General Question

Jude's avatar

How do would you deal with a disrespectful kid?

Asked by Jude (32134points) June 11th, 2009

I just finished witnessing a 6 year old (who is too smart for his own good, really), whom while being reprimanded by his father for being defiant when dealing adults and cruel to his playmates, have a rather subtle smirk on his face. The boy was told by his father to get rid of the smirk, but, he continued.. I just stood there and couldn’t believe it. I may sound old ;-), but back in my day, you would never disrespect your parents like that.. Yikes.

Also, there’s nothing worse than a bratty child? Wouldn’t you agree?

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78 Answers

peyton_farquhar's avatar

There is nothing more humbling then a swift, old fashioned smack on the bottom. That’ll get rid of that smirk real fast.

eponymoushipster's avatar

totally agree. which is why i agree with @peyton_farquhar – leather belt that little brat.

WhatThaF's avatar

I dont have any kids or been around em too long, but i can’t ever picture myself hittin a child. just wrong to me.. my parents never went that road..
I watch nanny911 though lol. good show. that nanny does wonders..

cookieman's avatar

The trick, at least in my experience, is to kneel down at their level (so you’re eye to eye) before you reprimand them. A firm hand on the shoulder helps keep their attention. There is less disconnect between you and your words that way.

I also speak very clearly and have her repeat back what I just said. Works 98% of the time. Next step is a time out followed by another discussion.

Repeat as needed.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I would think if a child learns that type of smirk, and keeps it on their face after being told how rude it is, that there is more going on in their house then intially suspected. Of course there are always bratty kids no matter the circumstances. I work with kids and I can’t picture one in my head with that type of smirk. It seem as if there is more that goes on it that household, especially since the child was being a bully as well. Those are typical signs of an abusive household. This leaves me feeling sorry for the child and not the parent.

Ivan's avatar

Uh, whatever you do, don’t beat them.

Jeesh, have I traveled back to 1948?

Jude's avatar

@RedPowerLady I was just going to say something about that. I have noticed and have been told by the Mom that Dad, when one thing goes wrong in his day (be it a bad day at work, say), everything else for him has to be miserable, as well (he brings home his shitty mood) AND he makes it miserable for everyone else around him. I find the boys the same, when things are going their way, they’re angels, if not, they turn into little hellions. Learned behaviour, maybe? A major issue is the parent’s have different parenting styles. So, there is no consistency when it comes to reprimanding. And, the Mom came out to me about the fact that they’ve been having marital issues. All of these factors coming into play, I’m sure.

I, like you, work with kids and have never in my many years of teaching seen a child act this way (smirk/disrespectful when interacting with adults). My kids are great and listen to me. I tend to use the “raised teacher eyebrow” when they don’t, though. It always works. ;-)

Just finished working a ten hour day, folks. I do apologize for the typos.

Milladyret's avatar

My mom got rid of a similar habit that my sister had once…
She said: ‘If you stick your tounge out at me one more time, I’ll wash your tounge with sope!’
And, of course, my sister pointed her tounge once more, and yes, she got it washed with sope, and she never did it again.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Milladyret but sopes are delicious! soap would be gross, though. ;)

Judi's avatar

@jmah and @RedPowerLady ; Do you two have any idea how hurtful it is to parents who have children with mental health issues for others like you to start judging their parenting. My son used to do that. he would get an “I don’t care” attitude and no amount of discipline would help. We would take away a toy until he had no toys left. he just didn’t care. We even took his door off the hinges. I worked so hard, searched for all kinds of help and was at my wits end. To top it all off I had self righteous people with “normal” kids putting judgment on me when(in retrospect) I was a better, more involved parent than they would ever be.
My son is now 24. We know now that he is bi-polar. It took me 20 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to finally find him appropriate help.
I hate that ”no kid of mine!!!” attitude. Don’t judge unless you’ve walked a mile in her shoes.

drClaw's avatar

Ever see Silence of the Lambs?

