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Expository Essay on Child Abuse: the Way Forward

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Many things in life require a license: driving a car, owning a TV, and previously ownership of a dog. Licenses exist to help regulate such aspects of our society and culture, to keep things civilized and maintain some sort of order, ensuring our safety. With this in mind, I question why there are people free to conceive and attempt to raise a child without any sort of training or license. A child’s development and well-being are wholly dependent on their upbringing. Taking this into consideration, it should be necessary for parents to require a license to ensure they have the skills necessary for the positive upbringing of children. In doing so, we would be able to protect the next generation from poor parenting and struggles such as child abuse and neglect.

As previously mentioned there are many types of licenses for example a TV license. The TV license was introduced as a combined TV and radio license in June 1946 with a cost of £2. Also, there previously was a license for the ownership of a dog up until 1987. Despite having all these different licenses there is deemed no need for a parenting license. Should we not introduce a parent license? Seeing as parenting is an extremely important responsibility that people undertake and parenting methods contribute to a child’s development. We should also consider the fact that parenting methods are passed on from one generation to the next and that by not having a license in place we only deepen the risk of a cycle of poor parenting throughout each generation.

Firstly, parenting is one of the, if not the most important jobs. Parents are responsible for providing the fundamentals of a child’s development therefore, there is no room for error. A parent is the most significant role model for a child and many aspects of a parent’s personality and morals will be instilled in their child. We are then relying on these adults to lead by a good example, thus to be consistent and set routines. A child’s development comes from all their life experience, supporting why it is crucial for children to have a positive upbringing. Add to this the fact that children are continually developing from birth until the age of 18 and parents have extraordinary levels of responsibility for a child’s well-being and growth. Therefore, why is there, not a license in place to protect children from parents who can’t meet these responsibilities? Even some of our much-adored Celebrities have been investigated by Children and family services due to their parenting methods. For example, back in the 2000s pop star Britney Spears was investigated due to allegations of child abuse and neglect. She lost custody of her sons due to failing to show up to court-ordered drug tests and their father gained full-time custody. However, she was able to turn her life around and now has primary custody of her children. If a license was in place, incidents like this could be avoided. We could ensure people were in the right mental state and at the right time of their life to be able to bring up a child.

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Significantly, children undergo many changes during the different stages in their life and as a society, we have a responsibility to ensure that those embarking on a journey as a parent or guardian are equipped to succeed. From birth, until the age of two, a child develops bonds that should last a lifetime. As children grow older they develop their emotions and a parent must offer encouragement, support, and guidance during these changes. From the ages of six until twelve the parents are responsible to enforce morals and teach their child life lessons. Also, from the age of thirteen to eighteen years old, a source states that “Kids need their parents more than ever”. They are maturing and are starting to make a life for themselves, they will face a thousand challenges and from time to time life will be difficult, teenagers need their parents. For emotional support and just to know they have someone who will always love them. Therefore, issues like child abuse and neglect could deeply affect a child’s development. In an ideal world, there would be no issues like abuse and neglect that impact a child’s development. Yet cases of abuse and neglect are shockingly high. Reports from The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children state that “there were over 58,000 children identified as needing protection from abuse in the UK in 2016”. Statistics such as this re-enforce the clear facts that by introducing a license, we place our children’s best interests for their safety and well-being at the heart of our society.

It can also be argued that poor parenting methods are passed down through the generations, creating a self-fulfilling cycle of bad parenting. This shows the importance of ensuring parents can fulfill their responsibilities, enforce the correct morals and adopt positive methods of parenting. Bad parenting affects children in so many different and damaging ways. Children for example, who suffer from abuse have a high risk of developing psychological disorders and becoming abusers themselves. Furthermore, children who have been subject to controlling parenting methods have a high risk of suffering from depression. Alongside depression and psychological disorders, children exposed to bad parenting can also suffer in their education, have low self-esteem, have behavioral problems, and so on. Yet by introducing a license, we can take real steps to eliminate bad parenting and ensure our children’s safety. By cancelling out the problem of bad parenting methods before it is passed on to the next generation means that we can put a stop to the cycle. A clean break. Support, strategy, and safer childhoods.

Despite the many reasons in support of introducing a license for parenting, there are those who may not support the idea. Some say that parenting differs from other “professions”, in that it is a biological right to bear children. Yet professions such as doctors and lawyers must qualify, maintain standards and affect many people whilst doing their job, thus, showing that while a license for such professions is required it should also be required for parents. If the parent does not abuse or neglect their child, then the state has no reason to intervene. There are already existing systems in place to ensure that children who are highlighted of being subjected to abuse or neglect and therefore it can be argued that it is unfair to force a license on all parents if there are already systems to deal with those who do not meet their responsibilities. Yet parenting lessons, clear guidelines, a code of conduct, and a license is a preventative measure rather than an intervention when too much damage may already have been done.

To conclude, introducing and enforcing a parenting license is in the best interests of children. This is the way forward in reducing the number of cases of child abuse and neglect. By ensuring parents have the necessary training and permission through licensing we can be confident in people’s ability to raise a child correctly. We can save children from emotional and physical strains like abuse and neglect. We can ensure their morals and emotional well-being by ensuring that parents are able to demonstrate such morals and support their child’s development. This will overall create a positive upbringing for a child. The license will provide a way of protecting future generations. As quoted by James Baldwin “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” We are able to understand the importance of the way we bring up our children. Children will imitate their parents highlighting how important it is that parents lead by example. Firstly, to protect our children and secondly to protect future generations from a never-ending cycle of bad parenting.

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Expository Essay on Child Abuse: the Way Forward. (2023, November 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“Expository Essay on Child Abuse: the Way Forward.” Edubirdie, 20 Nov. 2023,
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