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The blame game


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  #1  
July 11th, 2006, 10:15 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
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We all know someone who plays the blame game when it comes to their children. Whatever their child has done is not the child's fault or their own fault in their minds. If their child gets in trouble, it's their child's "bad" friends' fault. (friends that the PARENT ALLOWS the child to be around). If they don't do well in school, it's the school's fault. If the child is bullying someone, it's the media's fault for allowing so much violence on tv. If they are disobedient or disrespectful, it's because "they ate sugar/food coloring/caffeine (insert item here)." If a teenage daughter ends up pregnant, it's the boyfriend's fault-or the school's fault for not educating her properly. You get the idea.

Why can't parents just step up and take responsibility for raising their own children? Even with the "excuse" that a parent provides, doesn't it still boil down to being the parent's responsibility-for allowing the child to have certain friends, watch certain shows, eat certain foods, etc.

*Disclaimer- I'm not talking about special needs kids or toddlers & preschoolers who have a tendency to get overly tired, or get frustrated due to the lack of communication skills, etc.

Opinions?
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  #2  
July 12th, 2006, 04:25 AM
syncere
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You have to remember that sometimes it is out of the parents hands.. Im not saying that all times it is but, there are always exceptions.. For one example.. The teenage daughter ending up pregnant.. She could have been sneaking out (how is that your fault?), She could be lying saying she is going somewhere else when she is really with her bf (again not your fault). You have to trust your children to a certain extent if there has never been lying or sneaking out previously you wouldnt know the difference.. Another one that kills me is when people try to blame the parents for how their young daughters are dressing.. Im not talking about the parents who buy those clothes for the kids.. Im talking about the parents who see their children walk out of house in a pair of jeans and a top.. They get to school borrow clothes from friends or whatever and walk around half naked.. Now that is not your fault.. Sure you can discipline them if they do these things, prevent them from hanging out with certain friends but when they are at school you have no control. If my son is bad I dont blame it on food or sugar or whatever. Ill admit Im not a perfect mother, no one is.. But I do own up to my mistakes in regards to parenting
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  #3  
July 12th, 2006, 05:10 AM
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I think that most of the time parents are even at fault if their kids, especially teenagers, get into trouble. Parents have to supervise even if their kids are teenagers. Everyone has a phone--parents can call and check to make sure their kids are where they're supposed to be. If there's no way to check up on them, they don't go. And if a parent is so out of touch they don't know if their kids are sneaking out or taking different clothes out of the house and changing somewhere, that is complete abdication of parenthood, and the kids are going to have problems. I'm not saying that some teenagers won't go wrong, or test the limits, or get into some trouble, but that's why parents are supposed to be looking out for them. I think most parents today want to be "popular" instead of "effective," so they turn a blind eye to behavior that needs to be addressed. My parents weren't concerned about whether I was their best friend, they checked up on everything I did and kept me in line.
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  #4  
July 12th, 2006, 05:19 AM
syncere
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Quote:
I think that most of the time parents are even at fault if their kids, especially teenagers, get into trouble. Parents have to supervise even if their kids are teenagers. Everyone has a phone--parents can call and check to make sure their kids are where they're supposed to be. If there's no way to check up on them, they don't go. And if a parent is so out of touch they don't know if their kids are sneaking out or taking different clothes out of the house and changing somewhere, that is complete abdication of parenthood, and the kids are going to have problems. I'm not saying that some teenagers won't go wrong, or test the limits, or get into some trouble, but that's why parents are supposed to be looking out for them. I think most parents today want to be "popular" instead of "effective," so they turn a blind eye to behavior that needs to be addressed. My parents weren't concerned about whether I was their best friend, they checked up on everything I did and kept me in line.[/b]