It puts the lotion in the basket

Milladyret's avatar

@eponymoushipster Hehe, wrong kind’a sope.
But your sope looked a lot better than that sope my sister got her mouth washed with!

essieness's avatar

Apparently he’s allowed to get away with that behavior pretty consistently, or he wouldn’t be doing it. He’s six. He does what his parents allow him to do. If a person can’t control a six year old, they might consider reevaluating their parenting skills.

Edit: Obviously my response is aimed toward normal children without mental health issues.

Jude's avatar

@Judi I was only asking a question about how one would deal with this situation is all. I was asked to help out with this boy through the summer and I wanted to get some advice. He’s a bright boy (fabulous at reading, interested in geology and amazes me at how well is able to put things together—he can put together a 100 piece puzzle on his own easily) and when I got a chance to spend time with him, he was great. It’s mainly his parents that he’s disrespectful towards.

I’m sorry if I came off as judgemental. I truly didn’t mean it.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Milladyret the point was it’s spelled “soap”

Milladyret's avatar

Ah. point taken. Sorry. not my first language ;)

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Milladyret no problem. :) what’s your first language?

Milladyret's avatar

Sadly, there’s no place like Fluther in Norwegian, so I’m forced to hang here… Oh, well, I guess I’ll live ;-)

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I give little kids like that a good dose of “stink eye” and then ignore them. If they want my attention or approval then they have to do some other than disrespectful behaviors. I’ve a 5yr old sorta nephew who learned quickly he couldn’t sweeten up to me and get what he wanted while he was still being a shite to his parents. Until he got out of the bad behavior, we kind of exaggerated our excitement or reward of the positive behaviors and then tailored our overreactions back.

DominicX's avatar

Not with violence, if that’s what you’re wondering. It’s easy to become enraged by the situation and decide that violence is the best answer, but it really isn’t. This kid sounds like he has behavioral problems. “Normal kids” don’t bully their classmates. Something more is wrong in the picture. Violence will solve nothing.

I read what you wrote about their family situation and it doesn’t not sound very positive for a young kid. It’s surprise he’s acting the way he is. The family is going to have to change in order for their kid to change.

Blondesjon's avatar

If he is six he will be old enough to understand that he is done playing and there will be a toy taken from him for a week when he gets home.

If he can keep that smirk off of his face for a week he gets it back. If not, he loses another toy every time he does it.This can go on until he has to earn every toy of his back with acceptable behavior.

And you stick to it. The second the parent starts backing off of their end (the discipline) the child loses respect (smirks).

a swat on the butt is for a toddler who hasn’t developed the reasoning skills to undertand the above punishmnet

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Milladyret cool. i’ve heard that’s a very complex language.

Clair's avatar

i got beat like a red headed step child, as did my mom who disciplined me. i appreciate it today more than i ever imagined i would. then when i got old enough to be punished in other ways, i got grounded or a privilege taken away. different punishments for different kids. but a disrespectful child is never acceptable.

Judi's avatar

@Blondesjon ; I told you before how that worked out for me. The kid even lost the door to his room. For some kids consequences just don’t work. I tried for at least 18 years. My son is also very smart and good looking(doesn’t “look” mentally ill) so he appeared to just be a spoiled brat to some.

essieness's avatar

@Clair My mother did me the same way. Of course I hated it then, but guess what, I grew up to be a respectful, mannerly adult. People these days indulge and coddle their children entirely too much.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Judi . . .There are always exceptions. I was speaking in a much broader sense. Every parent has their own unique set of challenges to face as well.

Seems to me you are the type of person that is always up for a challenge. :)

I didn’t mention that I also enforce mine with a cattle prod and water boarding.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@essieness you’re respectful and mannerly?! ;)

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

my dad used to have a pretty thick leather belt… me and my brother’s learned our lessons mighty quick.

Blondesjon's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 . . My dad had quite a collection of those as well. When you heard his closet door open and the sound of those buckles clanking together you knew you had just fucked up.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

lol yeah man… covering your hind quarters up with your hands never worked either… just hurt more… I learned a lot of good attitude qualities from the end of a belt.

