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Kandy's avatar

Crossing the Parenting Line?

Asked by Kandy (363points) December 7th, 2011

Every parent will “parent” their children a slightly different way from the next parent. What seems to be happening a lot is that parents are telling their children that they were mistakes, that the parents wish they never had said child(ren), and even kicking the child out. I can understand where some situations require for the child to leave. But this seems to just be out of sheer anger. Is this wrong? If you don’t think it is wrong, please explain why.

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23 Answers

blueiiznh's avatar

I think it is totally wrong and immature for a parent to verbalize this to their child. While there may be some truth to it, the wrong is in putting the weight of that on the child.
The thing with parenting is that there is no handbook. We do what we learned and what we think is the best in our given situation. Just because you are a parent, does not mean you know how to parent and nurture. It however is one of the single most important things you will do in your life. It will be woven into your legacy. I simply don’t understand how some parents don’t get that fact.

Blackberry's avatar

I am skeptical that this is a trend. You probably just happen to know some people that weren’t ready to have kids. I’ll take a shot in the dark and guess the parents are young.

Kandy's avatar

@Blackberry Oh no, these people who are doing this to their kids are well into adulthood (30–50) and it seems to be happening more often than I thought. The question wasn’t based off of one account, but more in the upwards of 10 or so. That’s a small number, yes. But if I know of 10 families that think it is okay, think of how many there are across the nation.

marinelife's avatar

I disagree that this is “happening alot.” When it is happening, it is because the people did not have the skills to be a parent in the first place.

Blackberry's avatar

@Kandy That sucks, but there have always been people who shouldn’t be/weren’t ready to be parents. You should get to know some of them and report back to us.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

No, I can’t think of a situation where this would be okay.

tedd's avatar

I almost told off some random ladies son while waiting in line at best buy the other day… Super inconsiderate disrespectful kid.

But past that no.

Luiveton's avatar

Of course it is. If they don’t want the children then they can just kill them instead. Do I always have to say I’m kidding?

abysmalbeauty's avatar

Unless this parent is trying to somehow help their child make an informed decision about when to start a family of their own but in a totally ineffective way I find this to be super selfish. There is no need to tell this to your kid, its not like they can go back in time and prevent their own conception…. If you have regrets about what you did in your life it is your fault not your kids fault.

My mom told me this when I was about 15 and its always stuck with me. I don’t associate with her anymore partially because of that revelation.

wundayatta's avatar

You know, as a parent, ideally, you will put your child first. But many parents are not much more mature than children, anyway. So they think of themselves first, and if they got pregnant accidentally, they may see the child as a trial, not a blessing. Unable to see beyond their own life and desires, they may resent the child and they may feel no compunction about making that resentment very clear.

Sure, it crosses the line. Like others, I haven’t seen anything to make me think it is happening more often than it used to, although I can imagine that happening in bad economic times. People are generally on a shorter fuse and it might be easier to lose it with your kids.

It could mess kids up pretty badly. They could grow up thinking they are mistakes and that they don’t deserve to be alive. They can end up with pretty low self esteem and a desire to correct the mistake of their birth. The thing is that, accident or not, they are alive, and anything their parents say about them is not a truth that matters. What matters is who they want to be. They can become that person whether or not their parents support them. They don’t have to get down on themselves (although it is hard not to). If they work on staying positive about themselves, they can show their parents they weren’t a mistake at all. In fact, their parents may come crawling to them on hands and knees once they become the success that eluded their parents. Success is the best revenge.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Parents are just people, and there are a lot of disfunctional, crazy people out there. Of course this behavior is wrong, and it is unfortunate that an innocent child has to suffer for it. There was a news story on our local news about the abundance of homeless teens in my city that were kicked out of their homes due to the poor economy. All I can say is that I have seen an upswing in parents killing their children since the Casey Anthony thing – or maybe it is just better publicized. I think we can all agree on how whacko that is.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

That’s definitely crossing a major line. There are enough things out in the world to fuck kids up without shitty parents adding to it. UGH!

keobooks's avatar

I don’t think this is a new trend. I think some parents have been doing this as far back as caveman times. It’s sad, but I think many people lack empathy.

GladysMensch's avatar

Nobody, who’s not a troll, is going to accept or defend this behavior.

flutherother's avatar

Of course it is wrong. It is stupid and hurtful and destructive and fortunately rare.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m not aware of this trend but I was told as a child I hadn’t been planned and hadn’t been a welcome surprise and on several occasions that I had ruined my mother’s chance for a good life. I don’t know any other kids I grew up with or people I’ve met face-to-face who were told this and find it hard to believe it’s becoming more prevelent. If anything, I’d think as decades pass that parents have more control and choices over their lives in order not to burden their kids with less than happy shiny stork stories.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Aww, that’s so sad! My oldest knows she wasn’t planned, after an interesting conversation we had a while back, but I made it a point to tell her how excited I was to find out that I was pregnant with her. I never want her to think she was a mistake.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate: I think kids are smarter than people give their years credit for because I never took it to heart even I did feel a little bad for my mom. It was just the way things happened as far as I was concerned and really, I thought most kids were more a result of happenstance than planning.

tranquilsea's avatar

I’ve never understood parents who tell their children that they are weren’t wanted or were accidents. I suspect those people are externalizers who cannot take responsibility for their own actions. I hate being those people as nothing is ever their fault.

If a child was unplanned then I feel it is much better to say they were a surprise.

Words matter. Especially when they fall from your parent’s mouth.

snowberry's avatar

I kicked my son out when he turned 18 because he was engaging in risky and illegal behavior, and he had 3 young sisters in the house. I didn’t want them to grow up thinking that I would allow that sort of behavior, and as I explained to them (and him), “It’s against the law for me to allow someone to do drugs in my home, especially with children present.” It was a very painful thing for me to do, but I knew it was the right thing, so I did it anyway. And I’d do it again if I had to.

I never told him or thought that I wished he was never born. He’s doing quite well now by the way.

Kandy's avatar

@snowberry I do believe that was a situation in which that was justifiable. He was 18, a legal adult and you had very just reasons. That is different than what some parents are doing, I commend you for doing what was right. :) Kudos.

snowberry's avatar

It’s against the law to kick out a minor, which is why I waited until he turned 18. We wanted him out before that, not that we wanted to hurt him. After that, he was homeless for several months, sleeping on friends’ couches. He lost all his posessions twice. And of course his “friends” kept saying we were bad parents!

I don’t understand why anyone would kick out a child, and those who do are usually subject to prosecution for child abandonment. Sometimes the law never finds out.

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