No no Im talking about their friends bringing clothes to school for them then they change there not taking clothes out of their own houses.. My parents checked up on me too all the time and Ill admit I still did things they told me not to do.. I had a pager if they paged me I went to where I told them I would be and used the phone.. Not hard to do.. Or if your friend answers the phone and you arent there your friend could say oh shes in the bathroom or whatever Ill have her call you back in a minute.. Bam lie covered long enough to where your friend could get a hold of you.. Its not a total "abdication of parenthood" not knowing if your children are being devious and doing things like changing clothes at school or lying and telling you they are somewhere when they arent.. Im just saying that not all the time does the blame fall on the parents sometimes it does and I know that.. My parents were good parents they checked up on me all the time.. did all the things to make sure I was behaving and not lying.. Im just making the point that no matter how good of a parent you try to be or how often you check up on them there are some kids who figure out ways around that and I dont blame my parents one bit..
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  #5  
July 12th, 2006, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
No no Im talking about their friends bringing clothes to school for them then they change there not taking clothes out of their own houses.. My parents checked up on me too all the time and Ill admit I still did things they told me not to do.. I had a pager if they paged me I went to where I told them I would be and used the phone.. Not hard to do.. Or if your friend answers the phone and you arent there your friend could say oh shes in the bathroom or whatever Ill have her call you back in a minute.. Bam lie covered long enough to where your friend could get a hold of you.. Its not a total "abdication of parenthood" not knowing if your children are being devious and doing things like changing clothes at school or lying and telling you they are somewhere when they arent.. Im just saying that not all the time does the blame fall on the parents sometimes it does and I know that.. My parents were good parents they checked up on me all the time.. did all the things to make sure I was behaving and not lying.. Im just making the point that no matter how good of a parent you try to be or how often you check up on them there are some kids who figure out ways around that and I dont blame my parents one bit..[/b]
Any parent who falls for the kind of stuff you're talking about is doing just what I said--turning a blind eye. I mean--"she's in the bathroom, she'll call you right back" is the OLDEST trick in the book. Like I said, if there's not a way to check up on my kids--either a real phone where I call and reach them, or if I don't know the parents well enough to trust them, them my kids will not go. Because if kids get off track, it's ALMOST always going to be the parent's fault--the exceptions being the small percentage of kids who are just plain psychopaths (and sometimes even that is the parents fault too) or those that are mentally deficient in some way.
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  #6  
July 12th, 2006, 05:59 AM
syncere
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I hardly call what my parents was doing "turning a blind eye" to my behavior.. my parents were unbelievably strict.. My father wasnt the nicest man and I still got away with a lot more than I should have.. Like I said if you never had a problem with your child before the first time the "shes in the bathroom" thing was done you more than likely wouldnt think anything of it.. If it becomes a frequent thing thats one thing.. The girl I used as my "excuse" was a girl Ive hung out with kindergarden so my parents and her parents knew each other really well.. They had no reason to think I would be doing anything wrong.. My whole point being if you have had a well behaved child and never had one issue with lies or whatever you wouldnt automatically assume they were doing anything wrong and by the time it clicks it could be too late.. Like I said Im not saying that it isnt always the parents fault but sometimes it simply isnt.. I wasnt mentally deficient nor was I a "psychopath" and I still got around my parents efforts to keep me in line.. My parents did a lot more to keep me in my place than I see the majority of parents do today like you said being popular verses being effective.. Keep in mind too Im not talking about a 13-15 year old then of course you would be more cautious and checking up more frequently.. But the older they get you tend to give them a bit more "freedom" and responsibilities. You will still check up yes and do everything as you would normally but, if your teenager drives and says "im going to pick up "susie"(a well known friend) and we are going to get some mcdonalds and go to the mall.. How do you know that is what they are really doing? If they have a cell phone you honestly wouldnt know if that is where they were.. Are you going to supervise every little move they make? Are you going to ride in the car everywhere they go to make sure that is what they are doing? Chances are No you wont.. You will believe that your child is being honest with you.. You will have them check in every so often but how do you honestly know that they arent with some boys having sex somewhere? You dont.. Does that mean that you are turning a blind eye because your 17 year old daughter is at the "mall" shopping and ends up pregnant? I hardly think so.. You do your best and thats all that can be expected.. I dont necessarily think you are to blame in that situation.. If you allow your daughters bf to come over and let them alone in her room while you are there or not home for that matter and she ends up pregnant do I blame the parent? yes.. you werent supervising your child in your own home..
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  #7  
July 12th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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If my child was having sex without my knowledge, I would blame myself for not creating the environment we had a goal of making. We want our house to be open and honest about sex and a place to confide. we want this to lead to being open about needing BC and an honest and productive knowledge that female BC isn't 100% effective, so the male should be wearing a condom as well.

