Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

How wrong does a parent have to be before you stop defending them?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) August 13th, 2011

How much thicker is blood when compared to water?

Suppose your parent picked a fight with a neighbor, accusing them of bringing a bad element into the neighborhood. But you didn’t agree with the accusation. When the neighbor verbally attacks your parent, do you automatically defend your parent, even though you think they are wrong?

This is probably a stupid example, but try to help me out. I’m trying to find out how far wrong a parent or sibling or child could go before you would stop defending them if they said something you didn’t agree with. When, if ever, do you stop being on their side?

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17 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yes I automatically defend my parent. I have no basis of long term trust to justify defending a new neighbor. When the facts settle, I will reconsider, but not a second before.

When in a bar fight, my friends “automatically” come to my aid without having to get all the facts straight.

Blondesjon's avatar

Short of criminal activity, if the parent had been there and provided for me all of my life, I would have their back no matter what. I’m actually jealous of folks who are that tight with their parents. I had a pretty abusive childhood and would have given anything to know that “blood” had my back.

Fuck the neighbors. They’re uneducated, trashy, play their music too loud and have questionable morals and backgrounds.

chyna's avatar

Casey Anthony’s mom got on the witness stand and lied for her daughter. She claimed responsibility for looking up chloroform on the computer. It was later proven she was at work and could not have been on the computer. Her daughter was accused of murder and she took up for her. My guess then, would be that some loved ones, not all, will take up for their loved ones regardless of what they have done.
Could care less about the neighbor.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Ask Ted Kaczynski’s brother. I honestly don’t know how far I’d go.

jonsblond's avatar

I will always defend my parents because they have always been there for me when I have done some really stupid things they didn’t agree with. I don’t always agree with what my parents do, but they are family and I will stick up for them just as they have for me and my immediate family. I may tell them I don’t agree with their behavior, but I will still be there for them.

How wrong does a parent have to be before I stop defending them? If they murdered my husband or children. I could never accept that.

tranquilsea's avatar

My mom was supremely opinionated and if people pissed her off she let them know. The thing is she was usually right. I, personally, let most of the aggravating stuff that happens between neighbours and friends and family go.

Here’s one example of how my mom handled things:

Their next door neighbour was really sloppy with their sprinkler placement. My mom had been hit by their sprinkler a few times as she opened her garage door to take the garbage out. She talked to them and asked them to be more careful.

Then, one day when she was in a rush to get to work, she dragged the garbage can to the front of the garage as the door went up and bam she got soaked. She calmly walked over to the sprinkler, ripped it out of the lawn and repositioned it so that the water shot directly at their front door.

That wouldn’t have been how I would have handled it BUT it was effective: they were much more careful from that point on.

I drew the line at a neglectful misappropriation of my sister’s money. I called the Public Trustee and my name was mud for a long, long time.

Judi's avatar

Watching the answers closely. Having a family fued at the moment as my son is divorcing and my daughter has decided to side with his ex instead of staying neutral. Now I’m a bad guy for not disowning my son.

Blondesjon's avatar

hang tough @Judi, that’s a hard place to be. it always helps me to remember that when the dust settles my kids will still be my kids.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Until such time as my mother is wrong, I will defend her. I figure, she carried me around for nine months, has taken wonderful care of me and backs me in the everything, the absolute least I owe her is to back her when she deserves/needs it.

Thankfully, when my mother is wrong, she usually realizes it and admits it up front. If not, I call her on it, she thinks about it, asks for more information if she needs it and then she admits that she’s wrong and we go merrily along.

If she killed someone, I think I would have a lot of trouble turning her in. All I’d have to do is tell my oldest cousin and he would blab to everyone, though.

