Do parents own their children?

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  1. sharing the sky profile image69
    sharing the skyposted 13 years ago

    Do parents own their children?

    This question can be interpreted in different ways; I'm open to reading what this means to everyone in their own personal responses.

    I've thought about this myself for years, first as an adolescent and now as a young adult. I've pondered it in different contexts and from different angles and now I'm curious to hear what you think. Thank you.

  2. dashingscorpio profile image80
    dashingscorpioposted 13 years ago

    Parents are responsible for their children.
    The governement can and will remove children from households deemed unfit or harmful.

    Within this context you would have to conclude that parents do not "own children" the way someone own's a shirt or pair of socks. You can treat your clothes anyway you want to and the government will not take them away. When you truly own something it's yours to do whatever you want with it.

  3. Alternative Prime profile image57
    Alternative Primeposted 13 years ago

    Parents do not "Own" their children per say, but they do have  moral and legal obligations & responsibilities from birth up until they reach a certain age, or the child is recognized as an "Emancipated Minor" by a court (If he/she can prove sufficient means of independant self support such as home ownership, a good paying steady job etc). 

    There is so much more to the relationship, but this is one perspective.

  4. Monisajda profile image60
    Monisajdaposted 13 years ago

    No, parents don't own their children. I think some believe they do, though and that's why there are cases of emotional, physical abuse of children. We are here to help them grow up, learn to make choices and our responsibility is to let them go when they are ready. Yes, it is our job to make sure they are learning, eating well, not hurting other people but we don't own them. Even if it means they eventually choose different beliefs than ours or make choices that are not popular with us.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Good answer, Monisajda.

  5. ggenda profile image60
    ggendaposted 13 years ago

    No, absolutely not! Parents have custody of their children are are in charge of them, but this by no means is the same thing as ownership. No one person can (or should) ever "own" another.

    Dashingscorpio is right - you own a pair of socks... not a child. And Monisajda is correct in saying that because some parents do feel that they "own" their children, the results can be abusive.

    There is a lot to the parent/child relationship. Parents need to shepherd their children to become responsible, loving and capable individuals, and I think that begins with a relationship that is based on mutual respect and love - not a feeling of ownership of the child.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I love what you wrote, "I think that begins with a relationship that is based on mutual respect and love". I totally agree. I also think that some people mistakenly feel they should totally control their children and form them to their own image.

  6. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 13 years ago

    No, we can't own another human being.  Parents are responsible for their children and their behavior to a certain extent.  As parents we are given a very precious responsibility to treat them well, teach them to have productive lives and hopefully allow them to feel really good about themselves--it is not an easy task, but the love we have for our children makes us want to do those things.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I like your concept of being "responsible for" rather than "owning" your children. A very important distinction.

  7. TheBlondie profile image60
    TheBlondieposted 13 years ago

    absolutely not! although they do have quite a bit of power over them for 18 years, no one can techincally "own" a human being. if you have your own thoughts, ideas, opinions, personality traits, you are only owned by yourself.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Oooh, I love what you said, "If you have your own are only owned by yourself."

  8. rdv123 profile image61
    rdv123posted 13 years ago

    Not at all.... children are not things to owe,they are human beings. Parents are there to love, give moral supports and values to them. Parents must be the light to the kids...

  9. chloe's hub profile image61
    chloe's hubposted 13 years ago

    This is on my own Opinion.... Parents doesn't own their children... But its their responsibility to take good care of the kids... and in another way around Children must respect and obey their parents because without them you are nothing... even though you know your parents cannot own you, still you must respect them because they introduce you to this wonderful world...

  10. CowgirlDreams profile image61
    CowgirlDreamsposted 13 years ago

    I don't think anyone can 'own' another human. Parents do have a right to raise their children, but that is different than owning them. If a parent was abusive to a child, that poor kid should run and run fast. However, most parents only want the best for their children. It is like consulting a friend. Take their advice and their opinion with a grain of salt, if you live in their house you play by their rules...but in the end you must follow your own judgement.

  11. icehubber profile image59
    icehubberposted 13 years ago

    Agree with most of the other comments. Parents definitely do not own their children, parents do however have both moral and legal obligations to take care and provide for their children

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Totally agree there!

  12. profile image0
    CollBposted 13 years ago

    Parents are there for their children and are their first contact with the outside world (from the womb). 

    It is up to the children to listen to their parent's advice and guidance but parents cannot make their children do anything against their will, unless they physically or psychologically (or both) force them to do so. 

    Parents are meant to be responsible adults teaching their children the best way to be but they do not own them.  However, it is up to the parents to treat their children with as much love as they can and show them how to be law abiding, good citizens, who treat others just as well.

    It is equally up to the children to take their parent's advice or not.  If parents think they have a right to do what they like with their children, then the child has a right to react accordingly.

