General Question

wundayatta's avatar

To what extent are parents responsible for their children's behavior?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) March 30th, 2009

We can think of this at various ages. In early life, if the child is very polite, or if the child throws tantrums constantly—do parents get credit or blame? In the middle years, the children bully others, or they do their homework every night and take care of all their responsibilities without being asked: do parents get credit or blame?

As teens, they get a job, drive responsibly, and work for a charity of some kind or start a business, or they get pregnant or develop a drug or drinking problem: what blame or credit to parents get?

Late teens, early twenties: they get through college, or find a job, and start taking care of themselves, weaning themselves from their parent’s help; or they can’t seem to do anything for themselves, stay at home, don’t even pay rent, and seem to lead a slacker life. Who gets the credit or blame—the children or the parents.

Obviously, this isn’t a black or white issue. It makes sense to apportion responsibility between the parties. I’m really curious as to how people think about this.

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65 Answers

Bagardbilla's avatar

In my part of the world, children (regardless of age) reflect upon their parents.
So I suppose the answer is to every extent.

Blondesjon's avatar

Parents are 100% responsible for their children’s behavior. A great deal of what is wrong with children today is that parents have been given to many excuses to fall back on for the way their children act.

Repeat after me:

It is NOT violence in the media.

It is NOT video games.

It is NOT other people’s kids.

It is NOT the school system.

It is NOT any type of music.

It is NOT ADD.

It is NOT your “ex”‘s fault.

It IS a fact that YOU (the parent) need to be constantly aware of what is going on in your child’s life. You need to get off of your ass and take an interest.

Remember, you are also responsible for all of the good your children do.

YARNLADY's avatar

Parents are responsible for controlling the behavior of their minor children, but not necessarily for the actions of the child. They have to make sure the child learns to act properly in all occasions, but they are not necessarily for the choices the child makes. Parents job is make sure the child does not cause harm and he follows the rules.

mamabeverley's avatar

@Blondesjon You are are right. My hubby was a “problem child” and I fully blame it on his mom. She did not give a crap. Children with “expectations” tend to do what they are supposed to do because there are consequences if they mess up. My child is 12. He is fully expected to go to finish high school and go to college. In front of my son, my mother in law said “what if he doesn’t want to go? You can’t make him.” She is right, I can’t make him. But if he thinks that is the way it is, then he more than likely will go. My hubby did not finish H.S. he got his GED. If I would have even thought about not finishing, my mom would have killed me! I am not saying beat your child, but make them responsible for their choices at a young age. We all have to follow rules. Your child might as well follow them now!

Blondesjon's avatar

@mamabeverley…I was a problem child myself and knew that I could manipulate my parents with their need to believe it wasn’t any fault of their own.

all i wanted was a pepsi…

skfinkel's avatar

I think parents have everything to do with their childrens’ behavior. Parents who are sensitive, attentive, consistent, fun to be with will have children who are far better behaved that those parents who are inconsistent, don’t really listen, are themselves bullies or bullied, alcoholics, and who are more engaged in their own lives than their children. Peers make a difference, but the underlying groundwork established at very young ages will set the course for the children, and allow them to resist temptation, attempt difficult tasks, be creative, love themselves, and achieve the full measure of who they are and what they can be.

Blondesjon's avatar

@skfinkel…That was very well put.

I think we both left out one of the most important rules of child rearing:

You are a PARENT first before you are ever a best buddy.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

There are some adults who are lovely, responsible adults. Unfortunately, they can erroneously believe their children will turn out just like them by osmosis.

shilolo's avatar

In my opinion, this gets at the classic nature versus nurture debate. While I agree that a nurturing, caring environment is ideal, there will always be that aspect of a child’s behavior that is innate. People with more than one child can readily tell you how different child A is from child B, and so on, despite the parents being the same. So, I’m not sure one can chalk everything up to parental (mis)behavior.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@Shilolo, No, you can’t, but attentiveness and intervention can mitigate a lot of behavior, and make difficult situations better. For example, catching learning disabilities early can help a child not only overcome them, but avert behavior issues later. Early diagnosis of depression, etc. can make things easier for all.

