What responsibilities a teenager has in the family

To Parents – About Children’s Rights and Responsibilities

If your child is staying out late, or planning a trip without an adult, decides to get a job, or wants to start their own business, find out what they are allowed under the law and who is responsible for their misdeeds

Legal capacity: what rights does the law guarantee a child?

From the moment of birth, a child becomes a bearer of subjective rights. They are set out, for example, in Article 18 of the Civil Code.

Russian citizens from birth have the right to life, liberty and security of person, they can choose their place of residence, own property by right of ownership, inherit and bequeath it, engage in entrepreneurial activities, create legal entities, participate in obligations (conclude contracts, be shareholders, etc.), may have copyrights, etc.

A person’s legal capacity ceases with his death.

Can a child conclude a transaction without the participation of parents?

The rights of minors are stipulated in Articles 26 and 28 of the Civil Code. Minors under the age of 14 can not be independent parties to major transactions. For this, they need representatives – parents, guardians or adoptive parents. That is, the child cannot dispose of real estate, a car, expensive equipment and appliances.

Minors aged 14-18 can make major transactions with the written consent of their representatives. Transactions will also be valid with the subsequent written approval of the representatives.

Minors as young as 6 years old can make minor household transactions on their own – to buy food, notebooks and textbooks. The item purchased must meet the child’s daily needs for food, clothing, education, etc.

Without the participation of adults, it is possible to make transactions aimed at gratuitous gain that do not require notarization or state registration; transactions for the disposal of funds provided by a legal representative or with his/her consent by a third party. That is, we are talking about small purchases, gifts, and exchanges. The minor can also make and dispose of deposits in credit institutions independently.

Parents are responsible for the minor’s transactions. This means that if the child has caused harm, the injured party will go to court to sue the parents. Compensation will be paid out of their wages or their property will be foreclosed.

At what age can a child get a job?

From the age of 14, a child can be involved in light work with written parental consent. The work must not be harmful to health and must not interfere with learning. The teenager can work in the theater, participate in circus performances and concerts. The contract is signed for the child by the parent.

If one of the parents opposes the conclusion of an employment contract with the adolescent, the position of the guardianship authority and the opinion of the child are taken into account.

At the same time, it is forbidden by law to conclude employment contracts which impose full material responsibility on children.

From the age of 16 minors can conclude employment contracts without parental consent.

(Read about the rights of a minor worker in the article “Hiring a teenager”).

Can an adolescent be an entrepreneur?

The prerequisite for engaging in entrepreneurial activity is full legal capacity. It is the ability to acquire and exercise civil rights, create civil obligations for oneself and perform them by one’s own actions. A citizen acquires full legal capacity at the age of 18 (Article 21 of the Civil Code).

That is, minors may engage in entrepreneurial activity only with the consent of their parents. Only emancipated citizens and those who got married before 18 years old do not need it.

In order to carry out entrepreneurial activities, it will be necessary to register as an individual entrepreneur with the tax authority (Article 23 of the Civil Code). However, acquiring the status of sole proprietorship will not allow a minor to engage in entrepreneurial activity independently. Until he reaches the age of 18 the restrictions stipulated by the Civil Code will be applied to the transactions. The transactions not mentioned in section 26 (2) of Civil Code will have to be made with the written consent of the parents. In the absence of such approval, the transaction may subsequently be declared invalid by the court (Article 175 of the Civil Code).

This can be avoided by ensuring that the adolescent is deemed fully capable before he or she reaches the age of 18. The declaration of a minor as fully capable is made with the consent of both parents by decision of a guardianship and custody agency, and in the absence of such consent, by court decision. For this purpose the minor, who has acquired the status of individual entrepreneur, should apply to the body of guardianship and custody or to the court with the corresponding application.

(In the article “How does a minor engage in professional activity and pay taxes?” you can read about what an entrepreneur under the age of 18 and a minor without IP status needs to do to engage in professional activity, how to pay taxes, and whether they will be punished for a tax offense).

Should a child’s opinion on residency be taken into account in a parent’s divorce?