Blondesjon's avatar

I learned not to get caught.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

haha my old man was the trouble maker of his family when he was young… you can’t trick a trickster my friend.

eponymoushipster's avatar

my dad had a braided leather belt. holy crap.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Judi I don’t think anyone is judging anyone. All I was pointing out is that you have to look at the entire issue. It is rarely the child that is the cause of such problems. It doesn’t have to be the parents either, it could be an illness as you suggested. In this case it was not just a smirk but also bullying going on as well. I don’t think anyone was passing any kind of judgment, we were just talking about possibilities. As someone who works with kids of all abilities I definitely have no sense of judgment when it comes to these things. However I do think it is appropriate to explore possibilities. I apologize if something I said made you think I was somehow being judgmental. At the same time I would appreciate not being thought of as someone who is passing judgment on a situation I know so little about. I really haven’t given anything to support the idea I would do such a thing.

wundayatta's avatar

Makes me wonder why people value forced or coerced respect so much. Respect, I’m afraid, has to be earned, and if a child is dissing you it’s because you haven’t earned that child’s respect. You can hit him, or yell at him, or ground him, or whatever, but that won’t earn you his respect. It is your honesty and steadiness and wisdom that will do that.

Look, when you’re being yelled at, does that feel good? Like when you’re being dressed down by your drill sargeant or you boss? It’s a fucking dominance game, and the smirk tells you the person knows exactly what game you are playing. It’s just he’s not old enough to hold a poker face—or maybe even know the importance of a poker face.

My son makes a mistake, and, by golly, I yell at him. The next time he makes a mistake, and I yell at him, that smirk appears. I realize I’ve acted like a kid. I’ve let my emotions get in the way of good parenting.

I don’t want to beat him up. I just want him to remember to be careful. He was just playing. He didn’t mean to have that glass pebble come down on top of my head. It hurt me, and surprised me, and I’m sure he felt bad about that, and defensive. However, it wasn’t helpful to see that smirk on his face when I suggested he try to flip things in the air when there wasn’t anyone else around.

I don’t want to yell at him, because that’s counterproductive. I don’t even mention the smirk, because I remember so many times when I wore it, and how my parents responded, and I don’t want to do to my son what they did to me. I don’t even like him spending time with them, because they try to do the same thing with him, and they have no idea how much of a wedge they are driving between them and him.

They’re grandparents, for God’s sake! They’re supposed to spoil the kids! It’s not their job to knock the “wiseguy” out of him. And their method won’t work. It didn’t with me. That smirk said that I knew better—and the truth was that I did know better. My son knows better, too.

Kids don’t diss you unless you’ve earned their dissing. Pay attention to those smirks. Good behavior often means compliance, not respect. I suppose a lot of people are happy with compliance. Me? I prefer respect.

cak's avatar

You know, sometimes, it just a kid being a kid. It’s not abuse. It’s not because the parent isn’t sharing his wisdom. It’s not lack of good parenting. It’s a 6yr old being a six year old.

I know I won’t have the popular answer, but dammit, I get so tired of hearing all the reasons (except for mental illness…I understand there does need to be wiggle room there…I’m not that callous!) why a kid might be doing this – without stating the obvious. Also, some people seem to forget that these kids can and will pick up habits from other kids. Yes, at 6, it happens.

Is there anything worse than a bratty kid? Yes, one that is aware that the parents won’t do that much to correct their behavior. One that has parents that don’t think they need to teach them that smirking at people is rude. It’s annoying. Yes, the child is annoying, but so is the parent that belongs to that child.

My son decided to make a face at me after a situation, I counted to 5 and approached his look. I pointed out one, it was rude. I don’t make those faces at him, I don’t want them made at me. I also don’t want him thinking that it would ever be okay to behave like that towards other adults. I guess I’m backwards like that, I do believe that children should show adults respect; however, I don’t demand that they like or love every adult that they meet.

