Parental Rights

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of family obligation is how I would take care of my children. This refers to the behaviors and values to consider when offering assistance to the children and guiding them on how to behave with their friends and relatives. Assistance comes in form of health care, education, and religious growth. Another thought that emerges in line with family obligation concerns my relationship with my parents, siblings and extended family. It also includes identification of areas in which I may offer support. Although I agree that a child’s presence and attention is important to the parents, no child should be forced to do these things against his or her will. For this reason, the unconditional view of family obligation is inappropriate as it maintains that the parent is entitled to some things until either the child or parent dies.

Again, I agree with Jane English’s argument that parents owe their children and not the other way round. As Hank Green explained in the video, no child has ever chosen to be born. Even in the instance of adoption, the parents take a child home because they need him or her. Therefore, I disagree with the conditional view that children owe their parents as much as they received. On the other hand, the friendship view on one’s obligation to family is what I find appropriate. This perspective explains that regardless of the amount of support and care children get from the parents, they do not owe the parents once grown. This view encourages parents to provide for their children unconditionally and also allows the children to help their parents only when they want to do so.

Parental License

The society would be better if parents needed licensing in order to raise children. As Green elaborated (under FLASH philosophy), it is important that individuals prove their ability to handle something that has potential to cause harm before being authorized. Often times, the society confirms such capabilities through issuing of licenses. Parenting is also a challenging task hence not everyone should be trusted to do it well. According to Green, the state only intervenes after a child is either neglected or abused. Parental license could ensure that only capable individuals get children. Besides, the tests and classes for potential parents would guide them on how to behave with the children once they have them.

With this move, teenage pregnancies and raising of children by mentally unstable parents could be controlled. Majority of children suffer because they were born by underage mothers, who in most cases were abandoned by the fathers. Due to lack of parenting knowledge and resource constraints, the underage mothers expose children to a lot of suffering. Also, parents with various conditions such as addiction to drugs or alcohol and mental illness are in many cases unable to offer the care that children deserve. Parents of this nature tend to be violent and abusive.

Based on the arguments above, I conclude that not everyone has the right to be a parent. As Green argued, good parents offer all they have to the children without expecting their children to pay them back. However, the underage, drug/alcohol addicts and mentally challenged parents often make children feel that they owe the parents for the support and care they receive. Children need proper upbringing to develop lasting bonds with parents and siblings. Parental license could help children get qualified parents who would teach them to love and help them build support networks of people who love them. This way they could take care of family members willingly.