As far as more general situations go, I do blame myself for my children's behavior. I am the single most important factor in shaping their ideas about boundaries, teaching them the ethics of treatment of those around them, and giving them the right values and goals in life.

Of course, everyone makes mistakes. And if my children did engage in an act that I would ultimately "blame" myself for, I have full confidence that I have also (and will also) teach them the correct way to make up for what they have done.
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  #8  
July 12th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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I agree with synere.

My mom, when I lived with her [14-15, 17-18], she always believed I was sneaking around, doing things I shouldn't have been doing, when I wasn't. I got so fustrated by it! I worked at the mall for a few weeks, and had to work from 6pm to about 2am [change around the store displays and such]. She called my cell phone, SEVERAL times, saying she was going to call the police if I didn't get my *A* home, etc. I was working! It really caused ALOT of problems between my mom and I, beause it was obvious she didn't trust me at all, and I always was a good kid, and really had no reason NOT to trust me. I also, was on pins and needles that she'd be following me places. And when I moved out, I wouldn't tell her where I lived because I didn't want her to drive by [something she does with her BF, when they lived here].

If you dont even have a little bit of trust, for what your teenager is doing, its just going to lead to more problems down the road.
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  #9  
July 12th, 2006, 08:39 AM
mrobinson
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Quote:
Why can't parents just step up and take responsibility for raising their own children? Even with the "excuse" that a parent provides, doesn't it still boil down to being the parent's responsibility-for allowing the child to have certain friends, watch certain shows, eat certain foods, etc.[/b]
Amen sista!

Quote:
The teenage daughter ending up pregnant.. She could have been sneaking out (how is that your fault?)[/b]
Because mommy and daddy aren't around to make sure where little girl is.. and why is the little girl looking for love and validation? Because mommy and daddy aren't around.

Quote:
my parents were unbelievably strict..[/b]
Maybe their idea of strict is very different? Parents should have boundaries. The real kicker is trying to empower the kids with enough self-confidence so when they leave the house, they know what's right and wrong, what's helping them, and what's hindering them. Parents need to start instilling empathy and love into kids, I dont think most parents support their kids as much as they control them (in a bad way).

Quote:
If my child was having sex without my knowledge, I would blame myself for not creating the environment we had a goal of making. We want our house to be open and honest about sex and a place to confide. we want this to lead to being open about needing BC and an honest and productive knowledge that female BC isn't 100% effective, so the male should be wearing a condom as well.

As far as more general situations go, I do blame myself for my children's behavior. I am the single most important factor in shaping their ideas about boundaries, teaching them the ethics of treatment of those around them, and giving them the right values and goals in life.

Of course, everyone makes mistakes. And if my children did engage in an act that I would ultimately "blame" myself for, I have full confidence that I have also (and will also) teach them the correct way to make up for what they have done.[/b]


