10 Laws and Regulations You Need to Know as a Parent

Reviewed & edited by Marcella Raskin. This blog is supported by its readers. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

When it comes to parenting, there are a lot of laws that you need to know. In this article, we will be discussing the top 10 laws every parent should know. These include information on child custody rights and regulations involving neglectful parents.

You may not use physical punishment as a way of disciplining your children.

laws parents

This includes spanking, slapping, and hitting with objects like belts or switches.

These actions can result in unnecessary pain and suffering for your children, which could cause future problems such as mental illness and aggression later on in life.

The law also dictates that parents should refrain from using “abusive punishments” no matter how mild they might seem at the time. Suppose there are any signs of abuse, neglectful parenting, or severe injury upon inspection. In that case, charges will most likely go through immediately without further investigation into other causes behind injuries received by the child.

It is illegal for parents to leave their children alone in cars unattended (even with the windows cracked) – this applies even when it’s only for a few minutes.

This is for the safety of your children because it could cause long-term damage to their health if they are left alone in a car.

It can also expose them to dangerous situations should someone decide to break into your vehicle or steal your child out of the backseat while you’re inside shopping at a store.

Children have even died from heatstroke caused by being locked up unattended within vehicles on hot summer days, so parents must be aware that this law exists and abide accordingly.

You cannot leave your child home alone until they are at least 14 years old.

This law varies depending on where you live. Still, it is best to contact the local authorities before leaving a young child unattended in your house for an extended period – even if you have very good reasons for doing so.

There are some exceptions regarding this rule, which allows children below the age of 12 or 13 to be left home alone for a few hours in cases where the child is mature enough to take responsibility.

This rule only applies if you live near a city/ town and have neighbors who can look out for your children while being watched over by someone else besides their parents. It’s best not to leave them unattended at all costs when there aren’t any people nearby, but again these rules vary from state to state across America, so make sure that you’re checking on the local laws before making your decision.

Parents are responsible for their child’s actions until the age of 18.

This means that if your child is caught breaking the law, disobeying an order from school, or getting into trouble with the police, then you as their parent will be held accountable and could face serious consequences just like them.

This law varies from state to state, so make sure to contact your local authorities for more information on how it works in the area where you live.

You cannot claim ignorance either because you must always know where your kids are, what they’re doing, or who they’re hanging out with on any given day/ night, especially when it comes to teenagers between the ages of 13-18 when most young adults start exploring boundaries by breaking the rules whenever possible.

If there is one thing that all good parents should remember about this rule, then it’s that parenting isn’t just about providing food, shelter, and love for your children – it also requires discipline, so make sure that you enforce these laws no matter how old your kids get to set an example for them.

When traveling in a car with your children, the law requires that they are properly restrained (seatbelts and car seats).

This varies from state to state. Most states have some type of child restraint law.

In many cases, children must remain in a car seat until they are at least eight years old.

In some cases, children will need to ride in a booster seat up through 12 or 13. If your child doesn’t use a car safety belt properly, then the driver of that vehicle will receive an infraction citation from law enforcement officials and be required to pay a fine for this violation.

Some areas have laws restricting when kids can sit in the front seat of cars with adults (unless there is no backseat). In other places, it’s illegal for anyone under 15-years-old to ride anywhere inside the vehicle without being safely restrained by either a safety belt or a proper child restraint system such as a car seat.

Parents are responsible for their child’s truancy.


If your child is chronically late or absent from school, you as the parent will be held accountable and face serious legal consequences.

This law varies from state to state, so make sure to check with local authorities about how it works in the area where you live before allowing any of your children to play hooky or stop going to classes altogether.

Chronic truants can be arrested by the police and even detained in jail cells if they refuse to go back home with their parents or legal guardians at that time, especially when it’s clear that there has been no legitimate reason for them staying away from classes on such a regular basis (such as illness).

Parents should also keep in mind that many schools now have “no tolerance” policies regarding any type of chronic absenteeism. These laws apply whether you homeschool your children instead of sending them to public/ private schools or not. In other words, every parent who takes their kids out of traditional classrooms for any period during the year is still responsible for making sure that they attend school regularly.

In some cases, truancy is defined as being late or absent from school more than 20 days in any given year without a valid excuse from the parent/ guardian so make sure that you check with your local authorities to see how this works where you live before allowing it to happen under any circumstances.

If you allow your child to play with dangerous toys, then you can be held responsible when they get injured.

If a toy is labeled as being for use by children of certain ages (such as 3, 8, or 12), then it’s against the law in many areas to let younger kids play with that product even if the age labels aren’t clear enough about what could happen in such cases.

Parents should also keep in mind that some states have laws requiring parents and/or legal guardians to take an active role whenever their underage children are at places like amusement parks where there is a chance they might get hurt while riding on various types of rides; including inflatable bounce houses, merry-go-rounds, and kiddie roller coasters.

Suppose a younger child gets hurt because an adult failed to supervise them properly or didn’t stop them from trying to do something dangerous (such as climbing up onto equipment that’s clearly marked with “no trespassing” signs). In that case, parents could face serious legal consequences for their negligence.

Such injuries can result in fines and medical expenses, lawsuits, and even criminal charges depending on how severe any resulting damages are. In many cases, parents are held responsible for the actions of their children, even when they’re not around to see what’s happening.

