Parenting Responsibilities


Parenting is not an easy task that anybody can accomplish with ease. Parenting demands a lot of commitment, sense of responsibility and perseverance during the process of upbringing a child. Roles of parents change according to the stage of child’s development.

Infants: Parents enjoy this part of child’s life the most. It is a memorable experience to witness all the first activities of a child including his first smile, his first words and his first steps. Parents have to just hug, play, laugh and love their children at this age. Infants tend to register in their minds all the affections of the parents including their touch, hug and even voice.

Toddlers: This is the age when children tend to learn anything that they see and listen. Toddlers tend to carefully analyze every behavioral pattern of the parent and try to imitate those emotions and actions. It is the responsibility of the parents to provide guidance about right behavior from the beginning. Parents have to hug, play, laugh, love and teach their children.

Pre-teens: This is the most fragile period of life. Children tend to get influenced by their surroundings including friends, relatives and even televisions. Parents should be careful while guiding children at this age.

Teenage: Best results of parenting can be obtained if the parents stop behaving with a teenager as a parent. This is time where priorities of the teenager change. Friends occupy the top importance. It would be easier if the parent can become the parent. Teenagers should be provided with space to grow. Their individuality should be respected and freedom. Parents have to hug, laugh, and love, teach, discipline and listen to the child.


Building the Father-Daughter Relationship

The increasing trend of women becoming bread winners and the shift in the way people work (telecommuting, less work-day per week, etc.) has resulted in more fathers becoming “stay-at-home-Dads.” This development suddenly puts the term “parenting” on the menu of these otherwise absentee parents-the bumbling, inefficient, clueless Dads (at least, that’s how the media constantly portrays us.)

I provide for my family, ergo I’m a good Dad…

It’s natural human tendency to model our behavior upon what we see around us. Thus naturally, as men, we learn a lot from observing our own fathers. In the yester years, it was the father who went out to work. The roles of teacher, care-giver, nurse, and friend fell squarely on mummy’s shoulder. All daddies had to do was provide the check at the end of the month.

It was also common for dads to be closer to their boys as they easily identified with them. Also, there was a belief that they needed to be there for their sons to serve as a good “role model.” Who else would teach them how to kick a soccer ball properly or fix the leaking faucet? The girls? Mom can definitely see to them. After all, what do we dad’s know about Barbie dolls and dress up parties.

Unfortunately, such myopic misconceptions hold till today. And if you continue down this path, before you know it, your baby girl would be all grown up, without you ever really knowing her. Don’t be surprised when on her wedding day, you are hit by this sudden realisation that you didn’t really have much of a relationship with the beautiful lady you’re walking down the aisle with. And at that point, trust me, neither your money nor your gifts can ever compensate for the time and moments you never had with your precious princess.

Experience is the best teacher, but if you don’t have it…

As if parenting itself is not overwhelming enough, having to deal with little girls who are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice,” can be nothing short of daunting. Unlike mothers, who have their own past to relate to, we men find it difficult to understand what goes on inside these seemingly fragile and beautiful beings. Come to think of it, we still don’t understand them several decades later, when they’re wearing make-up, high heels (wink-wink) and bossing us around.

How do we relate to Mary Poppins “tea parties,” vain little Barbie dolls, fussy pink ribbons, and a lot of other girlie-thingies that we don’t even know how to start describing? One would wish they could be as easy as little boys-our little boys are like fish in the water with things we already like: football, tussles, baseball, bikes, basketball, rough plays, soccer, and more rough tussles.

But girls….they can be very sweet one second and, in a bat of an eyelash, they can start screaming like all hell’s breaking loose. And you stand there helpless. You start soul-searching. Am I that bumbling, incompetent parent? Am I too lax? Or am I too strict and rigid. What should I be teaching them? These insecurities and our misconceptions give us more reason to limit our participation in our little girl’s upbringing.

While we, fathers, could never take the place of Mom, we play an entirely different role in our little girls’ lives. Studies have shown that girls whose fathers play an active role in their upbringing have a certain confidence that is lacking in those who do not have an involved father. It is believed that girls who don’t have this type of father in the family are more likely to be constantly looking for male approval. These interesting studies suggest that girls who did not enjoy love and support from their fathers tend to seek out other males to replace this experience they didn’t have with their fathers.

We don’t have to try to learn what to teach our daughters, we just have to be there for them. And that makes all the difference in the world.

But girls are fragile like porcelain…

While it’s easy to presume that our daughters are fragile like a porcelain vase, trust me, she is not. I believe this misconception is what deters most fathers from being close to their daughters. Playtime, is one of the best (if not the best) way of nurturing a close relationship with our children. We could just play enough Chinese checkers or Monopoly with our girls. The more we take them as fragile (could be translated to “weak”), the more they tend to miss out on a lot of things.

