Should It Take a License to Be a Parent?

By: Rawan Khalil

I think our world is damaged, broken and in absolute and utter pain. My heart hurts when I gaze around at times and all I can see are fragmented souls further breaking a broken world. I see people who have so much potential, who have energy and presence which belongs to conference rooms and UN summits, which could be channelled to writing books and poems but instead it’s wasted in tears. It’s all wasted fighting battles they were not born to fight, it’s wasted in failing attempts to break free from the chains that suffocate them and incapacitate them from reaching their full potential. And, well more often than not those, suffering souls are brought down by the people who are meant to nourish them, and help them grow.

A parent is not just a person who conceives a baby, anyone can conceive a baby, but to be a parent is so much more than that. It’s to love endlessly, but not let that love be overwhelming. It’s to nurture and embrace, but not to shield from reality. It’s to prepare for the real world and not try to keep at bay for the longest time. All of these are qualities of parents, but they rarely all exist together, and more often than not the former is what exists instead of the latter. 

Being a parent should mean listening to your children and trying to understand their happiness and sorrow. It should mean to believe your children because you are not always right, so give them a chance to speak to you instead of shutting them down and pushing them away.

Parenthood should translate to being a role model, and sadly not many parents do fall under that umbrella. How many parents do you see who expect apologies, but would never apologise to their children if they are mistaken? How many parents do you know who accept their children’s polite criticism? How many parents support hobbies and interests which are not reminiscent of their own? How many parents bring you up when you fall, instead of putting you further down? Are there parents who do not primarily care about beauty and looks, but care about intellect and passion? Are there parents who are all of these things together?

A parent to me is a person who would encourage their child to unapologetically be themselves, and love them with their strengths and flaws, who would push them to be what they want to be and not to be a better version of them. 

I wish I could say no parent doesn’t love their child but sadly there are.

I wish I could say that all people change for the better after having children, but not all do.

I wish I could say that parents do not sometimes use toxic parenting techniques, ignoring their children’s well being.

I wish I could say my parents were always right.

If you look around you will see distressed humans, with loveless families who are shackled, suffocated and too drained to even try to be something.

Should parents be licensed?

I have been thinking about this for a year. The question has been roaming around in my head for such a long time. I have read articles, research papers and books which debate, support and oppose licensing parents hoping that it would help me clear up my mind and make my own decision. But, the more I read the more of a mental battle I have. 

I cannot stop picturing a world where parents are committed to raising their children and can recognize the responsibility they have been entrusted with and hence try to be caring loving parents. I think if parents were trained and licensed there is a lower chance of children ending as miserable teenagers and adults which end up making decisions reminiscent of the toxicity they have been “nurtured” in. I think we will be able to trust our parents way more if they trusted us first, but rather than trust many child-parent relationships are that of fear and intimidation. 

If parents were licensed there will be a much bigger chance of them realizing that mental health is not a joke and that it won’t go away with praying. It will mean children will be raised in loving environments, and hence grow up wanting to be an image similar to that they grew up. I would like to think that if parents license were a thing people will be happier, and less likely to be abused.

But, that sounds too perfect and almost impossible to implement. 

I see parents who love their children and are unaware that they are unintentionally hurting them. So, would it be fair to strip them away from the essence of parenthood? I cannot bring myself to agree with that. So, what sounds best is to resist and speak up as children, to reason with your parents, because we cannot achieve perfection but we can empathise. They are not always right, but we are not always right either. And, if you feel as if your parents are a closed-door, one you cannot open, or one that is too hard for you to try to open don’t just hide and bottle everything up. Seek comfort. Seek comfort in your trusted friends and teachers. Work so hard on whom you want to be because otherwise, you are going to grow up and radiate the same toxic, miserable attitude that didn’t do you well growing up.

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