Parent is our first teacher; they involved in our personality build, primary education, and taking care of our lives. Indeed, this is a very challenging job, these days; parents are flooded with mixed messages about how to parent the right way. Restriction and limitation on parenting start to form and shape, people began to question how much freedom they have on their child. The course reading When a Parents I Love You Means Do as I Say and Can You Name Your Baby Messiah? draw lines on what and how parents should and should not be done. Also, they state that effects in the critical involvement of a child by their parents are manipulative and potentially abusive to childs future. Therefore parents should not have absolute freedom over their child.
An important concept of restriction on parenting is the moral right of parents. The reason is, parents want their children to live happily. Naturally, they want to steer their children towards success through all the avenues they can. on the contrary, it is of importance to understand that the pressure of meritocracy sometimes does put such profound love on a false basis. That is because the meritocracy is often based on earned success. It begs the question of what is true love? Any right school of thought would agree that parental love should be oblivious to a childs achievement. That is, an unconditional love should be that gift from a parent to a child, which should not be owned by the parent and earned by a child. In my observation, I have come to the conclusion that parents use to love to as a tool for blackmailing their children to comply with their wishes. A child who complies with a parents direction whether it is against his or her wishes is rewarded with a feeling of love and whoever does not do what the parent requires of him, or her is unrewarded with love. Consequently, the love as a tool is being used by parents to portray a sense of ownership on their children. That is, they treat their children as a possession that they can proceed to decide their destinies.
Conditional parenting has more of controlling characteristics. It is an indication that the feeling of a parent is always above that of the child. It teaches the children that love from their parents only come when they do something that is within their parents demands. Hence, parents use it to either reinforce their authority positively or negatively. Such absolute power is what leads a parent to name his child Messiah. In this case, the parent has proceeded to impose his or her religious belief to the highest degree and the child has been used as a symbol for signifying his or her parents faith. As Lithwick indicates, the parents did not foresee that they were subjecting the child to social isolation in future. Also, a case where a child was named Adolf Hitler portrays the parents determination to use the child as a symbol of their support of a Nazi ideology. It should be noted that the philosophy is unacceptable in the American culture. Hence, the parents were subjecting their child to future bullying, condemnation and eventually social isolation. In all the cases, it takes the intervention of the court to rename the children, an indication that parents are more likely to abuse their authority over their children. Also, it is proof that parents should not be given exclusive freedom over their children.
According to Kohn, the compliance brought about by conditional love always comes with a bigger prize. Interestingly, the consequences of conditional love and weird naming are similar. That is, children who received conditional approvals from their parents tend to feel resentment towards them. It is because they act out of internal pressure instead of their choice. So is the behavior of children who are given unusual names. Such children tend to show personality disorder as well as delinquency behaviors. Therefore, by having all the rights of their children, parents are distorting and damaging their childrens behavioral development. It should be noted that the acts of bad-naming a child always creates a permanent dent that a child can never erase. Also, although conditional parenting requires a child to earn his or her parents love, the right to child naming gives a parent a chance to express his or her religious, political and cultural beliefs or the feelings held towards the child. Eventually, it a service of a therapist may be required to give the child unconditional acceptance which the long for.
It should also be noted that by exercising full authority over a child, the exercised authority may not only affect a child in a negative way but also the society as a whole when their conditions are directed in a manner that creates injustice to both the first and third persons. It is for such reason that even the American Judicial system regardless of acknowledging that parents have exclusive rights over their children, it has proceeded to protect the children from power excesses that may be exercised by the parent over a child. Hence, it is an indication that even the courts do recognize the need to protect the future of children from their parents self-fulfilling desires. Also, unlike the United States, countries like New-Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany have ensured that there are certain names that a parent cannot give to a child. The reason for setting child naming regulations is to ensure that the childs name does not offend or insult the religious and cultural institutions these countries.
Since absolute authority over a child is not beneficial to both parties, it is important that a parent adopts unconditional parenting. However, it is essential that the unconditional parenting is autonomous. That is, a parent is obliged to explain his request to his or her child. Such move provides the child with an opportunity to participate in decision-making process. The child will also get a parents encouragement without manipulation. Moreover, it will help a child to develop a positive perspective about him or herself, parents and the community around him or her.
In conclusion, parents should not be given absolute powers over their children. Though parents want their best for their children, the rewards they offer to them are always conditional because they are often withdrawn in case the child does not perform to the parents expectation. Therefore, parents do use love as a tool for exercising ownership over their children. For example, they can decide to give a child a name that represents their religion or expresses their ideologies. Also, conditional parenting teaches children to expect love and acknowledgement only if they do what is expected of them. However, it causes a child to experience internal pressure thus feeling resentment towards their parent.
Dahlia, Lithwick. Can You Name Your Baby Messiah? 13 (2013)
Kohn, Alfie. "When a parents I love youmeans Do as I say." The New York Times 15 (2009).
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