I made it very clear that if he decided to make that face again, there would be consequences. I was very clear with him that he would be assigned one of the chores that I generally don’t give the kids, for a week. rounding up the small trash cans, in our house seems to be the nuisance chore neither child wants to do. I don’t know why, it just is. It hasn’t happened since the one day he dared to give me the look, it may happen again, I’ll cross that bridge when it happens. I’m not a perfect parent. I make mistakes, all the time. This may be one of them.

DominicX's avatar


I don’t think it was the smirking that made people suspect abuse. I think it was the fact that he was bullying other kids. Kids are kids, but bullying other kids is not something normal old kids do. Also, the OP mentioned that the parents are going through marital problems and the father is irritable and often makes his bad mood show.

Milladyret's avatar

@eponymoushipster Hehe, yeah, I guess… I never thought about it :P

cak's avatar

@DominicX – I understand all of that, I really do. I work with children, a lot. I do think sometimes, I didn’t say this time, sometimes people forget that a kid can be a kid.

I volunteer at a battered women shelter. I see a lot of broken families, broken children. I grew up with a sister with mental issues and have a family full of mental disorders. Throw a reason at me, it’s either in my family or I’ve seen it walking through the door at the shelter – or during my time as a troop leader in Girl Scouts (10+ years).

Sometimes is really can be a kid being a kid.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@jmah Sorry to hear about the issues going on in that household. I hope that things improve for them all.

Blondesjon's avatar

@daloon . . .You can’t be that kid you once were. You need to be a parent.

unless they’re toddlers and then I guess that’s someone else’s problem

@DominicX. . .Do you even have any children? You sound like a child yourself.

DominicX's avatar


Listen, I don’t like you and you don’t like me. I am making a formal request: stop talking to me. Nothing you say to me is ever in the least bit respectful, you take nothing I say seriously, and I am tired of it. Just stop talking to me. I don’t want to see another word from you. I am not putting up with your crap any longer.

And furthermore, all I was doing was quoting what the original poster of this thread said about the child she mentioned. That he was bullying other kids, that his parents were having martial problems, and that his dad was irritable. And bullying other kids is not something every kid does.

If you don’t think what I say is valid, fine. You don’t need to comment on it every time I say something. Leave me alone.

cak's avatar

@DominicX – Also…I was answering the question – not really referring to the comments.

If other factors are there, yes – things need to be considered; however, I answered the question – as asked.

DominicX's avatar


I know, but I figured since you addressed the supplemental part of the question (about the specific 6-year-old that jmah was talking about), that you were including it in your response. It is in itself its own separate case.

cak's avatar

@DominicX – really, the only case I meant to address, was something Judi brought up. My sister is bipolar and went undiagnosed for a long time. She was thought of as a problem child. She was fighting with herself, the entire time. I just didn’t want anyone to think I was that much of a butt.

This question comes up in different forms and not just on a website. I have a 15yr old and a 6 yr old…moms talk. I’ve been in this debate, before. Really – I respect the opinions on here, I don’t agree with everything, but I do respect everyone’s right to a difference of opinion.

I just weighed in on the question – that’s all. I did address some of the comments (in a way) in my answer, because there were things I just have a strong difference of opinion with – like I think it needs to be addressed with the child. if you determine there isn’t a bigger picture involved.

DominicX's avatar


Oh yeah, I’m not arguing. I never said it was all in the parents or anything. Look at Jeffrey Dahmer; his parents did nothing bad and he was weird from the beginning. Not to bring up such a morbid example, but I find it fascinating. Nature vs. nurture. It’s an ongoing problem.

For me, I tend to support the most effective non-violent solution.

cak's avatar

@DominicX Jeffrey Dahmer. Scary! Hmmm…today, my son was sooooo strange. We finally looked at each other (hubby and I) and said, “Okay. If we can just make sure he doesn’t become a serial killer…we’re doing good!”