Quote:
..it was obvious she didn't trust me at all, and I always was a good kid, and really had no reason NOT to trust me. I also, was on pins and needles that she'd be following me places.[/b]
If a mother has trust issues with her kids, it shows complete insecurity about how the mom instilled values into a child in the first place. It's her issue and you get to be treated that way.. I think it sucks and I wish your mom had better confidence in her trust issues.
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  #10  
July 12th, 2006, 08:50 AM
syncere
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I knew what was right and wrong.. My parents were good parents.. They werent controlling to the point where I wasnt allowed to breathe wrong.. They taught me right from wrong and what could be questionable.. I didnt end up pregnant at the age of 15-17 years old. I finished high school and continued on to take college courses.. I turned out perfectly fine.. I just rebelled like a lot of teens do.. You are told you arent supposed to do something you start to wonder what its like.. a lot of teens do it but, I dont blame the parents(all the time) they have done the best they can to make their children understand right from wrong.. Have you never heard of a teen sneaking out while her parents are home sleeping? So they are around.. She could be in what she believes in "love" with her bf he convinces her to sneak out even though she knows its wrong.. young girls are easily persuaded by their bf's.. It happens.. Like Ive said a few times previously I do agree that SOMETIMES the parents are at fault well he|| a lot of the times they are at fault but there are occasions where it doesnt matter what they do or how well they think they are raising them that a child will do the complete opposite.. Its life..
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  #11  
July 12th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Our security system keeps people from the outside from getting in and the people on the inside from getting out (without someone knowing) There is an incredibly loud BEEPBEEPBEEP right next to my head if a door or window is even cracked open (and if someone attempts to disarm the system). I don't think there will be any night wondering outside of our walls without my knowledge!

And if they attempt, then its time for a long talk and a fit punishment...and perhaps even a compromise about extension of curfew after they have served their time.
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  #12  
July 12th, 2006, 08:59 AM
mrobinson
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You are told you arent supposed to do something you start to wonder what its like..[/b]
and I think parents can be more involved in those types of situations much better than most parents approach it.. Life is about making mistakes.. If the kids really trust the parents, they'll work with them.. When they don't, as kids do (and I think we both agree there) the kids get to find out the reprecussions aren't like with mom and dad.. Those types of reprecussions are for worse. If this concept is introduced from the start with anything, a parent really gains a child trust. I don't think for one second every parent out there is doing that because they are too busy ~ working, paying bills, getting supper ready, doing the lawn, doing laundry, getting grocieries... That's most parents just dictate. That doesn't mean they aren't doing their best and that also doesn't mean they love their kids any less. I'm jsut trying to say the quality of actions with kids is lacking and that's why parents blame everyone but themselves.

Quote:
Our security system keeps people from the outside from getting in and the people on the inside from getting out (without someone knowing) There is an incredibly loud BEEPBEEPBEEP right next to my head if a door or window is even cracked open (and if someone attempts to disarm the system). I don't think there will be any night wondering outside of our walls without my knowledge!

And if they attempt, then its time for a long talk and a fit punishment...and perhaps even a compromise about extension of curfew after they have served their time.[/b]
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  #13  
July 12th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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I agree that teenagers rebel, but it's a parents job to make sure they stay safe. Parents who go overboard and don't give their children any space at all within some very firm boundaries are making a mistake too, but I don't think that's as great a mistake as letting a child do whatever they want because "Hey, that's teenagers. They do what they want." Some things can't be undone--you can't unhave sex, you can't unmake a baby, you can't unfry your brain once you've fried it on drugs, you can't unmake a thousand other bad choices that teenagers make. That's why having good alert parents is very important, especially for teenagers. A parent of a teenager can't be too busy working, too busy living their own life, too wrapped in their own social life or romances, or whatever to look out for their kids.

Letting a teenager work until 2 a.m. sounds a little off to me. There are child labor laws that prevent that kind of thing anyway. When I was 14 I was only allowed to work until 7 p.m. Things may have changed some, but good sense does not change. My parents also didn't always believe I was sneaking around, but if I had started that whole "she's in the bathroom, she'll call you right back" I wouldn't have been doing much socializing for a while. I mean come on, adults may be old but they're not stupid, and good parents see through a game like that in about 2 seconds. My dad would have hunted me down and embarassed the crap out of me, and a little bit of that goes a long way.
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