Teaching our little girls to be physically active, playfully chasing them around, play catch-even basketball or football-could inculcate in them the spirit of athleticism. Instead of making them focus on how their bodies look, cultivating love for physical activity would make them focus on what their bodies could do.

This love for active physicality is one of the most important gifts we fathers can give our daughters. We all know that boys and girls who are into sports are less prone to destructive vices like alcohol, smoking, and drugs. Girls who are more physically active start young, with their Dads playing with them.

Daughters are God’s gift to Dads

Daughters are not the only ones who benefit from a positive father-daughter relationship. Notice how you tend to calm and mellow down when you are around your baby girl? As for me, nothing is lovelier than my daughter’s smile. Nothing is more wonderful than hearing my little girl say to me, “I love you, Dad.”


Ron Afable


TheAsianParent.Com is a free weekly online parenting magazine targeted at educated, culturally engaged parents with children 0-6 years of age, parents-to-be, who are residing in Asia or of Asian heritage.

We aim to be the number one source of Asian parenting news, opinion, education, and entertainment. We offer our readers lots of articles, videos and pod casts that are not just credible and relevant but cutting edge, stylish and light-hearted, which readers can expect every Monday. We also offer our readers a forum where they can meet like-minded parents to communicate, commiserate and celebrate the absurdity and wonder of it all. The magazine also gathers a pool of educators, doctors and advisors who are keen in promoting the well-being of children and parents. Together, TheAsianParent acts as a platform for communication and support for parents.

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Why Do We Let Our Daughters Dress Like That?

(Image Source: may recognize the title of this as similar to that of Jennifer Moses online article published awhile back, where she also did a live interview. Every parent should read and hear her comments. Nothing seemed to express my thoughts any better though than her question because it is the question I keep asking myself as well: Why do we let our daughters dress like tramps?

An interesting addition to all this that raises even more questions in my mind is that this woman who asked these questions in her writings is apparently not a professing Christian. All I can think is that there is something definitely missing in the puzzle. What seems to be missing are all the many Christian voices whom we hear speaking loudly about how to gain wealth or enjoy living-but are noticeably silent in expressing any concern or teaching about how Christian’s should deal with the serious issues relating to today’s fashion trends.

As this article’s subheading says: Women of a liberated generation wrestle with their eager-to-grow-up daughters-and their own pasts. This all brings me to the question as it also did this author, why do so many of us not only permit our teenage daughters to dress like this-like prostitutes-but also pay for them to do it?

The woman goes on to express her theory that they are dealing with their past, which I believe is correct in many cases. She describes us as feminist and post feminist who somehow survived our own teen and college years (except those who didn’t), and now, with the exception of some very devout Mormons, evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, we don’t know how to teach our own sons and daughters not to give away their bodies so readily. She says, “we’re embarrassed, and we don’t want to be, God forbid, hypocrites… ”

As for the girls themselves, if you ask them why they dress like they do, they’ll no doubt say similar things to what their mother said to her mother: “What’s the big deal” “Everyone else does it.”

Of course every teenage girl wants to be attractive and popular. And we can add, every mom wants to help that cause. When we see our daughter looking gorgeous, we experience a kind of thrill. Maybe, as Moses believes, we do it perhaps especially because we no longer have what it takes to turn heads.

But the truth is as her Wall Street Journal article reveals, promiscuity has hit new heights and it includes preteens, teens, as well as college and young adults. Obviously because of the constant stream of semi-pornography from about every media source. So it’s past time to take notice and begin making some serious changes in the direction we are going – much less the slimy pit we’re allowing our children to slide into?

The final comments in this woman’s article are quite blunt and crude and should awaken everyone, even if you’re somewhat in denial. “We wouldn’t dream of dropping our daughters off at college [or our preteens or young teens at a friend's overnight party] and say: ‘Study hard and floss every night, honey – and for heaven’s sake, get laid!’ But that’s essentially what we’re saying by allowing them to dress the way they do while they’re still living under our own roofs.’ ”

Why do we let them dress like they do? Isn’t it time to come to grips with that question? If we don’t the end results may not be so pretty. More important-we will answer to God for the results it brings. © copyright 2011 Arleita Harmon

© copyright 2012 Arleita Harmon

Arleita has been a freelance author for 20+ years for varied media and is the author of e-book, How Close Is Close – When God Holds The Measuring Rod? She, with her husband enjoys helping others build their own home-based business, and writing her own blog at where she writes about the issues relating to modesty from a Christian perspective.

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