After parents separate, the question often arises as to which child will stay with them after the divorce. His opinion in court will be taken into account if he is 10 years old (Article 57 of the Family Code). Until that age, the court will decide for the child on the basis of the opinion of the child welfare authorities and the expertise, if necessary.

Travel only with Mom or Dad.

Going on a trip with a young child without a second parent became easier last year. Since June 12, 2019, when a minor travels abroad with one parent, documentary proof of consent to travel from the other parent is not required.

But in order to officially prohibit the departure of a child, it is necessary to apply to a territorial subdivision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which deals with issues of migration. The data about the child will be entered into a single database. This will be used to check at all border crossing points for passport control. After one of the parents files a statement of objection to the removal of the child, the minor citizen will not be allowed to leave the country, regardless of who is accompanying him.

(In the article “How to consent or object to a child leaving the country” you can read about how to obtain parental consent to a child’s departure from the country, how to object to a child leaving Russia, how long a travel restriction will last and how to challenge it).

Going on a long journey without your parents?

No chance to take your child to visit relatives or a health camp? Now almost all carriers offer a service of escorting a minor during a trip or flight. The carrier company would be responsible for the child’s safe journey. However, you will be refused an escort if the child is under 5 years old.

Only a parent or guardian can order the service. That is, an uncle or aunt or grandparent will not be able to use this service.

Travel abroad will require notarized permission from each parent. If the spouses are divorced, only one parent’s permission will be sufficient.

Child in danger – will parents be deprived of parental rights?

In the summer of 2019, rallies in Moscow in support of unregistered candidates for the Moscow City Duma elections were not coordinated with the authorities. Two families took part in the rallies – Peter and Elena Chomskikh with their daughters and Olga and Dmitry Prokazov with their one-year-old son. Later, the prosecutor’s office went to court with a lawsuit against the spouses to deprive them of their parental rights. The office felt that the children were in danger. But the courts decided not to deprive the spouses of parental rights.

Let us try to understand the situation. In this case the children were not involved in the rally – they were there with their parents when they were young. It is impossible to punish parents for taking a child to a meeting. However, they can be held liable if a minor’s participation in such an assembly was accompanied by a danger to his or her health and life.

Another case is the involvement of minors in unsanctioned rallies. This is an administrative penalty for citizens in the form of a fine from 30 thousand to 50 thousand rubles, or compulsory works for a term from 20 to 100 hours, or arrest for a term up to 15 days1 .

There may be other examples when a child was in danger, for which the parents may have been deprived or even deprived of their parental rights. Quite often there is a situation where children came with their parents to a restaurant. The adults ordered alcohol, and their behavior subsequently led tablemates to call the police, despite the reluctance of restaurant staff to intervene in the situation. One such case ended with the drawing up of a protocol. After that, the parents and their children were put in a cab and they drove home. After the incident, the guardianship authorities began to work with the family. Later they interfered in the situation when the same parents tried to kick the children 5 and 13 years old out of the house because they did not allow them to celebrate an event in peace. This led to the termination of their parental rights with respect to the older child and the restriction of their rights with respect to the younger child.

More often than not, if a family has come to the attention of the police, there is a good chance that it will come under the special supervision of the child welfare authorities. If the parents’ actions later endanger the life and health of the children, they can have their parental rights revoked.

Age restrictions: where will I not be allowed with my child?

On October 29, 2019, amendments to the Law on the Protection of Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development 2 came into force. As of this date, children under the age of 18 will not be allowed to attend entertainment events if information prohibited for distribution to minors is available there. Such information includes, for example, images or descriptions of violence. That is, before buying tickets to a movie, play or concert, parents should pay attention to the category of the audience for which the event is intended: “0 +”, “6 +”, “12 +”, “16 +”, “18 +”. The child will not be allowed to attend the event for adults, even with their parents.

By the way, thanks to the same amendments parents can count on the fact that the information products prohibited for distribution to children will not be sold at a distance of less than 100 meters from schools, kindergartens and other children’s organizations. Although a reservation should be made here: the regions have the right to reduce this distance, but not more than 50 meters.