  13. profile image0
    lovazaposted 13 years ago

    I don't think parents "own" their children because kids will leave home after they turn 18 years old.  It's best to let them go so that they can live their own lives and learn to be productive and self-sufficient.  Of course, children will need to be nurtured and cared for while growing up, but, children need to think for themselves as they grow into adulthood in making choices and decisions in their lives.

  14. Faceless39 profile image92
    Faceless39posted 13 years ago

    From Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" 

    They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
    They come trough you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomarrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.

  15. F.B. Spannigan profile image61
    F.B. Spanniganposted 13 years ago

    Well, I guess according to the government, the child belongs to the parent.

  16. profile image48
    thehcgdropsposted 13 years ago

    not to get religious
    but I think they are on rental from the Lord above.
    We get the opportunity to help mold them and teach them values, but ultimately they have agency.
    just my .02

  17. moonfairy profile image74
    moonfairyposted 13 years ago

    that's a tough one...I think they do up to a certain age, but once a child had gone off on their own, ownership is cancelled.
    I so often see parents of ADULTS still trying to control their actions and it bothers me something awful. My own inlaws try to dictate certain things in my life and it takes everything I have to not tell them to mind their own business. i got a beautiful tatoo when I was in my late 40's...and my father in law was angry with me and told me so in so many words. I had to calmy tell him that I was an adult and could do what I wanted. Anyways, I think that when a child lives under your roof, you own him or her. When they move out, all bets are off. From there on, you're there for guidance, if asked.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I generally agree, but what if that adult, independent child later becomes disabled? What then are the responsibilities, if any, of the parent to the child?

  18. DSCR626 profile image60
    DSCR626posted 13 years ago

    No, parents do not own their children; I am a believer in the "Holy Bible" and the bible teaches you that children are a "gift" from GOD;  this I truly believe to be truth.

    A parent is responsible for rearing that child to be a self-sustaining adult so he/she can function in the world after reaching the age of independence.

    This is what "I" believe and tried to rear my children according to this fact.

  19. Dreatech profile image60
    Dreatechposted 13 years ago

    For me, i believe that parents are partcially the owner of their children in these sense: Children share thesame name of their parent as their surname; Secoundly, children don't fall from the sky, we all have a parent who take care of us before we left. Lastly, Bible said that, all parent are to account for the fruit of the womb he has given to mothers. So, parent take care of your children, and children, your mama owns you

  20. Ally LetsLive profile image61
    Ally LetsLiveposted 13 years ago

    Children are a gift from above. As parents we have the obligation to look after them and love them as best we can. But we do not own them and they do not owe us anything in return for what we have given them. Good parents will have formed a bond with their children that will be a loving exchange but no parents never own their children they are souls passing through who we have had the blessing of having brought into this world.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      What beautiful thoughts! I've read them several times now. Thank you!

  21. Lisa HW profile image62
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    Nobody ever owns anybody else - plain and simple, no matter what the context.

    If you're using the word "own" in the casual, incorrect, way that a lot of people use it when referring to whether someone is responsible for things he's done, then, yes, parents are responsible for a lot of the things they've done as parents (but even then, not all the things their kids do).

    When I was expecting my daughter and I'd be exhausted and desperately need some sleep, but my unborn daughter would decide it was time to be awake and kick and move around - nothing was more obvious to me that my child and I were definitely two separate individuals (and that my child wasn't "part of me" and wasn't "some object" I could or should "own").

    Anybody who has ever had to deal with someone who didn't or couldn't respect him as an individual in his own right (or anyone who is familiar with such thinking), and not as "belonging to" someone else, would know what a detestable, ignorant, and damaging thing that kind of thinking is to the victim of it.

    When parents love their child the right way, they want to protect them from anyone or anything that would even try to take away their autonomy and/or individuality as a person - not do the very things (or adopt the kind of thinking) most normal, loving, parents try to protect their child from.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I think some spouses feel ownership over the other in a similar, equally dysfunctional way... Excellent answer, Lisa HW.

  22. Shahid Bukhari profile image62
    Shahid Bukhariposted 13 years ago

    In my Islamic Context ...

    If ... a child is born, in Wedlock ... Vouched for, by God ... The child born, owns the Parents ... and Parents, own the child.
    Owning means, Belonging ... its not the same as owning a house or a car... For Humans are not objects ... Humans are living Beings ... and Governments have nothing to do with the Humans, only with administering, the Humans.

    But when born out of Wedlock ... the Child Searches for his or her "disowning" Parents ... These Parents ... may sometimes, condescend to agree in a Court, or with the Genetics lab tests: that they "own" the involved ... a lost Human.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Fascinating perspective, Shahid Bukhari! Thanks for sharing it. I think the same applies to Christian children, and probably other faiths, too. I love your words about the parent and child co-owning each other meaning "belonging together".

