Social Question

Aster's avatar

Is there any behavior that would totally justify a kid having no respect for mom?

Asked by Aster (15335 points ) March 2nd, 2012

We are told to respect our parents. But is there any behavior so terrible by a mother that she doesn’t deserve respect from her child-ever? So disreputable that her kid would be given the go-ahead for saying, “shut up” to her or “yeah whatever.”

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27 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Prolonged physical or mental abuse.

Aster's avatar

Can you be more specific about the mental abuse, Blackberry?

DominicX's avatar

If parents are abusing you, I think you can do worse than just “yeah whatever”. I think every kid says that to their parents at at least some point; people get frustrated, etc. Kids are human.

john65pennington's avatar

Drug addiction and it does happen this way.

Blackberry's avatar

@Aster Brainwashing, systematically lowering their self esteem, blaming them for things out of their control etc. Just generally being a bad parent.

talljasperman's avatar

@Blackberry My family did those things to me and when I confronted them I got the “we were only trying to toughen you up excuse from my family”... I’ve cut my losses with them and I speak with the only family member who didn’t try that on me…I’m quite happy and I am trying to get over the desire to toughen them up the way they did me.

Aster's avatar

@DominicX Yes, I agree . Many kids say those things at some point but I’m talking about ignoring orders, saying, “shut up, mom, ” yelling repeatedly at the mother using insults, etc.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh absolutely! I totally disagree with this idea that parents deserve their children’s respect just because they are the children’s parents. I believe parents need to earn respect from their kids. And, of course, it goes the other way around, as well.

In fact, it’s universal. Respect must be earned. There are no free rides. I don’t care if it’s a world leader or even Jesus. Everyone must earn respect anew with each new person.

Blackberry's avatar

@talljasperman I’m sorry to hear that. I admit I’m not very fond of children (which is hilarious because I actually just got back from reading to 2nd graders at a school. It was more fun that I thought), but one thing I’m passionate about it raising them in a decent manner.

It seems some people forget that kids are going to turn into actual adults. They’re playing with someone’s brain, a brain that will have an affect on everything they do and they way they feel and handle themselves. Why would you not want them to be as perfect as can be?

But this is the problem, besides the people that just don’t care how their kids end up, there are people that are also brainwashed from the vicious cycle and think they’re doing the right thing.

marinelife's avatar

Substance abuse by the parent.
Child abuse by the parent.

jca's avatar

I have seen children that knew their mothers were prostitutes have no respect for the moms. When the moms are trying to get their lives back in order, they still have to deal with the kids’ issues.

Kardamom's avatar

One of my friend’s daughters is a real piece of work. She’s in prison right now, for the third time. She was caught up in drug/gang activity. Her 2nd child was born while she was in prison the first time, 13 years ago. This gal has 3 out of wedlock kids by 3 different fathers, each one of the fathers were druggies and each one of them has been in jail for various offences ranging from taking drugs, dealing drugs and theft.

During the time she was out of prison, she was mean and careless and selfish. Hooking up with guys was her main activity and she dumped the responsibility of raising her kids, first on her Grandma (until she passed away, and ironically she ended up in prison the 2nd time for stealing her Grandma’s ATM card, then breaking into an apartment that didn’t belong to her and getting high, whilst being “missing in action” for 2 months). After the Grandma passed away from cancer, my friend, who is handicapped took legal custody of the kids, while her idiot daughter was in prison for 3 and a half years.

After the idiot daughter got out of prison for the 2nd time, she moved in with my friend and the children. After bullying her own mom, my friend, she also moved in her newest boyfriend, who my friend caught doing heroin in the bathroom in the middle of the night. She regularly screamed at her mom and her kids and treated everyone she came into contact with like sh*t. I was afraid of her, and I was afraid for my friend and her children, but my friend loved her idiot daughter and always hoped that she would eventually change. She never did.

Ultimately my friend’s home was raided in the middle of the night, during a sting operation to catch people involved in a drug/gang ring. The kids were pulled out of their beds and questioned and made to sit there and watch their idiot mother make up excuses while she was handcuffed.