Normal is whatever lives in your house.

mamabeverley's avatar

@Blondesjon I was a good kid, never got into too much trouble. But, I was a guilt queen. My parents divorced when I was 4. I always got the pepsi at my dad’s. I only saw him 3–4 times a year, so it was Cap’n Crunch, Chocolate Milk and Pepsi! He didn’t have to take us to the dentist, mom had primary custody and the job with benefits! Guilt is good. SO are 4 Christmases

Blondesjon's avatar

@shilolo…Your argument would mean that Hitler would have grown up to be Hitler no matter what. I posit that his nearly complete lack of parental influence led to his Hitleriness.

wundayatta's avatar

The motivation for this question came from some responses to my question about whether Sarah Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy was an indication of poor parenting. A lot of people said it was Bristol’s choice (is that her name—I forget), and it didn’t reflect anything on her parents.

Now most people here seem to be saying that parents are very responsible for children’s behavior, although Shilolo disagrees. I don’t think you can have it both ways. Or, at least, that makes me very uncomfortable. I know parents can’t control kids, but it seems to me that upbringing plays a huge role in how children make decisions.

So I would tend to say that if Sarah Palin doesn’t believe in premarital sex, and her daughter had it, then Sarah was not very good at passing her values along. If you can’t pass your values along, that seems to me to be a failure of parenting.

On the other hand, kids do make mistakes. People make mistakes. We may be good parents and our children still get in trouble. Were any of us not in trouble for our whole childhoods? Obnviously some mistakes are bigger than others. But boys are known to be hellions, setting things on fire, throwing rocks at things, blowing things up, etc. THey get in trouble, but survive to be responsible adults.

Do we consider poor choices of children to be a reflection on their parents, or a sign of who the children are? Does one mistake blow it? Two? Three? When does it become a sign of bad parenting, or just being a bad person?

Blondesjon's avatar

@daloon…You are responsible for your children’s behavior until they are adults. What they decide to do with what you’ve taught them past that point is up to them.

shilolo's avatar

@Blondesjon I think your comparison is a bit extreme. Some people will be deranged despite their parents’ best intentions (perhaps due to mental illness, which many people believe to be a biologic process). Of course I don’t condone bad behavior, and want my children to be awesome, but, I recognize that there are things that are out of my control. To believe every aspect of a child is malleable, is, in my opinion, too grandiose.

wundayatta's avatar

@Blondesjon: when do they stop being your children and become independent adults?

Oh, and does that mean Sarah Palin is responsible for her daughter’s pregnancy?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

From a legal standpoint, the parents are responsible until the child turns18 or is emancipated in the US.

Ethically speaking, the parents are responsible for the effects that their upbringing has on their child, though the individual has to be held accountable for their own actions once they are legally an adult.

casheroo's avatar

i really agree with @shilolo

My son is 20 months, and was just screaming and throwing a fit at the mall. I can do all I can to calm him down, but I had to go for a reason..I’m not just going to leave because he’s throwing a tantrum. And just because my son is a toddler, who does not know how to express himself, does not make me a bad parent.

I do agree though, that when it comes to most actions, in older children, the parents should be setting a better example, to teaching the child just to be a good person. I won’t always know whats going on in my child’s life…if he’s a bully at school, I won’t know this until I get a call from the principal. Would it be completely my fault that the child is a bully? No, but I’d take half the blame and do all I can to make sure he understands that you treat people with respect.

Blondesjon's avatar

@daloon…They never stop being my children. They take responsibility for themselves when they no longer live under my roof.

wundayatta's avatar

@Blondesjon: so you are responsible for their behavior until they stop living with you? Wow! Your kids must feel a lot of pressure, since they totally reflect you.

Blondesjon's avatar

@shilolo & @daloon…“Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done and why. Then do it.”