Jude's avatar

Working and I don’t have much time, but, I talked to the Mom this morning and she said he lacks empathy. That was the main complaint that the teacher had about him. I can tell the Mom is frustrated and I feel for both of the parents.

wundayatta's avatar

As a parent, I try to have a lot of empathy for my children. I remember how I felt when I got yelled at or hit or spanked. Or when I didn’t understand something. Or when I felt you were being treated unfairly. I remember how the things my parents did had little effect on me, except to make me respect them less.

My kids are people, and I treat them as such. I respect their feelings. I try to understand how they see the world, just as I do here with other people. I know that it sure doesn’t work to order them around, or to teach them how unfair the world is by acting like a dictator. It is unfair. I don’t see why I should make it worse any more than I do without meaning to.

If my son seems selfish at home (apparently he doesn’t do these things when he’s with other people) or ill mannered, or if he does something stupid like flipping a rock in the air and it falls down on my head, I try to explain to him or help him figure it out himself what the advantages of good manners and empathy for other people, and thinking about the consequences of his behavior are. I have very high expectations for my kids. Maybe too high. But I’m not going to beat them until they meet those expectations.

My daughter blows her teachers away with her maturity and intelligence. She is the peacemaker and solid center of her “posse” at school. She is a powerful singer who can accompany herself on the piano. She is an amazing writer who tells fascinating stories.

This is all at an exclusive school that we have trouble affording. We do without a lot of things to send the kids to this school (staycations instead of vacations, computers that are six or seven years old (mine), holes in the plaster that have been in the kitchen for years).

My son may not be the best reader and he may not be as motivated by traditional school subjects, but musically and artistically, he is phenomenal. At nine, he already draws better than I ever did, or ever could. For God’s sake, he knows how to use shading in his drawings. He draws these imaginary dragons that look totally professional. He is teaching himself a new Bach piece on the piano over the summer. His Aikido teachers tell us he’s a “natural.” He works harder at things he chooses and loves than anyone I’ve ever seen (if only he loved reading and math that way). He is generally polite outside the house, and the teachers and other kids in his class absolutely adore him.

I think this has to do, a lot, with the way my wife and I parent. We try to demonstrate responsibility, caring, and hard work as much as possible. We demonstrate empathy and politeness as much as we can. We demonstrate respect by respecting our kids. We never hit them. We always try to explain the reasons for why we expect what we expect. We answer all the why questions even when it drives us to distraction, and even when we don’t know, we hop on the internet to try to find out. We give them as many opportunities as we possibly can without driving ourselves crazy. I pushed hard on the piano practicing, and both kids cried a few times, and that was a mistake, but I pulled back, and they both love to play. Believe me, as dedicated parents, we really skirt close to the edge of having nervous breakdowns, and sometimes we fall over that edge (although there are other reasons for that).

I may not like infancy and toddlerdom compared to the what they are like now, but I changed half the diapers, and I did one-third to one-half of the night-time duties (reading, rocking to sleep, getting up when they are sick), and I fed them baby food (which disgusts me as much as trapping mice disgusts my wife—the smell of pureed canned peas? Shudder!). I did (while they were infants and toddlers) a hell of a lot more than most men do (although still never enough for my wife) and I appreciated every second of it.

I hate braggarts and I hate bragging, but there seems to be a level of misunderstanding of what I’m talking about that I have given into my defensive feelings. I am not blowing smoke. I know what I’m talking about, and I know that what I do works. I do not appreciate being criticized for my parenting or for what some may interpret as irresponsibility. You can needle me as much as you want in other topics (although it is annoying in that it doesn’t contribute either to the substance of the conversation, nor is it humorous) and I will ignore it or respond in kind, but not on this subject. Fluther is a place where we can speak our minds, but it is a mistake to think that what we say is a good representation of what we do.

