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philosophical question

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:20 PM
  • 9 Replies
My question, do you think that a parent is always responsible if their children end up getting in trouble or making bad decisions? My MIL said to me today that she thinks that it always comes back to the parents. That way of thinking bothers me, cause it does not account for outside forces. For example personality of the child, influence of friends, or personal choices of the child. The issue came up when I told MIL about someone I met at work who was involved with drugs. She blamed the parents without knowing anything about the situation. Please tell me your perspective and give examples of people you know. Thanks
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:20 PM
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by Bronze Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:28 PM
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It's not always the parent's "fault", but it's the parent's "responsibility" until the child is an adult.

by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:29 PM

I think it's not always nurture but often nature. Nature is much stronger that I ever thought it was and studies have shown that over the years.

For instance I was a very present parent who was aware of and worked on sibling rivalry. My ADHD, PTSD, depressed daughter bullied my son in spite of this. I had no idea. I thought I'd done a great job. They both agree I did but they somehow managed to be in bad situations with each other any way. My son thought it was normal play for a while.

by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:33 PM
Can anyone give personal examples from your life?
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:33 PM
I agree with you, especially with adults. I know a lot of kids who had great childhoods, grew up with great parents and became major fuck ups. I also know kids who had terrible parents and very little that made something of themselves despite their parents influence.
by Ruby Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:42 PM
Most of the time it may be how the kids are raised. Not always though.
Terrible abusive parents can still raise good kids though.
Kids raised in the ghetto are more likely to be in jail.
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by Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

For example, a juvenile delinquent, and the parents never taught the kid that it was ok to steal, beat up people.

  If the parents were influencing the kid, bringing him into a criminal business then yes, actually they can wind up having some legal responsibility.

If a mentally ill child is DENIED treatment, if the parents insist he's possessed and do exorcisms, if school officials have pled with the parents to recognize that their child is ill and they have refused to see this, and the person harms someone (including themselves), I think the parents should be charged with depraved indifference and other crimes.

If they have made a good faith effort and their child has evaded treatment, with the complicity of the mental health system allowing that, then no they should not have any legal culpability.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 9:20 PM
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The best we can do as parents is to hold our children to high standards.  Most people thrive when people around them believe they're capable of great things.  So you hold your child to the highest standard they are capable of reaching.  This is for every aspect of life.  Talk to your children and tell them clearly what you expect.  Tell them clearly what the penalties are for bad behavior.  Spend time with them teaching them everything you know, and just loving them.  Some kids will turn out to be "problems" anyway.  Sometimes there's nothing that can be done to prevent it.  But parents still need to EXPECT that their children will become good citizens of the world and treat them accordingly.

I was a very strict parent when my kids were young, as far as setting rules and expecting certain behavior.  But I thought the rules were reasonable, and the expectations were reasonable.  I didn't make up arbitrary rules just to prove I could make them do something.  I taught my kids to have manners, that homework came before going out to play, that you treat other people with respect, and that you don't let other people treat you badly.  You protect those weaker than yourself.  You help people.  You do chores in the house because you're part of the family and we all pitch in to make the household run.  You do the right thing because it's the right thing, not to get a reward.  You have fun for the sake of having fun.  I taught them that each success leads to the next success.  I tell them I love them every day.  I taught them to respect their bodies, be careful what they put in and how they use their bodies.  These things may sound basic and common sense, but you have to TEACH these to your kids, constantly, through your words and actions.

And if you have done your best as a parent, if you can honestly say to yourself that you did everything you could to raise your children right, then you are not to blame if your child goes down the wrong path and does something bad.  Nobody can know how our children's lives will turn out in the long run.  We can only do the best we can with what we have at the time.  

IMO the worst parenting is when the parents of young children are afraid to discipline their children, and the children are running the house, and running the parents.  Children NEED rules and boundaries, and parents need to set them.  

( asked!)

by Bronze Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 9:27 PM

I don't...I think at some point that children are responsible for their own choices...My brother and I are 3.5 years apart in age, 4 years in school because of his late birthday.  I have never smoked, drink on rare occassion and have never used illegal drugs. He, on the other hand, has been addicted to all of the above. I have never had a child outside of marriage (though I am divorced) and my brother had twins with a woman he lived with and never married.  We were both raised in the same city, same church, same philosophies, parents are still married 40 years later...He's never been on to take some one's word for it and has to learn every lesson the hard way, I would prefer to take the lesson from someone else and not have to experience that hardship first hand.

by Barb on Jul. 31, 2013 at 9:58 PM

I think that peer influence an important factor, and also what the child sees on TV and movies. These days I suspect that parents have less influence than formerly when kids weren't exposed to so many other factors.

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