Parental Rights and Roles
May 9, 2011
Parental Rights and Roles
Parenting is a task that has gone on for generations and helps prepare the next generation for physical, emotional, economic, and social situations. Parents have a major influence in the development of children. The parent-child relationship exerts the most significant and compelling influence on his or her children’s development during childhood.
Factors in society today, like poverty, unemployment, urbanization, increased population growth, increase in crimes and drug use, and the break up of the traditional family unit has families in a state of flux and re-definition. The results of these ...view middle of the document...
Changes take place in the sexual area, in parent-child relations in which one parent assumes the principal responsibility, and in the economic structure of the family. In a divorce situation two households are formed, and the parents must reach an agreement on who assumes the role of primary caregiver and decision maker of the children. The primary parent with which the children live will be responsible for day-to-day decisions, school decision, medical decisions, and basic needs.
Determining the roles and responsibilities of each parent is sometimes difficult for divorced couples to agree upon. The best interest of the child or children is sometimes hard to determine. Families struggle in many situations to agree on where the children should live, how they should be raised, and who is permitted to be around and actively involved in the children's lives. According to (Hyden, 2001), after a divorce, the former couple will need to develop new relationships between themselves as parents, and with their children.
Rights and Roles of Grandparents
Grandparents are increasingly taking on the parental role in children’s lives. The 2000 United States census determined that in 4.2 million households, grandparents are the primary caretakers of children under the age of 18. According to the 2000 census a total of 5.8 million households with children under 18 also includes grandparents living with them (Dye & Simmon, 2003). Grandparents take on the parental role in children lives for a variety of reasons like loss of parents, and neglect, or abuse. In these cases grandparents take the custodial role and have legal rights. Grandparents may find themselves taking parental roles even when a parent lives in the household. In these cases the role of the grandparent is less formal, and the grandparent may not have custodial rights unless the parents have granted it. Grandparents are the foundation of the family. They are likely to take responsibility for a child when the parents cannot provide adequate care for the child. In many instances grandparents find themselves providing total care to grandchildren.
When a grandparents takes the role of primary caregiver the structure of the family changes, which affects the children. The child may feel a sense of loss because the parent does not activity participate in parenting. The child may also experience issues with building relationships because he or she feel abandoned by his or her mother or father or in some cases both. Children with grandparents taking the parental role may also experience behavior issues, but children may also feel a sense of comfort when grandparents assume the role as the parent.
Becoming the primary caregiver to grandchildren can be a challenge for grandparents because they have built a life without children as their own children are grown.. Grandparents may need to reevaluate life plans, retirement or career plans, and financial plans and consider changes in housing if needed....