I am consistently honest in taking a hard look in the mirror at myself. To a fault, perhaps. It appears that it annoys some people, but that doesn’t stop me. I rarely give in to the urge to defend myself, because I think it’s up to other people to judge me as they will. But I expect them to keep their damn judgments to themselves, because they do not know the whole story. I understand that we all slip up in being judgmental on occasion, but this is a touchy area for me. I would appreciate it very much if the very few people who get medieval on my ass would chill a bit. Comments of denigration and personal attack, no matter how obliquely or (supposedly) humorously phrased, are not part of the fluther culture.

I am very proud of my kids. I am very proud of my parenting. I think I’ve earned that pride.

Clair's avatar

being a kid sucks in a lot of ways. you gotta have empathy like @daloon says. but you can’t let em run all over you.

@eponymoushipster i got the braided belt myself! i’ve had to pick my own hickory many times too. youch.

Bri_L's avatar

I remember dual punishment being a twin. You had the terror of being first, or having to sit there and watch, knowing you were next.

I was spanked. I don’t spank. My dad had another child with his new wife when I was 26. He didn’t spank that one.

I think we as adults don’t quite get the difference between disrespecting and not behaving. Especially with younger kids. When they are tired or getting sick it has NOTHING to do with respecting you or not. Also, when they get older. It is often a byproduct of our own doing. Take a 10 year old. Pump him full of a sugary breakfast. Then run him around with nothing to do that is interesting for a 10 year old while you run errands for 2 hours and yeah, he’s gonna get cranky. Just like adults do under extreme circumstances. But some parents don’t realize that they put themselves in the position in the first place.

cak's avatar

@daloon – Even though I believe that children should be respectful of their elders, that includes their own parents – thus, the smirk doesn’t last in my house, I am empathic. I don’t think that the two are mutually exclusive – teaching the children to respect others and also understanding their feelings.

What I took from your answer and yes, it struck me odd, is the child is okay to judge a parent and clearly, the parent has done something wrong, while talking to a child – maybe…yes, while disciplining them and a smirk is an okay judgement. In my book, it’s not. Discipline isn’t always yelling, spanking or abuse – as it seems to be in your answers. You know, other parents…not just you, do talk and try to understand their children.

My child are bright and excel in different things and are respected by others. Yes, even the 6yr old…in fact, he just won the Most Respectful award, at school, among other things. Both of my children are well mannered, but do express their opinions on things – in respectful tones. There is not a damn thing wrong with wanting your children to be respectful. My children do not fear or dislike me. They come to me and we do discuss things, but children do need boundaries, in my book. And boundaries, doesn’t mean to stifle their growth, creativity or childhood…it just means they can’t run all over me and give dirty looks or talk back to me. It’s rude.

You’ve expressed things about your childhood, yep…add all of that…the high expectations, the must be perfect, manners at all times and don’t even think of giving a dirty look and spankings with a leather belt, to my childhood. Spankings that left me with scars. You know what, I did learn, I grew and moved on. I also understand that it’s okay to parent my children and teach them how to respect others, while respecting me – at the same time.

Blondesjon's avatar

@cak . . .You are exactly right. I feel that @daloon would rather be buddies with his children (you know, once they are past the “boring” toddler stage) than be a parent.

Children don’t have a clue about what the world is like. It’s up to us to teach them, not try and relive our childhood through them.

cookieman's avatar

Applause for @cak and @Blondesjon.

I spend a lot of time making sure my daughter feels included and that her opinions are valued…to a point.

Ultimately, I have thirty-two more years experience than my six-year-old daughter. And, I am not her friend.

On a good day (which is most), I am her mentor and her inspiration.

But some days, I am the law – period.

cak's avatar

@cprevite exactly! I am not their friend. I am their mother – something far more important. It doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy our time together, we do – immensely! —I completely get the ‘good day, bad day’ thing!

thank you! :)

Ivan's avatar

Blech. You’ve all convinced me not to have children.