Will parents be fined for late child walks?

On April 28, 2009, amendments were made to the Law on Basic Guarantees of the Rights of the Child3 . The amendments introduced a children’s curfew: a child may not be out on the street unaccompanied at night. In most regions of Russia, children under the age of 16 can only be on the street until 10 p.m. If the child is older, it is allowed to go out until 23:00.

However, local authorities in any of the regions have the right to: change the start and end times of “no child’s hour”; cancel it on the occasion of a national or municipal holiday organized by the district administration; make adjustments regarding the age of minors; determine a list of places prohibited for visits of children. For example, in Bashkiria, teenagers are allowed to appear on the street without an adult until 00:00.

Non-observance of the curfew by a child is considered as parents’ failure to fulfill their responsibilities to bring up their children – Article 5.35 of the CAO RF. If the child has committed unlawful acts, the punishment for him or his parents may follow according to the articles of the Code of Administrative Offences or the Criminal Code.

A fine will be imposed on the parents of the offending child. Its size depending on the violation and the severity of the consequences could be as 300 rubles, and 50 thousand rubles. For example, a teenager, being drunk, was behind the wheel of a car and rammed several cars. The parents were awarded a fine of 30 thousand rubles.

But the penalty may not be imposed on the mother and father who do not live together with the child after the divorce or deprived of parental rights, because their duties do not include bringing up children. The exception will be when the child was temporarily transferred to them on a legal basis.

Who is responsible for a child’s mistakes?

Parents are responsible for their children’s misdeeds, primarily financially. In a number of cases, administrative penalties can be imposed up to and including termination of parental rights – for example, if a child has caused serious harm to a person’s health or committed murder and it turns out that the parents’ behavior contributed to the crime.

At the age of 14, a child cannot escape responsibility under a number of articles of the Criminal Code. Responsibility will be imposed for murder, intentional infliction of grave or moderate injury to health, violent acts of a sexual nature, theft, robbery, extortion, false report of an act of terrorism, training for the purpose of terrorist activity, participation in a terrorist community, terrorist act, failure to report a crime, participation in an illegal armed formation and mass disorder, hooliganism and intentional aggravated property damage, vandalism, illegal construction of a building or a building with the intention to commit a crime.

Minors aged 14 to 18 are individually liable for property damage, i.e. they must compensate for the harm they have caused. Parents are held liable only if the child has no income or other property to compensate for the harm, unless they can prove that it was not their fault. But in practice, they are liable more often than children in this age group.

If a child is declared fully capable, parents are not liable for their obligations, in particular those arising as a result of harm caused by them.

If a minor due to mental retardation could not be aware of the social danger of his actions or direct them, he is not criminally liable.

In exceptional cases a person who has reached the age of 18-20 years old can be considered a minor. Such a decision in criminal cases can be made by the court based on the nature of the act he committed and the data about his personality.

(In which cases the delinquent student and his or her parents, rather than the school, will be held liable for injury to a child, read “Who Will Be Accountable for Injury to a School Student?”)

1 Federal Law of December 27, 2018 № 557-FZ “On Amendments to Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation.”

2 Federal Law No. 93-FZ of May 1, 2019 “On Amending the Federal Law ‘On the Protection of Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development’ and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation.”

3 Federal Law No. 71-FZ of April 28, 2009 “On Amendments to the Federal Law ‘On Basic Guarantees of the Rights of the Child in the Russian Federation'”.

Duties of an Adolescent


The responsibilities of a teenager are inextricably linked to his rights. Virtually all children are now well aware of what rights they have. Information about this is heard from everywhere, as they say, from every iron.

But it is much easier and more pleasant to realize one’s own rights, to use them, to demand that everyone around one respects and observes them, than it is to realize and fulfill one’s own duties. Especially if we are talking about a teenager with his maximalism and attempts to assert himself as a person.

Moreover: the skew, when a teenager becomes established in the awareness of his rights and does not pay attention to the fulfillment of his own duties, will almost certainly lead to very sad results. The child can grow up to be an egoist, a boor – in general, what is called an antisocial personality.