  23. profile image0
    jasper420posted 13 years ago

    no one owns any one we are all human the only one who owns us is our creator

  24. smcopywrite profile image60
    smcopywriteposted 13 years ago

    i dont believe you own anyone- i believe this was referred to as emancipation and we just celebrated that day this weekend. this includes children.
    you are responsible for them. you teach them right from wrong and try to control their negative actions or change them to positive actions as part of raising them.
    children cannot make adult decisions. teenagers are the worst. they are children in a body that appears as an adult. however, most of their actions and thoughts are those of a child. there are exceptions to the rule. mature teenagers-these are few and far between.
    know one knows everything but believe it or not, your parents might know a thing or two that you dont.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image84
      Laura Schneiderposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Haha! My parents were ALWAYS right. How annoying.

      Great comment, smcopywrite.

  25. gmwilliams profile image83
    gmwilliamsposted 9 years ago

    There are some parents who maintain that they own their children. It is their contention that as parents, their children are theirs to raise in any fashion they please.   They are the type of parents who strongly contend that their children have no voice in the family dynamic as the former call all the shots.  These are the parents who are quite dismissive regarding their children's needs, desires, & wants.  Such parents' mantra is might=power= right.  They also emphasize & praise unquestioning obedience in their children. 

    There are parents who strongly contend that their children be exact or as near as replicas of them as possible.  Such parents dictate their children's lives to the most minute detail.  It is not usually for such parents to plan their children's lifepaths well into adulthood.  They feel that as parents, they want what it "best" for their children, having the latter's "best" interests at heart.  Such parents claim that they "love their children, "wanting them the have 'a perfect' life".

    There are parents who believe that they are just guiders in their children's life. They see their children as individuals & believe in nurturing this independence, even at a young age.  They educate their children into having autonomy over their lives.  They do not believe in dictating to their children but prudently educating their children into making wise decisions. 

    Then there are parents who see their children as complete individuals with their own minds, desires, & goals.  They encourage & teach their children to find their own unique voice.  They are of the school that the average parents have a very atavistic approach to parenting which is highly deleterious to a child's development.  They maintain that it is the parents' goal to gently guide children into being their own best person emotionally, intellectually, psychologically, & spiritually.

  26. Laura Schneider profile image84
    Laura Schneiderposted 9 years ago

    I think that according to the law parents do own their children until they are 18. However, children are not slaves and parents have laws they must follow or their children can be taken away from them in extreme cases like abuse. It's something of a paradox. The best parents guide, more than own or dictate to, their children. Good question and interesting responses!

    1. gmwilliams profile image83
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      In total agreement.

  27. Joel Diffendarfer profile image87
    Joel Diffendarferposted 9 years ago

    I've raised 9 children.  I do not own them but I do own their hearts and they own mine.  Over the years I have experienced a horrible divorce and learned first hand the horror of the court system when it came to "who owns the kids?".  I fought for my kids with every last cent I had but regardless of which parent "won", the kids all lost.  We went from a large family who played together, prayed together, to a family that became broken when my ex cheated on me with my "best" friend and became pregnant.  We became a broken family that cried seperately.  Now, many years later, both myself, my ex, my children, and even my grandchildren look back over those years and regret what transpired.  On the other hand, time has healed many of the wounds but the scars remain.  And now, both me and my ex and my grown children with children are very determined never to let that happen in their lives.  Both me, my ex, and my adult children are very "open" with the grandkids about what happened and although we do not "own" one another in the sense of possesion, we do own each others hearts.

  28. Ben716 profile image89
    Ben716posted 9 years ago

    I do not think parents won children just as someone saying he owns a slave is not true but pure imagination. Nobody in this world owns another person no matter even if the person sold him/herself for some amount of money or so. Parents have under the care to take care of their children till they grow up. It is a responsibility bestowed on them.

  29. profile image49
    Jaime Shockleyposted 8 years ago

    I wouldn't say parents "own" their children. I would say that parents are there to teach and guide their children. While they are little that is the best time to teach them the values we want them to have in their lives. So when they do grow up, and trust me they grow up so fast. That they do become good people.

  30. profile image53
    Akpan Essienposted 6 years ago

    My question is that what if you have a strong doubt that the child you are fathering is not your'?

  31. DominiqueCM profile image64
    DominiqueCMposted 4 years ago

    I definitely wouldn't say that parents "own" their children. They have responsibilities towards their kids. The responsibility to take care of them, to teach them values, help with things, and such. I don't own my kids. But I do have the responsibility of taking care of them and being there for them as their mom.

    1. gmwilliams profile image83
      gmwilliamsposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      +1000000000000.  Exactly, this isn't owning but caring.  There is big difference between owning & caring for one's children.


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