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@daloon, all through school, until the end of high school, every morning, the last thing my children heard from me was “I want you to work very hard and do your best work at school today. I love you.” Guess what? They did do their best work. It may not have always been an A, but if it was less than an A, they could explain what was hard about the assignment/test and what they learned, and how they might do better next time. They did their best work, because in this family, that’s what we do. And it was easier to put in the effort than have to explain why they goofed off.

Even though I was joking around with asmonet a few weeks ago, in this family, we did without new cars, vacations, having the house painted, new clothing, etc. so my daughter could attend a summer program at an Ivy League school, pay for academic enrichment programs, tutors when needed, and so both could have the experience of traveling abroad on school trips. These things were provided because it was a family priority for them to have the opportunities.

Blondesjon's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock…The most repetitive thing I have ever said to my children is, “I don’t want you to be like me. I want you to be better than me.”

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@casheroo, with a two year old, I’ve left plenty of places and gone home because when the meltdown comes, it’s usually because timing or the situation is wrong for a two year old. You cannot reason or discipline a toddler out of meltdown; you take the child home, where they can either melt down in private or sleep, eat, whatever. Sometimes the best thing for all is to just “get the hell out of Dodge.”

mamabeverley's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock I also do without new cars etc. because my husband and I decided that I should be home with the kid. I am not saying I am a better parent because of it, but it makes me more available to do the things my family needs me to do. We have a child in our class that is a bully and always has been. He has his mother snowed that he is a victim of the system. I watched him hit a kid in the face when he tried to “steal ” the ball away. When the “hittee” became the “hitter” the bully went and cried to the teacher. It is one of the few times I have interviened, as I am not a parent to either one. His is definetly a nurture case. I feel bad for the kid. Next year we start middle school and he is going to get pounded!

Blondesjon's avatar

we drive a 1996 ford windstar

ninjacolin's avatar

Children are humans. As such they come up with their own ideas based off of what they’ve experienced in the past. They form new conclusions separate from their parents because they experience the world differently than their parents. This is all pretty basic but it means a lot.

When these kids grow up, they learn more things at school and from their peers and eventually from their jobs and careers and social habits. In the very end these children become imperfect parents themselves.

These children we refer to as Parents now take all that they learned growing up and they inadvertantly apply it to their children. Some of these parents never learned all the tricks and tips that other parents were fortunate enough to have learned. Their kids, therefore, never learn what the parents never learned. And of course despite what the parents teach or fail to teach the kid, the kid may or may not learn great or bad things separate from what the parent learned.

Short answer: A child’s behavior is a reflection not only on the parents but on the parents’ parents and the parent’s parent’s parents still.. and on society.. and on the entire environment the child was exposed to growing up.

A child’s behavior, therefore, is a reflection of the complete relevant history that came before it and everything it was ABLE to be exposed to. Everything from the Child’s language to the Child’s favorite food.

And the things that history (like the parents) contained was given to it merely by chance, just like their eye color. Conclusion: Nurture is every Child’s Nature.

Blondesjon's avatar

@ninjacolinyou don’t have any children do you

ninjacolin's avatar

I am a child. My story is all the proof I need, nes pas?

Blondesjon's avatar

@ninjacolinthat’s what i thought

ninjacolin's avatar

how come?

Blondesjon's avatar

@ninjacolin…We’ve all been children. Not all of us have raised children.

casheroo's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock We used to leave, when our son would cry, but he is not crying..he’s throwing tantrums. He can’t learn that if he throws a tantrum, I’ll just get him out of the situation, he has to learn that he has act appropriately out in public. Just leaving doesn’t teach him anything.

wundayatta's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock: It sounds like you are a very loving parent who is doing everything possible to help your children be successful in life, whatever success means to them (and you?).

