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Should teaching your children things that are proven false be considered abuse?

Not things that are questions of faith, but things that are factually incorrect - things like the Holocaust never happened, this was intended to be a Christian nation, Under God was always in the pledge, all Muslims are terrorists, dinosaur bones are fake - if someone is intentionally and deliberately misleading a child with things like this, or teaching them intentionally incorrect history (like saying Islam has no connection to Judaism and Christianity), aren't they essentially disabling their child to cope in the real world? What's the difference between indoctrinating a child with factually incorrect information like this, and other countries teaching their children that other nationalities or religions want to kill them?

It's not a free speech issue - if you repeatedly call your child stupid and worthless, you are considered abusive, even though you are "free" to call people and things stupid and worthless.


Asked by NotPanicking at 9:35 PM on Dec. 17, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (46)
  • But when it comes to custody between two parents, and one is intentionally teaching those things and the other isn't - it should be a factor.

    On that I agree- I guess maybe the argument can be made in regards to the family that named their child Adolph Hitler- everyone was outraged-they ended up having those kids taken away- was that the only reason-NO, was it a major factor-probably. Maybe the word we are looking for is detriment. If you are a detriment to your child than in some cases the law intervenes- like people that do not have schooling of any sort for their kids- its considered a detriment and the law intervenes- in a custody case- teaching a child something that will impact their ability to get ahead in the world would be considered a detriment. I am spinning in circles here- someone pick up this debate and expand....

    Answer by soyousay at 10:07 PM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • I'm not sure if I believe I want the government involved in what a parent is/isn't allowed to teach their child. How would they go about regulating which parents are "abusing" their children in this way? Where do we draw the line? Would it be just as "abusive" for Atheist parents to teach their children that believers are ignorant and blind, etc? I could see where what is "proven" could be taken to extremes, and how it could start to step on religion's toes a bit - what about those who believe the "proof" indicates there was no Noah's flood, no Exodus, or no Jesus? I could see the issue being pushed....

    But I do believe there should be higher standards of the quality of education and information being given to our children. I'm just not sure how we would go about it, other than handling it inside the education system - though I kind of believe that's where it should be handled.... Our education system needs work, though...

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:45 PM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • You mean like santa?

    Answer by harris4 at 9:36 PM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • Where do you draw the line? What if I taught my daughter that, say, nudity is perfectly normal and acceptable and it's a violation of our American freedoms that the govt forces us to cover our bodies in shame? What if my toddler already knew "Obama hate freedom, love money?" What if i teach her that man-made global warming is a myth- or what if I teach her that's it's absolutely true and carbon dioxide should be treated as a dangerous substance? What if I teach her that pot isn't harmful to her health? Who gets to decide what is "factually incorrect"- the govt (as in, a group with an agenda, be it liberal or conservative)? No thank you.

    We all should have the right to decide what we teach our children- the govt should have no say.

    Answer by soflashelley at 11:24 PM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • I don't know if I would call it abuse, but I know its immoral to teach a child to be totally ignorant of the world around them.

    Answer by sweet29mom at 9:42 PM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • If thats the case then I guess we were ALL abused... we were ALL taught something ya know?
    No its not abuse!

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 9:44 PM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • No. And if that were considered abuse, a lot of children would be without parents. Most all parents indoctrinate their children in some way or another. Lying to your child is not illegal, even if it breeds ignorance. Intelligence and knowledge aren't always necessary to survival. Trust me...I've known some people who have shown this to me quite clearly, lol. I mean...some people aren't even aware of their own ignorance. They may not even intentionally be trying to give their child false information. They may truly believe they're correct, sad as that is. They listen to lies and propaganda and can't differentiate between that and reality. It would be very hard to pinpoint which parents did it intentionally and which ones didn't. Anyone is allowed to have kids, and therefore there are going to be parents who aren't the brightest crayons in the box. It may be bad parenting, but I don't think it crosses over into abuse.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 9:46 PM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • There are people that believe we live inside Earth and that pictures from space are a government conspiracy. Do I think it's abuse? No. Are they teaching their kids dumb things? yes. while I object to this ignorance, I do believe it falls under free speech. The Constitution protects ignorant buttheads as well as educated individuals.


    Answer by layh41407 at 9:54 PM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • cont...

    There was a post once from someone on here who was legitimately resentful and felt damaged because her parents taught her as a child that Santa Claus was real. She admitted that she considered emotional abuse. I believed in Santa and I am grateful that I did. I felt it was a positive experience. That's just an example of the broad range of "lies" taught to children and how they can affect all people differently. I've known some people who have had VERY racist parents, but grew up to hate racism. Not all beliefs and falsities are passed down through the generations.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 10:22 PM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • yes

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:36 PM on Dec. 17, 2010