Luckily, because of the love and care and guidance of the Grandma, and my friend, the kids are very well behaved and smart. But the little one has a lot of anxiety and suffers from a condition which makes her pull out her hair. She’s very sweet, but it kills me that she had to ever be in the presence of her mother. These 3 kids probably have the right to scream obcenities at their mother, but they don’t. They will continue to visit their mother in prison, but when she gets out, sometime down the road, the whole dynamic will probably continue. But by that time, the oldest child, who is now 18 will probably be out on his own, the 13 year old will have had enough time away from her, and hopefully the 10 year old will be able to get enough therapy to overcome her problems and not follow in “Mommy Dearest’s” footsteps.

Nullo's avatar

Not acting respectable.

Cruiser's avatar

Mom getting passed out drunk every day…
Mom bringing home strange men all the time…
Mom not taking care of the kids for whatever reason…

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Any kind of abuse/neglect. Or just flat out being disrespectful of the children all the time.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Ok, first, in the world of disrespect, saying “shut up” or “yeah, whatever” is so phenomenally low as to not even register. If you think your kid is being disrespectful by saying that to you, maybe chill out and realize all the ways your kid could be so much more disrespectful to you. Trust me, my mother doesn’t deserve to be in my life, so I feel like me saying “yeah, whatever” should really be at the very bottom of her complaint list.

As to things that don’t earn disrespect:

Obviously, abuse and neglect. But, those are really vague terms – where is the line where it becomes abuse, and what about all these other things that might not be bad enough to be labeled abuse but are also really bad and harmful and not good parenting? What does emotional abuse look like? What are uncommon ways of physical abuse – are mothers on Toddlers and Tiaras physically abusing their daughters when they force them to get waxed and plucked and wear high heels? What about “insidious trauma”, which often takes the form of a child growing up in a home with parents who are cold and critical and habitually make love, affection, and attention conditional, but are not necessarily violent or even abusive? Parents who send the message that they will abandon you, often under the rhetoric of “tough love” (can be anything from kicking the kid out of the car and leaving them there for a few minutes, to refusing to spend quality time with – not just physically being in the same room or house but actively interacting with – a child unless the child acts a certain way, to sending the child to boot camp/boarding school/residential therapy schools, to kicking the kid out of the house before they’re of age)? What about when parents love their children, but not enough to just get over their own baggage? What about when a parent has constant boundary violations, especially after the child is an adult or is acting in the adult world (eg applying their child for a job without the child’s knowledge, calling the adult child’s boss to negotiate a raise)? What about a parent who cannot keep a child’s confidence (eg telling everyone in the Christmas newsletter that their daughter was raped a few months ago, without the daughter’s permission to tell anyone about being raped)? What about parents who spank, and instead of debating if it’s really the best thing for their child only defend their sovereign parental right to hit their child? What about parents who react to their child coming out as gay by withdrawing affection, violence, sending them off to conversion camp, or even kicking them out? What about parents who use therapy and psychology and psychiatry to force their child to conform (an epidemic in child psychology/psychiatry), including with medication?

Kardamom's avatar

Trying to narrow down my answer from above to the things that this woman did that would be worthy of disrespect.

Selfishly neglecting the kids in favor of her own needs.

Treating her own Mother and Grandmother like slaves.

Constantly screaming obscenties at her Mother, Grandmother and Children so she can A) Get her own way, B) Just because she’s mad, C) Because it makes her look/feel like a tough b*tch.

Hooking up with men that are bad influences for her children, just so she can get f*cked.

Abandoning her children for days, weeks and months on end.

Continuing to do drugs and steal and engage in other questionable behaviors that landed her in jail/prison before.

Treating her children like they’re her property, rather than her children.

Continuing to allow herself to be impregnated by druggy criminals, then dumping the children on her Grandmother and Mother.

Constantly yelling at her own mother that she, “Was a bad mother and that’s why she turned out this way!” Even though her 2 adult siblings turned out to be wonderful, law abiding, contributing citizens. And then being a horrible mother to her own children and not owning up to that fact.

Bringing strange drugged up men into her Mother’s home, doing drugs in her Mother’s home, being high in her Mother’s home and in front of her children.

