General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Should parents be punished for their grown children's actions?

Asked by SuperMouse (30814points) September 1st, 2008

I recently read news accounts of an incident where a 23 year-old man was accused of vehicular manslaughter after killing a woman in a drunken driving accident. Many people commenting on the article pointed out that the young man at fault is a spoiled rich kid and accused the parents of coddling him and enabling his drug and alcohol habits. More than one commenter concluded that the parents should be punished right along with the son. What do you think?

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15 Answers

stratman37's avatar

slippery slope….

jlm11f's avatar

I think that at 23, if the man can’t think for himself, then there is some major problem. Lots of people have crappy parents and still make it out fine. Sure, maybe his parents did coddle him silly, but there isn’t law against doing that to your kids though it might not be the smartest parenting tip. There is however a law against killing people. So I say, blame the person who committed the crime, not the next door neighbors (by which I mean…his parents in this case).

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

If they did enable his poor habits, I’d think the guilt of knowing their apathy led to someone being killed would be enough of a punishment.

cak's avatar

No, they should not be punished…if we started this, then we need to change the legal age of adulthood. He’s 23. I don’t care how coddled he’s been or anyone else like him, but at 23, he knows right from wrong, he just might think he’s above it all. Time to learn the hard way and yes, also to open his parents eyes to show them what happens when you don’t teach good life lessons and spend too much time overprotecting your children.

augustlan's avatar

Can we point fingers at the parents, and say “look what you’ve unleashed into the world”...yep. Should they be legally punished…no. Adults, no matter what conditions they were raised in, are responsible for their own actions.

sarapnsc's avatar

No, every adult has their own mind to make their own decisions…at 23 they are an adult, have their own mind to choose right, from wrong and can make their own decisions. They are no longer a minor and parents should not be held responsible for their grown childrens actions or behavior.
It doesn’t matter if they were spoiled, or if parents enabled them, many grown adults were spoiled and don’t go around breaking the law. They did the crime, let the grown grown child do the time. Put the responsibility where it belongs on the grown adult child.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

clearly the answer is no. No one goes after the parents when some bro from the hood robs a gas station. and for christ sake hes 23.

JackAdams's avatar

Ask yourself this question:

Did anything happen to the parents of all of those kids under 18, who took guns to schools (in various states) and murdered teachers and other students?

I never heard of one parent of those kids being arrested nor charged with any crime.

September 2, 2008, 12:15 AM EDT

skfinkel's avatar

The parents needed to get help for their son many years earlier. That’s one of the biggest misconceptions, people think kids doing bad things will grow out of their problems. While I believe that parents are at the base of many problems children and even adults have, the person who did the bad thing (that person being an adult) is the one responsible for it.

JackAdams's avatar

Bad parents sometimes produce bad kids, or they nurture them into becoming bad. But as many have noted in here, once the kid reaches the age of majority s/he becomes legally responsible for his/her own actions, and rightly so.

September 2, 2008, 12:30 AM EDT

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

We don’t live in that family and we don’t know. Perhaps they tried everything, perhaps they didn’t. I know wonderful parents who end up with a child who just acts out all the time. And conversely, terrible parents, whose kids turned out fine. The answer is so mufti-faceted that we really don’t have a clue.
We all made mistakes with our own kids, because we are all human. Pointing fingers outward, only helps us not look inward.

Should parents of grown kids be punished. No

marinelife's avatar

Certainly not. I have thought that perhaps societal problems such as this young man could be curtailed if parents were held accountable for their actual children’s actions. Even in that case, though, I think they should be forced to have court-ordered family counseling.

susanc's avatar

Seems like the reason people got incensed about this is that the error was committed
by a rich person. Hmm.

scamp's avatar

Do you have a link to this story? It’s kind of difficult to form an opinion without the whole story. If the parents were enabling to the point of furnishing the alcohol and car keys, they may be liable just as much as a bartender who doesn’t cut off a drunk in his establishment.

cyndyh's avatar

I was just thinking of the bartender liability issue. Good point. I’d be interested in seeing a link to this, too.

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