MacBatman31's avatar

It all depends I guess. My biological father stepped on my mom and I when he found out I was being born, I’ve never defended him, and never will. He is on his own. I’ll chat with him, have a beer with him and shoot the shit with him, but when it comes to defending him, I take my leave. He was never there to defend me, why should I reciprocate something that he never did for me?
In the case of my step-dad, he abused me and my family. I stopped defending him the first time he abused me, and my mom. He hasn’t gotten to my sister yet, but he has already lost my defense. It is long gone, and will never be coming back.
In the case of my mother, I will defend her until the day I die, unless she does something towards me, like abuse. I am a typical “Mama’s Boy” and am proud to be. I have to agree with @KatawaGrey that it would be hard to turn my mom in for murder, and to be honest, I don’t think I would. They CSI and shit now, they can find her themselves.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My mother and I have our own set of spats here and there, but if she’s attacked by a third party, I will defend her til the day I die. I do the same for several other mothers that I love, including @JilltheTooth, although I have more of a strange Oedipus thing going on there…

linguaphile's avatar

I’ll complain about my mom, but others aren’t allowed to.
@tranquilsea We should introduce our moms- the sprinkler thing is definitely something my mom would do! LOL! When I was a teenager, we lived on a long, long street. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses were canvassing while we were doing yard work. They went down the opposite side of the street, then along our side, skipped our house, then when they were done, drove back to our house. My mom was watering the flowers at that point- they stepped out and she said calmly, not looking at them, “If you fu**in’ touch my yard, you get the hose.”
For the first time in my life my mom admitted just yesterday that she has a vicious mouth. I had to have her repeat that statement to make sure I had heard that right. She does, oh she does, and I will defend her to the ends of the earth because she has been my rock my entire life. She has her flaws, wasn’t there for me emotionally, but she has been my mom… and that’s all that matters to me. Whatever I disagree with, I deal with telling her in private. If she did a crime, I would be immensely disappointed, but I would stand by her.
My dad… uhmm… he left my life at age 7 and only 4 years ago reconciled. I love him and respect who he is, and will defend him to a great extent, but he’s my sister’s dad more than mine. I’ll defend him, yes, but if it came down to my mom and grandma (another rock for me) or dad… it’s a no brainer.
This is a Q about parents, not kids, but I’ll do the same for my kids!

wundayatta's avatar

These are very interesting answers. I thank you all who have answered so far.

A lot of people have mentioned that their parents had their backs, and they’ll always return the favor. I grew up not being sure if they had my back. It’s the weirdest thing. I think of you guys who are so sure about the love of your parents, and I wonder what it must be like to have that kind of certainty. I never had it. I imagine my life would have been quite different if I had.

I’d still stand up for anyone in my family, although, if I thought they were wrong, I might not necessarily stand up to help them. I’d try to negotiate instead of backing them right or wrong.

My father started a number of businesses. It seemed like he wasn’t much of a businessman because he ended up pretty much losing his position with his own companies in weird ways. He would say that someone else had cheated him or done something somewhat unethical, but after a while, I started to wonder why this kept on happening. Could it be his responsibility?

Not exactly what my question is about, but I guess I’m saying that at some point I was always independently making up my mind about what my father did. He was not right all the time. I’d have his back if he were in trouble, but if it were less than trouble, not so much.

tinyfaery's avatar

I had no problem telling my mother when she was wrong. I try not to say anything when my dad is around. That venom will eventually turn on me.

tranquilsea's avatar

@linguaphile sounds like they would have liked one another or not lol. But my mom passed away three years ago so all I have are these memories of her.

Aethelflaed's avatar

My parents? Not at all. I don’t defend them in any cases. If they want defending, they’re welcome to do it on their own. Like you @wundayatta, I grew up very unsure of my parents love (or rather, very sure of their lack of love). They didn’t have my back, and they were normally whom I needed some backup against. They actually have to be really, really right (which they rarely are) for me to consider even siding with them.

My sister? I always have her back, no matter what. That’s not to say I don’t then yell at her in private for exactly the same thing, but I always have her back against others.

Hibernate's avatar

Family comes first. If it’s a fight with someone else and it’s outside the house [no police involved] I’d support my family no matter what idiotic things they say. But when we end up home I’d explain why was it wrong and why I did support them. Doesn’t matter if they did support me, it’s just that family takes precedence over anything for me even if sometimes I don’t let others see this.

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