I’m not sure, however, that I can tell what your answer is to my question. It sounds like you’re suggesting that parents are pretty much fully responsible for how their kids turn out. If one of your children should make a mistake, maybe take a ride with the wrong classmate, and there are drinks, and maybe drugs in the car, and they imbibe due to social pressure, or not, but the car ends up running over and killing someone, and then the driver takes off and pressures everyone to be silent.

If your daughter (or son) came to you with a story like this, would you think you are responsible for the choices they made?

I mean, I don’t know. I can’t imagine one of my kids doing this, but sometimes kids get in trouble, and if I take the blame, I might come down hard on my kids, and do it in a way that makes them resentful, and then they start hanging out with the folks I don’t want them to hang out with just to spite me, and prove their independence. And bad might go to worse.

Did I play the hand to tough, and lose, and thus am responsible for my kid “going bad?” Or was I just doing the best I knew how, and I made a mistake, and now the kid is scarred for life.

I have this issue with my father and mother. They abandoned me emotionally when I was one year old, in order to care for my sick brother. This was in preverbal days, so I don’t remember it. However, my therapist thinks it is what lead to my sense of worthlessness. I can’t blame my parents. They were doing the best they knew how. Assuming this link of causality isn’t total bullshit, are they responsible for my mental illness?

I don’t think so. Even though the seeds were sown when I was not even two, I don’t think I can blame my parents for failing to show they loved me and failing to be proud of me. It happened. What I do with it is on me.

jonsblond's avatar

@daloon If you can’t blame your parents for failing you, how can you blame Sarah Palin for failing her daughter? Or is that just a link of causality as well?

DrBill's avatar

22% DNA
43% Nurture, by parents or parenting figures
18% Random happenings in their life
17% Peer pressure

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond: It’s really pretty simple. When something goes wrong in my life, it’s always my fault. In other people’s lives, it’s not their fault, but the fault of that which formed them. Different standards, you see. Part of the problem. But logic seems to have no impact on my feelings of this nature.

oh well, it’s just a thought…. and I am not my thoughts

ninjacolin's avatar

@Blondesjon “We’ve all been children. Not all of us have raised children.”

I agree with this. But so what?

Blondesjon's avatar

Because raising children is one of those things that you have to do before you can comment with any authority on it. It’s very much like differential equations and intercourse in that way.

jonsblond's avatar

@Blondesjon Like being the president?

ninjacolin's avatar

Well, the question was “who’s to blame for how kids turn out”.. and I’m NOT exactly like my parents. I can tell what influenced me to become this thing that my parents often regret. haha. and I assure you it’s not all their fault.

just think of all the bad habits/things that your parents TRIED to help you avoid. even think of some of the good habits/things you picked up. they’re not all from your parents! think of all the things that have influenced your decisions. you know your parents were not the only influence in your life.

so, why ignore that? why should anyone believe that the way their kids will turn out will be exactly and only their fault?

Blondesjon's avatar

The question actually wondered, “To what extent are parents responsible for their children’s behavior?”.

you still gave a great answer, lurve

ninjacolin's avatar

hmm.. alright fine.. then my answer is: “as much as anything else in their history, i suppose.” :)

if there was some way to measure “affect on your future thoughts and actions per second”.. i think parenting would be just like everything else. it’s just that parents take up so many more seconds of the kid’s life than other influential factors do.

thanks guy!

mamabeverley's avatar

ok here is the thing…we are talking children not teens or older. I had some horrible things happen to me as a child and as a teen, and i KNOW they effect every aspect of my life to this day. I make a conscience effort not to let them, but they do. I think as an adult, the statue of limitations has to run out eventually. Years of therapy tought me that, You have to cut your losses and move on.