Therefore, it is necessary to explain to the teenager that the rights and responsibilities are inextricably linked.

How best to tell your teenager about his duties

Here a very important role is played by the right moment. If the child is obedient, tries to help his parents, good students, not seen in the bad actions, then to explain to him the duties of a teenager, and probably does not need. He already fulfills them. Another thing – if the teenager begins, as they say, “shake the rights”, and from the duties waved away. That’s the time to start a conversation on the subject and explain to the adolescent wishing to assert themselves, what’s up.

You can try to do this “grandfatherly” way. No, of course, not to flog the young “rebel” with a belt, but just talk to him, asking for help of logic, as well as any relevant examples, proverbs and sayings (such as “He who likes to ride – he must drive a sledge”), etc.

If the teenager “doesn’t get it”, then you can try to convince him with facts, logic and relevant information (many teenagers respect “smart” information and listen to it). Tell your child that in every civilized country (and even in any primitive tribe) rights are always inviolably linked to responsibilities. This rule is obligatory for everyone – both for adults and children. The older ones have much more duties, but they try to fulfill them, because one cannot “be satisfied” with just rights. For example, every person has the right to work, but at the same time he also must work, because otherwise he and those who feed and dress on his salary will die of hunger. Therefore, the duties of a teenager on an equal footing with those of an adult are important, necessary and unavoidable.

Usually for any sane teenager such conversations are quite understandable, and he usually draws from them reasonable conclusions. At the same time, it is not unreasonable to ask the child whether he thinks his parents respect his rights. Here, by the way, the father and mother can learn a lot of interesting and instructive things for themselves.

And now – more specifically about responsibilities.

It is clear that the conversation on this subject with the teenager as an equal, without any moral and didactic intonation. Wrongly constructed conversation can cause a new round of rebellion in his son or daughter. Well, after the theoretical conversation, it’s time to move on to a practical conversation – about the specific responsibilities of a teenager.

By the way: overly literate and over-intelligent child may ask the question: “And in what laws are they spelled out? And here is where parents can expect an unexpected trap. The fact is that there is no specific law in which you can read about teenage responsibilities.

Such responsibilities are scattered throughout various laws, and you need to be aware of that:

  • No citizen may exercise his or her rights to the detriment of the rights of others (the Constitution says this);
  • every teenager is obliged to finish at least 9 grades, i.e. to receive a basic education (this is stated in the law “On Education”);
  • all adolescents are obliged to be law-abiding, not to commit criminal and administrative offenses (responsibility for such violations is prescribed in the Criminal and Administrative Codes);
  • follow the established rules of conduct in school, circles, sections, etc., for violation of which you may also be held liable – up to exclusion;
  • at the age of 17 to be registered with the military (this is stipulated by the law “On Military Duty and Military Service”).

There are other statutory responsibilities of the teenager, which, if necessary, any parent can find on his or her own by leafing through the body of current law.

Duties of the adolescent and the family

Above we talked about the performance of public duties teenager. But there are others – family. They are – just as important as the public.

In fact, the family – the unit of society, no matter how clichéd it may sound. If a child learns to perform his domestic duties and will not consider that they are a burden to him, then later he will just as easily relate to public duties. And if he grows up, starts his own family and has his own teenage “rebel”, in which case it will be easier for such a parent to explain to him the relationship of his rights and responsibilities. Well, most importantly, by performing household chores, the teenager thereby learns to love and respect his loved ones and, as a consequence, other people.

A detailed list of family responsibilities for a teenager does not exist, and can not be: every family has its own laws and their own views on this subject. And, consequently, each of them may have a special list of household chores. But at the same time, human wisdom and the laws of human society have developed some general rules that are reasonable to impute to the duties of a teenager:

To treat relatives and friends with respect;

  • to help them;
  • to clean up after themselves;
  • listen to their elders;
  • To honor family laws and traditions;
  • treat the family property with care.

The main thing is to be able to convince the teenager that he must fulfill the duties assigned to him – for the benefit of society, his parents and other people close to him, and, of course, for his own good.

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