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Old 04-13-2003, 11:44 AM
Nobody Nobody is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Oregon
Posts: 11,154
Parents taking credit or blame for how their kids turn out.

Some people hold two, and in my opinion, contradictory views when it comes to how a person lives their lives.
On the one had, if a person leads a good life, then the parent can take credit for raising them right.
If, on the other hand, the person does bad deeds, they have only themselves to blame, and are making excuses if they blame it on a bad childhood.
So, the question is, if a parent can take credit for a good kid, why not take the blame for a bad one. Or, if they shouldn't be held responsible for a bad kid, why should they be given credit for raising a good one?
Please tell me how these two points of view aren't contradictory.
Old 04-13-2003, 11:58 AM
Tusculan Tusculan is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Lost in thought
Posts: 1,777
Well, regardless on what the answer to the factual question is, the statements need not be contradictory in itself.

Let me give an example. Assume we have a certain kind of bulb flower, of which statistcally only half of them will actually produce a flower, and you cannot tell beforehand. One person provides good care and sure enough, half of them blossom. Another doesn't give any care at all, and none of them turn out well. The former person can say: bad luck that that half didn't turn out well. The latter can rightfully be blamed that none of them did well.

So you can be commended for the proper care, even if there is part luck in the end result. by providing good care you made it possible that the end result was good. If you'd been lacking in that respect, you would have ensured the result would have been bad.

It is easy to do things wrong, it is hard to do things right. (Beauty is difficult, as Plato said).
Old 04-13-2003, 12:01 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,843
Check out The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do by Judith Harris. According to her research, parenting has a lot less to do with it than most people assume.
Old 04-13-2003, 05:43 PM
Dread Pirate Jimbo Dread Pirate Jimbo is offline
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 1,753
The whole nature/nurture issue has been hotly debated over the years with most scholars coming out on one side or the other. IMO, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. The personal makeup of a child has a lot to do with how the kid will turn out, but good parents can help the situation and bad parents can make the situation worse.

I have two contrasting examples. In my own case, my sister and I are two very different people; I'm pretty quiet and take instruction well, while my sister has always been loud and headstrong. My parents used the same methods to raise us, but we turned out to be very different people. And although my sister has made more mistakes, she's a pretty well-adjusted person.

On the other hand, there are my nieces. Again, one is quiet and non-confrontational, the other is noisy and argumentative. The problem is the parents do nothing to control the wild one and little to encourage the quiet one. As of this writing, the concensus is that the wild one is going to wind up pregnant and in prison sooner or later and the quiet one will be in therapy with a complete lack of self-esteem and confidence.

My parents did their damndest to keep my sister under control and she understood that there were boundaries that she dared not cross. She turned out ok. My niece has been given no such boundaries and just gets worse and worse (as an aside, she is apparently very well-behaved in school where bad behaviour is not tolerated, so her behaviour is purely based on her environment). Clearly, if she had parents willing to nurture her properly, her behaviour would be better, not perfect, mind you, but better.

As to the specific question of the OP, you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you take credit for your kids' successes, you must also take the blame for their failures and vice versa.
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