Never thanking anyone who has helped or or has been kind to her, nor ever saying a kind word to her Grandmother or her Mother or her children. Every word out of her mouth is a complaint, a curse word, or a placement of blame upon someone else. And never apologizing for all of the wrong doings she has comitted, never apologizing for the hurt and trouble she has caused her family and never doing anything to try to fix/change the situation.

King_Pariah's avatar

I agree with @Blackberry with physical and mental abuse. Having your arm strapped to a a 2×4 being slowly inched towards the blade of a table saw is… well, I’ll leave it to your imagination.

augustlan's avatar

There are plenty of reasons not to respect someone, even if it’s your own mother. I don’t even speak to my mother at all, and believe me… she earned it.

That said, how old is this kid? Are we talking elementary school, teen years, adult child? In a very young child, I would be surprised by that sort of behavior. I would expect some of it in a teenager, as a part of their normal development. If the kid is actually an adult, your best bet is to simply ask him why he feels that way toward you. Only he knows for sure.

annewilliams5's avatar

A child who is saying “whatever” or “shut up” to an adult is not afraid of abuse. Does anyone here, with a history of enduring domestic abuse, ever remember saying that to the abuser? I don’t ever remember even thinking it, for fear of getting a “punishment”. However, the kid who verbally abuses his parent, may be acting on what he or she has learned regarding behavior. Where was it learned? Why is the parent allowing it?
After being taught the wrong way to parent, from my parents, I was lucky enough to find resources that taught me why my upbringing was intolerable and how to undo it. My son grew up knowing why respect had to be given and received. My husband and I were not permissive parents and there were definite rules in our house. The rules were in place for everyone in the house. There is a huge difference between punishment and discipline. My son has never told me to shut up. He’s 22. He may have thought about telling me off, but I never heard it.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@annewilliams5 Um, yeah, totally, and I know many other people who were abused who also reacted that way. People don’t always react to abuse the same way. You can’t accurately make universal statements like that.

Look, sometimes, kids who are abused are little snots. They might step out of line. But part of what defines abuse is that it’s an overreaction. Yes, that kid did just eat those leftovers from the fancy steakhouse that were clearly marked as just for the parent. That doesn’t make it ok to punch them as punishment.

annewilliams5's avatar

Yes, I agree with you. But, let me be more exact. The kid who says these things are “not afraid of abuse” anymore. It might not be the parent who is doing the abusing. It may not be the parents. Also, abuse can be neglect. The parent may be so permissive that the child doesn’t fear at all. I get how it can happen. I don’t offer excuses, because I could have been just as screwed up as any one else. I was very lucky. I only offer explanations, and not universal ones. I’m sorry if that’s how I came off. There could be many explanations. I guess I just think that if a child is being abused, it may not just be “snotty” behavior. It may be one of those screams that are often times missed.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@annewilliams5 Actually, often, people who are abused act out a lot. If a parent is abusing a child, they might not respond with deference, but rather by retaliation. People who act out (in general) are often quite anxious and fearful inside. When parents are constantly verbally abusing a child, calling them names, it’s really very common for the child to repeatedly react with variations of “fuck off”.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Of course. There are many ways parents behave that warrant lack of respect. They’re not different from any other person, imo. What makes me lose respect for people in general is the same thing that makes me lose respect for my parents.

annewilliams5's avatar

@Aethelflaed Ooooooooo-“f off” may have been an interesting way of telling off my parents. No, really-I like that. Yeah, I’m not supposed to be angry anymore. Damn.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Substance abuse leading to neglect of the kid.

Accepting physical and mental abuse from a partner to the point the kid is also neglected, unprotected and maybe even used as a pawn for the parent to escape a degree of abuse.

A parent who puts their selfish needs first resulting in signifigant loss for the kids such as neglecting the kid while obsessing a partner, uprooting kids from a secure or favored environment for one that suits only the parent. Kids who are removed from familiar schools, neighborhoods, friends and family so their parents can “be happy” get really wicked.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Also, the types of disrespect you list are actually healthy, well-adjusted ways for teens to separate from parents and become their own, autonomous beings. It’s actually not at all healthy for kids to be totally respectful all of the time, because it means they aren’t becoming their own person, and that will greatly handicap them later in life when they’re out in the Real World. Not to mention when the parents die… So, basically, if your kid is doing that, that’s a good sign, not a bad sign.

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