Our schools here in TN still have corporal punishment. We get a form home to sign every year. I NEVER sign it, but the rule in my house is..If you do something bad enough that the school has to call me during the day, you better hope that Mr. P (our principal) is there to save your ass cuz you are dead meat! It is not up to school to discipline my child, it is mine, and I think in the long run, better for the child. The kids that get the paddle at school are the most rotten kids ever, and there is little follow up at home because the parents don’t want to deal with it, and think it was handled at school so they blow it off!

wundayatta's avatar

@mamabeverley: Actually, I wanted to know what people believe the parental responsibility for their children’s behavior at three different ages: child, teen, and late teens. I appreciate your answer, and hope you might take a crack at the rest of the question. Thanks again, and lurve!

mamabeverley's avatar

@daloon As stated before, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. My son is 12, not a teen. I guess all you can do is hope for the fundamentals of earlychildhood teaching to stick. Do I think Sarah Palin is a fault for Bristol getting pregnant? Maybe. If Sarah had been with her family more, maybe it would not have happened. I know media coverage is biased, but it looks like Bristol did a lot of child rearing for her mom. But, you do not compound an accident (getting pregnant) by forcing said teen to get married. I was glad to see Bristol and Levi choose not to get married. Marriage is hard enough with 2 people, let alone with kids. By late teenage hood you are lucky to see your kids let alone have too much influence on them. We always had Sunday dinner at my house as a teen, knowing that during the week, it is hard to have a sit down dinner. During that dinner we TALKED. We had the calendar out so we could keep track of things. With my mom working, it was not uncommon for me to come home after swim practice and start dinner.

@ninjacolin is somewhat right, everything in history makes us what we are. We can only hope as parents to get rid of some of our baggage before we start raising kids so we did a better job than our parents did. It is repeating the same bad cycles that mess up our kids. I was raised with an asshole step-dad that liked to hit. Not spank..hit. I never ever hit my child. I may have given him a swat or 2 if he needed it when he was younger. That is the baggage. You have to be diligent and consistant with yourself and your child. My son commented about a year age that I get mad faster than anyone he ever saw. But it goes away just as fast. That is because, I know I am 1)stressed 2)tired or 3) stressed and tired! But he is never afraid of being hurt. He does not “walk on eggshells” afraid of doing or saying something wrong to “set me off”. He knows he can come to me and talk to me about ANYTHING and has. I have an open door policy. He knows I may not like what we have to talk about, but I will talk about it. He told me about a 4th grader caught sniffing glue at school, about sex cuz some kid brought a playboy to school.

I AM SORRY THIS IS SO LONG WINDED. I guess we teach them what we can, pray and pay for the therapy bills later. Don’t you know, everything is the mother’s fault?!

mamabeverley's avatar

@Blondesjon Your car is newer than my 1995 Pontiac. But it gets great mileage!

mamabeverley's avatar

@daloon Also, in regards to the car thing. I was taught from a very young age about guilt by association. If you hang with a bad cword you are more likely to get in trouble, whether or not you actually did anything wrong. I have passed this on to my kid. here is my example. You are in a car with some “friends” One of those friends decides he wants to but a soda, so you stop at the 7–11. He “friend” decides he wants to rob the store and ends up shooting the clerk. Do you really think the cops are going to give a rats ass if YOU shot the clerk. NOPE…you were there. Make sure you know the person in the car well enough to get in!

mamabeverley's avatar

@daloon Lurve to you too for asking such a great question!!!

skfinkel's avatar

@shilolo: While certainly each child is born with her own personality, the challenge of the parent is to see who that child is and raise her. There are certain overall behaviors that make it much easier on children—they know where they stand. But parents need to tailor their parent style to the specific child they have. Some are more sensitive, and others are more outgoing, and each personality and skill set can be appreciated for the individual she is.

As for bullies—I believe they are made by bullying parents—or someone else who is bullying that child. And few parents would really be surprised to learn their kids are bullies at school—if they are honest and look at how they treat that child.

As far as responsibility goes, for me the goal of being a parent is to give the children what they need, and then that person gets to live his own life. Mistakes and poor choices will be made—but how they are learned from would seem to be the issue at hand.