DominicX's avatar


You can be my father. :)

Blondesjon's avatar

@Ivan . . .I just heard the collective, disappointed sigh, of thousands of potential Mrs. Ivans…

Ivan's avatar

@Blondesjon Never said anything about marriage. :P

cak's avatar

@Ivan—I’ve jumped from a plane, willingly…hurling towards the Earth, hoping the ‘chute would open. I’ve worked at a wild animal rescue and got to feed the big cats. I’ve been deep sea diving and had a shark come close to me. (not attack wise, but it swam past me!) I’ve been stuck on a lake, at the engine went out on a boat and had an alligator eye us, then entire time…enough for it to keep swimming near us. I climb and hike. All things that have some elevated amount of risk.

Parenting; however, yeah…not for the faint of heart! They can drive you bonkers, in record time, if you allow it!

Ivan's avatar

I was referring to the fact that having children would apparently turn me into a person that I would have hated as a child.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Ivan . . .For someone who claims to deal with hard facts you do a lot of assuming.

Ivan's avatar

Have you been waiting around for an opportunity to say that or something?

Blondesjon's avatar

I wait around for the opportunity to say anything.

wundayatta's avatar

@cak and @Blondesjon Well, once again the length of my answers (I presume) has caused a problem, because it doesn’t seem like you read it. Or maybe I was too oblique in the way I said things. I have no need to be my kids’ friend. I am their parent. We are stricter than most parents. We just don’t get respect by scaring the kids. We do it by being consistent and honest.

I don’t know what world you live in @cak, but if you think kids don’t judge parents, I’d like some of the happy pills that you’re taking. I don’t suppose your children have ever said, “that’s not fair,” or “this is the worst day ever!”

I have no problem disciplining children, I just do it in a different way. I don’t have to raise my voice to get a child to respond positively to a request. Except with my son, who seems to have some kind of selective hearing problem. Ah well, that’s not really fair. He gets totally absorbed in what he’s doing, and can’t bear to tear away from it. Again, that’s something I understand, but he does do his jobs, anyway.

As to @Blondesjon‘s comment about children not knowing about the world, and it being up to us to teach them, that is absolutely correct. It’s up to us, however, to figure out the best way to teach them, and in my case, that includes not making the mistakes my parents made. You don’t seem to have learned from the mistakes your parents made, or else they were perfect. I suppose, since you’re perfect (at least, I don’t recall you ever admitting to any mistakes here), your parents must be perfect, too.

My parents, however, did make mistakes, which I hope to avoid making in bringing up my kids. I’m sure I will make other mistakes, which they will fix when bringing up their kids.

I do not plan to place enormous psychological burdens on my kids about success, although I do have very high expectations. I don’t plan to ever hit or spank them in an effort at discipline, and I haven’t. Somehow, they are still respectful kids. I plan to let my kids know that I love them at every moment I can. I plan to teach them about the things they want to know, instead of leaving them vulnerable to the difficulties of being an adult. I plan to discuss feelings with them, instead of pretending no one has any emotional life.

I don’t go by the idea that if it was good enough for my parents, it’s good enough for me. I hope my children don’t follow that bromide, either.

cak's avatar

@daloon – Honestly, it comes across like you believe that no one else is capable of parenting. There. I said it and I feel better. Bitchy? Probably. Honest, yes. You are assuming that all people yell, you are assuming that spanking is the answer. In my case, yelling isn’t employed very often, at all. I can’t stand yelling.

I’m not dumb, daloon. I realize that child pass judgement – I have a 15yr old, I’ve had some practice at this…I’m not completely new to this whole parenting thing. The difference is I think children do need to be respectful and do need to refrain from showing completely disrespect – like the dreadful smirk. There is a time and place for everything, showing disrespect to someone’s face and not responding to the parent’s request…that doesn’t work for me. or for others

You may think it’s okay and that’s great, but you know, eventually, your son may decide to do that in front of a person that really won’t like it – have you thought about the consequences of allowing the smirk – without preparing him for the possibly of repercussions?

My thing is, discipline, isn’t a bad thing. Boundaries and teaching that sometimes, you may want to react, but you can’t do so…isn’t a bad thing. Self control. It’s important.

