harini is a certified bibliophile and a closet poet. She also loves dancing and traveling to offbeat destinations.