VS's avatar

I believe parents are ultimately responsible for how a kid turns out—until their personalities are fully formed at around puberty. After that, you just have to hope that you have done the best you can for them, given them good values, taught them a good work ethic, and instilled a sense of personal responsibility. Teens are another matter. If a child has been taught from the very beginning that every action has a consequence, then the teen is more likely to know that he/she is not off the hook for their own foolishness.
When I was a young widow with a not-quite-one year-old, I knew that no one else was going to be taking the blame for how my son turned out. I did not have any compunction about using the reward and punishment system, I paid him for good grades, and I provided every teacher he ever had with my phone number and explained that any disciplinary issues would be dealt with at home. I think I was a pretty strict disciplinarian, but apparently it worked okay. I never had to get him out of detention, jail, the hospital or the mortuary. I accept full responsibility and full credit for how he turned out.

wundayatta's avatar

Wonderful answers, jellies! I really appreciate the depth you’ve gone into, and @mamabeverley. it wasn’t too long-winded for me. I could easily have read more, had you cared to write it.

I’m really quite impressed with the broad range of opinions on this (I’m counting my other question about Bristol with this one). I think this is a particularly tricky issue. It’s easy to look at a bad person and blame the parents, and it seems that some kinds of upbringing really do screw up a person.

On the other hand, I don’t think we can take full responsibility for our kids. I think that as they grow, our level of responsibility for their behavior gradually declines. At a certain point, their decisions can’t be blamed on us. What I don’t know is where that certain point lies.

Judi's avatar

My wise older sister told her children, “I won’t take credit for your successes, now will I take blame for your failures.” I took great hope in that when my children were teenagers. I am not sure if they survived adolescence in spite of me or because of me, but really, they are their own people, and make their own choices.

ninjacolin's avatar

^ nice.

@daloon said: “At a certain point, their decisions can’t be blamed on us. What I don’t know is where that certain point lies.”

If you rigorously taught your kid from when he was small how to shoot a rifle. And then, at age 14 while on a hunting trip with his uncle he successfully shoots and kills a goose out of the air and brings it home.

Consider his exact behavior. The breathing, the aiming, the pulling of the trigger.. the mantra he went over in his head.. all of that was from your guidance. His decisions came from what was already in his head. Things that YOU put into there for him to have access to.

If it wasn’t for you, he wouldn’t even have that uncle. he wouldn’t have the experience you gave him,.. he wouldn’t have the memories that served him in taking that shot.

further, he wouldn’t even have had those memories of you and his existence to consider in CONTRAST to other information and memories in his head that were not put there by you. (things put into his head by his peers, teachers, his own thoughts and everyone else)

But as I said before, you only put into his head things that were already put into your head for you by others. Same with all the other people, teachers, peers and everyone else.

Your child’s decisions are never your decisions because your decisions aren’t even yours. ;)

daloon.. the point you’re looking for doesn’t even exist.

Blondesjon's avatar

@ninjacolin…I thoroughly enjoyed the excursion into logic you posted above. I think that you would be a welcome addition to any debate team (heck, they may even make you the captain).

The only problem I see with it is that it is something that only works on paper. Communism is flawless in it’s simplicity and fairness but when you try to apply it to the real world it fails. Why? Because human logic, especially your excursion into semantics above, is only a guideline in our collective reality not a hard, fast rule.

ninjacolin's avatar

i suppose a truly good idea shouldn’t be able to fail on paper. communism as we’ve come to know it isn’t this sort of idea.

back on topic, what are you accusing these ideas (and the ideas behind the ideas) of being impractical for?

a clarification of my opinion is that yes a parent’s involvement in a child’s life definitely affects the child’s decisions later in life but a parent cannot be blamed for how their child turns out to be because the parent cannot be blamed for the type of parent they turned out to be.

Blondesjon's avatar

@ninjacolin…Your answer is a cop out. We make a decision day to day of what we want to be. I am the type of parent I want to be because I make that decision every moment of every day. To link me or any other thinking being to their past in such a manner is at the best, naive, and at worst, insulting.