DominicX's avatar

I wish we could hear from your guys’ kids who are old enough to go on this site. All we hear is from the parents, but I’m interested in what the kids have to say. Sometimes I feel as if I’m the only kid on this site. And yet we hear from me all the time; I’ve talked about my parents so much, they’d probably be embarrassed should they ever come on this site. Of course, realistically I don’t want them coming on this site because that would blow the experience for me, but part of me is curious what my parents would say about their parenting and if would match what I’ve said about it.

cak's avatar

@DominicX – If you read my answers, I’ve admitted that I’ve spanked. I’ve lost my temper and blow up like a volcano. I am not a perfect parent and am sure I’ve done enough damage, at some point, where I am fairly certain they could wind up on Oprah’s couch complaining about their parents.

My answers would stand up just fine, if my daughter ever decided to really open an account. She’s been on the fence about it, a little weirded out about being on the same site as me – and active. She sees what I write and we discuss things.

Parents aren’t perfect, DominicX. We’re human, just like you.

DominicX's avatar


lol…a little defensive, are we? You sure took a lot out of the little that I wrote. What I “implied” by what I wrote is all there. I want to see if it would match up. I even mentioned I wanted to see if what I write about my parents would match up with what they would write. I wasn’t implying that it wouldn’t match up because you think you’re perfect and your kids would disagree. That’s not what I was saying at all, if that’s what you thought.

cak's avatar

@DominicX – Nope. Not defensive, at all. Just an opinion, that’s all. I am glad there are kids that contribute on here. I so wish my daughter would join!

DominicX's avatar


Yeah, that would be cool. I wouldn’t want my parents to come on here, though, because of all the times I’ve been insulted and hated and stuff, I know it would make them angry and I wouldn’t want them “defending” me or anything…lol

cak's avatar

@daloon & @everyone – for clarification – in my response to @daloon – I said, _“You are assuming that all people yell, you are assuming that spanking is the answer.” The second part of the statement has a typo. It should read:

“You are assuming that all people yell, you are assuming that all people think spanking is the answer.” Daloon is very against spanking, I would never imply – on purpose that he was anything other than against spanking. That was just a typo on my part.

Also, “I realize that child pass judgment” should be, “I realize that children pass judgment.” Change child to children and corrected judgment.

One should not type while on pain meds.

Blondesjon's avatar

@daloon . . .Reports of my divinity have been greatly exaggerated.

@DominicX . . .My two oldest both have told me they wouldn’t be caught dead, frequenting the same site as their Mom and Dad.

I told them if they ever did they had best speak well of their parents…or else

wundayatta's avatar

@cak I was thinking about how I wrote that later yesterday, and I thought that maybe I was coming across as if I was the only one who knew how to parent. I’m sorry about that. It’s not what I meant to imply. I was getting rather defensive about what I do, as I think I admitted above.

I do think that there are better consequences for parenting in the way I’m describing, but I’m not sure how to express that without being critical and pissing people off. I do respect you and I value your opinions very much, so maybe we just have to respectfully disagree here?

We each have our own different experiences. Maybe I feel like you’re trying to invalidate my experiences. Maybe you feel likewise. Or we’re invalidating the lessons learned from these experiences. I don’t mean to do that, and I don’t believe you do, either. I know we both feel like we’re doing the best we can.

@Blondesjon Damn! And I was just about to build an alter for you in my living room.

justus2's avatar

Well based on everything the asker has said in the question and in the answers section I would have to say it isn’t the kids fault as much as the parents. I feel bad for that child also, having to live with a father in such a bad mood, my dad yelled at me for the smallest things and guess what, when I figured out that he was going to complain about anythin and everything when he got into a bad mood it brought on a smirk.

desiree333's avatar

my little sister is a huge brat, although I feel bad for saying this its absolutley true. She is very disrespectful towards myself and my mum. We decided to take a dollar off of her allowance every time she screams, hits, kicks, calls names etc. It seems to be working, but she has already got $10 off in her first day, and her allowance is only $20!

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