Suppose your child is hurt while playing with a toy that you bought for them. In that case, it’s generally assumed by most areas’ laws that you knew or should have known about any risks involved in allowing them to play with something labeled as being appropriate only for older kids, and you’ll be required to cover any resulting damages.

Parents can be held responsible for their child’s bullying behavior.

Bullying is a big problem in most schools today, but it doesn’t just stop when the final bell rings at the end of each day.

Parents are often aware that kids aren’t supposed to bully others on school grounds during regular hours (and there may even be laws against this type of behavior). Still, they don’t realize that bullies can face legal consequences if they continue harassing other students off-campus and outside of regular school hours.


Suppose your child has been bullying another kid online or through some other electronic means after school lets out. In that case, you could be held legally responsible if the bullying behavior continues after they’ve been told to stop by teachers or other authority figures at their school.

Whether your child is attending public, private, or parochial schools, these laws apply everywhere. If there’s any type of physical threat involved in such cases (including injuries), then bullies and/or their parents may need to face criminal charges depending on how severe things get.

Parents can also be sued along with their children for allowing them to continue acting like bullies – even when it occurs off-campus during non-school hours. Kids who are bullied often don’t tell anyone about what’s happening until it becomes so unbearable that they finally reach out for some help.

Suppose your child is bullying someone else, and you don’t stop it by punishing them for their actions. In that case, the bullied kid (or their parents) has every right under many states’ laws to sue all parties involved in allowing this behavior to continue without facing any consequences.

It is illegal for anyone under 18 to work during school hours or before 7 AM or after 7 PM on any day that school isn’t in session.

While it’s not against the law for minors to work after school, on weekends, and during summer vacation (and many teens need this type of employment to help support themselves or their families), there are still some specific laws in place that all parents should be aware of.

For example, kids who aren’t yet 18 can’t legally do certain jobs, such as working where alcohol is served; they also can’t operate dangerous equipment like power-driven woodworking tools and lawnmowers. They’re even prohibited from selling most products door-to-door without a special permit.

There are other rules about when teenagers have to stop working too: anyone under 16 isn’t allowed to perform any type of job where there’s machinery involved that might pose a risk to their safety. And if your child is under 18, they can’t work more than three hours on any school day unless the local public school where you live allows them to do so.

Parents who allow their children to break these rules could be fined anywhere from $100 up to $5000 depending on how many times kids have violated this law in previous years and other factors involved (like whether or not anyone was hurt due to this their actions).

So even though it may seem like an impossible hassle for some parents whose kids are constantly asking to get part-time jobs after school lets out, most states’ laws make allowances for people between 14 – 17 to hold down after-school employment as long as they don’t break these rules.

And if you want to make sure your children are following all of the laws that apply where they work, it’s a good idea to set up some type of system with their managers or employers so everyone knows what kinds of jobs and hours they can legally handle.

For example: maybe your child can’t work more than 20 hours a week during the school year and 40 hours a week when summer vacation begins, or they might be required to take frequent breaks after specific amounts of time on their feet.

If you’re not sure about all of these laws where you live, then you can always check with your local department of labor, industry associations, and/or the state’s child employment laws. Just be sure to talk to all employers involved in hiring your children before they start working, too – no matter how long it takes. It could end up saving them a lot of time and money later on down the road.

You can be charged with child neglect or endangerment if you allow them to use drugs illegally.

Parents who give their kids illegal drugs (or even let them drink alcohol) could end up in prison and face criminal charges depending on how severe things get.

Not only is it against the law for anyone under 18 to possess, buy or consume any type of drug without a doctor’s prescription, but parents can also be arrested and convicted for “allowing” these actions too. This includes giving minors access where they live to all sorts of substances that the government strictly regulates – even over-the-counter medications like Tylenol! If your children have been caught stealing any kind of drug, then you could even receive a hefty fine and/or jail time afterward.

If you suspect your children are using illegal drugs at home or anywhere else, then it’s best to do something about the situation right away. First of all, make sure they know how serious these types of actions are (in case they didn’t realize this before) and be ready to take action if necessary, like enrolling them in an addiction treatment facility or drug rehabilitation program if they need it. You can also contact your local social services department or children’s protective services for more information about what to do next – no matter how bad the situation gets.


We have put together 10 laws you need to know as a parent. Knowing these will likely help you and your kids stay out of trouble. You must be aware of them so that they can be followed.

We hope this list helps! Which one is the most surprising? What do you think about our advice for each law? Comment below and share your thoughts!


  • Matthew Mansour is a professional life coach, fitness trainer, health coach, a blogger with over 800 articles published to date. He enjoys reading and researching books that are reflective of the nature of who we are as humans, understanding the complexity of our minds, and using it as an advantage to propel us forward in life. He is a self-help enthusiast and he is not ashamed about it! He’s always looking for his next fix of inspiration, motivation, insight, and wisdom from those who have been there before him! He also does a lot of courses and research on the latest and greatest in the area of self-help, life coaching, and health. He likes to share his discoveries with anyone who is interested in listening! His personal goal is to help people achieve great results in their lives, that is why he also has a blog about self-improvement. He loves animals and he currently lives in New Jersey with his loving wife and his recently born child.

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