Back on topic. The question, once again, is, “To what extent are parents responsible for their children’s behavior?” Again, I state, that until a child is living independently on their own, a parent is responsible for their behavior.

i seriously don’t understand what you meant by your opening statement…clarify?

ninjacolin's avatar

I should ask this first: What do you mean by “responsible for” ???
as in punishable for their behavior?

Blondesjon's avatar

You would have to ask @daloon. It is his question.

but not his fault

wundayatta's avatar

The major cause of them behaving in that general way. I.e., you can place legitimate blame on them for it.

I suppose that would include things that are punishable for. Where I live, if kids stay truant, their parents get a $25 fine for the first offense, and it goes up to $135 or so. Clearly the city feels parents are responsible for their teens’ behavior.

ninjacolin's avatar

this post is just a chat with @Blondesjon:

if it helps any, everyone always worries about the “cop-out” factor. The cool thing about these ideas, though, is that they aren’t what everyone thinks they are. You don’t get off scott free after you screw up. Especially not with the trusty new understanding of the term punishment. thanks crisw

it’s not a cop out, it’s a realization. it’s new information. you aren’t to consider the idea and then give up on your kids. quite the opposite. the idea is to realize what is real and what is not about the universe you live in and then apply that new information to your way of thinking/acting. Just like everything else in your life.

saying “it’s a cop out” and then ignoring the reality of the fact that parents’ decisions are always based on premises from their unique histories would be the same mistake as a doctor who says: “Good news, you don’t have HIV, that assumption was totally wrong. It’s cancer! Awesome, huh? Now you can go home happy. G’bye!”

@Blondesjon “To link me or any other thinking being to their past in such a manner is at the best, naive, and at worst, insulting.”

For it to qualify as naive would require that it is at least somewhat wrong. Like, at least a little. But I know for a fact that you haven’t taught your kids a thing you didn’t first learn sometime in your history. Your language, Fishing, Not to Steal, How to use a fork.. everything you’ve taught your kids is from your past experiences. There’s nothing naive about the idea.. it’s just a reality of life. (as far as I can tell, anyway! feel free to give me a single counter example if you can.)

For it to qualify as insulting.. hmm.. what does qualify as insulting?.. I think it would have to be intentionally meant as an offense. But this suggestion is not at all meant as an offense. So, I’ll have to disagree with you about that. I like you man. No joke. And I only mean to share good/helpful ideas with you and hear good/helpful ideas back.

ninjacolin's avatar

^^ yea.. @daloon that’s what i was afraid of.

accepting the idea that kids really are their own creatures would remove that unnecessary cost to parents in those areas.

The main points that I imagine are important to a society that cares about how their kids are raised are as follows based off these ideas is this:

A) kids won’t learn anything they aren’t taught.
B) parents won’t teach their kids any lessons they haven’t learned are better to teach rather than not teach
C) parents won’t teach their kids any lessons they aren’t aware of

It’s an address those issues from the bottom up type of thing.

Blondesjon's avatar

@ninjacolin…I am teaching my children to be better than I am. This is not a single, rote lesson that I taught them in a couple of sittings. This is something they are being taught every day as our reality unfolds.

i lurve you too my somewhat wrong friend

Coloma's avatar

I agree younger children are the responsability of their parents.
However..it does get sticky in the teen years.

Plenty of good kids from pretty functional and healthy enough families have gotten into trouble and it is not the parents responsability, nor lack of attention.

There was a recent tradgedy in my area where 3 cars of 17 yr. olds were racing on a narrow winding mountainish road.

How were those parents responsable for what their teens did?

Legally yes, personally no.

How many of us told our parents we were doing one thing when, infact we had an alternate agenda?

Sad yes, when kids make mistakes that have severe consequences, but not, in any way can it be always blamed on the parents.

I’d also add that the opposite end of this rope is adults that never stop BLAMING their parents.

Gotta keep it in perspective and never make blanket statements.

m0r60n's avatar

It is the child’s fault. :)

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