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Punishing your kids for repeating your mistakes


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  #1  
May 8th, 2007, 11:08 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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I was watching a show on TLC late last night. It was about a family who had 11 kids I think. The oldest two children were the mother's but they had a different father than the rest of the kids. The mother gave birth to the first one at 14 or 15 I think and the second one at 18. She later married her husband and had the rest of the kids.

When her oldest turned 18 the girl decided to do some things her own way. She decided she didn't want to have to go to church every Sunday. She also decided that she wanted to have a boyfriend. The parents did not agree with this so they packed her stuff and told her she could either go live with her boyfriend or stay with the pastor of their church.

She moved in with the Pastor for a week and then found her own place. The family pretty much cut off contact with her. She eventually got pregnant and is raising her son and living in her own place. The family talks about missing her but still does not agree with her choices.

Do you find it hypocritical of them to punish her for growing up and making her own choices? The mother became pregnant as a young teenager and then had another baby at 18. Does she really have the right to judge?


I was so annoyed by these two parents that I finally had to change the channel.
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  #3  
May 8th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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I think that at some point parent's have to accept that once their children are adults they have the same right that we did as adults to find their own path and make their own choices. Some of their decisions will have negative consequences (but hey, who hasn't learned through making mistakes) and some won't. Ultimately, they have to be allowed to follow the path that they decide upon.

My children will do things I won't agree with. It will be hard to sit back and let them make their own mistakes, and I'll probably have to help them pick themselves up more than once. I can't protect them from the real world as adults and I cannot carve out a nice clean corner of the world where they will only do things that I think are right.

Sometimes, being supportive means still being there when they screw up.

I don't know if it's hypocritical - but I do think it's not being supportive. I also think it's rather manipulative. "Live your life the way I say too or you can't be around me" isn't conducive to an open loving relationship.

My thoughts are jumbled and I don't think I'm explaining this too well.[/b]

I completely understand what you mean. I think sometimes as a parent you have to step back and let your kid make their own choices especially when that "kid" is of adult age.

Seriously, did these parents think their daughter would never want a boyfriend. She was 18! They just seem to be that type that thinks "my way is the only way."
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  #4  
May 8th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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I hate it when ppl expect the "learn from my mistakes" thing is supposed to be taken literally. Sorry, but no ppl learn from their OWN mistakes....but the mistakes they make are impacted by observing the mistakes of others.
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  #6  
May 8th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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I didn't see it. As a parent it's your responcibility more to be there to help your child through tough times as they get older.
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  #7  
May 8th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Personally I think the parents are obligated to insist she make the right decesions - I also personally don't think 18 is an adult - I know what the law may say but 18 is just so young and our kids think they know it all (I know I thought I did at that age) when really they are just barely starting out in life. Also if the kid is living at home, I think it should be 100% parents rules (no matter if she's 20).
I do think the parents went about it all wrong - I mean dumping her out? That's harsh in my opinion - that's setting her up to get pregnant and moving in with her boyfriend!
(Oh boy, I sure dread those days with my 2)
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  #8  
May 8th, 2007, 12:46 PM
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What kind of parent does that. This is there child. She is 18 an adult who wanted to have alife of her own. Parents can not live there lifes through there children. Now they have lost a daughter and are not knowing there grandchild. All I can say is wow, and Why
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  #9  
May 8th, 2007, 12:53 PM
Pure Innocence
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Personally I think the parents are obligated to insist she make the right decesions - I also personally don't think 18 is an adult - I know what the law may say but 18 is just so young and our kids think they know it all (I know I thought I did at that age) when really they are just barely starting out in life. Also if the kid is living at home, I think it should be 100% parents rules (no matter if she's 20).
I do think the parents went about it all wrong - I mean dumping her out? That's harsh in my opinion - that's setting her up to get pregnant and moving in with her boyfriend!
(Oh boy, I sure dread those days with my 2)[/b]
Every parent wants their child to make the right decision and they are entitled to insist that they do so. But what was the right decision for one may not be the right decision for their child. And what do you mean starting out in life? They've had an 18 year head start!! This is a classic case of a parent wanting to control every aspect of their child's life.
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  #10  
May 8th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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This is a classic case of a parent wanting to control every aspect of their child's life.[/b]
I agree. These people sound like a bunch of jerks.
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  #11  
May 8th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
This is a classic case of a parent wanting to control every aspect of their child's life.[/b]
I agree. These people sound like a bunch of jerks.
[/b]

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. I think it is even worse because they are judging her for doing the very same thing the mother did!

I don't know if it was necessarily for religious reasons. They did mention that they were upset because she decided she didn't want to have to go to church every Sunday so I guess it at least played a role.
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  #12  
May 8th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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This really seems like two different issues to me. First is the extent of parental authority in the home over older children. Second is whether it is hypocritical or judgemental to punish your children for things you have also done.

To address the first issue, I believe my husband and I have the right to set the rules for our home. If my children are old enough that they decide they no longer need my rules (and my shelter, food, clothing, money, etc) then they are perfectly free to move out, make their own rules, and provide for their own needs.

To address the second issue, my job as a Mom is to raise my children to be absolutely the best they can be. What I did as a kid makes no difference in what I must do as a parent.

Just from the little bit about the family in the OP, it doesn't sound like they have handled the situation with their daughter very wisely. If she was 18 years old and not even allowed a boyfriend, that is too controlling. Kids need to be allowed to grow up, and at the same time they also need to be held accountable for their actions.
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  #13  
May 8th, 2007, 05:38 PM
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This really seems like two different issues to me. First is the extent of parental authority in the home over older children. Second is whether it is hypocritical or judgemental to punish your children for things you have also done.

To address the first issue, I believe my husband and I have the right to set the rules for our home. If my children are old enough that they decide they no longer need my rules (and my shelter, food, clothing, money, etc) then they are perfectly free to move out, make their own rules, and provide for their own needs.

To address the second issue, my job as a Mom is to raise my children to be absolutely the best they can be. What I did as a kid makes no difference in what I must do as a parent.

Just from the little bit about the family in the OP, it doesn't sound like they have handled the situation with their daughter very wisely. If she was 18 years old and not even allowed a boyfriend, that is too controlling. Kids need to be allowed to grow up, and at the same time they also need to be held accountable for their actions.[/b]

Just because I drank underage when I was in highschool does not mean that I am going to sit back and willingly allow my children to do so. Just because I experimented with drugs in college, does not mean I have to wait until their addicts so I can do an intervention. I am their mother, the mistakes of my past are a moot point when it comes to raising my children. I hope I have learned enough from my mistakes and my parent's oversight of them to teach my children a little bit better.
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  #14  
May 8th, 2007, 05:47 PM
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This really seems like two different issues to me. First is the extent of parental authority in the home over older children. Second is whether it is hypocritical or judgemental to punish your children for things you have also done.

To address the first issue, I believe my husband and I have the right to set the rules for our home. If my children are old enough that they decide they no longer need my rules (and my shelter, food, clothing, money, etc) then they are perfectly free to move out, make their own rules, and provide for their own needs.

To address the second issue, my job as a Mom is to raise my children to be absolutely the best they can be. What I did as a kid makes no difference in what I must do as a parent.

Just from the little bit about the family in the OP, it doesn't sound like they have handled the situation with their daughter very wisely. If she was 18 years old and not even allowed a boyfriend, that is too controlling. Kids need to be allowed to grow up, and at the same time they also need to be held accountable for their actions.[/b]

I know what you mean. I think all parents hope to be able to keep their children from repeating the same mistakes. I just think these parents are weirdly strict. I mean how can you not expect an 18 year old to have a boyfriend. I wish they would have said at what age they would allow her to date!

I also think it's wrong to cut your children out of your life just because they don't want to live life exactly the way you want them to. I can see the whole "my house, my rules" type of belief but to cut off all contact!

I feel bad for that girl. I wonder if the other 10 kids will become little clones of their parents or be shunned for having their own minds!
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  #15  
May 8th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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I also agree that I would never disown my child for behavior that is not hurting others (i.e murder or assault) but I would not necessarily condone (sp?) it either.
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  #16  
May 8th, 2007, 05:54 PM
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I also agree that I would never disown my child for behavior that is not hurting others (i.e murder or assault) but I would not necessarily condone (sp?) it either.[/b]
ditto
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  #17  
May 8th, 2007, 06:34 PM
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Well, just from the POV of the parents, perhaps they feel it is best to cut her out because she is a bad influence on the other children. I'm not saying this is right, but I would bet that is their thinking.
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  #18  
May 8th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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Well, just from the POV of the parents, perhaps they feel it is best to cut her out because she is a bad influence on the other children. I'm not saying this is right, but I would bet that is their thinking.[/b]

Actually, they did say that they didn't want her to influence their other children. That kind of bothers me though. I wonder if the reason the girl has done the things she has done is because of the way her parents parented her.

I think the whole thing just bugs me because the mother got pregnant at 14 and again at 18. The daughter only wanted a boyfriend at 18 and didn't even get pregnant until she was 20 (I think) after she had already been kicked out.

Reminds me of the sayings "well isn't that the pot calling the kettle black" or "those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
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  #19  
May 8th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
I also agree that I would never disown my child for behavior that is not hurting others (i.e murder or assault) but I would not necessarily condone (sp?) it either.[/b]
ditto
[/b]

alert alert .... Pure Innocence and rdhdtrue agreed .... this may not happen again so I just wanted to point it out ....
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  #20  
May 8th, 2007, 06:57 PM
Pure Innocence
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Quote:
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I also agree that I would never disown my child for behavior that is not hurting others (i.e murder or assault) but I would not necessarily condone (sp?) it either.[/b]
ditto
[/b]

alert alert .... Pure Innocence and rdhdtrue agreed .... this may not happen again so I just wanted to point it out ....
[/b]
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